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Sample records for manipulated predation risk

  1. Helper Response to Experimentally Manipulated Predation Risk in the Cooperatively Breeding Cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Taborsky, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Background We manipulated predation risk in a field experiment with the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher by releasing no predator, a medium- or a large-sized fish predator inside underwater cages enclosing two to three natural groups. We assessed whether helpers changed their helping behaviour, and whether within-group conflict changed, depending on these treatments, testing three hypotheses: ‘pay-to-stay’ PS, ‘risk avoidance’ RA, or (future) reproductive benefits RB. We also assessed whether helper food intake was reduced under risk, because this might reduce investments in other behaviours to save energy. Methodology/Principal Findings Medium and large helpers fed less under predation risk. Despite this effect helpers invested more in territory defence, but not territory maintenance, under the risk of predation (supporting PS). Experimentally covering only the breeding shelter with sand induced more helper digging under predation risk compared to the control treatment (supporting PS). Aggression towards the introduced predator did not differ between the two predator treatments and increased with group member size and group size (supporting PS and RA). Large helpers increased their help ratio (helping effort/breeder aggression received, ‘punishment’ by the dominant pair in the group) in the predation treatments compared to the control treatment, suggesting they were more willing to PS. Medium helpers did not show such effects. Large helpers also showed a higher submission ratio (submission/ breeder aggression received) in all treatments, compared to the medium helpers (supporting PS). Conclusions/Significance We conclude that predation risk reduces helper food intake, but despite this effect, helpers were more willing to support the breeders, supporting PS. Effects of breeder punishment suggests that PS might be more important for large compared to the medium helpers. Evidence for RA was also detected. Finally, the results were

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

    PubMed Central

    Orrock, John L.; Fletcher, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Fletcher, Robert J

    2014-06-07

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

  4. Behavioural and physiological responses of wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) to experimental manipulations of predation and starvation risk.

    PubMed

    Monarca, Rita I; Mathias, Maria da Luz; Speakman, John R

    2015-10-01

    Body weight and the levels of stored body fat have fitness consequences. Greater levels of fat may provide protection against catastrophic failures in the food supply, but they may also increase the risk of predation. Animals may therefore regulate their fatness according to their perceived risks of predation and starvation: the starvation-predation trade-off model. We tested the predictions of this model in wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) by experimentally manipulating predation risk and starvation risk. We predicted that under increased predation risk individuals would lose weight and under increased starvation risk they would gain it. We simulated increased predation risk by playing the calls made by predatory birds (owls: Tyto alba and Bubo bubo) to the mice. Control groups included exposure to calls of a non-predatory bird (blackbird: Turdus merula) or silence. Mice exposed to owl calls at night lost weight relative to the silence group, mediated via reduced food intake, but exposure to owl calls in the day had no significant effect. Exposure to blackbird calls at night also resulted in weight loss, but blackbird calls in the day had no effect. Mice seemed to have a generalised response to bird calls at night irrespective of their actual source. This could be because in the wild any bird calling at night will be a predation risk, and any bird calling in the day would not be, because at that time the mice would normally be resting, and hence not exposed to avian predators. Consequently, mice have not evolved to distinguish different types of call but only to respond to the time of day that they occur. Mice exposed to stochastic 24h starvation events altered their behaviour (reduced activity) during the refeeding days that followed the deprivation periods to regain the lost mass. However, they only marginally elevated their food intake and consequently had reduced body weight/fat storage compared to that of the control unstarved group. This response may have

  5. Floral asymmetry and predation risk modify pollinator behavior, but only predation risk decreases plant fitness.

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Subtle cues of predation risk: starlings respond to a predator's direction of eye-gaze

    PubMed Central

    Carter, Julia; Lyons, Nicholas J; Cole, Hannah L; Goldsmith, Arthur R

    2008-01-01

    For prey animals to negotiate successfully the fundamental trade-off between predation and starvation, a realistic assessment of predation risk is vital. Prey responses to conspicuous indicators of risk (such as looming predators or fleeing conspecifics) are well documented, but there should also be strong selection for the detection of more subtle cues. A predator's head orientation and eye-gaze direction are good candidates for subtle but useful indicators of risk, since many predators orient their head and eyes towards their prey as they attack. We describe the first explicit demonstration of a bird responding to a live predator's eye-gaze direction. We present wild-caught European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) with human ‘predators’ whose frontal appearance and gaze direction are manipulated independently, and show that starlings are sensitive to the predator's orientation, the presence of eyes and the direction of eye-gaze. Starlings respond in a functionally significant manner: when the predator's gaze was averted, starlings resumed feeding earlier, at a higher rate and consumed more food overall. By correctly assessing lower risk and returning to feeding activity earlier (as in this study), the animal gains a competitive advantage over conspecifics that do not respond to the subtle predator cue in this way. PMID:18445559

  9. 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

  10. Intraguild relationships between sympatric predators exposed to lethal control: predator manipulation experiments.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Allen, Lee R; Engeman, Richard M; Leung, Luke K-P

    2013-07-10

    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. 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. These results are in accord with other predator manipulation experiments conducted worldwide, and suggest that Australian populations of native prey fauna

  11. Field evidence for non-host predator avoidance in a manipulated amphipod

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Médoc, Vincent; Beisel, Jean-Nicolas

    2009-04-01

    Manipulative parasites are known to alter the spatial distribution of their intermediate hosts in a way that enables trophic transmission to definitive hosts. However, field data on the ecological implications of such changes are lacking. In particular, little is known about the spatial coexistence between infected prey and dead-end predators after a parasite-induced habitat shift. Here, we used an Amphipoda ( Gammarus roeseli)-Acanthocephala ( Polymorphus minutus) association to investigate how infection with a manipulative parasite affects the predation risk by non-hosts within the invertebrate community. First, we collected invertebrates by sampling various natural habitats and calculated the distribution amplitude of amphipods according to their infection status. Infection with P. minutus significantly reduced the habitat breadth in G. roeseli, parasitised individuals being mainly found in floating materials whereas uninfected ones were widespread throughout the sampled habitats. Second, to test if these changes also affect the risk for P. minutus to be ingested by non-hosts, we estimated the predation risk experienced by G. roeseli within the macro-invertebrate community. The habitat overlap between potential invertebrate predators and G. roeseli showed that the spatial probability of encounter was lower for P. minutus-infected amphipods than for uninfected conspecifics. For the first time, to our knowledge, a study used ecological tools to bring field evidence for the spatial avoidance of dead-end predators in a manipulated amphipod.

  12. Field evidence for non-host predator avoidance in a manipulated amphipod.

    PubMed

    Médoc, Vincent; Beisel, Jean-Nicolas

    2009-04-01

    Manipulative parasites are known to alter the spatial distribution of their intermediate hosts in a way that enables trophic transmission to definitive hosts. However, field data on the ecological implications of such changes are lacking. In particular, little is known about the spatial coexistence between infected prey and dead-end predators after a parasite-induced habitat shift. Here, we used an Amphipoda (Gammarus roeseli)-Acanthocephala (Polymorphus minutus) association to investigate how infection with a manipulative parasite affects the predation risk by non-hosts within the invertebrate community. First, we collected invertebrates by sampling various natural habitats and calculated the distribution amplitude of amphipods according to their infection status. Infection with P. minutus significantly reduced the habitat breadth in G. roeseli, parasitised individuals being mainly found in floating materials whereas uninfected ones were widespread throughout the sampled habitats. Second, to test if these changes also affect the risk for P. minutus to be ingested by non-hosts, we estimated the predation risk experienced by G. roeseli within the macro-invertebrate community. The habitat overlap between potential invertebrate predators and G. roeseli showed that the spatial probability of encounter was lower for P. minutus-infected amphipods than for uninfected conspecifics. For the first time, to our knowledge, a study used ecological tools to bring field evidence for the spatial avoidance of dead-end predators in a manipulated amphipod.

  13. 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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. Escaping peril: perceived predation risk affects migratory propensity

    PubMed Central

    Hulthén, Kaj; Chapman, Ben B.; Nilsson, P. Anders; Vinterstare, Jerker; Hansson, Lars-Anders; Skov, Christian; Brodersen, Jakob; Baktoft, Henrik; Brönmark, Christer

    2015-01-01

    Although migratory plasticity is increasingly documented, the ecological drivers of plasticity are not well understood. Predation risk can influence migratory dynamics, but whether seasonal migrants can adjust their migratory behaviour according to perceived risk is unknown. We used electronic tags to record the migration of individual roach (Rutilus rutilus), a partially migratory fish, in the wild following exposure to manipulation of direct (predator presence/absence) and indirect (high/low roach density) perceived predation risk in experimental mesocosms. Following exposure, we released fish in their lake summer habitat and monitored individual migration to connected streams over an entire season. Individuals exposed to increased perceived direct predation risk (i.e. a live predator) showed a higher migratory propensity but no change in migratory timing, while indirect risk (i.e. roach density) affected timing but not propensity showing that elevated risk carried over to alter migratory behaviour in the wild. Our key finding demonstrates predator-driven migratory plasticity, highlighting the powerful role of predation risk for migratory decision-making and dynamics. PMID:26311158

  16. Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  17. Non-Specific Manipulation of Gammarid Behaviour by P. minutus Parasite Enhances Their Predation by Definitive Bird Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Jacquin, Lisa; Mori, Quentin; Pause, Mickaël; Steffen, Mélanie; Medoc, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Trophically-transmitted parasites often change the phenotype of their intermediate hosts in ways that increase their vulnerability to definitive hosts, hence favouring transmission. As a “collateral damage”, manipulated hosts can also become easy prey for non-host predators that are dead ends for the parasite, and which are supposed to play no role in transmission strategies. Interestingly, infection with the acanthocephalan parasite Polymorphus minutus has been shown to reduce the vulnerability of its gammarid intermediate hosts to non-host predators, whose presence triggered the behavioural alterations expected to favour trophic transmission to bird definitive hosts. Whilst the behavioural response of infected gammarids to the presence of definitive hosts remains to be investigated, this suggests that trophic transmission might be promoted by non-host predation risk. We conducted microcosm experiments to test whether the behaviour of P. minutus-infected gammarids was specific to the type of predator (i.e. mallard as definitive host and fish as non-host), and mesocosm experiments to test whether trophic transmission to bird hosts was influenced by non-host predation risk. Based on the behaviours we investigated (predator avoidance, activity, geotaxis, conspecific attraction), we found no evidence for a specific fine-tuned response in infected gammarids, which behaved similarly whatever the type of predator (mallard or fish). During predation tests, fish predation risk did not influence the differential predation of mallards that over-consumed infected gammarids compared to uninfected individuals. Overall, our results bring support for a less sophisticated scenario of manipulation than previously expected, combining chronic behavioural alterations with phasic behavioural alterations triggered by the chemical and physical cues coming from any type of predator. Given the wide dispersal range of waterbirds (the definitive hosts of P. minutus), such a manipulation

  18. Non-specific manipulation of gammarid behaviour by P. minutus parasite enhances their predation by definitive bird hosts.

    PubMed

    Jacquin, Lisa; Mori, Quentin; Pause, Mickaël; Steffen, Mélanie; Medoc, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    Trophically-transmitted parasites often change the phenotype of their intermediate hosts in ways that increase their vulnerability to definitive hosts, hence favouring transmission. As a "collateral damage", manipulated hosts can also become easy prey for non-host predators that are dead ends for the parasite, and which are supposed to play no role in transmission strategies. Interestingly, infection with the acanthocephalan parasite Polymorphus minutus has been shown to reduce the vulnerability of its gammarid intermediate hosts to non-host predators, whose presence triggered the behavioural alterations expected to favour trophic transmission to bird definitive hosts. Whilst the behavioural response of infected gammarids to the presence of definitive hosts remains to be investigated, this suggests that trophic transmission might be promoted by non-host predation risk. We conducted microcosm experiments to test whether the behaviour of P. minutus-infected gammarids was specific to the type of predator (i.e. mallard as definitive host and fish as non-host), and mesocosm experiments to test whether trophic transmission to bird hosts was influenced by non-host predation risk. Based on the behaviours we investigated (predator avoidance, activity, geotaxis, conspecific attraction), we found no evidence for a specific fine-tuned response in infected gammarids, which behaved similarly whatever the type of predator (mallard or fish). During predation tests, fish predation risk did not influence the differential predation of mallards that over-consumed infected gammarids compared to uninfected individuals. Overall, our results bring support for a less sophisticated scenario of manipulation than previously expected, combining chronic behavioural alterations with phasic behavioural alterations triggered by the chemical and physical cues coming from any type of predator. Given the wide dispersal range of waterbirds (the definitive hosts of P. minutus), such a manipulation

  19. 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

  20. The increased risk of predation enhances cooperation

    PubMed Central

    Krams, Indrikis; Bērziņš, Arnis; Krama, Tatjana; Wheatcroft, David; Igaune, Kristīne; Rantala, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that animals in adverse conditions can decrease individual risks and increase long-term benefits by cooperating with neighbours. However, some empirical studies suggest that animals often focus on short-term benefits, which can reduce the likelihood that they will cooperate with others. In this experimental study, we tested between these two alternatives by evaluating whether increased predation risk (as a correlate of environmental adversity) enhances or diminishes the occurrence of cooperation in mobbing, a common anti-predator behaviour, among breeding pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. We tested whether birds would join their mobbing neighbours more often and harass a stuffed predator placed near their neighbours' nests more intensely in areas with a higher perceived risk of predation. Our results show that birds attended mobs initiated by their neighbours more often, approached the stuffed predator significantly more closely, and mobbed it at a higher intensity in areas where the perceived risk of predation was experimentally increased. In such high-risk areas, birds also were more often involved in between-pair cooperation. This study demonstrates the positive impact of predation risk on cooperation in breeding songbirds, which might help in explaining the emergence and evolution of cooperation. PMID:19846454

  1. Multiscale wolf predation risk for elk: does migration reduce risk?

    PubMed

    Hebblewhite, Mark; Merrill, Evelyn H

    2007-05-01

    While migration is hypothesized to reduce predation risk for ungulates, there have been few direct empirical tests of this hypothesis. Furthermore, few studies examined multiscale predation risk avoidance by migrant ungulates, yet recent research reveals that predator-prey interactions occur at multiple scales. We test the predation risk reduction hypothesis at two spatial scales in a partially migratory elk (Cervus elaphus) population by comparing exposure of migrant and resident elk to wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk. We used GPS and VHF telemetry data collected from 67 migrant and 44 resident elk over the summers of 2002-2004 in and adjacent to Banff National Park (BNP), Canada. We used wolf GPS and VHF telemetry data to estimate predation risk as a function of the relative probability of wolf occurrence weighted by a spatial density model that adjusted for varying pack sizes. We validated the predation risk model using independent data on wolf-killed elk, and showed that combining wolf presence and spatial density best predicted where an elk was likely to be killed. Predation risk on summer ranges of migrant elk was reduced by 70% compared to within resident elk summer ranges. Because wolves avoided areas near high human activity, however, fine-scale selection by resident elk for areas near high human activity reduced their predation risk exposure to only 15% higher than migrants, a difference significant in only one of three summers. Finally, during actual migration, elk were exposed to 1.7 times more predation risk than residents, even though migration was rapid. Our results support the hypothesis that large-scale migrations can reduce predation. However, we also show that where small-scale spatial variation in predation risk exists, nonmigratory elk may equally reduce predation risk as effectively as migrants under some circumstances.

  2. Direct and indirect effects of predation and predation risk in old-field interaction webs.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, O J

    1998-04-01

    Indirect effects emerge when a change in the abundance of one species indirectly affects another by changing the abundances of intermediate species-called density-mediated indirect effects-or they arise when one species modifies how two other species interact-called trait-mediated indirect effects. I report on field experiments that evaluated how grass and herb biomass in old-field interaction webs was influenced indirectly by a spider carnivore through its interactions with a generalist and a grass-specialist grasshopper species. I manipulated interaction pathways between the spider and the plants using different combinations of the grasshopper species. I changed the modality of predator-prey interactions to isolate density-mediated from trait-mediated effects using natural spiders (predation spiders) or spiders that were prevented from subduing prey by mouthpart manipulation (risk spiders). I found that indirect effects were stronger in speciose, reticulate food webs than in linear food chains owing to a trait-mediated effect, a diet shift by herbivores in response to predation risk. Spiders alone did not have significant effects on grasshopper densities in the field experiments, removing any possibility of density-mediated indirect effects. The study illustrates that ecologists should not underestimate the importance of behavioral ecology in determining community-level interactions.

  3. Predation risk induces changes in nest-site selection and clutch size in the Siberian jay

    PubMed Central

    Eggers, Sönke; Griesser, Michael; Nystrand, Magdalena; Ekman, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Life-history theory predicts that an individual should reduce its reproductive efforts by laying a smaller clutch size when high risk of nest predation reduces the value of current reproduction. Evidence in favour of this ‘nest predation hypothesis’, however, is scarce and based largely on correlative analyses. Here, we manipulated perceived risk of nest predation in the Siberian jay Perisoreus infaustus using playback involving a mixture of calls by corvid nest predators in the vicinity of nest sites. In response to being exposed to this acoustic cue simulating increased risk of nest predation, the jays chose a nest site offering more protective covering and reduced clutch size. This is the first experimental demonstration of clutch size adjustment and nest site selection as a result of phenotypic plasticity in an open nesting passerine reflecting a facultative response to the perceived risk of nest predation. PMID:16608689

  4. Predation risk induces changes in nest-site selection and clutch size in the Siberian jay.

    PubMed

    Eggers, Sönke; Griesser, Michael; Nystrand, Magdalena; Ekman, Jan

    2006-03-22

    Life-history theory predicts that an individual should reduce its reproductive efforts by laying a smaller clutch size when high risk of nest predation reduces the value of current reproduction. Evidence in favour of this 'nest predation hypothesis', however, is scarce and based largely on correlative analyses. Here, we manipulated perceived risk of nest predation in the Siberian jay Perisoreus infaustus using playback involving a mixture of calls by corvid nest predators in the vicinity of nest sites. In response to being exposed to this acoustic cue simulating increased risk of nest predation, the jays chose a nest site offering more protective covering and reduced clutch size. This is the first experimental demonstration of clutch size adjustment and nest site selection as a result of phenotypic plasticity in an open nesting passerine reflecting a facultative response to the perceived risk of nest predation.

  5. Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland

    PubMed Central

    Threlfall, Caragh; Law, Bradley; Banks, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Odours that accumulate from roosting can attract predators and increase predation risk. Consequently, selection should favour strategies that allow prey to evade detection by predators, including changing roosts. Insectivorous bats that roost in tree hollows regularly switch roosts and roost in different sized groups, strategies that would alter the accumulation of roost odours and are hypothesized to reduce predation risk. We experimentally manipulated the amount and refresh rate of roosting odour cues at 90 artificial bat roosts in Sydney, Australia, to test the hypothesis that odours increase predator visitation. Predators visited roosts with bat faeces significantly more often than untreated control roosts. Roosts with small amounts of faeces mimicking sites used by solitary bats had the greatest rate of visitation. This suggests that bats roosting alone, rather than in groups, have a greater likelihood of disturbance or predation. Roost switching probably decreases the predictability of finding occupied roosts; however, we show that all roosts (those currently or recently occupied) were visited by predators, suggesting generalist urban predators readily investigate potential roosts. This is the first demonstration that bat odours are attractive to predators that use olfactory cues, showing that bats are at risk of predation in visually cryptic roosts. PMID:23637390

  6. Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland.

    PubMed

    Threlfall, Caragh; Law, Bradley; Banks, Peter B

    2013-06-23

    Odours that accumulate from roosting can attract predators and increase predation risk. Consequently, selection should favour strategies that allow prey to evade detection by predators, including changing roosts. Insectivorous bats that roost in tree hollows regularly switch roosts and roost in different sized groups, strategies that would alter the accumulation of roost odours and are hypothesized to reduce predation risk. We experimentally manipulated the amount and refresh rate of roosting odour cues at 90 artificial bat roosts in Sydney, Australia, to test the hypothesis that odours increase predator visitation. Predators visited roosts with bat faeces significantly more often than untreated control roosts. Roosts with small amounts of faeces mimicking sites used by solitary bats had the greatest rate of visitation. This suggests that bats roosting alone, rather than in groups, have a greater likelihood of disturbance or predation. Roost switching probably decreases the predictability of finding occupied roosts; however, we show that all roosts (those currently or recently occupied) were visited by predators, suggesting generalist urban predators readily investigate potential roosts. This is the first demonstration that bat odours are attractive to predators that use olfactory cues, showing that bats are at risk of predation in visually cryptic roosts.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Host manipulation by parasites in the world of dead-end predators: adaptation to enhance transmission?

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Valtonen, E. Tellervo; Benesh, Daniel P

    2008-01-01

    Trophically transmitted parasites often alter their intermediate host's phenotype, thereby predisposing the hosts to increased predation. This is generally considered a parasite strategy evolved to enhance transmission to the next hosts. However, the adaptive value of host manipulation is not clear as it may be associated with costs, such as increased susceptibility to predators that are unsuitable next hosts for the parasites. We examined the ratio between the benefits and costs of host manipulation for transmission success of Acanthocephalus lucii (Acanthocephala), a parasite that alters the hiding behaviour and pigmentation of its isopod hosts. We experimentally compared the susceptibility of infected and uninfected isopods to predation by perch (Perca fluvialis; definitive host of the parasite) and dragonfly larvae (dead end). We found that the parasite predisposed the isopods to predation by both predators. However, the increased predation vulnerability of the infected isopods was higher towards perch. This suggests that, despite the costs due to non-host predation, host manipulation may still be advantageous for the parasite. PMID:18430644

  10. Predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, Donald D.; McCabe, Thomas R.; Ambrose, Robert E.; Garner, Gerald W.; Weiler, Greg J.; Reynolds, Harry V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Reed, Dan J.; Griffith, Brad; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus) of the Central Arctic herd, Alaska, have avoided the infrastructure associated with the complex of petroleum development areas from Prudhoe Bay to Kuparuk (Cameron et al. 1992, Nellemann and Cameron 1998, and Section 4 of this document). Calving females of the Porcupine caribou herd may similarly avoid any oil field roads and pipelines developed in areas traditionally used during the calving and post-calving periods. This may displace the caribou females and calves to areas east and south of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Increased calf mortality could occur if calving caribou are displaced into areas that have a higher density of predators, higher rates of predation, or where a higher proportion of the predators regularly use caribou as a food source (Whitten et al. 1992).Our study assessed predation risks to caribou calving in the 1002 Area versus calving in potential displacement areas. Due to funding constraints, our research focused on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), with wolves (Camus lupus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) receiving only cursory attention. Our research objectives were 1) to compare relative abundance of predators within the 1002 Area with that in adjacent peripheral areas, 2) to determine factors affecting predator abundance on the calving grounds, and 3) to quantify the use of caribou as a food source for predators and the importance of caribou to the productivity of predator populations using the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  11. Habitat structure mediates predation risk for sedentary prey: Experimental tests of alternative hypotheses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Predation is an important and ubiquitous selective force that can shape habitat preferences of prey species, but tests of alternative mechanistic hypotheses of habitat influences on predation risk are lacking. 2. We studied predation risk at nest sites of a passerine bird and tested two hypotheses based on theories of predator foraging behaviour. The total-foliage hypothesis predicts that predation will decline in areas of greater overall vegetation density by impeding cues for detection by predators. The potential-prey-site hypothesis predicts that predation decreases where predators must search more unoccupied potential nest sites. 3. Both observational data and results from a habitat manipulation provided clear support for the potential-prey-site hypothesis and rejection of the total-foliage hypothesis. Birds chose nest patches containing both greater total foliage and potential nest site density (which were correlated in their abundance) than at random sites, yet only potential nest site density significantly influenced nest predation risk. 4. Our results therefore provided a clear and rare example of adaptive nest site selection that would have been missed had structural complexity or total vegetation density been considered alone. 5. Our results also demonstrated that interactions between predator foraging success and habitat structure can be more complex than simple impedance or occlusion by vegetation. ?? 2008 British Ecological Society.

  12. Infection with an acanthocephalan manipulates an amphipod's reaction to a fish predator's odours.

    PubMed

    Baldauf, Sebastian A; Thünken, Timo; Frommen, Joachim G; Bakker, Theo C M; Heupel, Oliver; Kullmann, Harald

    2007-01-01

    Many parasites with complex life cycles increase the chances of reaching a final host by adapting strategies to manipulate their intermediate host's appearance, condition or behaviour. The acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis uses freshwater amphipods as intermediate hosts before reaching sexual maturity in predatory fish. We performed a series of choice experiments with infected and uninfected Gammarus pulex in order to distinguish between the effects of visual and olfactory predator cues on parasite-induced changes in host behaviour. When both visual and olfactory cues, as well as only olfactory cues were offered, infected and uninfected G. pulex showed significantly different preferences for the predator or the non-predator side. Uninfected individuals significantly avoided predator odours while infected individuals significantly preferred the side with predator odours. When only visual contact with a predator was allowed, infected and uninfected gammarids behaved similarly and had no significant preference. Thus, we believe we show for the first time that P. laevis increases its chance to reach a final host by olfactory-triggered manipulation of the anti-predator behaviour of its intermediate host.

  13. Higher nest predation risk in association with a top predator: mesopredator attraction?

    PubMed

    Morosinotto, Chiara; Thomson, Robert L; Hänninen, Mikko; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2012-10-01

    Breeding close to top predators is a widespread reproductive strategy. Breeding animals may gain indirect benefits if proximity to top predators results in a reduction of predation due to suppression of mesopredators. We tested if passerine birds gain protection from mesopredators by nesting within territories of a top predator, the Ural owl (Strix uralensis). We placed nest boxes for pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) in Ural owl nest sites and in control sites (currently unoccupied by owls). The nest boxes were designed so that nest predation risk could be altered (experimentally increased) after flycatcher settlement; we considered predation rate as a proxy of mesopredator abundance. Overall, we found higher nest predation rates in treatment than in control sites. Flycatcher laying date did not differ between sites, but smaller clutches were laid in treatment sites compared to controls, suggesting a response to perceived predation risk. Relative nest predation rate varied between years, being higher in owl nest sites in 2 years but similar in another; this variation might be indirectly influenced by vole abundance. Proximity to Ural owl nests might represent a risky habitat for passerines. High predation rates within owl territories could be because small mesopredators that do not directly threaten owl nests are attracted to owl nest sites. This could be explained if some mesopredators use owl territories to gain protection from their own predators, or if top predators and mesopredators independently seek similar habitats.

  14. Predation risk shapes thermal physiology of a predaceous damselfly.

    PubMed

    Culler, Lauren E; McPeek, Mark A; Ayres, Matthew P

    2014-11-01

    Predation risk has strong effects on organismal physiology that can cascade to impact ecosystem structure and function. Physiological processes in general are sensitive to temperature. Thus, the temperature at which predators and prey interact may shape physiological response to predation risk. We measured and evaluated how temperature and predation risk affected growth rates of predaceous damselfly nymphs (Enallagma vesperum, Odonata: Coenagrionidae). First, we conducted growth trials at five temperatures crossed with two levels of predation risk (fish predator present versus absent) and measured growth rates, consumption rates, assimilation efficiencies, and production efficiencies of 107 individual damselflies. Second, we used a model to evaluate if and how component physiological responses to predation risk affected growth rates across temperatures. In the absence of mortality threat, growth rates of damselflies increased with warming until about 23.5 °C and then began to decline, a typical unimodal response to changes in temperature. Under predation risk, growth rates were lower and the shape of the thermal response was less apparent. Higher metabolic and survival costs induced by predation risk were only partially offset by changes in consumption rates and assimilation efficiencies and the magnitude of non-consumptive effects varied as a function of temperature. Furthermore, we documented that thermal physiology was mediated by predation risk, a known driver of organismal physiology that occurs in the context of species interactions. A general understanding of climatic impacts on ectothermic populations requires consideration of the community context of thermal physiology, including non-consumptive effects of predators.

  15. 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.

  16. Foraging patterns of voles at heterogeneous avian and uniform mustelid predation risk.

    PubMed

    Eccard, Jana A; Pusenius, Jyrki; Sundell, Janne; Halle, Stefan; Ylönen, Hannu

    2008-10-01

    Temporal variation of antipredatory behavior and a uniform distribution of predation risk over refuges and foraging sites may create foraging patterns different from those anticipated from risk in heterogenous habitats. We studied the temporal variation in foraging behavior of voles exposed to uniform mustelid predation risk and heterogeneous avian predation risk of different levels induced by vegetation types in eight outdoor enclosures (0.25 ha). We manipulated mustelid predation risk with weasel presence or absence and avian predation risk by reducing or providing local cover at experimental food patches. Foraging at food patches was monitored by collecting giving-up densities at artificial food patches, overall activity was automatically monitored, and mortality of voles was monitored by live-trapping and radiotracking. Voles depleted the food to lower levels in the sheltered patches than in the exposed ones. In enclosures with higher avian predation risk caused by lower vegetation height, trays were depleted to lower levels. Unexpectedly, voles foraged in more trays and depleted trays to lower levels in the presence of weasels than in the absence. Weasels match their prey's body size and locomotive abilities and therefore increase predation risk uniformly over both foraging sites and refuge sites that can both be entered by the predator. This reduces the costs of missing opportunities other than foraging. Voles changed their foraging strategy accordingly by specializing on the experimental food patches with predictable returns and probably reduced their foraging in the matrix of natural food source with unpredictable returns and high risk to encounter the weasel. Moreover, after 1 day of weasel presence, voles shifted their main foraging activities to avoid the diurnal weasel. This behavior facilitated bird predation, probably by nocturnal owls, and more voles were killed by birds than by weasels. Food patch use of voles in weasel enclosures increased with

  17. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed Central

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation. PMID:15556889

  18. Predation risk is an ecological constraint for helper dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid.

    PubMed

    Heg, Dik; Bachar, Zina; Brouwer, Lyanne; Taborsky, Michael

    2004-11-22

    Environmental conditions are thought to be responsible for the extent and benefits of cooperative breeding in many animal societies, but experimental tests are scarce. We manipulated predator pressure in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher in Lake Tanganyika, where predators have been suggested to influence helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success. We varied the type and intensity of predation by releasing medium, large, or no predators inside large underwater cages enclosing two or three group territories. Helper and breeder survival, helper dispersal and group reproductive success decreased from the control, to the medium- and large-predator treatments. These effects were modified by helper body size and the number of adults protecting the group from predators, supporting the 'group augmentation hypothesis'. Predators forced helpers to stay closer to, and spend more time inside, protective shelters. The results demonstrate the importance of predators for group living in this species, and support the 'ecological constraints hypothesis' of cooperative breeding, in the sense that subordinates stay at home rather than leave and breed independently under the risk of predation.

  19. The risk of predation favors cooperation among breeding prey.

    PubMed

    Krams, Indrikis; Krama, Tatjana; Berzins, Arnis; Rantala, Markus J

    2010-05-01

    Empirical studies have shown that animals often focus on short-term benefits under conditions of predation risk, which reduces the likelihood that they will cooperate with others. However, some theoretical studies predict that animals in adverse conditions should not avoid cooperation with their neighbors since it may decrease individual risks and increase long-term benefits of reciprocal help. We experimentally tested these two alternatives to find out whether increased predation risk enhances or diminishes the occurrence of cooperation in mobbing, a common anti-predator behavior, among breeding pied flycatchers, Ficedula hypoleuca. Our results show that birds attended mobs initiated by their neighbors more often, approached the stuffed predator significantly more closely, and mobbed it at a higher intensity in areas where the perceived risk of predation was experimentally increased. This study demonstrates a positive impact of predation risk on cooperation in breeding songbirds, which might help to explain the emergence and evolution of cooperation.

  20. The risk of predation favors cooperation among breeding prey

    PubMed Central

    Krama, Tatjana; Berzins, Arnis; Rantala, Markus J

    2010-01-01

    Empirical studies have shown that animals often focus on short-term benefits under conditions of predation risk, which reduces the likelihood that they will cooperate with others. However, some theoretical studies predict that animals in adverse conditions should not avoid cooperation with their neighbors since it may decrease individual risks and increase long-term benefits of reciprocal help. We experimentally tested these two alternatives to find out whether increased predation risk enhances or diminishes the occurrence of cooperation in mobbing, a common anti-predator behavior, among breeding pied flycatchers, Ficedula hypoleuca. Our results show that birds attended mobs initiated by their neighbors more often, approached the stuffed predator significantly more closely, and mobbed it at a higher intensity in areas where the perceived risk of predation was experimentally increased. This study demonstrates a positive impact of predation risk on cooperation in breeding songbirds, which might help to explain the emergence and evolution of cooperation. PMID:20714404

  1. Can shrub cover increase predation risk for a desert rodent?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schooley, R.L.; Sharpe, Peter B.

    1996-01-01

    Previous research indicates that predation risk may influence activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and community structure of nocturnal desert rodents. Shrub microhabitat is typically considered safer than open microhabitat for these small mammals. We investigated predation risk for Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), which are diurnal desert rodents that detect predators visually and use burrows for refuge. Our results suggested that shrub cover may increase risk for these squirrels by decreasing their ability to escape from predators. Our field experiment indicated that running speeds of juvenile squirrels were lower in shrub (Ceratoides lanata) habitat than in open areas. Shrub cover was also associated with shorter predator-detection distances (mammalian and avian) and fewer refuges (burrow entrances per hectare) than in open areas in one year but not in another. Our study demonstrated that the visual and locomotive obstruction of vegetative cover may increase predation risk for diurnal desert rodents and that elements of habitat-dependent risk may be temporally dynamic.

  2. Detecting small environmental differences: risk-response curves for predator-induced behavior and morphology.

    PubMed

    Schoeppner, Nancy M; Relyea, Rick A

    2008-01-01

    Most organisms possess traits that are sensitive to changes in the environment (i.e., plastic traits) which results in the expression of environmentally induced polymorphisms. While most phenotypically plastic traits have traditionally been treated as threshold switches between induced and uninduced states, there is growing evidence that many traits can respond in a continuous fashion. In this experiment we exposed larval anurans (wood frog tadpoles, Rana sylvatica) to an increasing gradient of predation risk to determine how organisms respond to small environmental changes. We manipulated predation risk in two ways: by altering the amount of prey consumed by a constant number of predators (Dytiscus sp.) and by altering the number of predators that consume a constant amount of prey. We then quantified the expression of predator-induced behavior, morphology, and mass to determine the level of risk that induced each trait, the level of risk that induced the maximal phenotypic response for each trait, whether the different traits exhibited a plateauing response, and whether increasing risk via increasing predator number or via increasing prey consumption induced similar phenotypic changes. We found that all of the traits exhibited fine-tuned, graded responses and most of them exhibited a plateauing response with increased predation risk, suggesting either a limit to plasticity or the reflection of high costs of the defensive phenotype. For many traits, a large proportion of the maximum induction occurred at low levels of risk, suggesting that the chemical cues of predation are effective at extremely low concentrations. In contrast to earlier work, we found that behavioral and morphological responses to increased predator number were simply a response to increased total prey consumption. These results have important implications for models of plasticity evolution, models of optimal phenotypic design, expectations for how organisms respond to fine-grained changes (i

  3. Alcohol Impairs Predation Risk Response and Communication in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Thiago Acosta; Koakoski, Gessi; Kreutz, Luiz Carlos; Ferreira, Daiane; da Rosa, João Gabriel Santos; de Abreu, Murilo Sander; Giacomini, Ana Cristina Vendrametto; Oliveira, Ricardo Pimentel; Fagundes, Michele; Piato, Angelo Luis; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil

    2013-01-01

    The effects of ethanol exposure on Danio rerio have been studied from the perspectives of developmental biology and behavior. However, little is known about the effects of ethanol on the prey-predator relationship and chemical communication of predation risk. Here, we showed that visual contact with a predator triggers stress axis activation in zebrafish. We also observed a typical stress response in zebrafish receiving water from these conspecifics, indicating that these fish chemically communicate predation risk. Our work is the first to demonstrate how alcohol effects this prey-predator interaction. We showed for the first time that alcohol exposure completely blocks stress axis activation in both fish seeing the predator and in fish that come in indirect contact with a predator by receiving water from these conspecifics. Together with other research results and with the translational relevance of this fish species, our data points to zebrafish as a promising animal model to study human alcoholism. PMID:24116073

  4. Alcohol impairs predation risk response and communication in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Thiago Acosta; Koakoski, Gessi; Kreutz, Luiz Carlos; Ferreira, Daiane; da Rosa, João Gabriel Santos; de Abreu, Murilo Sander; Giacomini, Ana Cristina Vendrametto; Oliveira, Ricardo Pimentel; Fagundes, Michele; Piato, Angelo Luis; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil

    2013-01-01

    The effects of ethanol exposure on Danio rerio have been studied from the perspectives of developmental biology and behavior. However, little is known about the effects of ethanol on the prey-predator relationship and chemical communication of predation risk. Here, we showed that visual contact with a predator triggers stress axis activation in zebrafish. We also observed a typical stress response in zebrafish receiving water from these conspecifics, indicating that these fish chemically communicate predation risk. Our work is the first to demonstrate how alcohol effects this prey-predator interaction. We showed for the first time that alcohol exposure completely blocks stress axis activation in both fish seeing the predator and in fish that come in indirect contact with a predator by receiving water from these conspecifics. Together with other research results and with the translational relevance of this fish species, our data points to zebrafish as a promising animal model to study human alcoholism.

  5. 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.

  6. Receiving behaviour is sensitive to risks from eavesdropping predators.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Nelika K; Kelley, Jennifer L; Banks, Peter B

    2009-06-01

    Conspicuous signals may attract both intended receivers as well as unintended receivers such as predators. However, signalling individuals are not the only ones at risk when communicating, as the intended receiver may encounter eavesdropping predators that are attracted to the same signals. Here, we show that the house mouse (Mus domesticus) behaviourally responds to social signals (scents) as though receiving carries a risk of predation. We presented mice with their own scents (low social benefit to receiving) and those from an unknown "intruder" (high social benefit to receiving) under high (cat urine added) and low (water added) perceived predation risk. Mice traded-off the potential social benefits of receiving a signal against the costs of potential predator encounter. Receiving rates of both social signals (own and intruder) were high under low predation risk. Mice reduced receiving of both social signals when predation risk was increased; however, the effect was greater for their own low value scent than for the high social value intruder scent. Notably, rates of signalling did not vary with the level of perceived predation risk. Our findings suggest that mice traded-off the potential social benefits of receiving a signal (scent mark) against the costs of potential predator encounter. We suggest that, for some species, the costs of communication are borne more by the receivers than the signallers, and that the influence of risks to receivers on the design of communication systems may have been underestimated.

  7. 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.

  8. Testing predator-prey theory using broad-scale manipulations and independent validation.

    PubMed

    Serrouya, Robert; McLellan, Bruce N; Boutin, Stan

    2015-11-01

    A robust test of ecological theory is to gauge the predictive accuracy of general relationships parameterized from multiple systems but applied to a new area. To address this goal, we used an ecosystem-level experiment to test predator-prey theory by manipulating prey abundance to determine whether predation was density dependent, density independent, compensatory or depensatory (inversely density dependent) on prey populations. Understanding the nature of predation is of primary importance in community ecology because it establishes whether predation has little effect on prey abundance (compensatory), whether it promotes coexistence (density dependent) and reduces the equilibrium of prey (density independent) or whether it can be destabilizing (depensatory). We used theoretical predictions consisting of functional and numerical equations parameterized independently from meta-analyses on wolves (Canis lupus) and moose (Alces alces), but applied to our specific wolf-moose system. Predictions were tested by experimentally reducing moose abundance across 6500 km(2) as a novel way of evaluating the nature of predation. Depensatory predation of wolves on moose was the best explanation of the population dynamic - a mechanism that has been hypothesized to occur but has rarely been evaluated. Adding locally obtained kill rates and numerical estimates to the independent data provided no benefit to model predictions, suggesting that the theory was robust to local variation. These findings have critical implications for any organism that is preyed upon but that also has, or will be, subject to increased human exploitation or perturbations from environmental change. If depensatory predation is not accounted for in harvest models, predicted yields will be excessive and lead to further population decline.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Predation Risk Shapes Social Networks in Fission-Fusion Populations

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Jennifer L.; Morrell, Lesley J.; Inskip, Chloe; Krause, Jens; Croft, Darren P.

    2011-01-01

    Predation risk is often associated with group formation in prey, but recent advances in methods for analysing the social structure of animal societies make it possible to quantify the effects of risk on the complex dynamics of spatial and temporal organisation. In this paper we use social network analysis to investigate the impact of variation in predation risk on the social structure of guppy shoals and the frequency and duration of shoal splitting (fission) and merging (fusion) events. Our analyses revealed that variation in the level of predation risk was associated with divergent social dynamics, with fish in high-risk populations displaying a greater number of associations with overall greater strength and connectedness than those from low-risk sites. Temporal patterns of organisation also differed according to predation risk, with fission events more likely to occur over two short time periods (5 minutes and 20 minutes) in low-predation fish and over longer time scales (>1.5 hours) in high-predation fish. Our findings suggest that predation risk influences the fine-scale social structure of prey populations and that the temporal aspects of organisation play a key role in defining social systems. PMID:21912627

  12. 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.

  13. Predation Risk Perception, Food Density and Conspecific Cues Shape Foraging Decisions in a Tropical Lizard

    PubMed Central

    Kolbe, Jason J.

    2015-01-01

    When foraging, animals can maximize their fitness if they are able to tailor their foraging decisions to current environmental conditions. When making foraging decisions, individuals need to assess the benefits of foraging while accounting for the potential risks of being captured by a predator. However, whether and how different factors interact to shape these decisions is not yet well understood, especially in individual foragers. Here we present a standardized set of manipulative field experiments in the form of foraging assays in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus in Puerto Rico. We presented male lizards with foraging opportunities to test how the presence of conspecifics, predation-risk perception, the abundance of food, and interactions among these factors determines the outcome of foraging decisions. In Experiment 1, anoles foraged faster when food was scarce and other conspecifics were present near the feeding tray, while they took longer to feed when food was abundant and when no conspecifics were present. These results suggest that foraging decisions in anoles are the result of a complex process in which individuals assess predation risk by using information from conspecific individuals while taking into account food abundance. In Experiment 2, a simulated increase in predation risk (i.e., distance to the feeding tray) confirmed the relevance of risk perception by showing that the use of available perches is strongly correlated with the latency to feed. We found Puerto Rican crested anoles integrate instantaneous ecological information about food abundance, conspecific activity and predation risk, and adjust their foraging behavior accordingly. PMID:26384236

  14. Predation Risk Perception, Food Density and Conspecific Cues Shape Foraging Decisions in a Tropical Lizard.

    PubMed

    Drakeley, Maximilian; Lapiedra, Oriol; Kolbe, Jason J

    2015-01-01

    When foraging, animals can maximize their fitness if they are able to tailor their foraging decisions to current environmental conditions. When making foraging decisions, individuals need to assess the benefits of foraging while accounting for the potential risks of being captured by a predator. However, whether and how different factors interact to shape these decisions is not yet well understood, especially in individual foragers. Here we present a standardized set of manipulative field experiments in the form of foraging assays in the tropical lizard Anolis cristatellus in Puerto Rico. We presented male lizards with foraging opportunities to test how the presence of conspecifics, predation-risk perception, the abundance of food, and interactions among these factors determines the outcome of foraging decisions. In Experiment 1, anoles foraged faster when food was scarce and other conspecifics were present near the feeding tray, while they took longer to feed when food was abundant and when no conspecifics were present. These results suggest that foraging decisions in anoles are the result of a complex process in which individuals assess predation risk by using information from conspecific individuals while taking into account food abundance. In Experiment 2, a simulated increase in predation risk (i.e., distance to the feeding tray) confirmed the relevance of risk perception by showing that the use of available perches is strongly correlated with the latency to feed. We found Puerto Rican crested anoles integrate instantaneous ecological information about food abundance, conspecific activity and predation risk, and adjust their foraging behavior accordingly.

  15. Predation risk determines breeding territory choice in a Mediterranean cavity-nesting bird community.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús M

    2011-01-01

    Non-direct effects of predation can be an important component of the total effect of predation, modulating animal population and community dynamics. The isolated effects of predation risk on the spatial organisation of the breeding bird community, however, remains poorly studied. We investigated whether an experimentally increased predation risk prior to reproduction affected breeding territory selection and subsequent reproductive strategies in three Mediterranean cavity-nesting birds, i.e., the little owl Athene noctua, European roller Coracias garrulus and scops owl Otus scops. We found that territories used the previous year were more likely to be re-occupied when they belonged to the safe treatment rather than to the risky treatment. The first choice of breeders of all three species was for safe territories over risky ones. When all breeding attempts in the season (i.e., final occupation) were considered, breeders also preferred safe to risky sites. In addition, little owls laid larger eggs in risky territories than in safe territories. Our study provides experimental evidence of a rapid preventive response of the three most abundant species in a cavity-nesting bird community to a short-term manipulation of predation risk. This response highlights the key role of the non-direct effects of predation in modulating avian community organisation.

  16. Density mediates grasshopper performance in response to temperature manipulation and spider predation in tallgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Laws, A N; Joern, A

    2017-04-01

    Species interactions are often context-dependent, where outcomes require an understanding of influences among multiple biotic and abiotic factors. However, it remains unclear how abiotic factors such as temperature combine with important biotic factors such as density-dependent food limitation and predation to influence species interactions. Using a native grassland - grasshopper - wolf spider model food chain in tallgrass prairie, we conducted a manipulative field experiment to examine how predator-prey interactions respond to manipulations of temperature, grasshopper density, and food chain length. We find that grasshopper performance responses to temperature and predator treatments were density dependent. At high densities, grasshopper survival decreased with increased temperature when no spiders were present. When spiders were present, grasshopper survival was reduced, and this effect was strongest in the cooled treatment. In contrast, grasshopper survival did not vary significantly with spider presence or among temperature treatments at low grasshopper densities. Our results indicate that context-dependent species interactions are common and highlight the importance of understanding how and when key biotic and abiotic factors combine to influence species interactions.

  17. Assessment of predation risk through referential communication in incubating birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-05-01

    Parents of many bird species produce alarm calls when they approach and deter a nest predator in order to defend their offspring. Alarm calls have been shown to warn nestlings about predatory threats, but parents also face a similar risk of predation when incubating eggs in their nests. Here, I show that incubating female Japanese great tits, Parus minor, assess predation risk by conspecific alarm calls given outside the nest cavity. Tits produce acoustically discrete alarm calls for different nest predators: “jar” calls for snakes and “chicka” calls for other predators such as crows and martens. Playback experiments revealed that incubating females responded to “jar” calls by leaving their nest, whereas they responded to “chicka” calls by looking out of the nest entrance. Since snakes invade the nest cavity, escaping from the nest helps females avoid snake predation. In contrast, “chicka” calls are used for a variety of predator types, and therefore, looking out of the nest entrance helps females gather information about the type and location of approaching predators. These results show that incubating females derive information about predator type from different types of alarm calls, providing a novel example of functionally referential communication.

  18. Background level of risk determines how prey categorize predators and non-predators

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Much of the plasticity that prey exhibit in response to predators is linked to the prey's immediate background level of risk. However, we know almost nothing of how background risk influences how prey learn to categorize predators and non-predators. Learning non-predators probably represents one of the most underappreciated aspects of anti-predator decision-making. Here, we provide larval damselfish (Pomacentrus chrysurus) with a high or low background risk and then try to teach them to recognize a cue as non-threatening through the process of latent inhibition. Prey from the low-risk background that were pre-exposed to the novel odour cues in the absence of negative reinforcement for 3 days, and then provided the opportunity to learn to recognize the odour as threatening, failed to subsequently respond to the odour as a threat. Fish from the high-risk background showed a much different response. These fish did not learn the odour as non-threatening, probably because the cost of falsely learning an odour as non-threatening is higher when the background level of risk is higher. Our work highlights that background level of risk appears to drive plasticity in cognition of prey animals learning to discriminate threats in their environment. PMID:24898371

  19. Informed renesting decisions: the effect of nest predation risk.

    PubMed

    Pakanen, Veli-Matti; Rönkä, Nelli; Thomson, Robert L; Koivula, Kari

    2014-04-01

    Animals should cue on information that predicts reproductive success. After failure of an initial reproductive attempt, decisions on whether or not to initiate a second reproductive attempt may be affected by individual experience and social information. If the prospects of breeding success are poor, long-lived animals in particular should not invest in current reproductive success (CRS) in case it generates costs to future reproductive success (FRS). In birds, predation risk experienced during breeding may provide a cue for renesting success. Species having a high FRS potential should be flexible and take predation risk into account in their renesting decisions. We tested this prediction using breeding data of a long-lived wader, the southern dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii. As predicted, dunlin cued on predation risk information acquired from direct experience of nest failure due to predation and ambient nest predation risk. While the overall renesting rate was low (34.5%), the early season renesting rate was high but declined with season, indicating probable temporal changes in the costs and benefits of renesting. We develop a conceptual cost-benefit model to describe the effects of the phase and the length of breeding season on predation risk responses in renesting. We suggest that species investing in FRS should not continue breeding in short breeding seasons in response to predation risk but without time constraints, their response should be similar to species investing in CRS, e.g. within-season dispersal and increased nest concealment.

  20. The Importance of Predation Risk and Missed Opportunity Costs for Context-Dependent Foraging Patterns

    PubMed Central

    Eccard, Jana A.; Liesenjohann, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    Correct assessment of risks and costs of foraging is vital for the fitness of foragers. Foragers should avoid predation risk and balance missed opportunities. In risk-heterogeneous landscapes animals prefer safer locations over riskier, constituting a landscape of fear. Risk-uniform landscapes do not offer this choice, all locations are equally risky. Here we investigate the effects of predation risk in patches, travelling risk between patches, and missed social opportunities on foraging decisions in risk-uniform and risk-heterogeous landscapes. We investigated patch leaving decisions of 20 common voles (M. arvalis) in three experimental landscapes: safe risk-uniform, risky risk-uniform and risk-heterogeneous. We varied both the predation risk level and the predation risk distribution between two patches experimentally and in steps, assuming that our manipulation consequently yield different distributions and levels of risk while foraging, risk while travelling, and costs of missed, social opportunities (MSOCs). We measured mean GUDs (giving-up density of food left in the patch) for both patches as a measure of foraging gain, and delta GUD, the differences among patches, as a measure of the spatial distribution of foraging effort over a period of six hours. Distribution of foraging effort was most even in the safe risk-uniform landscapes and least even in the risk-heterogeneous landscape, with risky risk-uniform landscapes in between. Foraging gain was higher in the safe than in the two riskier landscapes (both uniform and heterogeneous). Results supported predictions for the effects of risk in foraging patches and while travelling between patches, however predictions for the effects of missed social opportunities were not met in this short term experiment. Thus, both travelling and foraging risk contribute to distinct patterns observable high risk, risk-uniform landscapes. PMID:24809666

  1. Maternally induced intraclutch cannibalism: an adaptive response to predation risk?

    PubMed

    Tigreros, Natasha; Norris, Rachel H; Wang, Eugenia H; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2017-04-01

    Theory on condition-dependent risk-taking indicates that when prey are in poor condition, their anti-predator responses should be weak. However, variation in responses resulting from differences in condition is generally considered an incidental by-product of organisms living in a heterogeneous environment. Using Leptinotarsa decemlineata beetles and stinkbug (Podisus maculiventris) predators, we hypothesised that in response to predation risk, parents improve larval nutritional condition and expression of anti-predator responses by promoting intraclutch cannibalism. We showed that mothers experiencing predation risk increase production of unviable trophic eggs, which assures provisioning of an egg meal to the newly hatched offspring. Next, we experimentally demonstrated that egg cannibalism reduces L. decemlineata vulnerability to predation by improving larval nutritional condition and expression of anti-predator responses. Intraclutch cannibalism in herbivorous insects might be a ubiquitous strategy, aimed to overcome the dual challenge of feeding on protein-limited diets while living under constant predation threat. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Resource identity modifies the influence of predation risk on ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ewanchuk, Patrick J; Matassa, Catherine M

    2008-10-01

    It is well established that predators can scare as well as consume their prey. In many systems, the fear of being eaten causes trait-mediated cascades whose strength can rival or exceed that of more widely recognized density-mediated cascades transmitted by predators that consume their prey. Despite this progress it is only beginning to be understood how the influence of predation risk is shaped by environmental context and whether it can exert an important influence on ecosystem-level processes. This study used a factorial mesocosm experiment that manipulated basal-resource identity (either barnacles, Semibalanus balanoides, or mussels, Mytilus edulis) to determine how resources modify the influence of predation risk, cascade strength, and the efficiency of energy transfer in two, tritrophic, rocky-shore food chains containing the predatory green crab (Carcinus maenas) and an intermediate consumer (the snail, Nucella lapillus). The effect of predation risk and the strength of trait-mediated cascades (both in absolute and relative terms) were much stronger in the barnacle than in the mussel food chain. Moreover, predation risk strongly diminished the efficiency of energy transfer in the barnacle food chain but had no significant effect in the mussel food chain. The influence of resource identity on indirect-effect strength and energy transfer was likely caused by differences in how each resource shapes the degree of risk perceived by prey. We suggest that our understanding of the connection between trophic dynamics and ecosystem functioning will improve considerably once the effects of predation risk on individual behavior and physiology are considered.

  3. Cascading effects of predation risk determine how marine predators become terrestrial prey on an oceanic island.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Sarah K; Green, David J

    2016-12-01

    Apex predators can suppress the foraging activity of mesopredators, which may then result in cascading benefits for the prey of those mesopredators. We studied the interactions between a top predator, the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), and their primary prey, an island endemic deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus elusus), which in turn consumes the eggs of seabirds nesting on Santa Barbara Island in California. Scripps's Murrelets (Synthliboramphus scrippsi), a threatened nocturnal seabird, arrive annually to breed on this island, and whose first egg is particularly vulnerable to predation by mice. We took advantage of naturally occurring extreme variations in the density of mice and owls on the island over 3 years and predicted that (1) mouse foraging would decrease with increasing predation risk from owls and moonlight and (2) these decreases in foraging would reduce predation on murrelet eggs. We measured the giving up densities of mice with experimental foraging stations and found that mice were sensitive to predation risk and foraged less when owls were more abundant and less during the full moon compared to the new moon. We also monitored the fates of 151 murrelet eggs, and found that murrelet egg predation declined as owl abundance increased, and was lower during the full moon compared to the new moon. Moreover, high owl abundance suppressed egg predation even when mice were extremely abundant. We conclude that there is a behaviorally mediated cascade such that owls on the island had a positive indirect effect on murrelet egg survival. Our study adds to the wider recognition of the strength of risk effects to structure food webs, as well as highlighting the complex ways that marine and terrestrial food webs can intersect. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Minimizing predation risk in a landscape of multiple predators: effects on the spatial distribution of African ungulates.

    PubMed

    Thaker, Maria; Vanak, Abi T; Owen, Cailey R; Ogden, Monika B; Niemann, Sophie M; Slotow, Rob

    2011-02-01

    Studies that focus on single predator-prey interactions can be inadequate for understanding antipredator responses in multi-predator systems. Yet there is still a general lack of information about the strategies of prey to minimize predation risk from multiple predators at the landscape level. Here we examined the distribution of seven African ungulate species in the fenced Karongwe Game Reserve (KGR), South Africa, as a function of predation risk from all large carnivore species (lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and spotted hyena). Using observed kill data, we generated ungulate-specific predictions of relative predation risk and of riskiness of habitats. To determine how ungulates minimize predation risk at the landscape level, we explicitly tested five hypotheses consisting of strategies that reduce the probability of encountering predators, and the probability of being killed. All ungulate species avoided risky habitats, and most selected safer habitats, thus reducing their probability of being killed. To reduce the probability of encountering predators, most of the smaller prey species (impala, warthog, waterbuck, kudu) avoided the space use of all predators, while the larger species (wildebeest, zebra, giraffe) only avoided areas where lion and leopard space use were high. The strength of avoidance for the space use of predators generally did not correspond to the relative predation threat from those predators. Instead, ungulates used a simpler behavioral rule of avoiding the activity areas of sit-and-pursue predators (lion and leopard), but not those of cursorial predators (cheetah and African wild dog). In general, selection and avoidance of habitats was stronger than avoidance of the predator activity areas. We expect similar decision rules to drive the distribution pattern of ungulates in other African savannas and in other multi-predator systems, especially where predators differ in their hunting modes.

  5. Is female preference for large sexual ornaments due to a bias to escape predation risk?

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A female preference for intense sexual visual signals is widespread in animals. Although the preferences for a signal per se and for the intensity of the signal were often regarded to have the identical origin, no study has demonstrated if this is true. It was suggested that the female fiddler crabs prefer males with courtship structures because of direct benefit to escape predation. Here we tested if female preference for both components (i.e. presence and size) of the courtship structure in Uca lactea is from the sensory bias to escape predation. If both components have the identical origin, females should show the same response to different-sized courtship structures regardless of predation risk. Results First, we observed responses of mate-searching female U. lactea to courting males with full-sized, half-sized and no semidomes which were experimentally manipulated. Females had a directional preference for males with bigger semidomes within normal variation. Thereafter, we tested the effect of predation risk on the female bias in the non-courtship context. When threatened by an avian mock predator, females preferentially approached burrows with full-sized semidomes regardless of reproductive cycles (i.e. reproductive periods and non-reproductive periods). When the predator cue was absent, however, females preferred burrows with semidomes without discriminating structure size during reproductive periods but did not show any bias during non-reproductive periods. Conclusions Results indicate that selection for the size of courtship structures in U. lactea may have an origin in the function to reduce predation risk, but that the preference for males with structures may have evolved by female choice, independent of predation pressure. PMID:22413838

  6. Perceived predation risk as a function of predator dietary cues in terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

    Prey often avoid predator chemical cues, and in aquatic systems, prey may even appraise predation risk via cues associated with the predator's diet. However, this relationship has not been shown for terrestrial predator-prey systems, where the proximity of predators and prey, and the intensity of predator chemical cues in the environment, may be less than in aquatic systems. In the laboratory, we tested behavioural responses (avoidance, habituation and activity) of terrestrial red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, to chemical cues from garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis, fed either red-backed salamanders or earthworms (Lumbricus spp.). We placed salamanders in arenas lined with paper towels pretreated with snake chemicals, and monitored salamander movements during 120 min. Salamanders avoided substrates preconditioned by earthworm-fed (avoidanceX+/-SE=91.1+/-2.5%, N=25) and salamander-fed (95.2+/-2.5%, N=25) snakes, when tested against untreated substrate (control). Salamanders avoided cues from salamander-fed snakes more strongly (75.2+/-5.5%, N=25) than earthworm-fed snakes when subjected to both treatments simultaneously, implying that salamanders were sensitive to predator diet. Salamanders tended to avoid snake substrate more strongly during the last 60 min of a trial, but activity patterns were similar between salamanders exposed exclusively to control substrate versus those subject to snake cues. In another experiment, salamanders failed to avoid cues from dead conspecifics, suggesting that the stronger avoidance of salamander-fed snakes in the previous experiment was not directly due to chemical cues emitted by predator-killed salamanders. Salamanders also did not discriminate between cues from a salamander-fed snake versus a salamander-fed snake that was recently switched (i.e. <14 days) to an earthworm diet. Our results imply that terrestrial salamanders are sensitive to perceived predation risk via by-products of predator diet, and that snake

  7. Predation risk influences adaptive morphological variation in fish populations.

    PubMed

    Eklöv, Peter; Svanbäck, Richard

    2006-03-01

    Predators can cause a shift in both density and frequency of a prey phenotype that may lead to phenotypic divergence through natural selection. What is less investigated is that predators have a variety of indirect effects on prey that could potentially have large evolutionary responses. We conducted a pond experiment to test whether differences in predation risk in different habitats caused shifts in behavior of prey that, in turn, would affect their morphology. We also tested whether the experimental data could explain the morphological variation of perch in the natural environment. In the experiment, predators caused the prey fish to shift to the habitat with the lower predation risk. The prey specialized on habitat-specific resources, and there was a strong correlation between diet of the prey fish and morphological variation, suggesting that resource specialization ultimately affected the morphology. The lack of differences in competition and mortality suggest that the morphological variation among prey was induced by differences in predation risk among habitats. The field study demonstrated that there are differences in growth related to morphology of perch in two different habitats. Thus, a trade-off between foraging and predator avoidance could be responsible for adaptive morphological variation of young perch.

  8. Too risky to settle: avian community structure changes in response to perceived predation risk on adults and offspring

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hua, Fangyuan; Fletcher, Robert J.; Sieving, Kathryn E.; Dorazio, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Predation risk is widely hypothesized as an important force structuring communities, but this potential force is rarely tested experimentally, particularly in terrestrial vertebrate communities. How animals respond to predation risk is generally considered predictable from species life-history and natural-history traits, but rigorous tests of these predictions remain scarce. We report on a large-scale playback experiment with a forest bird community that addresses two questions: (i) does perceived predation risk shape the richness and composition of a breeding bird community? And (ii) can species life-history and natural-history traits predict prey community responses to different types of predation risk? On 9 ha plots, we manipulated cues of three avian predators that preferentially prey on either adult birds or offspring, or both, throughout the breeding season. We found that increased perception of predation risk led to generally negative responses in the abundance, occurrence and/or detection probability of most prey species, which in turn reduced the species richness and shifted the composition of the breeding bird community. Species-level responses were largely predicted from the key natural-history trait of body size, but we did not find support for the life-history theory prediction of the relationship between species' slow/fast life-history strategy and their response to predation risk.

  9. Too risky to settle: avian community structure changes in response to perceived predation risk on adults and offspring

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Fangyuan; Fletcher, Robert J.; Sieving, Kathryn E.; Dorazio, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Predation risk is widely hypothesized as an important force structuring communities, but this potential force is rarely tested experimentally, particularly in terrestrial vertebrate communities. How animals respond to predation risk is generally considered predictable from species life-history and natural-history traits, but rigorous tests of these predictions remain scarce. We report on a large-scale playback experiment with a forest bird community that addresses two questions: (i) does perceived predation risk shape the richness and composition of a breeding bird community? And (ii) can species life-history and natural-history traits predict prey community responses to different types of predation risk? On 9 ha plots, we manipulated cues of three avian predators that preferentially prey on either adult birds or offspring, or both, throughout the breeding season. We found that increased perception of predation risk led to generally negative responses in the abundance, occurrence and/or detection probability of most prey species, which in turn reduced the species richness and shifted the composition of the breeding bird community. Species-level responses were largely predicted from the key natural-history trait of body size, but we did not find support for the life-history theory prediction of the relationship between species' slow/fast life-history strategy and their response to predation risk. PMID:23782879

  10. Predator avoidance, microhabitat shift, and risk-sensitive foraging in larval dragonflies.

    PubMed

    Pierce, C L

    1988-10-01

    Dragonfly larvae (Odonata: Anisoptera) are often abundant in shallow freshwater habitats and frequently co-occur with predatory fish, but there is evidence that they are underutilized as prey. This suggests that species which successfully coexist with fish may exhibit behaviors that minimize their risk of predation. I conducted field and laboratory experiments to determine whether: 1) dragonfly larvae actively avoid fish, 2) microhabitat use and foraging success of larvae are sensitive to predation risk, and 3) vulnerability of larvae is correlated with microhabitat use. I experimentally manipulated the presence of adult bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) in defaunated patches of littoral substrate in a small pond to test whether colonizing dragonfly larvae would avoid patches containing fish. The two dominant anisopteran species, Tetragoneuria cynosura and Ladona deplanata (Odonata: Libellulidae), both strongly avoided colonizing patches where adult bluegills were present. Laboratory experiments examined the effects of diel period and bluegills on microhabitat use and foraging success, using Tetragoneuria, Ladona and confamilial Sympetrum semicictum, found in a nearby fishless pond. Tetragoneuria and Ladona generally occupied microhabitats offering cover, whereas Sympetrum usually occupied exposed locations. Bluegills induced increased use of cover in all three species, and use of cover also tended to be higher during the day than at night. Bluegills depressed foraging in Tetragoneuria and to a lesser extent in Ladona, but foraging in Sympetrum appeared unaffected. Other laboratory experiments indicated that Sympetrum were generally more vulnerable than Tetragoneuria or Ladona to bluegill predation, and that vulnerability was positively correlated with use of exposed microhabitats. Both fixed (generally low use of exposed microhabitats, diel microhabitat shifts) and reactive (predator avoidance, predator-sensitive microhabitat shifts) behavioral responses appear to

  11. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders.

    PubMed

    Groenewoud, Frank; Frommen, Joachim Gerhard; Josi, Dario; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2016-04-12

    Predation risk is a major ecological factor selecting for group living. It is largely ignored, however, as an evolutionary driver of social complexity and cooperative breeding, which is attributed mainly to a combination of habitat saturation and enhanced relatedness levels. Social cichlids neither suffer from habitat saturation, nor are their groups composed primarily of relatives. This demands alternative ecological explanations for the evolution of advanced social organization. To address this question, we compared the ecology of eight populations of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cichlid fish arguably representing the pinnacle of social evolution in poikilothermic vertebrates. Results show that variation in social organization and behavior of these fish is primarily explained by predation risk and related ecological factors. Remarkably, ecology affects group structure more strongly than group size, with predation inversely affecting small and large group members. High predation and shelter limitation leads to groups containing few small but many large members, which is an effect enhanced at low population densities. Apparently, enhanced safety from predators by cooperative defense and shelter construction are the primary benefits of sociality. This finding suggests that predation risk can be fundamental for the transition toward complex social organization, which is generally undervalued.

  12. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders

    PubMed Central

    Frommen, Joachim Gerhard; Josi, Dario; Tanaka, Hirokazu; Jungwirth, Arne; Taborsky, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Predation risk is a major ecological factor selecting for group living. It is largely ignored, however, as an evolutionary driver of social complexity and cooperative breeding, which is attributed mainly to a combination of habitat saturation and enhanced relatedness levels. Social cichlids neither suffer from habitat saturation, nor are their groups composed primarily of relatives. This demands alternative ecological explanations for the evolution of advanced social organization. To address this question, we compared the ecology of eight populations of Neolamprologus pulcher, a cichlid fish arguably representing the pinnacle of social evolution in poikilothermic vertebrates. Results show that variation in social organization and behavior of these fish is primarily explained by predation risk and related ecological factors. Remarkably, ecology affects group structure more strongly than group size, with predation inversely affecting small and large group members. High predation and shelter limitation leads to groups containing few small but many large members, which is an effect enhanced at low population densities. Apparently, enhanced safety from predators by cooperative defense and shelter construction are the primary benefits of sociality. This finding suggests that predation risk can be fundamental for the transition toward complex social organization, which is generally undervalued. PMID:27035973

  13. Behavioral plasticity mitigates risk across environments and predators during anuran metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Jiménez, Randall R; Abinette, Shane H; Vonesh, James R; Warkentin, Karen M

    2013-11-01

    Most animals metamorphose, changing morphology, physiology, behavior and ecological interactions. Size- and habitat-dependent mortality risk is thought to affect the evolution and plastic expression of metamorphic timing, and high predation during the morphological transition is posited as a critical selective force shaping complex life cycles. Nonetheless, empirical data on how risk changes across metamorphosis and stage-specific habitats, or how that varies with size, are rare. We examined predator-prey interactions of red-eyed treefrogs, Agalychnis callidryas, with an aquatic predator (giant water bug, Belostoma) and a semi-terrestrial predator (fishing spider, Thaumasia) across metamorphosis. We manipulated tadpole density to generate variation in metamorph size and conducted predation trials at multiple developmental stages. We quantified how frog behavior (activity) changes across metamorphic development, habitats, and predator presence or absence. In aquatic trials with water bugs, frog mortality increased with forelimb emergence, as hypothesized. In semi-terrestrial trials, contrary to predictions, predation by spiders increased, not decreased, with tail resorption. In neither case did frog size affect mortality. Frogs reduced activity upon forelimb emergence in the water, and further with emergence into air, then increased activity with tail resorption. Longer-tailed metamorphs were captured more often in spider attacks, but attacked less, as most attacks followed prey movements. Metamorphs behaviorally compensated for poor escape performance more effectively on land than in water, thus emergence timing may critically affect mortality. The developmental timing of the ecological transition between environments that select for different larval and juvenile phenotypes is an important, neglected variable in studies of complex life cycles.

  14. Mapping risk for nest predation on a barrier island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackney, Amanda D.; Baldwin, Robert F.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2013-01-01

    Barrier islands and coastal beach systems provide nesting habitat for marine and estuarine turtles. Densely settled coastal areas may subsidize nest predators. Our purpose was to inform conservation by providing a greater understanding of habitat-based risk factors for nest predation, for an estuarine turtle. We expected that habitat conditions at predated nests would differ from random locations at two spatial extents. We developed and validated an island-wide model for the distribution of predated Diamondback terrapin nests using locations of 198 predated nests collected during exhaustive searches at Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge, USA. We used aerial photographs to identify all areas of possible nesting habitat and searched each and surrounding environments for nests, collecting location and random-point microhabitat data. We built models for the probability of finding a predated nest using an equal number of random points and validated them with a reserve set (N = 67). Five variables in 9 a priori models were used and the best selected model (AIC weight 0.98) reflected positive associations with sand patches near marshes and roadways. Model validation had an average capture rate of predated nests of 84.14 % (26.17–97.38 %, Q1 77.53 %, median 88.07 %, Q3 95.08 %). Microhabitat selection results suggest that nests placed at the edges of sand patches adjacent to upland shrub/forest and marsh systems are vulnerable to predation. Forests and marshes provide cover and alternative resources for predators and roadways provide access; a suggestion is to focus nest protection efforts on the edges of dunes, near dense vegetation and roads.

  15. Parental investment decisions in response to ambient nest-predation risk versus actual predation on the prior nest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that parents should invest less in dependent offspring with lower reproductive value, such as those with a high risk of predation. Moreover, high predation risk can favor reduced parental activity when such activity attracts nest predators. Yet, the ability of parents to assess ambient nest-predation risk and respond adaptively remains unclear, especially where nest-predator assemblages are diverse and potentially difficult to assess. We tested whether variation in parental investment by a multi-brooded songbird (Brewer's Sparrow, Spizella breweri) in an environment (sagebrush steppe) with diverse predators was predicted by ambient nest-predation risk or direct experience with nest predation. Variation among eight sites in ambient nest-predation risk, assayed by daily probabilities of nest predation, was largely uncorrelated across four years. In this system risk may therefore be unpredictable, and aspects of parental investment (clutch size, egg mass, incubation rhythms, nestling-feeding rates) were not related to ambient risk. Moreover, investment at first nests that were successful did not differ from that at nests that were depredated, suggesting parents could not assess and respond to territorylevel nest-predation risk. However, parents whose nests were depredated reduced clutch sizes and activity at nests attempted later in the season by increasing the length of incubation shifts (on-bouts) and recesses (off-bouts) and decreasing trips to feed nestlings. In this unpredictable environment parent birds may therefore lack sufficient cues of ambient risk on which to base their investment decisions and instead rely on direct experience with nest predation to inform at least some of their decisions. ?? 2010 The Cooper Ornithological Society.

  16. Does avian conspicuous colouration increase or reduce predation risk?

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Rodríguez, M; Avilés, J M; Cuervo, J J; Parejo, D; Ruano, F; Zamora-Muñoz, C; Sergio, F; López-Jiménez, L; Tanferna, A; Martín-Vivaldi, M

    2013-09-01

    Animals often announce their unprofitability to predators through conspicuous coloured signals. Here we tested whether the apparently conspicuous colour designs of the four European Coraciiformes and Upupiformes species may have evolved as aposematic signals, or whether instead they imply a cost in terms of predation risk. Because previous studies suggested that these species are unpalatable, we hypothesized that predators could avoid targeting them based on their colours. An experiment was performed where two artificial models of each bird species were exposed simultaneously to raptor predators, one painted so as to resemble the real colour design of these birds, and the other one painted using cryptic colours. Additionally, we used field data on the black kite's diet to compare the selection of these four species to that of other avian prey. Conspicuous models were attacked in equal or higher proportions than their cryptic counterparts, and the attack rate on the four species increased with their respective degree of contrast against natural backgrounds. The analysis of the predator's diet revealed that the two least attacked species were negatively selected in nature despite their abundance. Both conspicuous and cryptic models of one of the studied species (the hoopoe) received fewer attacks than cryptic models of the other three species, suggesting that predators may avoid this species for characteristics other than colour. Globally, our results suggest that the colour of coraciiforms and upupiforms does not function as an aposematic signal that advises predators of their unprofitability, but also that conspicuous colours may increase predation risk in some species, supporting thus the handicap hypothesis.

  17. Personality-dependent dispersal cancelled under predation risk.

    PubMed

    Cote, Julien; Fogarty, Sean; Tymen, Blaise; Sih, Andrew; Brodin, Tomas

    2013-12-22

    Dispersal is a fundamental life-history trait for many ecological processes. Recent studies suggest that dispersers, in comparison to residents, display various phenotypic specializations increasing their dispersal inclination or success. Among them, dispersers are believed to be consistently more bold, exploratory, asocial or aggressive than residents. These links between behavioural types and dispersal should vary with the cause of dispersal. However, with the exception of one study, personality-dependent dispersal has not been studied in contrasting environments. Here, we used mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to test whether personality-dependent dispersal varies with predation risk, a factor that should induce boldness or sociability-dependent dispersal. Corroborating previous studies, we found that dispersing mosquitofish are less social than non-dispersing fish when there was no predation risk. However, personality-dependent dispersal is negated under predation risk, dispersers having similar personality types to residents. Our results suggest that adaptive dispersal decisions could commonly depend on interactions between phenotypes and ecological contexts.

  18. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Bumblebees Foraging under Predation Risk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Friedrich; Ings, Thomas C.; Chittka, Lars; Chechkin, Aleksei V.; Klages, Rainer

    2012-03-01

    We analyze 3D flight paths of bumblebees searching for nectar in a laboratory experiment with and without predation risk from artificial spiders. For the flight velocities we find mixed probability distributions reflecting the access to the food sources while the threat posed by the spiders shows up only in the velocity correlations. The bumblebees thus adjust their flight patterns spatially to the environment and temporally to predation risk. Key information on response to environmental changes is contained in temporal correlation functions, as we explain by a simple emergent model.

  19. Predation risk, stoichiometric plasticity and ecosystem elemental cycling.

    PubMed

    Leroux, Shawn J; Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2012-10-22

    It is widely held that herbivore growth and production is limited by dietary nitrogen (N) that in turn constrains ecosystem elemental cycling. Yet, emerging evidence suggests that this conception of limitation may be incomplete, because chronic predation risk heightens herbivore metabolic rate and shifts demand from N-rich proteins to soluble carbohydrate-carbon (C). Because soluble C can be limiting, predation risk may cause ecosystem elemental cycling rates and stoichiometric balance to depend on herbivore physiological plasticity. We report on a stoichiometrically explicit ecosystem model that investigates this problem. The model tracks N, and soluble and recalcitrant C through ecosystem compartments. We evaluate how soluble plant C influences C and N stocks and flows in the presence and absence of predation risk. Without risk, herbivores are limited by N and respire excess C so that plant-soluble C has small effects only on elemental stocks and flows. With predation risk, herbivores are limited by soluble C and release excess N, so plant-soluble C critically influences ecosystem elemental stocks flows. Our results emphasize that expressing ecosystem stoichiometric balance using customary C:N ratios that do not distinguish between soluble and recalcitrant C may not adequately describe limitations on elemental cycling.

  20. Predation risk, stoichiometric plasticity and ecosystem elemental cycling

    PubMed Central

    Leroux, Shawn J.; Hawlena, Dror; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2012-01-01

    It is widely held that herbivore growth and production is limited by dietary nitrogen (N) that in turn constrains ecosystem elemental cycling. Yet, emerging evidence suggests that this conception of limitation may be incomplete, because chronic predation risk heightens herbivore metabolic rate and shifts demand from N-rich proteins to soluble carbohydrate–carbon (C). Because soluble C can be limiting, predation risk may cause ecosystem elemental cycling rates and stoichiometric balance to depend on herbivore physiological plasticity. We report on a stoichiometrically explicit ecosystem model that investigates this problem. The model tracks N, and soluble and recalcitrant C through ecosystem compartments. We evaluate how soluble plant C influences C and N stocks and flows in the presence and absence of predation risk. Without risk, herbivores are limited by N and respire excess C so that plant-soluble C has small effects only on elemental stocks and flows. With predation risk, herbivores are limited by soluble C and release excess N, so plant-soluble C critically influences ecosystem elemental stocks flows. Our results emphasize that expressing ecosystem stoichiometric balance using customary C : N ratios that do not distinguish between soluble and recalcitrant C may not adequately describe limitations on elemental cycling. PMID:22896643

  1. Compensatory growth following transient intraguild predation risk in predatory mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Lepp, Natalia; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Compensatory or catch-up growth following growth impairment caused by transient environmental stress, due to adverse abiotic factors or food, is widespread in animals. Such growth strategies commonly balance retarded development and reduced growth. They depend on the type of stressor but are unknown for predation risk, a prime selective force shaping life history. Anti-predator behaviours by immature prey typically come at the cost of reduced growth rates with potential negative consequences on age and size at maturity. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that transient intraguild predation (IGP) risk induces compensatory or catch-up growth in the plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. Immature P. persimilis were exposed in the larval stage to no, low or high IGP risk, and kept under benign conditions in the next developmental stage, the protonymph. High but not low IGP risk prolonged development of P. persimilis larvae, which was compensated in the protonymphal stage by increased foraging activity and accelerated development, resulting in optimal age and size at maturity. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that prey may balance developmental costs accruing from anti-predator behaviour by compensatory growth. PMID:26005221

  2. Parasite and predator risk assessment: nuanced use of olfactory cues

    PubMed Central

    Sharp, John G.; Garnick, Sarah; Elgar, Mark A.; Coulson, Graeme

    2015-01-01

    Foraging herbivores face twin threats of predation and parasite infection, but the risk of predation has received much more attention. We evaluated, experimentally, the role of olfactory cues in predator and parasite risk assessment on the foraging behaviour of a population of marked, free-ranging, red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The wallabies adjusted their behaviour according to these olfactory cues. They foraged less, were more vigilant and spent less time at feeders placed in the vicinity of faeces from dogs that had consumed wallaby or kangaroo meat compared with that of dogs feeding on sheep, rabbit or possum meat. Wallabies also showed a species-specific faecal aversion by consuming less food from feeders contaminated with wallaby faeces compared with sympatric kangaroo faeces, whose gastrointestinal parasite fauna differs from that of the wallabies. Combining both parasite and predation cues in a single field experiment revealed that these risks had an additive effect, rather than the wallabies compromising their response to one risk at the expense of the other. PMID:26468246

  3. Parasite and predator risk assessment: nuanced use of olfactory cues.

    PubMed

    Sharp, John G; Garnick, Sarah; Elgar, Mark A; Coulson, Graeme

    2015-10-22

    Foraging herbivores face twin threats of predation and parasite infection, but the risk of predation has received much more attention. We evaluated, experimentally, the role of olfactory cues in predator and parasite risk assessment on the foraging behaviour of a population of marked, free-ranging, red-necked wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The wallabies adjusted their behaviour according to these olfactory cues. They foraged less, were more vigilant and spent less time at feeders placed in the vicinity of faeces from dogs that had consumed wallaby or kangaroo meat compared with that of dogs feeding on sheep, rabbit or possum meat. Wallabies also showed a species-specific faecal aversion by consuming less food from feeders contaminated with wallaby faeces compared with sympatric kangaroo faeces, whose gastrointestinal parasite fauna differs from that of the wallabies. Combining both parasite and predation cues in a single field experiment revealed that these risks had an additive effect, rather than the wallabies compromising their response to one risk at the expense of the other.

  4. Predator swamping reduces predation risk during nocturnal migration of juvenile salmon in a high-mortality landscape.

    PubMed

    Furey, Nathan B; Hinch, Scott G; Bass, Arthur L; Middleton, Collin T; Minke-Martin, Vanessa; Lotto, Andrew G

    2016-07-01

    Animal migrations are costly and are often characterized by high predation risk for individuals. Three of the most oft-assumed mechanisms for reducing risk for migrants are swamping predators with high densities, specific timing of migrations and increased body size. Assessing the relative importance of these mechanisms in reducing predation risk particularly for migrants is generally lacking due to the difficulties in tracking the fate of individuals and population-level characteristics simultaneously. We used acoustic telemetry to track migration behaviour and survival of juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) smolts released over a wide range of conspecific outmigration densities in a river associated with poor survival. The landscape was indeed high risk; smolt survival was poor (˜68%) over 13·5 km of river examined even though migration was rapid (generally <48 h). Our results demonstrate that smolts largely employ swamping of predators to reduce predation risk. Increased densities of co-migrant conspecifics dramatically improved survival of smolts. The strong propensity for nocturnal migration resulted in smolts pausing downstream movements until the next nightfall, greatly increasing relative migration durations for smolts that could not traverse the study area in a single night. Smolt size did not appear to impact predation risk, potentially due to unique characteristics of the system or our inability to tag the entire size range of outmigrants. Movement behaviours were important in traversing this high-risk landscape and provide rare evidence for swamping to effectively reduce individual predation risk.

  5. Learning rate and temperament in a high predation risk environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DePasquale, C.; Wagner, Tyler; Archard, G.A.; Ferguson, B.; Braithwaite, V.A.

    2014-01-01

    Living in challenging environments can influence the behavior of animals in a number of ways. For instance, populations of prey fish that experience frequent, nonlethal interactions with predators have a high proportion of individuals that express greater reaction to risk and increased activity and exploration—collectively known as temperament traits. Temperament traits are often correlated, such that individuals that are risk-prone also tend to be active and explore more. Spatial learning, which requires the integration of many sensory cues, has also been shown to vary in fish exposed to different levels of predation threat. Fish from areas of low predation risk learn to solve spatial tasks faster than fish from high predation areas. However, it is not yet known whether simpler forms of learning, such as learning associations between two events, are similarly influenced. Simple forms of associative learning are likely to be affected by temperament because a willingness to approach and explore novel situations could provide animals with a learning advantage. However, it is possible that routine-forming and inflexible traits associated with risk-prone and increased exploratory behavior may act in the opposite way and make risk-prone individuals poorer at learning associations. To investigate this, we measured temperament in Panamanian bishop fish (Brachyrhaphis episcopi) sampled from a site known to contain many predators. The B. episcopi were then tested with an associative learning task. Within this population, fish that explored more were faster at learning a cue that predicted access to food, indicating a link between temperament and basic learning abilities.

  6. Learning rate and temperament in a high predation risk environment.

    PubMed

    DePasquale, C; Wagner, T; Archard, G A; Ferguson, B; Braithwaite, V A

    2014-11-01

    Living in challenging environments can influence the behavior of animals in a number of ways. For instance, populations of prey fish that experience frequent, nonlethal interactions with predators have a high proportion of individuals that express greater reaction to risk and increased activity and exploration-collectively known as temperament traits. Temperament traits are often correlated, such that individuals that are risk-prone also tend to be active and explore more. Spatial learning, which requires the integration of many sensory cues, has also been shown to vary in fish exposed to different levels of predation threat. Fish from areas of low predation risk learn to solve spatial tasks faster than fish from high predation areas. However, it is not yet known whether simpler forms of learning, such as learning associations between two events, are similarly influenced. Simple forms of associative learning are likely to be affected by temperament because a willingness to approach and explore novel situations could provide animals with a learning advantage. However, it is possible that routine-forming and inflexible traits associated with risk-prone and increased exploratory behavior may act in the opposite way and make risk-prone individuals poorer at learning associations. To investigate this, we measured temperament in Panamanian bishop fish (Brachyrhaphis episcopi) sampled from a site known to contain many predators. The B. episcopi were then tested with an associative learning task. Within this population, fish that explored more were faster at learning a cue that predicted access to food, indicating a link between temperament and basic learning abilities.

  7. Assessing Predation Risk to Threatened Fauna from their Prevalence in Predator Scats: Dingoes and Rodents in Arid Australia

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Benjamin L.; Leung, Luke K.-P.

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions. PMID:22563498

  8. Assessing predation risk to threatened fauna from their prevalence in predator scats: dingoes and rodents in arid Australia.

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Leung, Luke K-P

    2012-01-01

    The prevalence of threatened species in predator scats has often been used to gauge the risks that predators pose to threatened species, with the infrequent occurrence of a given species often considered indicative of negligible predation risks. In this study, data from 4087 dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) scats were assessed alongside additional information on predator and prey distribution, dingo control effort and predation rates to evaluate whether or not the observed frequency of threatened species in dingo scats warrants more detailed investigation of dingo predation risks to them. Three small rodents (dusky hopping-mice Notomys fuscus; fawn hopping-mice Notomys cervinus; plains mice Pseudomys australis) were the only threatened species detected in <8% of dingo scats from any given site, suggesting that dingoes might not threaten them. However, consideration of dingo control effort revealed that plains mice distribution has largely retracted to the area where dingoes have been most heavily subjected to lethal control. Assessing the hypothetical predation rates of dingoes on dusky hopping-mice revealed that dingo predation alone has the potential to depopulate local hopping-mice populations within a few months. It was concluded that the occurrence of a given prey species in predator scats may be indicative of what the predator ate under the prevailing conditions, but in isolation, such data can have a poor ability to inform predation risk assessments. Some populations of threatened fauna assumed to derive a benefit from the presence of dingoes may instead be susceptible to dingo-induced declines under certain conditions.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Does Predation Risk Affect Mating Behavior? An Experimental Test in Dumpling Squid (Euprymna tasmanica)

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Amanda M.; Squires, Zoe E.; Stuart-Fox, Devi

    2014-01-01

    Introduction One of the most important trade-offs for many animals is that between survival and reproduction. This is particularly apparent when mating increases the risk of predation, either by increasing conspicuousness, reducing mobility or inhibiting an individual's ability to detect predators. Individuals may mitigate the risk of predation by altering their reproductive behavior (e.g. increasing anti-predator responses to reduce conspicuousness). The degree to which individuals modulate their reproductive behavior in relation to predation risk is difficult to predict because both the optimal investment in current and future reproduction (due to life-history strategies) and level of predation risk may differ between the sexes and among species. Here, we investigate the effect of increased predation risk on the reproductive behavior of dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica). Results Females, but not males, showed a substantial increase in the number of inks (an anti-predator behavior) before mating commenced in the presence of a predator (sand flathead Platycephalus bassensis). However, predation risk did not affect copulation duration, the likelihood of mating, female anti-predator behavior during or after mating or male anti-predator behavior at any time. Conclusions Inking is a common anti-predator defense in cephalopods, thought to act like a smokescreen, decoy or distraction. Female dumpling squid are probably using this form of defense in response to the increase in predation risk prior to mating. Conversely, males were undeterred by the increase in predation risk. A lack of change in these variables may occur if the benefit of completing mating outweighs the risk of predation. Prioritizing current reproduction, even under predation risk, can occur when the chance of future reproduction is low, there is substantial energetic investment into mating, or the potential fitness payoffs of mating are high. PMID:25551378

  12. Does predation risk affect mating behavior? An experimental test in dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica).

    PubMed

    Franklin, Amanda M; Squires, Zoe E; Stuart-Fox, Devi

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important trade-offs for many animals is that between survival and reproduction. This is particularly apparent when mating increases the risk of predation, either by increasing conspicuousness, reducing mobility or inhibiting an individual's ability to detect predators. Individuals may mitigate the risk of predation by altering their reproductive behavior (e.g. increasing anti-predator responses to reduce conspicuousness). The degree to which individuals modulate their reproductive behavior in relation to predation risk is difficult to predict because both the optimal investment in current and future reproduction (due to life-history strategies) and level of predation risk may differ between the sexes and among species. Here, we investigate the effect of increased predation risk on the reproductive behavior of dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica). Females, but not males, showed a substantial increase in the number of inks (an anti-predator behavior) before mating commenced in the presence of a predator (sand flathead Platycephalus bassensis). However, predation risk did not affect copulation duration, the likelihood of mating, female anti-predator behavior during or after mating or male anti-predator behavior at any time. Inking is a common anti-predator defense in cephalopods, thought to act like a smokescreen, decoy or distraction. Female dumpling squid are probably using this form of defense in response to the increase in predation risk prior to mating. Conversely, males were undeterred by the increase in predation risk. A lack of change in these variables may occur if the benefit of completing mating outweighs the risk of predation. Prioritizing current reproduction, even under predation risk, can occur when the chance of future reproduction is low, there is substantial energetic investment into mating, or the potential fitness payoffs of mating are high.

  13. Discrete call types referring to predation risk enhance the efficiency of the meerkat sentinel system.

    PubMed

    Rauber, R; Manser, M B

    2017-03-17

    Sentinel behaviour, a form of coordinated vigilance, occurs in a limited range of species, mostly in cooperative breeders. In some species sentinels confirm their presence vocally by giving a single sentinel call type, whereby the rate and subtle acoustic changes provide graded information on the variation of perceived predation risk. In contrast, meerkat (Suricata suricatta) sentinels produce six different sentinel call types. Here we show that manipulation of perception of danger has different effects on the likelihood of emitting these different call types, and that these call types affect foraging individuals differently. Increasing the perceived predation risk by playing back alarm calls decreased the production rate of the common short note calls and increased the production rate of the rare long calls. Playbacks of short note calls increased foraging behaviour and decreased vigilance in the rest of the group, whereas the opposite was observed when playing long calls. This suggests that the common call types act as all-clear signals, while the rare call types have a warning function. Therefore, meerkats increase the efficiency of their sentinel system by producing several discrete call types that represent changes in predation risk and lead to adjustments of the group's vigilance behaviour.

  14. Discrete call types referring to predation risk enhance the efficiency of the meerkat sentinel system

    PubMed Central

    Rauber, R.; Manser, M. B.

    2017-01-01

    Sentinel behaviour, a form of coordinated vigilance, occurs in a limited range of species, mostly in cooperative breeders. In some species sentinels confirm their presence vocally by giving a single sentinel call type, whereby the rate and subtle acoustic changes provide graded information on the variation of perceived predation risk. In contrast, meerkat (Suricata suricatta) sentinels produce six different sentinel call types. Here we show that manipulation of perception of danger has different effects on the likelihood of emitting these different call types, and that these call types affect foraging individuals differently. Increasing the perceived predation risk by playing back alarm calls decreased the production rate of the common short note calls and increased the production rate of the rare long calls. Playbacks of short note calls increased foraging behaviour and decreased vigilance in the rest of the group, whereas the opposite was observed when playing long calls. This suggests that the common call types act as all-clear signals, while the rare call types have a warning function. Therefore, meerkats increase the efficiency of their sentinel system by producing several discrete call types that represent changes in predation risk and lead to adjustments of the group’s vigilance behaviour. PMID:28303964

  15. Breeding Phenology of Birds: Mechanisms Underlying Seasonal Declines in the Risk of Nest Predation

    PubMed Central

    Borgmann, Kathi L.; Conway, Courtney J.; Morrison, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal declines in avian clutch size are well documented, but seasonal variation in other reproductive parameters has received less attention. For example, the probability of complete brood mortality typically explains much of the variation in reproductive success and often varies seasonally, but we know little about the underlying cause of that variation. This oversight is surprising given that nest predation influences many other life-history traits and varies throughout the breeding season in many songbirds. To determine the underlying causes of observed seasonal decreases in risk of nest predation, we modeled nest predation of Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) in northern California as a function of foliage phenology, energetic demand, developmental stage, conspecific nest density, food availability for nest predators, and nest predator abundance. Seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was not associated with seasonal changes in energetic demand, conspecific nest density, or predator abundance. Instead, seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was associated with foliage density (early, but not late, in the breeding season) and seasonal changes in food available to nest predators. Supplemental food provided to nest predators resulted in a numerical response by nest predators, increasing the risk of nest predation at nests that were near supplemental feeders. Our results suggest that seasonal changes in foliage density and factors associated with changes in food availability for nest predators are important drivers of temporal patterns in risk of avian nest predation. PMID:23776566

  16. Predation risk-mediated maternal effects in the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.

    PubMed

    Freinschlag, Julia; Schausberger, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, physiology, life history and/or behavior. As a prime stressor, predation risk may even induce trans-generational alterations, called maternal effects. Accordingly, maternal predation risk during offspring production may influence offspring life history and anti-predator behavior. Here, we assessed whether different levels of predation risk, posed by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, induce graded maternal effects in its prey, the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. First, we generated four types of predation risk-stressed spider mite mothers by exposing them to living predators, direct and indirect predator cue combinations or no predator cues, respectively. Then, we investigated the life history (offspring developmental time, sex) and anti-predator response (activity, position on the leaf) of their offspring on leaves with and without direct and indirect predator cues. Maternal stress, no matter of the predation risk level, prolonged the offspring developmental time, as compared to offspring from unstressed mothers. This pattern was more pronounced on leaves with than without predator cues. Offspring from stressed mothers resided more likely on the leaf blade than close to the leaf vein. Offspring sex ratio and activity were not influenced by maternal predation risk but activity was higher on leaves with than without predator cues. We argue that the prolonged developmental time is non-adaptive, yet the changed site preference is adaptive because reducing the encounter likelihood with predators. Our study represents a key example for predation risk-mediated maternal effects on developmental trajectories of offspring.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. Threat-sensitive anti-intraguild predation behaviour: maternal strategies to reduce offspring predation risk in mites

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Predation is a major selective force for the evolution of behavioural characteristics of prey. Predation among consumers competing for food is termed intraguild predation (IGP). From the perspective of individual prey, IGP differs from classical predation in the likelihood of occurrence because IG prey is usually more rarely encountered and less profitable because it is more difficult to handle than classical prey. It is not known whether IGP is a sufficiently strong force to evolve interspecific threat sensitivity in antipredation behaviours, as is known from classical predation, and if so whether such behaviours are innate or learned. We examined interspecific threat sensitivity in antipredation in a guild of predatory mite species differing in adaptation to the shared spider mite prey (i.e. Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus and Amblyseius andersoni). We first ranked the players in this guild according to the IGP risk posed to each other: A. andersoni was the strongest IG predator; P. persimilis was the weakest. Then, we assessed the influence of relative IGP risk and experience on maternal strategies to reduce offspring IGP risk: A. andersoni was insensitive to IGP risk. Threat sensitivity in oviposition site selection was induced by experience in P. persimilis but occurred independently of experience in N. californicus. Irrespective of experience, P. persimilis laid fewer eggs in choice situations with the high- rather than low-risk IG predator. Our study suggests that, similar to classical predation, IGP may select for sophisticated innate and learned interspecific threat-sensitive antipredation responses. We argue that such responses may promote the coexistence of IG predators and prey. PMID:21317973

  19. Threat-sensitive anti-intraguild predation behaviour: maternal strategies to reduce offspring predation risk in mites.

    PubMed

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Predation is a major selective force for the evolution of behavioural characteristics of prey. Predation among consumers competing for food is termed intraguild predation (IGP). From the perspective of individual prey, IGP differs from classical predation in the likelihood of occurrence because IG prey is usually more rarely encountered and less profitable because it is more difficult to handle than classical prey. It is not known whether IGP is a sufficiently strong force to evolve interspecific threat sensitivity in antipredation behaviours, as is known from classical predation, and if so whether such behaviours are innate or learned. We examined interspecific threat sensitivity in antipredation in a guild of predatory mite species differing in adaptation to the shared spider mite prey (i.e. Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus and Amblyseius andersoni). We first ranked the players in this guild according to the IGP risk posed to each other: A. andersoni was the strongest IG predator; P. persimilis was the weakest. Then, we assessed the influence of relative IGP risk and experience on maternal strategies to reduce offspring IGP risk: A. andersoni was insensitive to IGP risk. Threat sensitivity in oviposition site selection was induced by experience in P. persimilis but occurred independently of experience in N. californicus. Irrespective of experience, P. persimilis laid fewer eggs in choice situations with the high- rather than low-risk IG predator. Our study suggests that, similar to classical predation, IGP may select for sophisticated innate and learned interspecific threat-sensitive antipredation responses. We argue that such responses may promote the coexistence of IG predators and prey.

  20. Human activities change marine ecosystems by altering predation risk.

    PubMed

    Madin, Elizabeth M P; Dill, Lawrence M; Ridlon, April D; Heithaus, Michael R; Warner, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    In ocean ecosystems, many of the changes in predation risk - both increases and decreases - are human-induced. These changes are occurring at scales ranging from global to local and across variable temporal scales. Indirect, risk-based effects of human activity are known to be important in structuring some terrestrial ecosystems, but these impacts have largely been neglected in oceans. Here, we synthesize existing literature and data to explore multiple lines of evidence that collectively suggest diverse human activities are changing marine ecosystems, including carbon storage capacity, in myriad ways by altering predation risk. We provide novel, compelling evidence that at least one key human activity, overfishing, can lead to distinct, cascading risk effects in natural ecosystems whose magnitude exceeds that of presumed lethal effects and may account for previously unexplained findings. We further discuss the conservation implications of human-caused indirect risk effects. Finally, we provide a predictive framework for when human alterations of risk in oceans should lead to cascading effects and outline a prospectus for future research. Given the speed and extent with which human activities are altering marine risk landscapes, it is crucial that conservation and management policy considers the indirect effects of these activities in order to increase the likelihood of success and avoid unfortunate surprises.

  1. The scale-dependent impact of wolf predation risk on resource selection by three sympatric ungulates.

    PubMed

    Kittle, Andrew M; Fryxell, John M; Desy, Glenn E; Hamr, Joe

    2008-08-01

    Resource selection is a fundamental ecological process impacting population dynamics and ecosystem structure. Understanding which factors drive selection is vital for effective species- and landscape-level management. We used resource selection probability functions (RSPFs) to study the influence of two forms of wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk, snow conditions and habitat variables on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) resource selection in central Ontario's mixed forest French River-Burwash ecosystem. Direct predation risk was defined as the frequency of a predator's occurrence across the landscape and indirect predation risk as landscape features associated with a higher risk of predation. Models were developed for two winters, each at two spatial scales, using a combination of GIS-derived and ground-measured data. Ungulate presence was determined from snow track transects in 64 16- and 128 1-km(2) resource units, and direct predation risk from GPS radio collar locations of four adjacent wolf packs. Ungulates did not select resources based on the avoidance of areas of direct predation risk at any scale, and instead exhibited selection patterns that tradeoff predation risk minimization with forage and/or mobility requirements. Elk did not avoid indirect predation risk, while both deer and moose exhibited inconsistent responses to this risk. Direct predation risk was more important to models than indirect predation risk but overall, abiotic topographical factors were most influential. These results indicate that wolf predation risk does not limit ungulate habitat use at the scales investigated and that responses to spatial sources of predation risk are complex, incorporating a variety of anti-predator behaviours. Moose resource selection was influenced less by snow conditions than cover type, particularly selection for dense forest, whereas deer showed the opposite pattern. Temporal and spatial scale

  2. Cooperation under predation risk: a data-based ESS analysis

    PubMed Central

    Parker, G. A.; Milinski, M.

    1997-01-01

    Two fish that jointly approach a predator in order to inspect it share the deadly risk of capture depending on the distance between them. Models are developed that seek ESS inspection distances of both single prey and pairs, based on experimental data of the risk that prey (sticklebacks) incur when they approach a predator (pike) to varying distances. Our analysis suggests that an optimal inspection distance can exist for a single fish, and for two equal fish behaving entirely cooperatively so as to maximize the fitness of the pair. Two equal fish inspecting cooperatively should inspect at an equal distance from the predator. The optimal distance is much closer to the predator for cooperative pairs than for single inspectors. However, optimal inspection for two equal fish behaving cooperatively operates across a rather narrow band of conditions relating to the benefits of cooperation. Evolutionarily stable inspection can also exist for two equal fish behaving non-cooperatively such that each acts to make a best reply (in terms of its personal fitness) to its opponent's strategy. Non-cooperative pairs should also inspect at equal distance from the pike. Unlike the 'single fish' and 'cooperative' optima, which are unique inspection distances, there exists a range of ESS inspection distances. If either fish chooses to move to any point in this zone, the best reply of its opponent is to match it (move exactly alongside). Unilateral forward movement in the 'match zone' may not be possible without some cooperation, but if the pair can 'agree' to move forward synchronously, maintaining equal distance, inspection will occur at the nearest point in this zone to the predator. This 'near threshold' is an ESS and is closer to the predator than the single fish optimum: pairs behaving almost selfishly can thus attain greater benefits from inspection by the protection gained from Hamilton's dilution effect. That pairs should inspect more closely than single fish conforms with

  3. Effects of predation risk on habitat selection by water column fish, benthic fish and crayfish in stream pools

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, D.D.

    2004-01-01

    Predation risk can affect habitat selection by water column stream fish and crayfish, but little is known regarding effects of predation risk on habitat selection by benthic fish or assemblages of fish and crayfish. I used comparative studies and manipulative field experiments to determine whether, (1) habitat selection by stream fish and crayfish is affected by predation risk, and (2) benthic fish, water column fish, and crayfish differ in their habitat selection and response to predation risk. Snorkeling was used to observe fish and crayfish in, (1) unmanipulated stream pools with and without large smallmouth bass predators (Micropterus dolomieui >200 mm total length, TL) and (2) manipulated stream pools before and after addition of a single large smallmouth bass, to determine if prey size and presence of large fish predators affected habitat selection. Observations of microhabitat use were compared with microhabitat availability to determine microhabitat selection. Small fish (60-100 mm TL, except darters that were 30-100 mm TL) and crayfish (40-100 mm rostrum to telson length; TL) had significantly reduced densities in pools with large bass, whereas densities of large fish and crayfish (> 100 mm TL) did not differ significantly between pools with and without large bass. Small orangethroat darters (Etheostoma spectabile), northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis), and creek chubs (Semotilus atromaculatus) showed significantly greater densities in pools without large bass. The presence of large smallmouth bass did not significantly affect depths selected by fish and crayfish, except minnows, which were found significantly more often at medium depths when bass were present. Small minnows and large and small crayfish showed the greatest response to additions of bass to stream pools by moving away from bass locations and into shallow water. Small darters and sunfish showed an intermediate response, whereas large minnows showed no significant response to bass additions

  4. How avian nest site selection responds to predation risk: Testing an 'adaptive peak hypothesis'

    Treesearch

    Quresh S. Latif; Sacha K. Heath; John T. Rotenberry

    2012-01-01

    1. Nest predation limits avian fitness, so birds should favour nest sites that minimize predation risk. Nevertheless, preferred nest microhabitat features are often uncorrelated with apparent variation in predation rates. 2. This lack of congruence between theory-based expectation and empirical data may arise when birds already occupy ‘adaptive peaks’. If birds nest...

  5. Parent birds assess nest predation risk and adjust their reproductive strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    Avian life history theory has long assumed that nest predation plays a minor role in shaping reproductive strategies. Yet, this assumption remains conspicuously untested by broad experiments that alter environmental risk of nest predation, despite the fact that nest predation is a major source of reproductive failure. Here, we examined whether parents can assess experimentally reduced nest predation risk and alter their reproductive strategies. We experimentally reduced nest predation risk and show that in safer environments parents increased investment in young through increased egg size, clutch mass, and the rate they fed nestlings. Parents also increased investment in female condition by increasing the rates that males fed incubating females at the nest, and decreasing the time that females spent incubating. These results demonstrate that birds can assess nest predation risk at large and that nest predation plays a key role in the expression of avian reproductive strategies. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  6. Relative predation risk and risk of desiccation co-determine oviposition preferences in Cope's gray treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis.

    PubMed

    Pintar, Matthew R; Resetarits, William J

    2017-06-01

    Habitat permanence and threat of predation are primary drivers of community assembly and composition in lentic freshwater systems. Pond-breeding amphibians select oviposition sites to maximize fitness and minimize risks of predation and desiccation of their offspring, typically facing a trade-off between the two as predation risk often increases as desiccation risk decreases. To experimentally determine if Hyla chrysoscelis partition oviposition along gradients of relative desiccation risk and predation risk, we tested oviposition site preference in a natural population of treefrogs colonizing experimental ponds that varied in water depth and contained predatory larvae of two Ambystoma salamander species. Hyla chrysoscelis selected habitats with both lower predation risk, avoiding A. talpoideum over A. maculatum, and lower desiccation risk, selecting ponds with three times greater depth. We demonstrate that adult oviposition site choices simultaneously minimize relative predation risk and desiccation risk and that closely related salamander species produce functionally different responses among colonizing animals.

  7. Anti-predator behavioral variation among Physa acuta in response to temporally fluctuating predation risk by Procambarus.

    PubMed

    Kain, Morgan P; McCoy, Michael W

    2016-10-28

    Research in behavioral ecology routinely quantifies individual variation in behavior using transitions between discrete environments, for example prey moving from a no predator to predator treatment. This research often ignores behavioral variation in response to temporal fluctuations in environmental conditions around an unchanging mean environment. In this study we evaluate the effects of temporal fluctuations in predation risk (predator cue concentration of Procambarus spp.), without the confounding effects of a changing mean, on among-individual variation in anti-predator behavior in freshwater snails (Physa acuta). We also evaluate how the interaction between environmental and individual variation affects snail survival and reproduction by exposing snails to lethal predators following the behavioral assays. Our analyses revealed a trend towards higher among-individual variation in mean behavior when snails were exposed to intermediate levels of environmental variation compared to highly variable or constant environments. However, because of large uncertainty in estimates of among-individual variation, differences among treatments were indistinguishable from noise for most, but not all behaviors. In the lethal predator trials, snail survival and time to mortality was the lowest in the high variation environment. Also, as environmental variation increased snail egg production decreased and snails laid more of their eggs underneath a provided shelter.

  8. Predation risk affects reproductive physiology and demography of elk.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Christianson, David; Liley, Stewart; Winnie, John A

    2007-02-16

    Elk (Cervus elaphus) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem alter patterns of aggregation, habitat selection, vigilance, and foraging in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Antipredator behaviors like these can reduce predation risk but are also likely to carry costs. Data from five elk populations studied for 16 site years showed that progesterone concentrations (from 1489 fecal samples) declined with the ratio of elk to wolves. In turn, progesterone concentrations were a good predictor of calf recruitment in the subsequent year. Together, these data suggest that wolves indirectly affect the reproductive physiology and the demography of elk through the costs of antipredator behavior.

  9. Predation risk as a driving force for phenotypic assortment: a cross-population comparison.

    PubMed

    Croft, D P; Darden, S K; Ruxton, G D

    2009-05-22

    Frequency-dependent predation has been proposed as a general mechanism driving the phenotypic assortment of social groups via the 'oddity effect', which occurs when the presence of odd individuals in a group allows a predator to fixate on a single prey item, increasing the predator's attack-to-kill ratio. However, the generality of the oddity effect has been debated and, previously, there has not been an ecological assessment of the role of predation risk in driving the phenotypic assortment of social groups. Here, we compare the levels of body length assortment of social groups between populations of the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) that experience differences in predation risk. As predicted by the oddity effect hypothesis, we observe phenotypic assortment by body length to be greater under high predation risk. However, we found that a number of low-predation populations were also significantly assorted by body length, suggesting that other mechanisms may have a role to play.

  10. Reefscapes of fear: predation risk and reef hetero-geneity interact to shape herbivore foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Catano, Laura B; Rojas, Maria C; Malossi, Ryan J; Peters, Joseph R; Heithaus, Michael R; Fourqurean, James W; Burkepile, Deron E

    2016-01-01

    Predators can exert strong direct and indirect effects on ecological communities by intimidating their prey. The nature of predation risk effects is often context dependent, but in some ecosystems these contingencies are often overlooked. Risk effects are often not uniform across landscapes or among species. Indeed, they can vary widely across gradients of habitat complexity and with different prey escape tactics. These context dependencies may be especially important for ecosystems such as coral reefs that vary widely in habitat complexity and have species-rich predator and prey communities. With field experiments using predator decoys of the black grouper (Mycteroperca bonaci), we investigated how reef complexity interacts with predation risk to affect the foraging behaviour and herbivory rates of large herbivorous fishes (e.g. parrotfishes and surgeonfishes) across four coral reefs in the Florida Keys (USA). In both high and low complexity areas of the reef, we measured how herbivory changed with increasing distance from the predator decoy to examine how herbivorous fishes reconcile the conflicting demands of avoiding predation vs. foraging within a reefscape context. We show that with increasing risk, herbivorous fishes consumed dramatically less food (ca. 90%) but fed at a faster rate when they did feed (ca. 26%). Furthermore, we show that fishes foraging closest to the predator decoy were 40% smaller than those that foraged at further distances. Thus, smaller individuals showed muted response to predation risk compared to their larger counterparts, potentially due to their decreased risk to predation or lower reproductive value (i.e. the asset protection principle). Habitat heterogeneity mediated risk effects differently for different species of herbivores, with predation risk more strongly suppressing herbivore feeding in more complex areas and for individuals at higher risk of predation. Predators appear to create a reefscape of fear that changes the size

  11. Effects of behavioral and morphological plasticity on risk of predation in a Neotropical tadpole.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Peter B; Baldwin, Sandra; Flecker, Alexander S

    2004-09-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity is widespread among aquatic animals, however the relative contributions of behavioral and morphological shifts to reducing risk of predation remain uncertain. We tested the phenotypic plasticity of a Neotropical tadpole ( Rana palmipes) in response to chemical cues from predatory Belostoma water bugs, and how phenotype affects risk of predation. Behavior, morphology, and pigmentation all were plastic, resulting in a predator-induced phenotype with lower activity, deeper tail fin and muscle, and darker pigmentation. Tadpoles in the predator cue treatment also grew more rapidly, possibly as a result of the nutrient subsidy from feeding the caged predator. For comparison to phenotypes induced in the experiment, we quantified the phenotype of tadpoles from a natural pool. Wild-caught tadpoles did not match either experimentally induced phenotype; their morphology was more similar to that produced in the control treatment, but their low swimming activity was similar to that induced by predator cues. Exposure of tadpoles from both experimental treatments and the natural pool to a free-ranging predator confirmed that predator-induced phenotypic plasticity reduces risk of predation. Risk of predation was comparable among wild-caught and predator-induced tadpoles, indicating that behavioral shifts can substantially alleviate risk in tadpoles that lack the typical suite of predator-induced morphological traits. The morphology observed in wild-caught tadpoles is associated with rapid growth and high competition in other tadpole species, suggesting that tadpoles may profitably combine a morphology suited to competition for food with behaviors that minimize risk of predation.

  12. Effects of behavioral and morphological plasticity on risk of predation in a Neotropical tadpole

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McIntyre, P.B.; Baldwin, S.; Flecker, A.S.

    2004-01-01

    Predator-induced phenotypic plasticity is widespread among aquatic animals, however the relative contributions of behavioral and morphological shifts to reducing risk of predation remain uncertain. We tested the phenotypic plasticity of a Neotropical tadpole (Rana palmipes) in response to chemical cues from predatory Belostoma water bugs, and how phenotype affects risk of predation. Behavior, morphology, and pigmentation all were plastic, resulting in a predator-induced phenotype with lower activity, deeper tail fin and muscle, and darker pigmentation. Tadpoles in the predator cue treatment also grew more rapidly, possibly as a result of the nutrient subsidy from feeding the caged predator. For comparison to phenotypes induced in the experiment, we quantified the phenotype of tadpoles from a natural pool. Wildcaught tadpoles did not match either experimentally induced phenotype; their morphology was more similar to that produced in the control treatment, but their low swimming activity was similar to that induced by predator cues. Exposure of tadpoles from both experimental treatments and the natural pool to a free-ranging predator confirmed that predator-induced phenotypic plasticity reduces risk of predation. Risk of predation was comparable among wild-caught and predator-induced tadpoles, indicating that behavioral shifts can substantially alleviate risk in tadpoles that lack the typical suite of predator-induced morphological traits. The morphology observed in wild-caught tadpoles is associated with rapid growth and high competition in other tadpole species, suggesting that tadpoles may profitably combine a morphology suited to competition for food with behaviors that minimize risk of predation. ?? Springer-Verlag 2004.

  13. Plant defenses and predation risk differentially shape patterns of consumption, growth, and digestive efficiency in a guild of leaf-chewing insects.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Ian; McArt, Scott H; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores are squeezed between the two omnipresent threats of variable food quality and natural enemy attack, but these two factors are not independent of one another. The mechanisms by which organisms navigate the dual challenges of foraging while avoiding predation are poorly understood. We tested the effects of plant defense and predation risk on herbivory in an assemblage of leaf-chewing insects on Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) that included two Solanaceae specialists (Manduca sexta and Leptinotarsa decemlineata) and one generalist (Trichoplusia ni). Defenses were altered using genetic manipulations of the jasmonate phytohormonal cascade, whereas predation risk was assessed by exposing herbivores to cues from the predaceous stink bug, Podisus maculiventris. Predation risk reduced herbivore food intake by an average of 29% relative to predator-free controls. Interestingly, this predator-mediated impact on foraging behavior largely attenuated when quantified in terms of individual growth rate. Only one of the three species experienced lower body weight under predation risk and the magnitude of this effect was small (17% reduction) compared with effects on foraging behavior. Manduca sexta larvae, compensated for their predator-induced reduction in food intake by more effectively converting leaf tissue to body mass. They also had higher whole-body lipid content when exposed to predators, suggesting that individuals convert energy to storage forms to draw upon when risk subsides. In accordance with expectations based on insect diet breadth, plant defenses tended to have a stronger impact on consumption and growth in the generalist than the two specialists. These data both confirm the ecological significance of predators in the foraging behavior of herbivorous prey and demonstrate how sophisticated compensatory mechanisms allow foragers to partially offset the detrimental effects of reduced food intake. The fact that these mechanisms operated across a wide range of

  14. Plant Defenses and Predation Risk Differentially Shape Patterns of Consumption, Growth, and Digestive Efficiency in a Guild of Leaf-Chewing Insects

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, Ian; McArt, Scott H.; Thaler, Jennifer S.

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores are squeezed between the two omnipresent threats of variable food quality and natural enemy attack, but these two factors are not independent of one another. The mechanisms by which organisms navigate the dual challenges of foraging while avoiding predation are poorly understood. We tested the effects of plant defense and predation risk on herbivory in an assemblage of leaf-chewing insects on Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) that included two Solanaceae specialists (Manduca sexta and Leptinotarsa decemlineata) and one generalist (Trichoplusia ni). Defenses were altered using genetic manipulations of the jasmonate phytohormonal cascade, whereas predation risk was assessed by exposing herbivores to cues from the predaceous stink bug, Podisus maculiventris. Predation risk reduced herbivore food intake by an average of 29% relative to predator-free controls. Interestingly, this predator-mediated impact on foraging behavior largely attenuated when quantified in terms of individual growth rate. Only one of the three species experienced lower body weight under predation risk and the magnitude of this effect was small (17% reduction) compared with effects on foraging behavior. Manduca sexta larvae, compensated for their predator-induced reduction in food intake by more effectively converting leaf tissue to body mass. They also had higher whole-body lipid content when exposed to predators, suggesting that individuals convert energy to storage forms to draw upon when risk subsides. In accordance with expectations based on insect diet breadth, plant defenses tended to have a stronger impact on consumption and growth in the generalist than the two specialists. These data both confirm the ecological significance of predators in the foraging behavior of herbivorous prey and demonstrate how sophisticated compensatory mechanisms allow foragers to partially offset the detrimental effects of reduced food intake. The fact that these mechanisms operated across a wide range of

  15. A test of maternal programming of offspring stress response to predation risk in threespine sticklebacks

    PubMed Central

    Mommer, Brett C.; Bell, Alison M.

    2014-01-01

    Non-genetic maternal effects are widespread across taxa and challenge our traditional understanding of inheritance. Maternal experience with predators, for example, can have lifelong consequences for offspring traits, including fitness. Previous work in threespine sticklebacks showed that females exposed to simulated predation risk produced eggs with higher cortisol content and offspring with altered anti-predator behavior. However, it is unknown whether this maternal effect is mediated via the offspring glucocorticoid stress response and if it is retained over the entire lifetime of offspring. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that maternal exposure to simulated predation risk has long-lasting effects on the cortisol response to simulated predation risk in stickleback offspring. We measured circulating concentrations of cortisol before (baseline), 15 min after, and 60 min after exposure to a simulated predation risk. We compared adult offspring of predator-exposed mothers and control mothers in two different social environments (alone or in a group). Relative to baseline, offspring plasma cortisol was highest 15 min after exposure to simulated predation risk and decreased after 60 min. Offspring of predator-exposed mothers differed in the cortisol response to simulated predation risk compared to offspring of control mothers. In general, females had higher cortisol than males, and fish in a group had lower cortisol than fish that were by themselves. The buffering effect of the social environment did not differ between maternal treatments or between males and females. Altogether the results show that while a mother’s experience with simulated predation risk might affect the physiological response of her adult offspring to a predator, sex and social isolation have much larger effects on the stress response to predation risk in sticklebacks. PMID:23628383

  16. A test of maternal programming of offspring stress response to predation risk in threespine sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Mommer, Brett C; Bell, Alison M

    2013-10-02

    Non-genetic maternal effects are widespread across taxa and challenge our traditional understanding of inheritance. Maternal experience with predators, for example, can have lifelong consequences for offspring traits, including fitness. Previous work in threespine sticklebacks showed that females exposed to simulated predation risk produced eggs with higher cortisol content and offspring with altered anti-predator behavior. However, it is unknown whether this maternal effect is mediated via the offspring glucocorticoid stress response and if it is retained over the entire lifetime of offspring. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that maternal exposure to simulated predation risk has long-lasting effects on the cortisol response to simulated predation risk in stickleback offspring. We measured circulating concentrations of cortisol before (baseline), 15 min after, and 60 min after exposure to a simulated predation risk. We compared adult offspring of predator-exposed mothers and control mothers in two different social environments (alone or in a group). Relative to baseline, offspring plasma cortisol was highest 15 min after exposure to simulated predation risk and decreased after 60 min. Offspring of predator-exposed mothers differed in the cortisol response to simulated predation risk compared to offspring of control mothers. In general, females had higher cortisol than males, and fish in a group had lower cortisol than fish that were by themselves. The buffering effect of the social environment did not differ between maternal treatments or between males and females. Altogether the results show that while a mother's experience with simulated predation risk might affect the physiological response of her adult offspring to a predator, sex and social isolation have much larger effects on the stress response to predation risk in sticklebacks.

  17. Ability to assess nest predation risk in secondary hole-nesting birds: an experimental study.

    PubMed

    Pöysä, Hannu; Ruusila, Vesa; Milonoff, Markku; Virtanen, Juha

    2001-01-01

    Because nest predation is the major source of nesting mortality in birds, site-specific predation risk may play an important role in determining birds' ability to select nest sites that reduce predation risk. This possibility has not been adequately tested. Here we report on 5-year experiments by which we studied, independently from birds' earlier experience with specific nest boxes, both the selection and predation risk of nest sites in the common goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). New, previously unoccupied nest boxes were erected in two habitat types on three study areas. Experimentally measured predation risk in the nest boxes varied between 0 and 1.0, i.e. goldeneye females could select a nest site along a wide gradient of possible predation-risk values. We did not find a difference in predation risk between occupied and unoccupied nest boxes, nor was the order of nest box occupation associated with predation risk. A power analysis revealed that our test had reasonably high power to reject a false null hypothesis. Our results suggest that common goldeneye females likely have not evolved an ability to assess predation risk of new, previously unoccupied nest sites.

  18. A Meta-Analysis of Predation Risk Effects on Pollinator Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Romero, Gustavo Q.; Antiqueira, Pablo A. P.; Koricheva, Julia

    2011-01-01

    Flower-visiting animals are constantly under predation risk when foraging and hence might be expected to evolve behavioural adaptations to avoid predators. We reviewed the available published and unpublished data to assess the overall effects of predators on pollinator behaviour and to examine sources of variation in these effects. The results of our meta-analysis showed that predation risk significantly decreased flower visitation rates (by 36%) and time spent on flowers (by 51%) by pollinators. The strength of the predator effects depended neither on predator taxa and foraging mode (sit-and-wait or active hunters) nor on pollinator lifestyle (social vs. solitary). However, predator effects differed among pollinator taxa: predator presence reduced flower visitation rates and time spent on flowers by Squamata, Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera, but not by Diptera. Furthermore, larger pollinators showed weaker responses to predation risk, probably because they are more difficult to capture. Presence of live crab spiders on flowers had weaker effects on pollinator behaviour than presence of dead or artificial crab spiders or other objects (e.g. dead bees, spheres), suggesting that predator crypsis may be effective to some extent. These results add to a growing consensus on the importance of considering both predator and pollinator characteristics from a community perspective. PMID:21695187

  19. Nonconsumptive Predator-Prey Interactions: Sensitivity of the Detritivore Sinella curviseta (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to Cues of Predation Risk From the Spider Pardosa milvina (Araneae: Lycosidae).

    PubMed

    Sitvarin, Michael I; Romanchek, Christian; Rypstra, Ann L

    2015-04-01

    Predators can affect prey indirectly when prey respond to cues indicating a risk of predation by altering activity levels. Changes in prey behavior may cascade through the food web to influence ecosystem function. The response of the collembolan Sinella curviseta Brook (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to cues indicating predation risk (necromones and cues from the wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz) (Araneae: Lycosidae)) was tested. Additionally, necromones and predator cues were paired in a conditioning experiment to determine whether the collembolan could form learned associations. Although collembolans did not alter activity levels in response to predator cues, numerous aspects of behavior differed in the presence of necromones. There was no detectable conditioned response to predator cues after pairing with necromones. These results provide insight into how collembolans perceive and respond to predation threats that vary in information content. Previously detected indirect impacts of predator cues on ecosystem function are likely due to changes in prey other than activity level.

  20. Trade-offs between predation risk and forage differ between migrant strategies in a migratory ungulate.

    PubMed

    Hebblewhite, Mark; Merrill, Evelyn H

    2009-12-01

    Trade-offs between predation risk and forage fundamentally drive resource selection by animals. Among migratory ungulates, trade-offs can occur at large spatial scales through migration, which allows an "escape" from predation, but trade-offs can also occur at finer spatial scales. Previous authors suggest that ungulates will avoid predation risk at the largest scale, although few studies have examined multi-scale trade-offs to test for the relative benefits of risk avoidance across scales. Building on previously developed spatial models of forage and wolf predation risk, we tested for trade-offs at the broad landscape scale and at a finer, within-home-range scale for migratory and non-migratory resident elk (Cervus elaphus) during summer in the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park (BNP) and adjacent Alberta, Canada. Migration reduced exposure to wolf predation risk by 70% relative to residents at the landscape scale; at the fine scale, migrants used areas that were, on average, 6% higher in forage digestibility. In contrast, by forgoing migration, resident elk were exposed to higher predation risk, but they reduced predation risk at fine scales to only 15% higher than migrants by using areas close to human activity, which wolves avoided. Thus, residents paid for trying to avoid predation risk with lower forage quality. Residents may have been able to compensate, however, by using areas of abundant forage close to human activity where they may have been able to forage more selectively while avoiding predation risk. Human activity effectively decoupled the positive correlation between high forage quality and wolf predation, providing an effective alternate strategy for residents, similar to recent findings in other systems. Although ungulates appear capable of balancing risk and forage at different spatial scales, risk avoidance at large landscape scales may be more effective in the absence of human-caused refugia from predation.

  1. The effect of petal size manipulation on pollinator/seed-predator mediated female reproductive success of Hibiscus moscheutos.

    PubMed

    Kudoh, Hiroshi; Whigham, Dennis F

    1998-11-01

    The effects of petal-size manipulations on the behavior of pollinators and pollen/seed predators, and on pollen removal and deposition, were studied in Hibiscus moscheutos (Malvaceae) populations. The ultimate effects on the female reproductive success of flowers, such as fruit set, seed predation rate, and final seed set were also measured. We applied three levels of petal removal (100%, 50%, and 0% size reduction in radius) to flowers in natural populations. Two pollinators (Bombus pennsylvanicus and Ptilothrix bombiformis) ignored flowers without petals, suggesting that pollinators use petals as a visual cue to locate flowers. Consequently, 100% petal removal reduced female reproductive success considerably, mainly through a higher rate of fruit abortion due to failure of pollen deposition on stigmas. No significant differences between the 50% petal removal treatment and uncut control were detected in any components of female success examined. The results, therefore, suggest that differences in petal size have little influence on female reproductive success of Hibiscus flowers at our study site. Final seed set varied considerably depending on the larval densities of two coleopteran seed predators (Althaeus hibisci and Conotrachelus fissunguis). A. hibisci responded to petal size, and a higher density of adults was found in flowers in which petal size had not been reduced. Because Althaeus feed on pollen as adults and no effect of petal size on seed predation was detected, the preference of Althaeus for larger flowers may represent a foraging strategy for adult beetles and may exert counteracting selection pressure on petal size through male reproductive success of flowers.

  2. The effects of predation risk on mating system expression in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Auld, Josh R

    2010-12-01

    Environmental effects on mating system expression are central to understanding mating system evolution in nature. Here, I report the results from a quantitative-genetic experiment aimed at understanding the role of predation risk in the expression and evolution of life-history and mating-system traits in a hermaphroditic freshwater snail (Physa acuta). I reared 30 full-sib families in four environments that factorially contrast predation risk and mate availability and measured age/size at first reproduction, growth rate, a morphological defense, and the early survival of outcrossed/selfed eggs that were laid under predator/no-predator conditions. I evaluated the genetic basis of trade-offs among traits and the stability of the G matrix across environments. Mating reduced growth while predation risk increased growth, but the effects of mating were weaker for predator-induced snails and the effects of predation risk were weaker for snails without mates. Predation risk reduced the amount of time that individuals waited before self-fertilizing and reduced inbreeding depression in the offspring. There was a positive among-family relationship between the amount of time that individuals delayed selfing under predation risk and the magnitude of inbreeding depression. These results highlight several potential roles of enemies in mating-system expression and evolution. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Predation risk increases immune response in a larval dragonfly (Leucorrhinia intacta).

    PubMed

    Duong, Tammy M; McCauley, Shannon J

    2016-06-01

    Predators often negatively affect prey performance through indirect, non-consumptive effects. We investigated the potential relationship between predator-induced stress and prey immune response. To test this, we administered a synthetic immune challenge into dragonfly larvae (Leucorrhinia intacta) and assessed a key immune response (level of encapsulation) in the presence and absence of a caged predator (Anax junius) at two temperatures (22 degrees C and 26 degrees C). We hypothesized that immune response would be lowered when predators were present due to lowered allocation of resources to immune function and leading to reduced encapsulation of the synthetic immune challenge. Contrary to our expectations, larvae exposed to caged predators had encapsulated monofilaments significantly more than larvae not exposed to caged predators. Levels of encapsulation did not differ across temperatures, nor interact with predator exposure. Our results suggest that the previously observed increase in mortality of L. intacta exposed to caged predators is not driven by immune suppression. In situations of increased predation risk, the exposure to predator cues may induce higher levels of melanin production, which could lead to physiological damage and high energetic costs. However, the costs and risks of increased allocations to immune responses and interactions with predation stress remain unknown.

  4. Can variation in risk of nest predation explain altitudinal migration in tropical birds?

    PubMed

    Boyle, W Alice

    2008-03-01

    Migration is among the best studied of animal behaviors, yet few empirical studies have tested hypotheses explaining the ultimate causes of these cyclical annual movements. Fretwell's (1980) hypothesis predicts that if nest predation explains why many tropical birds migrate uphill to breed, then predation risk must be negatively associated with elevation. Data from 385 artificial nests spanning 2,740 m of elevation on the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica show an overall decline in predation with increasing elevation. However, nest predation risk was highest at intermediate elevations (500-650 m), not at lowest elevations. The proportion of nests depredated by different types of predators differed among elevations. These results imply that over half of the altitudinal migrant bird species in this region migrate to safer breeding areas than their non-breeding areas, suggesting that variation in nest predation risk could be an important benefit of uphill migrations of many species.

  5. Plasticity of parental care under the risk of predation: how much should parents reduce care?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Predation can be an important agent of natural selection shaping parental care behaviours, and can also favour behavioural plasticity. Parent birds often decrease the rate that they visit the nest to provision offspring when perceived risk is high. Yet, the plasticity of such responses may differ among species as a function of either their relative risk of predation, or the mean rate of provisioning. Here, we report parental provisioning responses to experimental increases in the perceived risk of predation. We tested responses of 10 species of bird in north temperate Arizona and subtropical Argentina that differed in their ambient risk of predation. All species decreased provisioning rates in response to the nest predator but not to a control. However, provisioning rates decreased more in species that had greater ambient risk of predation on natural nests. These results support theoretical predictions that the extent of plasticity of a trait that is sensitive to nest predation risk should vary among species in accordance with predation risk.

  6. Plasticity of parental care under the risk of predation: how much should parents reduce care?

    PubMed Central

    Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Peluc, Susana I.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Predation can be an important agent of natural selection shaping parental care behaviours, and can also favour behavioural plasticity. Parent birds often decrease the rate that they visit the nest to provision offspring when perceived risk is high. Yet, the plasticity of such responses may differ among species as a function of either their relative risk of predation, or the mean rate of provisioning. Here, we report parental provisioning responses to experimental increases in the perceived risk of predation. We tested responses of 10 species of bird in north temperate Arizona and subtropical Argentina that differed in their ambient risk of predation. All species decreased provisioning rates in response to the nest predator but not to a control. However, provisioning rates decreased more in species that had greater ambient risk of predation on natural nests. These results support theoretical predictions that the extent of plasticity of a trait that is sensitive to nest predation risk should vary among species in accordance with predation risk. PMID:23760165

  7. Biogeographic variation in behavioral and morphological responses to predation risk.

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

    The expression of prey antipredator defenses is often related to ambient consumer pressure, and prey express greater defenses under intense consumer pressure. Predation is generally greater at lower latitudes, and antipredator defenses often display a biogeographic pattern. Predation pressure may also vary significantly between habitats within latitudes, making biogeographic patterns difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, invasive predators may also influence the expression of prey defenses in ecological time. The purpose of this study was to determine how these factors influence the strength of antipredator responses. To assess patterns in prey antipredator defenses based upon geographic range (north vs. south), habitat type (wave-protected vs. wave-exposed shores), and invasive predators, we examined how native rock (Cancer irroratus) and invasive green (Carcinus maenas) crab predators influence the behavioral and morphological defenses of dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) prey from habitats that differ in wave exposure across an ~230 km range within the Gulf of Maine. The expression of behavioral and morphological antipredatory responses varied according to wave exposure, geographic location, and predator species. Dogwhelks from areas with an established history with green crabs exhibited the largest behavioral and morphological antipredator responses to green crabs. Dogwhelk behavioral responses to rock crabs did not vary between habitats or geographic regions, although morphological responses were greater further south where predation pressure was greatest. These findings suggest that dogwhelk responses to invasive and native predators vary according to geographic location and habitat, and are strongly affected by ambient predation pressure due to the invasion history of an exotic predator.

  8. Field vole ( Microtus agrestis) seasonal spacing behavior: the effect of predation risk by mustelids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowski, Zbigniew; Owadowska, Edyta

    2010-05-01

    There are numerous studies showing that predation risk may change different aspects of the behavior of prey, such as habitat use, activity pattern, and foraging. Prey should exhibit the strongest antipredatory response against their most deadly predator. Small mustelids are considered the most important mammalian predators of voles. Nevertheless, there is no general agreement as to whether strong antipredatory reactions exist in natural free-living populations of voles. Here, we studied the field vole Microtus agrestis spatial reaction to high predation risk from small mustelids in the breeding (August) and nonbreeding (October) seasons under natural conditions. Voles were exposed to a caged weasel ( Mustela nivalis) and a stoat ( Mustela erminea), as well as to the odors of these predators. The reactions of 30 field voles were monitored with radiotelemetry. The field voles were found to display antipredator reactions that varied with season. In the breeding period, in response to predation risk, voles reduced locomotory activity and daily-range size, whereas in the nonbreeding period they did not. Changes in home range position were similar for control and treatment voles, in both the breeding and nonbreeding periods. The results indicate that mustelid predators modify the spatial behavior of small rodents in natural conditions depending on season. This might be a reflection of differences in state-dependent responses to predation from sexually active or inactive individuals. This suggests that the basic antipredatory reaction of voles under high predation risk from small mustelids limits their locomotory activity.

  9. Linking predator risk and uncertainty to adaptive forgetting: a theoretical framework and empirical test using tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Brown, Grant E; Bortolotti, Gary R; Chivers, Douglas P

    2010-07-22

    Hundreds of studies have examined how prey animals assess their risk of predation. These studies work from the basic tennet that prey need to continually balance the conflicting demands of predator avoidance with activities such as foraging and reproduction. The information that animals gain regarding local predation risk is most often learned. Yet, the concept of 'memory' in the context of predation remains virtually unexplored. Here, our goal was (i) to determine if the memory window associated with predator recognition is fixed or flexible and, if it is flexible, (ii) to identify which factors affect the length of this window and in which ways. We performed an experiment on larval wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, to test whether the risk posed by, and the uncertainty associated with, the predator would affect the length of the tadpoles' memory window. We found that as the risk associated with the predator increases, tadpoles retained predator-related information for longer. Moreover, if the uncertainty about predator-related information increases, then prey use this information for a shorter period. We also present a theoretical framework aiming at highlighting both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could affect the memory window of information use by prey individuals.

  10. Freezing behaviour facilitates bioelectric crypsis in cuttlefish faced with predation risk.

    PubMed

    Bedore, Christine N; Kajiura, Stephen M; Johnsen, Sönke

    2015-12-07

    Cephalopods, and in particular the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, are common models for studies of camouflage and predator avoidance behaviour. Preventing detection by predators is especially important to this group of animals, most of which are soft-bodied, lack physical defences, and are subject to both visually and non-visually mediated detection. Here, we report a novel cryptic mechanism in S. officinalis in which bioelectric cues are reduced via a behavioural freeze response to a predator stimulus. The reduction of bioelectric fields created by the freeze-simulating stimulus resulted in a possible decrease in shark predation risk by reducing detectability. The freeze response may also facilitate other non-visual cryptic mechanisms to lower predation risk from a wide range of predator types. © 2015 The Author(s).

  11. Freezing behaviour facilitates bioelectric crypsis in cuttlefish faced with predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Bedore, Christine N.; Kajiura, Stephen M.; Johnsen, Sönke

    2015-01-01

    Cephalopods, and in particular the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis, are common models for studies of camouflage and predator avoidance behaviour. Preventing detection by predators is especially important to this group of animals, most of which are soft-bodied, lack physical defences, and are subject to both visually and non-visually mediated detection. Here, we report a novel cryptic mechanism in S. officinalis in which bioelectric cues are reduced via a behavioural freeze response to a predator stimulus. The reduction of bioelectric fields created by the freeze-simulating stimulus resulted in a possible decrease in shark predation risk by reducing detectability. The freeze response may also facilitate other non-visual cryptic mechanisms to lower predation risk from a wide range of predator types. PMID:26631562

  12. Rodent foraging is affected by indirect, but not by direct, cues of predation risk.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Danielson, Brent, J.; Brinkerhoff, R., Jory

    2004-01-01

    Behavioral Ecology Vol. 15 No. 3: 433 - 437 We used foraging trays to determine whether old field mice, Peromyscus polionotus , altered foraging in response to direct cues of predation risk (urine of native and nonnative predators) and indirect cues of predation risk (foraging microhabitat, precipitation, and moon illumination). The proportion of seeds remaining in each tray (a measure of the giving-up density [GUD]) was used to measure risk perceived by mice. Mice did not alter their GUD when presented with cues of native predators (bobcats, Lynx r ufus , and red foxes, Vulpes vulpes), recently introduced predators (coyotes, Canis latrans ), nonnative predators (ocelots, Leopardus pardalis ), a native herbivore (white-tailed deer, Odocoileus virginianus), or a water control. Rather, GUD was related to microhabitat: rodents removed more seeds from foraging trays sheltered beneath vegetative cover compared with exposed trays outside of cover. Rodents also removed more seeds during nights with precipitation and when moon illumination was low. Our results suggest that P. polionotus used indirect cues rather than direct cues to assess risk of vertebrate predation. Indirect cues may be more reliable than are direct scent cues for estimating risk from multiple vertebrate predators that present the most risk in open environments.

  13. How predation risk affects the temporal dynamics of avian leks: greater sage grouse versus golden eagles.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Adam R

    2004-01-01

    Leks often attract predators as well as mates, yet most evolutionary models have assumed that sexual selection, not predation, drives lekking behavior. We explored the influence of predation on lek dynamics using a stochastic dynamic game model based on the lek-breeding greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and its principal avian predator, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). The model predicts time-dependent male lek attendance as a function of factors affecting both mating success (female arrival rate, male numbers, and social status) and predation risk (eagle arrival rate and group size). Dominant males are predicted to arrive sooner and leave later than subordinates, especially if mating skew is high, predation risk is low, or the relationship between lek size and female arrival rate is weak. Both high mean levels of predation risk and small lek size should reduce lek attendance, but the relative tendency of predators to attack large versus small leks has little influence on predicted lekking behavior. Field observations confirmed the predicted effects of female arrival rate, lek size, male dominance, and weather-dependent predator arrival rates on lek departure times. Predicted effects of female arrival rates and male dominance on seasonal lek attendance were also supported. Our model provides an empirically supported adaptive explanation for short-term lek dynamics. It also suggests alternative interpretations for phenomena previously invoked to support the hotshot and skew models of lek formation.

  14. Behaviour-dependent Predation Risk in Marine Planktonic Copepods: an Experimental and Modelling Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almeda, R.; van Someren Gréve, H.; Kiørboe, T.

    2016-02-01

    Zooplankton exhibit different motile behaviors related to mating, feeding and swimming activities. These differences in motility may imply different levels of predation risk, which may partially determine the structure of pelagic communities. However, empirical evidence and models of the influence of zooplankton behavior on predation risk are still limited. In this study, we experimentally investigated predation mortality related to different motile behaviors in marine planktonic copepods. We conducted bottle incubation predation experiments to estimate predation risk associated with (i) mating- and gender differences in behavior and (ii) feeding/ swimming activity (ambush feeders vs feeding-current vs. cruising feeders). Low and high speed video-filming was used to determine prey motility behavior parameters such as speeds, durations and frequencies of sinking, swimming and jumping events, as well as escape responses of each prey type. We will present experimental results of predation on copepod with different motile behavior and propose a simple prey behavior-dependent encounter model to predict predation risk on planktonic copepods. Overall, our results demonstrate that motile behavior is a key factor affecting predation risk in zooplankton.

  15. Behavioral adjustments of African herbivores to predation risk by lions: spatiotemporal variations influence habitat use.

    PubMed

    Valeix, M; Loveridge, A J; Chamaillé-Jammes, S; Davidson, Z; Murindagomo, F; Fritz, H; Macdonald, D W

    2009-01-01

    Predators may influence their prey populations not only through direct lethal effects, but also through indirect behavioral changes. Here, we combined spatiotemporal fine-scale data from GPS radio collars on lions with habitat use information on 11 African herbivores in Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe) to test whether the risk of predation by lions influenced the distribution of herbivores in the landscape. Effects of long-term risk of predation (likelihood of lion presence calculated over four months) and short-term risk of predation (actual presence of lions in the vicinity in the preceding 24 hours) were contrasted. The long-term risk of predation by lions appeared to influence the distributions of all browsers across the landscape, but not of grazers. This result strongly suggests that browsers and grazers, which face different ecological constraints, are influenced at different spatial and temporal scales in the variation of the risk of predation by lions. The results also show that all herbivores tend to use more open habitats preferentially when lions are in their vicinity, probably an effective anti-predator behavior against such an ambush predator. Behaviorally induced effects of lions may therefore contribute significantly to structuring African herbivore communities, and hence possibly their effects on savanna ecosystems.

  16. Decomposing risk: landscape structure and wolf behavior generate different predation patterns in two sympatric ungulates.

    PubMed

    Gervasi, Vincenzo; Sand, Hakan; Zimmermann, Barbara; Mattisson, Jenny; Wabakken, Petter; Linnell, John D C

    2013-10-01

    Recolonizing carnivores can have a large impact on the status of wild ungulates, which have often modified their behavior in the absence of predation. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of reestablished predator-prey systems is crucial to predict their potential ecosystem effects. We decomposed the spatial structure of predation by recolonizing wolves (Canis lupus) on two sympatric ungulates, moose (Alces alces) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), in Scandinavia during a 10-year study. We monitored 18 wolves with GPS collars, distributed over 12 territories, and collected records from predation events. By using conditional logistic regression, we assessed the contributions of three main factors, the utilization patterns of each wolf territory, the spatial distribution of both prey species, and fine-scale landscape structure, in determining the spatial structure of moose and roe deer predation risk. The reestablished predator-prey system showed a remarkable spatial variation in kill occurrence at the intra-territorial level, with kill probabilities varying by several orders of magnitude inside the same territory. Variation in predation risk was evident also when a spatially homogeneous probability for a wolf to encounter a prey was simulated. Even inside the same territory, with the same landscape structure, and when exposed to predation by the same wolves, the two prey species experienced an opposite spatial distribution of predation risk. In particular, increased predation risk for moose was associated with open areas, especially clearcuts and young forest stands, whereas risk was lowered for roe deer in the same habitat types. Thus, fine-scale landscape structure can generate contrasting predation risk patterns in sympatric ungulates, so that they can experience large differences in the spatial distribution of risk and refuge areas when exposed to predation by a recolonizing predator. Territories with an earlier recolonization were not associated with a lower

  17. Environmentally relevant concentrations of a common insecticide increase predation risk in a freshwater gastropod.

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Kimberly, David A

    2013-01-01

    Ecological receptors are faced with a multitude of stressors that include abiotic and biotic factors creating a challenge for assessing risk of chemical exposure. Of particular interest and importance are the effects of contaminants on inter-species interactions such as competition and predator-prey relationships. The objective of this study was to determine whether environmentally relevant concentrations of the commonly used insecticide, malathion, would alter predator avoidance behavior in a freshwater gastropod that could translate to increased predation risk. We exposed adult Physa pomilia snails to 0, 0.25, or 1.0 mg/L malathion for 2, 24, or 48 h and evaluated predator avoidance using a behavioral assay in which snails were exposed to cues from predatory crayfish. We found a significant reduction in predator avoidance in snails exposed to both concentrations of malathion after 48 h of exposure. To evaluate whether observed effects of malathion on predator avoidance actually increased susceptibility of snails to predators, we conducted a predator challenge experiment. Snails exposed to 0.25 mg/L malathion for 48 h were significantly more susceptible to predation. That increased predation risk was evident 48 h after initial malathion exposures is a unique result because most studies have evaluated behavioral responses soon after (<12 h) initiation of pesticide exposure. The extent to which the observed interactions affect natural populations, and the mechanisms through which they are mediated are largely unexplored. However, our study is the first to show that a commonly used insecticide decreases predator avoidance and may actually increase predation susceptibility in gastropods at concentrations several orders of magnitude below acute toxicity levels.

  18. Risk induced by a native top predator reduces alien mink movements.

    PubMed

    Salo, Pälvi; Nordström, Mikael; Thomson, Robert L; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2008-11-01

    1. Nonlethal predation effects may have stronger impacts on prey populations than direct predation impacts, and this should also apply to intraguild predation. The consequences of such interactions become especially important if invasive, and potentially destructive alien predators act as intraguild prey. 2. We studied the predation-risk impacts of a re-colonizing native top predator, Haliaeetus albicilla (white-tailed sea eagle), on the movements of Mustela vison (American mink), an alien predator in Europe. We radiocollared 20 mink in two study areas in the outer archipelago of the Baltic Sea, South-west Finland, during 2004 and 2005. In the archipelago, mink home ranges incorporate many islands, and mink are most predisposed to eagle predation while swimming between islands. Observed swimming distances of mink were compared to distances expected at random, and deviations from random swimming were explained by mink distance from nearest eagle nest, number of eagle observations near mink location, and mink home-range size. 3. Mink reduced their swimming distances with increasing sea eagle predation risk: for females, the reduction was 10% for an increase of 10 eagle observations, and 5% for each kilometre towards an eagle nest. Conclusions for males were restricted by their small sample size. 4. Our results suggest that female mink modify their behaviour according to eagle predation risk, which may reduce their population growth and have long-term cascading effects on lower trophic levels including bird, mammal and amphibian populations in the archipelago. Ecosystem restoration by bringing back the top predators may be one way of mitigating alien predator effects on native biota.

  19. The Impact of Detoxification Costs and Predation Risk on Foraging: Implications for Mimicry Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Halpin, Christina G; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy; Ruxton, Graeme D; Higginson, Andrew D

    2017-01-01

    Prey often evolve defences to deter predators, such as noxious chemicals including toxins. Toxic species often advertise their defence to potential predators by distinctive sensory signals. Predators learn to associate toxicity with the signals of these so-called aposematic prey, and may avoid them in future. In turn, this selects for mildly toxic prey to mimic the appearance of more toxic prey. Empirical evidence shows that mimicry could be either beneficial ('Mullerian') or detrimental ('quasi-Batesian') to the highly toxic prey, but the factors determining which are unknown. Here, we use state-dependent models to explore how tri-trophic interactions could influence the evolution of prey defences. We consider how predation risk affects predators' optimal foraging strategies on aposematic prey, and explore the resultant impact this has on mimicry dynamics between unequally defended species. In addition, we also investigate how the potential energetic cost of metabolising a toxin can alter the benefits to eating toxic prey and thus impact on predators' foraging decisions. Our model predicts that both how predators perceive their own predation risk, and the cost of detoxification, can have significant, sometimes counterintuitive, effects on the foraging decisions of predators. For example, in some conditions predators should: (i) avoid prey they know to be undefended, (ii) eat more mildly toxic prey as detoxification costs increase, (iii) increase their intake of highly toxic prey as the abundance of undefended prey increases. These effects mean that the relationship between a mimic and its model can qualitatively depend on the density of alternative prey and the cost of metabolising toxins. In addition, these effects are mediated by the predators' own predation risk, which demonstrates that, higher trophic levels than previously considered can have fundamental impacts on interactions among aposematic prey species.

  20. Phenotypically plastic responses of green frog embryos to conflicting predation risk.

    PubMed

    Ireland, D H; Wirsing, A J; Murray, D L

    2007-05-01

    Predators have been shown to alter the timing of switch points between life history stages, but few studies have addressed switch point plasticity in prey exposed simultaneously to conflicting predation pressure. We tested hatching responses of green frog (Rana clamitans) embryos subject to perceived predation risk from chemical cues released by two stage-specific predators, predicting that these predators would elicit: (1) directional hatching responses when presented independently, and (2) intermediate phenotypic responses when presented simultaneously. R. clamitans embryos in outdoor exclosures were exposed to cues from an egg predator (freshwater leeches; Nephelopsis obscura), a larval predator (dragonfly nymphs, Aeschna canadensis), and both predators in a 2 x 2 factorial experiment, and changes in hatchling size, hatchling developmental stage, and hatching time were compared to those for control embryos. Leeches alone induced embryos to hatch at a smaller size and an earlier developmental stage than controls, while dragonfly nymphs elicited a delay in egg hatching time that was associated with larger size and later developmental stage at hatching. Embryos failed to respond to simultaneous exposure to both predators, implying that responses to each occurred concurrently and were therefore dampened. Our results indicate that prey under threat from conflicting predators may manifest intermediate defensive phenotypes. Such intermediate responses may result in elevated rates of prey mortality with possible consequences at the population level.

  1. Predation Risk within Fishing Gear and Implications for South Australian Rock Lobster Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Briceño, Felipe; Linnane, Adrian Joseph; Quiroz, Juan Carlos; Gardner, Caleb; Pecl, Gretta Tatyana

    2015-01-01

    Depredation of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) within fishing gear by the Maori octopus (Pinnoctopus cordiformis) has economic and ecological impacts on valuable fisheries in South Australia. In addition, depredation rates can be highly variable resulting in uncertainties for the fishery. We examined how in-pot lobster predation was influenced by factors such as lobster size and sex, season, fishing zone, and catch rate. Using mixed modelling techniques, we found that in-pot predation risk increased with lobster size and was higher for male lobsters. In addition, the effect of catch rate of lobsters on predation risk by octopus differed among fishing zones. There was both a seasonal and a spatial component to octopus predation, with an increased risk within discrete fishing grounds in South Australia at certain times of the year. Information about predation within lobster gear can assist fishery management decision-making, potentially leading to significant reduction in economic losses to the fishery. PMID:26489035

  2. Predation Risk within Fishing Gear and Implications for South Australian Rock Lobster Fisheries.

    PubMed

    Briceño, Felipe; Linnane, Adrian Joseph; Quiroz, Juan Carlos; Gardner, Caleb; Pecl, Gretta Tatyana

    2015-01-01

    Depredation of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) within fishing gear by the Maori octopus (Pinnoctopus cordiformis) has economic and ecological impacts on valuable fisheries in South Australia. In addition, depredation rates can be highly variable resulting in uncertainties for the fishery. We examined how in-pot lobster predation was influenced by factors such as lobster size and sex, season, fishing zone, and catch rate. Using mixed modelling techniques, we found that in-pot predation risk increased with lobster size and was higher for male lobsters. In addition, the effect of catch rate of lobsters on predation risk by octopus differed among fishing zones. There was both a seasonal and a spatial component to octopus predation, with an increased risk within discrete fishing grounds in South Australia at certain times of the year. Information about predation within lobster gear can assist fishery management decision-making, potentially leading to significant reduction in economic losses to the fishery.

  3. Reinforcing effects of non-pathogenic bacteria and predation risk: from physiology to life history.

    PubMed

    Janssens, Lizanne; Stoks, Robby

    2014-10-01

    The important ecological role of predation risk in shaping populations, communities and ecosystems is becoming increasingly clear. In this context, synergistic effects between predation risk and other natural stressors on prey organisms are gaining attention. Although non-pathogenic bacteria can be widespread in aquatic ecosystems, their role in mediating effects of predation risk has been ignored. We here address the hypothesis that non-pathogenic bacteria may reinforce the negative effects of predation risk in larvae of the damselfly Coenagrion puella. We found synergistic effects for all three life history variables studied: mortality increased, growth reductions were magnified and bacterial load was higher when both non-lethal stressors were combined. The combined exposure to the bacterium and predation risk considerably impaired the two key antipredator mechanisms of the damselfly larvae: they no longer reduced their food intake under predation risk and showed a synergistic reduction in escape swimming speed. The reinforcing negative effects on the fitness-related traits could be explained by the observed synergistic effects on food intake, swimming muscle mass, immune function and oxidative damage. These are likely widespread consequences of energetic constraints and increased metabolic rates associated with the fight-or-flight response. We therefore hypothesize that the here documented synergistic interactions with non-pathogenic bacteria may be widespread. Our results highlight the ignored ecological role of non-pathogenic bacteria in reinforcing the negative effects of predation risk on prey organisms.

  4. Glucocorticoid stress hormones and the effect of predation risk on elk reproduction.

    PubMed

    Creel, Scott; Winnie, John A; Christianson, David

    2009-07-28

    Predators affect prey demography through direct predation and through the costs of antipredator behavioral responses, or risk effects. Experiments have shown that risk effects can comprise a substantial proportion of a predator's total effect on prey dynamics, but we know little about their strength in wild populations, or the physiological mechanisms that mediate them. When wolves are present, elk alter their grouping patterns, vigilance, foraging behavior, habitat selection, and diet. These responses are associated with decreased progesterone levels, decreased calf production, and reduced population size [Creel S, Christianson D, Liley S, Winnie JA (2007) Science 315:960]. Two general mechanisms for the effect of predation risk on reproduction have been proposed: the predation stress hypothesis and the predator-sensitive-food hypothesis. Here, we used enzyme immunoassay to measure fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations for 1,205 samples collected from 4 elk populations over 4 winters to test the hypothesis that the effect of predation risk on elk reproduction is mediated by chronic stress. Across populations and years, fecal glucocorticoid concentrations were not related to predator-prey ratios, progesterone concentrations or calf-cow ratios. Overall, the effect of wolf presence on elk reproduction is better explained by changes in foraging patterns that carry nutritional costs than by changes in glucocorticoid concentrations.

  5. Effect of diffusion and spatially varying predation risk on the dynamics and equilibrium density of a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Cai-Lin, Xu; Zi-Zhen, Li

    2002-11-07

    Starting from natural planktonic systems, we present a new mechanism involving spatial heterogeneity, and develop a new spatial structure model of planktonic predation systems. Firstly, the effect of diffusion on the dynamics of the system is investigated. We find that diffusion of only prey or both prey and predator between different patches with different predation risk may stabilize the dynamics, depending on the flow rate. Only a medium flow rate can lead to the stability of the system. Too large a rate can cause the system to approach the non-spatial limit case of a well-mixed system. Too large a rate can cause the system to approach the non-spatial limit case as a well-mixed system, which is characterized by its strongly oscillatory dynamics. When only prey diffuse, the smaller the parameter f (the proportion of the patchy volume with larger predation risk to the total volume), the more stable the system. If both populations can diffuse, however, only medium and very small f values may stabilize the system. Also, the response of the spatially averaged equilibrium densities of the system to the increasing of the flow rate is examined. With increasing flow rate, the spatial-averaged equilibrium density of prey decreases, while that of predator depends on which species can diffuse. For the case of prey diffusion only, it first remains unchanged and then slightly decreases, while it increases for the case of combinations as the flow rate increases. Our results are, qualitatively, determined by the spatially heterogeneous mechanism that we propose, and further regulated by top-down forces. Of practical importance, the results reported here indicate that which species diffuse plays a key role in the ways in which diffusion influences the dynamics and the spatial-average equilibrium densities of the system responses to the flow rate's increasing.

  6. Maternal exposure to predation risk decreases offspring antipredator behaviour and survival in threespined stickleback

    PubMed Central

    McGhee, Katie E.; Pintor, Lauren M.; Suhr, Elissa L.; Bell, Alison M.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY 1. Adaptive maternal programming occurs when mothers alter their offspring's phenotype in response to environmental information such that it improves offspring fitness. When a mother's environment is predictive of the conditions her offspring are likely to encounter, such transgenerational plasticity enables offspring to be better-prepared for this particular environment. However, maternal effects can also have deleterious effects on fitness. 2. Here, we test whether female threespined stickleback fish exposed to predation risk adaptively prepare their offspring to cope with predators. We either exposed gravid females to a model predator or not, and compared their offspring's antipredator behaviour and survival when alone with a live predator. Importantly, we measured offspring behaviour and survival in the face of the same type of predator that threatened their mothers (Northern pike). 3. We did not find evidence for adaptive maternal programming; offspring of predator-exposed mothers were less likely to orient to the predator than offspring from unexposed mothers. In our predation assay, orienting to the predator was an effective antipredator behaviour and those that oriented, survived for longer. 4. In addition, offspring from predator-exposed mothers were caught more quickly by the predator on average than offspring from unexposed mothers. The difference in antipredator behaviour between the maternal predator-exposure treatments offers a potential behavioural mechanism contributing to the difference in survival between maternal treatments. 5. However, the strength and direction of the maternal effect on offspring survival depended on offspring size. Specifically, the larger the offspring from predator-exposed mothers, the more vulnerable they were to predation compared to offspring from unexposed mothers. 6. Our results suggest that the predation risk perceived by mothers can have long-term behavioural and fitness consequences for offspring in response

  7. Learning Temporal Patterns of Risk in a Predator-Diverse Environment

    PubMed Central

    Bosiger, Yoland J.; Lonnstedt, Oona M.; McCormick, Mark I.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2012-01-01

    Predation plays a major role in shaping prey behaviour. Temporal patterns of predation risk have been shown to drive daily activity and foraging patterns in prey. Yet the ability to respond to temporal patterns of predation risk in environments inhabited by highly diverse predator communities, such as rainforests and coral reefs, has received surprisingly little attention. In this study, we investigated whether juvenile marine fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis (lemon damselfish), have the ability to learn to adjust the intensity of their antipredator response to match the daily temporal patterns of predation risk they experience. Groups of lemon damselfish were exposed to one of two predictable temporal risk patterns for six days. “Morning risk” treatment prey were exposed to the odour of Cephalopholis cyanostigma (rockcod) paired with conspecific chemical alarm cues (simulating a rockcod present and feeding) during the morning, and rockcod odour only in the evening (simulating a rockcod present but not feeding). “Evening risk” treatment prey had the two stimuli presented to them in the opposite order. When tested individually for their response to rockcod odour alone, lemon damselfish from the morning risk treatment responded with a greater antipredator response intensity in the morning than in the evening. In contrast, those lemon damselfish previously exposed to the evening risk treatment subsequently responded with a greater antipredator response when tested in the evening. The results of this experiment demonstrate that P. moluccensis have the ability to learn temporal patterns of predation risk and can adjust their foraging patterns to match the threat posed by predators at a given time of day. Our results provide the first experimental demonstration of a mechanism by which prey in a complex, multi-predator environment can learn and respond to daily patterns of predation risk. PMID:22493699

  8. Scatterhoarding rodents favor higher predation risks for cache sites: The potential for predators to influence the seed dispersal process.

    PubMed

    Steele, Michael A; Rompré, Ghislain; Stratford, Jeffrey A; Zhang, Hongmao; Suchocki, Matthew; Marino, Shealyn

    2015-05-01

    Scatterhoarding rodents often place caches in the open where pilferage rates are reduced, suggesting that they tradeoff higher risks of predation for more secure cache sites. We tested this hypothesis in two study systems by measuring predation risks inferred from measures of giving-up densities (GUDs) at known cache sites and other sites for comparison. Rodent GUDs were measured with small trays containing 3 L of fine sand mixed with sunflower seeds. In the first experiment, we relied on a 2-year seed dispersal study in a natural forest to identify caches of eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and then measured GUDs at: (i) these caches; (ii) comparable points along logs and rocks where rodent activity was assumed highest; and (iii) a set of random points. We found that GUDs and, presumably, predation risks, were higher at both cache and random points than those with cover. At the second site, we measured GUDs of eastern gray squirrels in an open park system and found that GUDs were consistently lowest at the base of the tree compared to more open sites, where previous studies show caching by squirrels to be highest and pilferage rates by naïve competitors to be lowest. These results confirm that predation risks can influence scatterhoarding decisions but that they are also highly context dependent, and that the landscape of fear, now so well documented in the literature, could potentially shape the temporal and spatial patterns of seedling establishment and forest regeneration in systems where scatterhoarding is common. © 2015 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  9. Climate change enhances the negative effects of predation risk on an intermediate consumer.

    PubMed

    Miller, Luke P; Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2014-12-01

    Predators are a major source of stress in natural systems because their prey must balance the benefits of feeding with the risk of being eaten. Although this 'fear' of being eaten often drives the organization and dynamics of many natural systems, we know little about how such risk effects will be altered by climate change. Here, we examined the interactive consequences of predator avoidance and projected climate warming in a three-level rocky intertidal food chain. We found that both predation risk and increased air and sea temperatures suppressed the foraging of prey in the middle trophic level, suggesting that warming may further enhance the top-down control of predators on communities. Prey growth efficiency, which measures the efficiency of energy transfer between trophic levels, became negative when prey were subjected to predation risk and warming. Thus, the combined effects of these stressors may represent an important tipping point for individual fitness and the efficiency of energy transfer in natural food chains. In contrast, we detected no adverse effects of warming on the top predator and the basal resources. Hence, the consequences of projected warming may be particularly challenging for intermediate consumers residing in food chains where risk dominates predator-prey interactions. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Carryover effects of predation risk on postembryonic life-history stages in a freshwater shrimp.

    PubMed

    Ituarte, Romina Belén; Vázquez, María Guadalupe; González-Sagrario, María de los Ángeles; Spivak, Eduardo Daniel

    2014-04-01

    For organisms with complex life histories it is well known that risk experienced early in life, as embryos or larvae, may have effects throughout the life cycle. Although carryover effects have been well documented in invertebrates with different levels of parental care, there are few examples of predator-induced responses in externally brooded embryos. Here, we studied the effects of nonlethal predation risk throughout the embryonic development of newly spawned eggs carried by female shrimp on the timing of egg hatching, hatchling morphology, larval development and juvenile morphology. We also determined maternal body mass at the end of the embryonic period. Exposure to predation risk cues during embryonic development led to larger larvae which also had longer rostra but reached the juvenile stage sooner, at a smaller size and with shorter rostra. There was no difference in hatching timing, but changes in larval morphology and developmental timing showed that the embryos had perceived waterborne substances indicative of predation risk. In addition to carryover effects on larval and juvenile stages, predation threat provoked a decrease of body mass in mothers exposed to predator cues while brooding. Our results suggest that risk-exposed embryos were able to recognize the same infochemicals as their mothers, manifesting a response in the free-living larval stage. Thus, future studies assessing anti-predator phenotypes should include embryonic development, which seems to determine the morphology and developmental time of subsequent life-history stages according to perceived environmental conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Anthropogenic noise disrupts use of vocal information about predation risk.

    PubMed

    Kern, Julie M; Radford, Andrew N

    2016-11-01

    Anthropogenic noise is rapidly becoming a universal environmental feature. While the impacts of such additional noise on avian sexual signals are well documented, our understanding of its effect in other terrestrial taxa, on other vocalisations, and on receivers is more limited. Little is known, for example, about the influence of anthropogenic noise on responses to vocalisations relating to predation risk, despite the potential fitness consequences. We use playback experiments to investigate the impact of traffic noise on the responses of foraging dwarf mongooses (Helogale parvula) to surveillance calls produced by sentinels, individuals scanning for danger from a raised position whose presence usually results in reduced vigilance by foragers. Foragers exhibited a lessened response to surveillance calls in traffic-noise compared to ambient-sound playback, increasing personal vigilance. A second playback experiment, using noise playbacks without surveillance calls, suggests that the increased vigilance could arise in part from the direct influence of additional noise as there was an increase in response to traffic-noise playback alone. Acoustic masking could also play a role. Foragers maintained the ability to distinguish between sentinels of different dominance class, increasing personal vigilance when presented with subordinate surveillance calls compared to calls of a dominant groupmate in both noise treatments, suggesting complete masking was not occurring. However, an acoustic-transmission experiment showed that while surveillance calls were potentially audible during approaching traffic noise, they were probably inaudible during peak traffic intensity noise. While recent work has demonstrated detrimental effects of anthropogenic noise on defensive responses to actual predatory attacks, which are relatively rare, our results provide evidence of a potentially more widespread influence since animals should constantly assess background risk to optimise the

  12. Temporal learning of predation risk by embryonic amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Manek, Aditya K; Chivers, Douglas P

    2010-06-23

    For prey species that rely on learning to recognize their predators, natural selection should favour individuals able to learn as early as possible. The earliest point at which individuals can gather information about the identity of their potential predators is during the embryonic stage. Indeed, recent experiments have demonstrated that amphibians can learn to recognize predators prior to hatching. Here, we conditioned woodfrog embryos to recognize predatory salamander cues either in the morning or in the evening, and subsequently exposed the two-week-old tadpoles to salamander cues either in the morning or in the evening, and recorded the intensity of their antipredator behaviour. The data indicate that amphibians learn to recognize potential predators while still in the egg, and also learn the temporal component of this information, which they use later in life, to adjust the intensity of their antipredator responses throughout the day.

  13. Adult predation risk drives shifts in parental care strategies: a long-term study.

    PubMed

    Jaatinen, Kim; Ost, Markus; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2011-01-01

    1. Grouping provides antipredatory benefits, and therefore aggregation tendencies increase under heightened predation risk. In socially breeding groups, however, conflicts over reproductive shares or safety tend to disintegrate groups. Group formation thereby involves a balance between the antipredatory benefits of aggregation and the destabilizing effect of reproductive conflict. 2. We study the grouping behaviour of a facultatively social precocial sea duck with uniparental female care, the eider (Somateria mollissima Linnaeus). Females tend their young solitarily or in groups of 2-5 females. Here, we focus on the effect predation on adults has on group-formation decisions of brood-caring females. 3. By modifying an existing bidding game over care, we model the effects of predation risk on the width of the window of selfishness, which delimits the reproductive sharing allowing cooperation within brood-rearing coalitions, and generate predictions about the relative frequencies of solitary versus cooperative parental care modes. Furthermore, we model the dilution effect as a function of female group size and predation risk. 4. The window of selfishness widens with increasing predation risk, and the dilution of predation risk increases with both female group size and increasing predation risk, yielding the following predictions: (i) cooperative brood care becomes more prevalent and, conversely, solitary brood care less prevalent under heightened predation risk and (ii) group sizes increase concomitantly. 5. We tested these predictions using 13 years of data on female grouping decisions and annual predation rates, while controlling for the potentially confounding effect of female body condition. 6. Our data supported both predictions, where heightened predation risk of nesting females, but not changes in their condition, increased the relative frequency of cooperative brood care. Increased female nesting mortality also resulted in larger groups of cooperative females

  14. Stress responses to conspecific visual cues of predation risk in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Thiago Acosta; Idalencio, Renan; Kalichak, Fabiana; Dos Santos Rosa, João Gabriel; Koakoski, Gessi; de Abreu, Murilo Sander; Giacomini, Ana Cristina Varrone; Gusso, Darlan; Rosemberg, Denis Brook; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio; Barcellos, Leonardo José Gil

    2017-01-01

    Chemical communication relating to predation risk is a trait common among fish species. Prey fish under threat of predation can signal risk to conspecific fish, which then exhibit defensive responses. Fish also assess predation risk by visual cues and change their behavior accordingly. Here, we explored whether these behavioral changes act as visual alarm signals to conspecific fish that are not initially under risk. We show that shoals of zebrafish (Danio rerio) visually exposed to a predator display antipredator behaviors. In addition, these defensive maneuvers trigger antipredator reactions in conspecifics and, concomitantly, stimulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-interrenal axis, leading to cortisol increase. Thus, we conclude that zebrafish defensive behaviors act as visual alarm cues that induce antipredator and stress response in conspecific fish.

  15. How perceived predation risk shapes patterns of aging in water fleas.

    PubMed

    Pietrzak, Barbara; Dawidowicz, Piotr; Prędki, Piotr; Dańko, Maciej J

    2015-09-01

    Predation is an important selection pressure which shapes aging patterns in natural populations, and it is also a significant factor in the life history decisions of individuals. Exposure to the perceived threat of size-dependent fish predation has been shown to trigger adaptive responses in animal life history including an increase in early reproductive output. In water fleas, this response to perceived predation risk appears to have a cost, as a lifespan in an environment free of predation cues is 20% longer. The aim of this study is to establish the biodemographic basis of phenotypic differences in the water flea lifespan which are induced by the cues of fish predation. We examined mortality by fitting the Gompertz-Makeham model of mortality to large cohorts of two cladoceran species, Daphnia longispina and Diaphanosoma brachyurum. Our findings indicate that perceived exposure to the threat of fish predation (induced through chemical cues) only accelerated the rate of aging in Diaphanosoma, and not in Daphnia where the treatment led to an earlier onset of aging. The second of these two phenotypic responses is consistent with the genetically based differences between Daphnia from habitats that differ with respect to predation risk. In contrast, the response of Diaphanosoma demonstrates that the cue of extrinsic mortality-in this case, fish predation-is a key factor in shaping these cladoceran life histories in the wild, and is one of the few interventions which has been shown to induce a plastic change in the rate of aging.

  16. Predation risk influences feeding rates but competition structures space use for a common Pacific parrotfish.

    PubMed

    Davis, Kathryn; Carlson, P M; Bradley, D; Warner, R R; Caselle, J E

    2017-03-24

    In terrestrial systems it is well known that the spatial patterns of grazing by herbivores can influence the structure of primary producer communities. On coral reefs, the consequences of varied space use by herbivores on benthic community structure are not well understood, nor are the relative influences of bottom-up (resource abundance and quality), horizontal (competition), and top-down (predation risk) factors in affecting spatial foraging behaviors of mobile herbivorous fishes. In the current study we quantified space use and feeding rates of the parrotfish, Chlorurus spilurus, across a strong gradient of food resources and predator and competitor abundance across two islands with drastically different fisheries management schemes. We found evidence that while feeding rates of this species are affected by direct interference competition and chronic predation risk, space use appears to be primarily related to exploitative competition with the surrounding herbivore community. We found no evidence that predation risk influences diurnal foraging space use in this small bodied parrotfish species. Additionally, we found the influence of chronic predation risk on feeding rates of this species to be less dramatic than the results of recent studies that used model predators to measure acute behavioral responses of other species of herbivorous fishes. Our results indicate that the non-consumptive effects of predators on the foraging behaviors of coral reef herbivores may be less dramatic than previously thought.

  17. Predation risk and alternative mating tactics in male Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Godin, J-G J

    1995-08-01

    In the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), males have two alternative mating tactics. Individual males may either display to a receptive female prior to attempting to copulate with her or attempt to quickly sneakcopulate with a female without first displaying to her or without a prior receptive response from her. In this study, I experimentally investigated the effects of simulated local increases in the risk of predation (in the form of a cichlid fish predator model in situ) on the mating tactics used by free-ranging male guppies in two typical macrohabitats (riffle and pool) of a Trinidadian river. Focal male guppies displayed to females significantly less often on average, and conversely attempted sneak copulations more often, in the presence of the predator model than in its absence; this pattern was similar for both habitats. These fish therefore performed a lower proportion of sigmoid displays and increased their sneaky mating attempts when the apparent risk of predation had increased locally. This predator-mediated response is consistent with a trade-off between mating success and risk of mortality due to predation. The results are the first to confirm risk-sensitive mating behaviour in free-ranging male guppies within a population, and demonstrate the potential importance of predators in influencing the relative use of alternative mating tactics in this species on a microgeographical scale in the wild.

  18. Nest predation risk and growth strategies of passerine species: grow fast or develop traits to escape risk?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cheng, Yi-Ru; Martin, Thomas E.

    2012-01-01

    Different body components are thought to trade off in their growth and development rates, but the causes for relative prioritization of any trait remains a critical question. Offspring of species at higher risk of predation might prioritize development of locomotor traits that facilitate escaping risky environments over growth of mass. We tested this possibility in 12 altricial passerine species that differed in their risk of nest predation. We found that rates of growth and development of mass, wings, and endothermy increased with nest predation risk across species. In particular, species with higher nest predation risk exhibited relatively faster growth of wings than of mass, fledged with relatively larger wing sizes and smaller mass, and developed endothermy earlier at relatively smaller mass. This differential development can facilitate both escape from predators and survival outside of the nest environment. Tarsus growth was not differentially prioritized with respect to nest predation risk, and instead all species achieved adult tarsus size by age of fledging. We also tested whether different foraging modes (aerial, arboreal, and ground foragers) might explain the variation of differential growth of locomotor modules, but we found that little residual variation was explained. Our results suggest that differences in nest predation risk among species are associated with relative prioritization of body components to facilitate escape from the risky nest environment.

  19. Nest predation risk influences a cavity-nesting passerine during the post-hatching care period

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jongmin; Kim, Byung-Su; Joo, Eun-Jin; Park, Shi-Ryong

    2016-01-01

    Some nest predators visually assess parental activities to locate a prey nest, whereas parents modify fitness-related traits to reduce the probability of nest predation, and/or nestlings fledge early to escape the risky nest environment. Here, we experimentally tested if the parental and fledging behaviours of oriental tits (Parus minor) that bred in the nest-box varied with cavity conditions associated with nest predation risk during the nestling period. The entrance of experimental nest-boxes was enlarged to create a long-term risk soon after clutch competition. A short-term risk, using simulated playbacks with a coexisting control bird and avian nest predator sound, was simultaneously applied to the nest-boxes whether or not the long-term risk existed. We found that the parents reduced their hourly feeding trips, and the nestlings fledged early with the long-term risk, although the nest mortality of the two nest-box types was low and did not differ. While this study presents a portion of prey–predator interactions with the associated uncertainties, our results highlight that the entrance size of cavities for small hole-nesting birds may play an important role in determining their fitness-related traits depending upon the degree of perceived risk of nest predation. PMID:27553176

  20. Does predation risk influence habitat use by northern redbelly dace Phoxinus eos at different spatial scales?

    PubMed

    Dupuch, A; Magnan, P; Bertolo, A; Dill, L M; Proulx, M

    2009-05-01

    This study investigated the relationship between spatial variations in predation risk and abundance of northern redbelly dace Phoxinus eos at both macroscale (littoral v. pelagic zones) and microscale (structured v. open water habitats in the littoral zone) of Canadian Shield lakes. Minnow traps were placed in both structured and open water habitats in the littoral zone of 13 Canadian Shield lakes, and estimates of the relative predation risk of P. eos in both the pelagic and the littoral zones were obtained from tethering experiments. Results showed that (1) the mean abundance of P. eos in the littoral zone was positively correlated with the relative predation risk in the pelagic zone, (2) P. eos preferentially used structured over open water habitats in the littoral zone and (3) this preference was not related to the relative predation risk in the littoral zone but decreased as the relative predation risk increased in the pelagic zone. At the lake level, these results support the hypothesis that P. eos enter the littoral zone to avoid pelagic piscivores. At the littoral zone level, the results do not necessarily contradict the widely accepted view that P. eos preferentially use structured over open habitats to reduce their predation risk, but suggest that flexibility in antipredator tactics (e.g. shelter use v. shoaling) could explain the spatial distribution of P. eos between structured and open water habitats.

  1. The evolution of foraging rate across local and geographic gradients in predation risk and competition.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C; Richardson, Jonathan L

    2015-07-01

    Multiple theories predict the evolution of foraging rates in response to environmental variation in predation risk, intraspecific competition, time constraints, and temperature. We tested six hypotheses for the evolution of foraging rate in 24 spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) populations from three latitudinally divergent sites using structural equation models derived from theory and applied to our system. We raised salamander larvae in a common-garden experiment and then assayed foraging rate under controlled conditions. Gape-limited predation risk from marbled salamanders solely explained foraging rate variation among populations at the southern site, which was dominated by this form of selection. However, at the middle and northern sites, populations evolved different foraging rates depending on their unique responses to local intraspecific density. The coupling of gape-limited predation risk from marbled salamanders and high intraspecific density at the middle site jointly contributed to selection for rapid foraging rate. At the northernmost site, intraspecific density alone explained 97% of the interpopulation variation in foraging rate. These results suggest that foraging rate has evolved multiple times in response to varying contributions from predation risk and intraspecific competition. Predation risk often varies along environmental gradients, and, thus, organisms might often shift evolutionary responses from minimizing predation risk to maximizing intraspecific competitive performance.

  2. Feeding behavior and aggression in wild Siberut macaques (Macaca siberu) living under low predation risk.

    PubMed

    Richter, Christin; Gras, Pierre; Hodges, Keith; Ostner, Julia; Schülke, Oliver

    2015-07-01

    Investigating which factors influence feeding competition is crucial for our understanding of the diversity of social relationships. Socio-ecological models differ in their predictions whether predation risk directly influences feeding competition and which factors exactly predict contest competition. We investigated feeding competition in Siberut macaques (Macaca siberu), a species endemic to Siberut Island (West Sumatra, Indonesia). Siberut macaques experience low predation risk, as major predators (felids, raptors) are absent. They are therefore appropriate subjects to test the prediction that low predation risk reduces feeding competition. To estimate contest potential, we quantified size, spatial distribution and density of food plants, and the availability of alternative resources. We recorded behavior in food patches using a modified focal tree method. Food patches, sorted by decreasing average feeding group size, included large trees (40% of focal plant observations), lianas/strangler (16%), medium trees (9%), small (palm) trees (20%), and rattan (15%). Most food patches were clumped but occurred at low densities relative to the area of average group spread. Thus, availability of alternative food patches was low. Although food patch characteristics indicate high contest potential, the observed aggression rate (0.13 bouts between adults/h) was low relative to other primates. Average feeding group size was small relative to total group size, and feeding group size matched crown volume. Perceived predation risk was low, based on spatial and feeding behavior of juveniles. Together, these results suggest that predation risk may influence feeding competition. Social and temporal factors (patch feeding time), but not ecological factors (fruit abundance in patch and forest, alternative resources) predicted aggression frequency in food patches. Overall, comparative data are still relatively scarce, and researchers should collect more data on group spread, sub

  3. Behavioural Adjustment in Response to Increased Predation Risk: A Study in Three Duck Species

    PubMed Central

    Zimmer, Cédric; Boos, Mathieu; Bertrand, Frédéric; Robin, Jean-Patrice; Petit, Odile

    2011-01-01

    Predation directly triggers behavioural decisions designed to increase immediate survival. However, these behavioural modifications can have long term costs. There is therefore a trade-off between antipredator behaviours and other activities. This trade-off is generally considered between vigilance and only one other behaviour, thus neglecting potential compensations. In this study, we considered the effect of an increase in predation risk on the diurnal time-budget of three captive duck species during the wintering period. We artificially increased predation risk by disturbing two groups of 14 mallard and teals at different frequencies, and one group of 14 tufted ducks with a radio-controlled stressor. We recorded foraging, vigilance, preening and sleeping durations the week before, during and after disturbance sessions. Disturbed groups were compared to an undisturbed control group. We showed that in all three species, the increase in predation risk resulted in a decrease in foraging and preening and led to an increase in sleeping. It is worth noting that contrary to common observations, vigilance did not increase. However, ducks are known to be vigilant while sleeping. This complex behavioural adjustment therefore seems to be optimal as it may allow ducks to reduce their predation risk. Our results highlight the fact that it is necessary to encompass the whole individual time-budget when studying behavioural modifications under predation risk. Finally, we propose that studies of behavioural time-budget changes under predation risk should be included in the more general framework of the starvation-predation risk trade-off. PMID:21533055

  4. Acute changes in whole body corticosterone in response to perceived predation risk: A mechanism for anti-predator behavior in anurans?

    PubMed

    Bennett, Amanda M; Longhi, Jessica N; Chin, Eunice H; Burness, Gary; Kerr, Leslie R; Murray, Dennis L

    2016-04-01

    Anuran larvae exhibit behavioral and morphological plasticity in response to perceived predation risk, although response type and magnitude varies through ontogeny. Increased baseline corticosterone is related to morphological response to predation risk, whereas the mechanism behind behavioral plasticity remains enigmatic. Since tadpoles alter behavioral responses to risk immediately upon exposure to predator cues, we characterized changes in whole body corticosterone at an acute (<1h post-exposure) timescale. Tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus) at Gosner stage (GS) 25 (free-swimming, feeding larvae) increased corticosterone levels to a peak at 10-20min post-exposure to predator cues, paralleling the acute stress response observed among other taxa. Tadpoles reared for 3weeks (mean GS29) with predation risk (caged, fed Aeshnid dragonfly nymph) had lower corticosterone levels at 10-20min post-exposure to dragonfly cues than predator-naïve controls, suggesting habituation, although the magnitude of increase was markedly diminished when compared to younger tadpoles (GS25). These experiments represent the first assessment of tadpole hormonal responses to predation risk at the acute timescale. Further research is required to establish causality between hormonal responses and behavioral changes, and to examine how and why responsiveness changes over ontogeny and with chronic exposure to risk. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Thermal stress and predation risk trigger distinct transcriptomic responses in the intertidal snail Nucella lapillus.

    PubMed

    Chu, Nathaniel D; Miller, Luke P; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Vollmer, Steven V

    2014-12-01

    Thermal stress and predation risk have profound effects on rocky shore organisms, triggering changes in their feeding behaviour, morphology and metabolism. Studies of thermal stress have shown that underpinning such changes in several intertidal species are specific shifts in gene and protein expression (e.g. upregulation of heat-shock proteins). But relatively few studies have examined genetic responses to predation risk. Here, we use next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to examine the transcriptomic (mRNA) response of the snail Nucella lapillus to thermal stress and predation risk. We found that like other intertidal species, N. lapillus displays a pronounced genetic response to thermal stress by upregulating many heat-shock proteins and other molecular chaperones. In contrast, the presence of a crab predator (Carcinus maenas) triggered few significant changes in gene expression in our experiment, and this response showed no significant overlap with the snail's response to thermal stress. These different gene expression profiles suggest that thermal stress and predation risk could pose distinct and potentially additive challenges for N. lapillus and that genetic responses to biotic stresses such as predation risk might be more complex and less uniform across species than genetic responses to abiotic stresses such as thermal stress. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Risk-taking and the evolution of mechanisms for rapid escape from predators.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Vágási, C I; Pap, P L

    2013-05-01

    Flight initiation distance (FID) is the distance at which an individual animal takes flight when approached by a human. This behavioural measure of risk-taking reflects the risk of being captured by real predators, and it correlates with a range of life history traits, as expected if flight distance optimizes risk of predation. Given that FID provides information on risk of predation, we should expect that physiological and morphological mechanisms that facilitate flight and escape predict interspecific variation in flight distance. Haematocrit is a measure of packed red blood cell volume and as such indicates the oxygen transport ability and hence the flight muscle contracting reaction of an individual. Therefore, we predicted that species with short flight distances, that allow close proximity between a potential prey individual and a predator, would have high haematocrit. Furthermore, we predicted that species with large wing areas and hence relatively low costs of flight and species with large aspect ratios and hence high manoeuvrability would have evolved long flight speed. Consistent with these predictions, we found in a sample of 63 species of birds that species with long flight distances for their body size had low levels of haematocrit and large wing areas and aspect ratios. These findings provide evidence consistent with the evolution of risk-taking behaviour being underpinned by physiological and morphological mechanisms that facilitate escape from predators and add to our understanding of predator-prey coevolution. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Silent katydid females are at higher risk of bat predation than acoustically signalling katydid males.

    PubMed

    Raghuram, Hanumanthan; Deb, Rittik; Nandi, Diptarup; Balakrishnan, Rohini

    2015-01-07

    Males that produce conspicuous mate attraction signals are often at high risk of predation from eavesdropping predators. Females of such species typically search for signalling males and their higher motility may also place them at risk. The relative predation risk faced by males and females in the context of mate-finding using long-distance signals has rarely been investigated. In this study, we show, using a combination of diet analysis and behavioural experiments, that katydid females, who do not produce acoustic signals, are at higher risk of predation from a major bat predator, Megaderma spasma, than calling males. Female katydids were represented in much higher numbers than males in the culled remains beneath roosts of M. spasma. Playback experiments using katydid calls revealed that male calls were approached in only about one-third of the trials overall, whereas tethered, flying katydids were always approached and attacked. Our results question the idea that necessary costs of mate-finding, including risk of predation, are higher in signalling males than in searching females.

  8. Costly carotenoids: a trade-off between predation and infection risk?

    PubMed

    van Der Veen, I T

    2005-07-01

    Carotenoid reserves in copepods seem costly in terms of predation risk because they make individuals conspicuous. However, carotenoids also seem to play an important role in immune defence as free radical scavengers. To test whether predation risk influences carotenoid levels and whether changes in carotenoid levels are related to changes in immune defence, I examined individual changes in large carotenoid and other lipid droplets upon exposure to predation risk and subsequent exposure to parasites in the copepod Macrocyclops albidus. Copepods reduced carotenoid reserves upon exposure to predators, through which they potentially avoided the costs of being conspicuous under predation risk. Thus, the size of carotenoid reserves is a plastic trait. Such a decrease in carotenoid reserves may also have a negative impact on the copepods' immune system as individuals that decreased their reserves suffered higher parasite prevalence upon exposure to the cestode Schistocephalus solidus. These results suggest that carotenoid reserves may be individually optimized to trade-off each individual's unique costs (predation risk) and benefits (immune defence) of having these reserves.

  9. Silent katydid females are at higher risk of bat predation than acoustically signalling katydid males

    PubMed Central

    Raghuram, Hanumanthan; Deb, Rittik; Nandi, Diptarup; Balakrishnan, Rohini

    2015-01-01

    Males that produce conspicuous mate attraction signals are often at high risk of predation from eavesdropping predators. Females of such species typically search for signalling males and their higher motility may also place them at risk. The relative predation risk faced by males and females in the context of mate-finding using long-distance signals has rarely been investigated. In this study, we show, using a combination of diet analysis and behavioural experiments, that katydid females, who do not produce acoustic signals, are at higher risk of predation from a major bat predator, Megaderma spasma, than calling males. Female katydids were represented in much higher numbers than males in the culled remains beneath roosts of M. spasma. Playback experiments using katydid calls revealed that male calls were approached in only about one-third of the trials overall, whereas tethered, flying katydids were always approached and attacked. Our results question the idea that necessary costs of mate-finding, including risk of predation, are higher in signalling males than in searching females. PMID:25429019

  10. Safe caves and dangerous forests? Predation risk may contribute to salamander colonization of subterranean habitats.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Palumbi, Giulia; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that many organisms actively colonize the subterranean environment to avoid climatic stress, exploit new ecological opportunities and reduce competition and predation. Terrestrial salamanders are known to colonize the more stable subterranean habitats mainly to escape external climatic extremes, while the role of predation avoidance remains untested. To better understand the importance of predation, we used clay models of the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii to compare the predation occurring in woodland and subterranean habitats. Models were positioned in three forests and in three caves in NW Italy. One-hundred eighty-four models were retrieved from the field and 59 (32%) were attacked by predators. Models were attacked on their head more often than expected by chance and, therefore, were perceived by predators as real prey items. In the woodlands, clay models showed a four-time higher probability of being attacked in comparison to caves, suggesting a different level of potential predation risk in these surface habitats. These findings are one of the first experimental evidences that, in terrestrial ecosystems, predation avoidance may contribute to the salamander underground colonization process.

  11. Safe caves and dangerous forests? Predation risk may contribute to salamander colonization of subterranean habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Palumbi, Giulia; Romano, Antonio; Costa, Andrea

    2017-04-01

    Recent studies suggest that many organisms actively colonize the subterranean environment to avoid climatic stress, exploit new ecological opportunities and reduce competition and predation. Terrestrial salamanders are known to colonize the more stable subterranean habitats mainly to escape external climatic extremes, while the role of predation avoidance remains untested. To better understand the importance of predation, we used clay models of the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii to compare the predation occurring in woodland and subterranean habitats. Models were positioned in three forests and in three caves in NW Italy. One-hundred eighty-four models were retrieved from the field and 59 (32%) were attacked by predators. Models were attacked on their head more often than expected by chance and, therefore, were perceived by predators as real prey items. In the woodlands, clay models showed a four-time higher probability of being attacked in comparison to caves, suggesting a different level of potential predation risk in these surface habitats. These findings are one of the first experimental evidences that, in terrestrial ecosystems, predation avoidance may contribute to the salamander underground colonization process.

  12. The Impact of Detoxification Costs and Predation Risk on Foraging: Implications for Mimicry Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy; Ruxton, Graeme D.; Higginson, Andrew D.

    2017-01-01

    Prey often evolve defences to deter predators, such as noxious chemicals including toxins. Toxic species often advertise their defence to potential predators by distinctive sensory signals. Predators learn to associate toxicity with the signals of these so-called aposematic prey, and may avoid them in future. In turn, this selects for mildly toxic prey to mimic the appearance of more toxic prey. Empirical evidence shows that mimicry could be either beneficial (‘Mullerian’) or detrimental (‘quasi-Batesian’) to the highly toxic prey, but the factors determining which are unknown. Here, we use state-dependent models to explore how tri-trophic interactions could influence the evolution of prey defences. We consider how predation risk affects predators’ optimal foraging strategies on aposematic prey, and explore the resultant impact this has on mimicry dynamics between unequally defended species. In addition, we also investigate how the potential energetic cost of metabolising a toxin can alter the benefits to eating toxic prey and thus impact on predators’ foraging decisions. Our model predicts that both how predators perceive their own predation risk, and the cost of detoxification, can have significant, sometimes counterintuitive, effects on the foraging decisions of predators. For example, in some conditions predators should: (i) avoid prey they know to be undefended, (ii) eat more mildly toxic prey as detoxification costs increase, (iii) increase their intake of highly toxic prey as the abundance of undefended prey increases. These effects mean that the relationship between a mimic and its model can qualitatively depend on the density of alternative prey and the cost of metabolising toxins. In addition, these effects are mediated by the predators’ own predation risk, which demonstrates that, higher trophic levels than previously considered can have fundamental impacts on interactions among aposematic prey species. PMID:28045959

  13. Behavioral plasticity in response to perceived predation risk in breeding house wrens

    PubMed Central

    Dorset, Erin E.; Sakaluk, Scott K.; Thompson, Charles F.

    2017-01-01

    Predation is a significant cause of nest failure in passerine birds, and, thus, natural selection is expected to favor behavioral plasticity to allow birds to respond to perceived changes in predation risk. However, behavioral plasticity in response to perceived predation risk, and its potential fitness-related costs, are understudied. In a wild population of breeding house wrens (Troglodytes aedon), we tested the hypotheses that (1) birds show behavioral plasticity in response to perceived nest-predation risk to reduce self-risk or risk to offspring, but (2) this plasticity incurs fitness-related costs. We experimentally increased the perceived risk of nest predation by enlarging the diameter of the nestbox entrance from the standard 3.2 cm to 5.0 cm once incubation began. Unexpectedly, large-hole females spent significantly less time being vigilant than small-hole (control) females during late incubation. Both males and females also exhibited plasticity in their provisioning behavior. Large-hole males increased and large-hole females decreased provisioning visits with increasing brood size, whereas small-hole males and females behaved similarly and were unaffected by brood size. Females did not show plasticity in their incubation or brooding behavior. Notwithstanding this behavioral plasticity in response to increased perceived predation risk, treatment had no effect on hatching success or early hatchling survival, nor did it affect nestling body condition or fledging success. We conclude, therefore, that house wrens show behavioral plasticity in response to perceived nest-predation risk, but that any short-term fitness-related costs associated with this flexibility appear negligible. PMID:28736461

  14. Separating spatial search and efficiency rates as components of predation risk

    PubMed Central

    DeCesare, Nicholas J.

    2012-01-01

    Predation risk is an important driver of ecosystems, and local spatial variation in risk can have population-level consequences by affecting multiple components of the predation process. I use resource selection and proportional hazard time-to-event modelling to assess the spatial drivers of two key components of risk—the search rate (i.e. aggregative response) and predation efficiency rate (i.e. functional response)—imposed by wolves (Canis lupus) in a multi-prey system. In my study area, both components of risk increased according to topographic variation, but anthropogenic features affected only the search rate. Predicted models of the cumulative hazard, or risk of a kill, underlying wolf search paths validated well with broad-scale variation in kill rates, suggesting that spatial hazard models provide a means of scaling up from local heterogeneity in predation risk to population-level dynamics in predator–prey systems. Additionally, I estimated an integrated model of relative spatial predation risk as the product of the search and efficiency rates, combining the distinct contributions of spatial heterogeneity to each component of risk. PMID:22977145

  15. Predation risk and elk-aspen foraging patterns

    Treesearch

    Clifford A. White; Michael C. Feller

    2001-01-01

    Elk-aspen foraging patterns may be influenced by cover type, distance from roads or trails, the type of user on road or trail (park visitor, human hunter, or predator), and two general states of aspen condition (open-grown or thicket). Pellet group and browse utilization transects in the Canadian Rockies showed that elk were attracted to roads used by park visitors and...

  16. Applying behavioral-ecological theory to plant defense: light-dependent movement in Mimosa pudica suggests a trade-off between predation risk and energetic reward.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Evelyn L; Dill, Lawrence M; Cahill, James F

    2011-03-01

    Many animal species tolerate different amounts of predation risk based on environmental conditions and the individual's own condition, often accepting greater risk when energetically stressed. We studied the sensitive plant Mimosa pudica to see whether it too accepts greater risk of predation when less light energy is available. This plant displays a defensive behavior of rapidly folding its leaves when stimulated by touch, thereby decreasing visibility to herbivores. Averting herbivory involves a trade-off because leaf closure results in a reduction in light foraging. We manipulated the light environment of individual M. pudica plants and recorded the time it took a plant to reopen its leaves following stimulation as a measure of tolerance of predation risk. As predicted by theory, avoidance behavior was sustained longer under high light conditions than under more light-limited conditions. These findings suggest this species balances the risk and reward of antiherbivore behavior in relation to current environmental conditions and that behavioral-ecological theory is a useful framework for understanding plant responses to predators.

  17. Copper Pollution Increases the Relative Importance of Predation Risk in an Aquatic Food Web

    PubMed Central

    Kwan, Christopher Kent; Sanford, Eric; Long, Jeremy

    2015-01-01

    Although the cascading impact of predators depends critically on the relative role of lethal predation and predation risk, we lack an understanding of how human-caused stressors may shift this balance. Emergent evidence suggests that pollution may increase the importance of predator consumptive effects by weakening the effects of fear perceived by prey. However, this oversimplification ignores the possibility that pollution may also alter predator consumptive effects. In particular, contaminants may impair the consumptive effects of predators by altering density-dependent interactions among prey conspecifics. No study has directly compared predator consumptive and non-consumptive effects in polluted versus non-polluted settings. We addressed this issue by using laboratory mesocosms to examine the impact of sublethal doses of copper on tri-trophic interactions among estuarine predator crabs Cancer productus, carnivorous whelk prey Urosalpinx cinerea, and the basal resource barnacles Balanus glandula. We investigated crab consumptive effects (whelks culled without crab chemical cues), non-consumptive effects (whelks not culled with crab chemical cues), and total effects (whelks culled with crab chemical cues) on whelks in copper polluted and non-polluted waters. Realistic copper concentrations suppressed the effects of simulated crab lethal predation (whelk culling) by removing density-dependent feeding by whelks. Specifically, reductions in conspecific density occurring in elevated copper levels did not trigger the normal increase in whelk consumption rates of barnacles. Weakened effects of fear were only observed at extremely high copper levels, suggesting consumptive effects were more sensitive to pollution. Thus, pollution may shape communities by altering the roles of predators and interactions among prey. PMID:26172044

  18. Copper Pollution Increases the Relative Importance of Predation Risk in an Aquatic Food Web.

    PubMed

    Kwan, Christopher Kent; Sanford, Eric; Long, Jeremy

    2015-01-01

    Although the cascading impact of predators depends critically on the relative role of lethal predation and predation risk, we lack an understanding of how human-caused stressors may shift this balance. Emergent evidence suggests that pollution may increase the importance of predator consumptive effects by weakening the effects of fear perceived by prey. However, this oversimplification ignores the possibility that pollution may also alter predator consumptive effects. In particular, contaminants may impair the consumptive effects of predators by altering density-dependent interactions among prey conspecifics. No study has directly compared predator consumptive and non-consumptive effects in polluted versus non-polluted settings. We addressed this issue by using laboratory mesocosms to examine the impact of sublethal doses of copper on tri-trophic interactions among estuarine predator crabs Cancer productus, carnivorous whelk prey Urosalpinx cinerea, and the basal resource barnacles Balanus glandula. We investigated crab consumptive effects (whelks culled without crab chemical cues), non-consumptive effects (whelks not culled with crab chemical cues), and total effects (whelks culled with crab chemical cues) on whelks in copper polluted and non-polluted waters. Realistic copper concentrations suppressed the effects of simulated crab lethal predation (whelk culling) by removing density-dependent feeding by whelks. Specifically, reductions in conspecific density occurring in elevated copper levels did not trigger the normal increase in whelk consumption rates of barnacles. Weakened effects of fear were only observed at extremely high copper levels, suggesting consumptive effects were more sensitive to pollution. Thus, pollution may shape communities by altering the roles of predators and interactions among prey.

  19. Background level of risk and the survival of predator-naive prey: can neophobia compensate for predator naivety in juvenile coral reef fishes?

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-01-22

    Neophobia--the generalized fear response to novel stimuli--provides the first potential strategy that predator-naive prey may use to survive initial predator encounters. This phenotype appears to be highly plastic and present in individuals experiencing high-risk environments, but rarer in those experiencing low-risk environments. Despite the appeal of this strategy as a 'solution' for prey naivety, we lack evidence that this strategy provides any fitness benefit to prey. Here, we compare the relative effect of environmental risk (high versus low) and predator-recognition training (predator-naive versus predator-experienced individuals) on the survival of juvenile fish in the wild. We found that juveniles raised in high-risk conditions survived better than those raised in low-risk conditions, providing the first empirical evidence that environmental risk, in the absence of any predator-specific information, affects the way naive prey survive in a novel environment. Both risk level and experience affected survival; however, the two factors did not interact, indicating that the information provided by both factors did not interfere or enhance each other. From a mechanistic viewpoint, this indicates that the combination of the two factors may increase the intensity, and hence efficacy, of prey evasion strategies, or that both factors provide qualitatively separate benefits that would result in an additive survival success.

  20. Available benthic habitat type may influence predation risk in larval lampreys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Dustin M.; Welsh, Stuart; Turk, Philip J.

    2012-01-01

    Population declines of lamprey species have largely been attributed to habitat degradation, yet there still remain many unanswered questions about the relationships between lampreys and their habitats (Torgensen & Close 2004; Smith et al. 2011). One scarcely researched area of lamprey ecology is the effect of predation on lampreys (Cochran 2009). Specifically, the influence of available habitat on predation risk has not been documented for larval lampreys but may be important to the management and conservation of lamprey populations.

  1. Spatial Patterning of Prey at Reproduction to Reduce Predation Risk: What Drives Dispersion from Groups?

    PubMed

    DeMars, Craig A; Breed, Greg A; Potts, Jonathan R; Boutin, Stan

    2016-05-01

    Group living is a widespread behavior thought to be an evolutionary adaptation for reducing predation risk. Many group-living species, however, spend a portion of their life cycle as dispersed individuals, suggesting that the costs and benefits of these opposing behaviors vary temporally. Here, we evaluated mechanistic hypotheses for explaining individual dispersion as a tactic for reducing predation risk at reproduction (i.e., birthing) in an otherwise group-living animal. Using simulation analyses parameterized by empirical data, we assessed whether dispersion increases reproductive success by (i) increasing predator search time, (ii) reducing predator encounter rates because individuals are inconspicuous relative to groups, or (iii) eliminating the risk of multiple kills per encounter. Simulations indicate that dispersion becomes favorable only when detectability increases with group size and there is risk of multiple kills per encounter. This latter effect, however, is likely the primary mechanism driving females to disperse at reproduction because group detectability effects are presumably constant year-round. We suggest that the risk of multiple kills imposed by highly vulnerable offspring may be an important factor influencing dispersive behavior in many species, and conservation strategies for such species will require protecting sufficient space to allow dispersion to effectively reduce predation risk.

  2. Mobility of moose-comparing the effects of wolf predation risk, reproductive status, and seasonality.

    PubMed

    Wikenros, Camilla; Balogh, Gyöngyvér; Sand, Håkan; Nicholson, Kerry L; Månsson, Johan

    2016-12-01

    In a predator-prey system, prey species may adapt to the presence of predators with behavioral changes such as increased vigilance, shifting habitats, or changes in their mobility. In North America, moose (Alces alces) have shown behavioral adaptations to presence of predators, but such antipredator behavioral responses have not yet been found in Scandinavian moose in response to the recolonization of wolves (Canis lupus). We studied travel speed and direction of movement of GPS-collared female moose (n = 26) in relation to spatiotemporal differences in wolf predation risk, reproductive status, and time of year. Travel speed was highest during the calving (May-July) and postcalving (August-October) seasons and was lower for females with calves than females without calves. Similarly, time of year and reproductive status affected the direction of movement, as more concentrated movement was observed for females with calves at heel, during the calving season. We did not find support for that wolf predation risk was an important factor affecting moose travel speed or direction of movement. Likely causal factors for the weak effect of wolf predation risk on mobility of moose include high moose-to-wolf ratio and intensive hunter harvest of the moose population during the past century.

  3. Risk assessment and predator learning in a changing world: understanding the impacts of coral reef degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Allan, Bridie J. M.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2016-09-01

    Habitat degradation is among the top drivers of the loss of global biodiversity. This problem is particularly acute in coral reef system. Here we investigated whether coral degradation influences predator risk assessment and learning for damselfish. When in a live coral environment, Ambon damselfish were able to learn the identity of an unknown predator upon exposure to damselfish alarm cues combined with predator odour and were able to socially transmit this learned recognition to naïve conspecifics. However, in the presence of dead coral water, damselfish failed to learn to recognize the predator through alarm cue conditioning and hence could not transmit the information socially. Unlike alarm cues of Ambon damselfish that appear to be rendered unusable in degraded coral habitats, alarm cues of Nagasaki damselfish remain viable in this same environment. Nagasaki damselfish were able to learn predators through conditioning with alarm cues in degraded habitats and subsequently transmit the information socially to Ambon damselfish. Predator-prey dynamics may be profoundly affected as habitat degradation proceeds; the success of one species that appears to have compromised predation assessment and learning, may find itself reliant on other species that are seemingly unaffected by the same degree of habitat degradation.

  4. Risk assessment and predator learning in a changing world: understanding the impacts of coral reef degradation

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Allan, Bridie J. M.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat degradation is among the top drivers of the loss of global biodiversity. This problem is particularly acute in coral reef system. Here we investigated whether coral degradation influences predator risk assessment and learning for damselfish. When in a live coral environment, Ambon damselfish were able to learn the identity of an unknown predator upon exposure to damselfish alarm cues combined with predator odour and were able to socially transmit this learned recognition to naïve conspecifics. However, in the presence of dead coral water, damselfish failed to learn to recognize the predator through alarm cue conditioning and hence could not transmit the information socially. Unlike alarm cues of Ambon damselfish that appear to be rendered unusable in degraded coral habitats, alarm cues of Nagasaki damselfish remain viable in this same environment. Nagasaki damselfish were able to learn predators through conditioning with alarm cues in degraded habitats and subsequently transmit the information socially to Ambon damselfish. Predator-prey dynamics may be profoundly affected as habitat degradation proceeds; the success of one species that appears to have compromised predation assessment and learning, may find itself reliant on other species that are seemingly unaffected by the same degree of habitat degradation. PMID:27611870

  5. Optimal Predator Risk Assessment by the Sonar-Jamming Arctiine Moth Bertholdia trigona

    PubMed Central

    Corcoran, Aaron J.; Wagner, Ryan D.; Conner, William E.

    2013-01-01

    Nearly all animals face a tradeoff between seeking food and mates and avoiding predation. Optimal escape theory holds that an animal confronted with a predator should only flee when benefits of flight (increased survival) outweigh the costs (energetic costs, lost foraging time, etc.). We propose a model for prey risk assessment based on the predator's stage of attack. Risk level should increase rapidly from when the predator detects the prey to when it commits to the attack. We tested this hypothesis using a predator – the echolocating bat – whose active biosonar reveals its stage of attack. We used a prey defense – clicking used for sonar jamming by the tiger moth Bertholdia trigona– that can be readily studied in the field and laboratory and is enacted simultaneously with evasive flight. We predicted that prey employ defenses soon after being detected and targeted, and that prey defensive thresholds discriminate between legitimate predatory threats and false threats where a nearby prey is attacked. Laboratory and field experiments using playbacks of ultrasound signals and naturally behaving bats, respectively, confirmed our predictions. Moths clicked soon after bats detected and targeted them. Also, B. trigona clicking thresholds closely matched predicted optimal thresholds for discriminating legitimate and false predator threats for bats using search and approach phase echolocation – the period when bats are searching for and assessing prey. To our knowledge, this is the first quantitative study to correlate the sensory stimuli that trigger defensive behaviors with measurements of signals provided by predators during natural attacks in the field. We propose theoretical models for explaining prey risk assessment depending on the availability of cues that reveal a predator's stage of attack. PMID:23671686

  6. Predation risk assessment by olfactory and visual cues in a coral reef fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormick, M. I.; Manassa, R.

    2008-03-01

    Assessment of predation risk is vital for the success of an individual. Primary cues for the assessment include visual and olfactory stimuli, but the relative importance of these sources of information for risk assessment has seldom been assessed for marine fishes. This study examined the importance of visual and chemical cues in assessing risk for the star goby, Asterropteryx semipunctatus. Visual and chemical cue intensities were used that were indicative of a high threat situation. The behavioural response elicited by both the visual cues of a predator (the rock cod, Cephalopholis boenak) and the chemical alarm cues from conspecifics were similar in magnitude, with responses including a decrease in feeding strikes and moves. A bobbing behaviour was exhibited when the predator was visible and not when only exposed to the chemical alarm cue. When visual and chemical cues were presented together they yielded a stronger antipredator response than when gobies were exposed solely to conspecific alarm cues. This suggests additivity of risk assessment information at the levels of threat used, however, the goby’s response is also likely to depend on the environmental and social context of the predator-prey encounter. This study highlights the importance of chemical cues in the assessment of predation risk for a coral reef fish.

  7. Predation risk suppresses the positive feedback between size structure and cannibalism.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Osamu; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Ohno, Ayaka; Kuwano, Shinya; Ikawa, Takuya; Nishimura, Kinya

    2011-11-01

    1. Cannibalism can play a prominent role in the structuring and dynamics of ecological communities. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of size structure and density of cannibalistic species in shaping short- and long-term cannibalism dynamics, but our understanding of how predators influence cannibalism dynamics is limited. This is despite widespread evidence that many prey species exhibit behavioural and morphological adaptations in response to predation risk. 2. This study examined how the presence and absence of predation risk from larval dragonflies Aeshna nigroflava affected cannibalism dynamics in its prey larval salamanders Hynobius retardatus. 3. We found that feedback dynamics between size structure and cannibalism depended on whether dragonfly predation risk was present. In the absence of dragonfly risk cues, a positive feedback between salamander size structure and cannibalism through time occurred because most of the replicates in this treatment contained at least one salamander larvae having an enlarged gape (i.e. cannibal). In contrast, this feedback and the emergence of cannibalism were rarely observed in the presence of the dragonfly risk cues. Once salamander size divergence occurred, experimental reversals of the presence or absence of dragonfly risk cues did not alter existing cannibalism dynamics as the experiment progressed. Thus, the effects of risk on the mechanisms driving cannibalism dynamics likely operated during the early developmental period of the salamander larvae. 4. The effects of dragonfly predation risk on behavioural aspects of cannibalistic interactions among hatchlings may prohibit the initiation of dynamics between size structure and cannibalism. Our predation trials clearly showed that encounter rates among hatchlings and biting and ingestion rates of prospective prey by prospective cannibals were significantly lower in the presence vs. absence of dragonfly predation risk even though the size asymmetry

  8. What Cues Do Ungulates Use to Assess Predation Risk in Dense Temperate Forests?

    PubMed Central

    Kuijper, Dries P. J.; Verwijmeren, Mart; Churski, Marcin; Zbyryt, Adam; Schmidt, Krzysztof; Jędrzejewska, Bogumiła; Smit, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Anti-predator responses by ungulates can be based on habitat features or on the near-imminent threat of predators. In dense forest, cues that ungulates use to assess predation risk likely differ from half-open landscapes, as scent relative to sight is predicted to be more important. We studied, in the Białowieża Primeval Forest (Poland), whether perceived predation risk in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) is related to habitat visibility or olfactory cues of a predator. We used camera traps in two different set-ups to record undisturbed ungulate behavior and fresh wolf (Canis lupus) scats as olfactory cue. Habitat visibility at fixed locations in deciduous old growth forest affected neither vigilance levels nor visitation rate and cumulative visitation time of both ungulate species. However, red deer showed a more than two-fold increase of vigilance level from 22% of the time present on control plots to 46% on experimental plots containing one wolf scat. Higher vigilance came at the expense of time spent foraging, which decreased from 32% to 12% while exposed to the wolf scat. These behavioral changes were most pronounced during the first week of the experiment but continuous monitoring of the plots suggested that they might last for several weeks. Wild boar did not show behavioral responses indicating higher perceived predation risk. Visitation rate and cumulative visitation time were not affected by the presence of a wolf scat in both ungulate species. The current study showed that perceived predation risk in red deer and wild boar is not related to habitat visibility in a dense forest ecosystem. However, olfactory cues of wolves affected foraging behavior of their preferred prey species red deer. We showed that odor of wolves in an ecologically equivalent dose is sufficient to create fine-scale risk factors for red deer. PMID:24404177

  9. What cues do ungulates use to assess predation risk in dense temperate forests?

    PubMed

    Kuijper, Dries P J; Verwijmeren, Mart; Churski, Marcin; Zbyryt, Adam; Schmidt, Krzysztof; Jędrzejewska, Bogumiła; Smit, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Anti-predator responses by ungulates can be based on habitat features or on the near-imminent threat of predators. In dense forest, cues that ungulates use to assess predation risk likely differ from half-open landscapes, as scent relative to sight is predicted to be more important. We studied, in the Białowieża Primeval Forest (Poland), whether perceived predation risk in red deer (Cervus elaphus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) is related to habitat visibility or olfactory cues of a predator. We used camera traps in two different set-ups to record undisturbed ungulate behavior and fresh wolf (Canis lupus) scats as olfactory cue. Habitat visibility at fixed locations in deciduous old growth forest affected neither vigilance levels nor visitation rate and cumulative visitation time of both ungulate species. However, red deer showed a more than two-fold increase of vigilance level from 22% of the time present on control plots to 46% on experimental plots containing one wolf scat. Higher vigilance came at the expense of time spent foraging, which decreased from 32% to 12% while exposed to the wolf scat. These behavioral changes were most pronounced during the first week of the experiment but continuous monitoring of the plots suggested that they might last for several weeks. Wild boar did not show behavioral responses indicating higher perceived predation risk. Visitation rate and cumulative visitation time were not affected by the presence of a wolf scat in both ungulate species. The current study showed that perceived predation risk in red deer and wild boar is not related to habitat visibility in a dense forest ecosystem. However, olfactory cues of wolves affected foraging behavior of their preferred prey species red deer. We showed that odor of wolves in an ecologically equivalent dose is sufficient to create fine-scale risk factors for red deer.

  10. Developmental responses to predation risk in morphologically defended mayflies.

    PubMed

    Dahl, Jonas; Peckarsky, Barbara L

    2003-10-01

    Densities and species composition of predators could affect morphological defences, larval development and the timing of emergence of their prey. To address this issue we studied the morphology and life history of an ephemerellid mayfly, Ephemerella invaria, from two streams in a deciduous forested drainage basin in central New York. Both streams contained predatory fish, but densities and species composition of fish differed. A field survey provided evidence that Ephemerella inhabiting a stream with > or =10 fish species and high relative densities of fish emerged several weeks earlier and at smaller sizes than Ephemerella inhabiting a nearby tributary with approximately 2 fish species and low relative densities of fish. However, the two populations of mayflies showed no differences in defensive morphology or growth rates. In laboratory rearing experiments, we exposed Ephemerella larvae from these two locations to fish chemical cues or control water (no fish) over 2 months to test whether differences in life histories could be attributed to fish. Fish cues induced faster larval development, but also smaller size of mature Ephemerella individuals from both high and low predator locations. Although shorter development times in more dangerous environments could increase larval survival, smaller size of females results in a fecundity cost associated with this life history shift. Consistent with the field studies, laboratory rearing experiments revealed no effects of fish cues on Ephemerella's morphological defences. These data suggest that variation in the density or species composition of predators may favour the evolution of developmental plasticity to reduce mortality in the larval environment.

  11. Field assessment of the predation risk-food availability trade-off in crab megalopae settlement.

    PubMed

    Tapia-Lewin, Sebastián; Pardo, Luis Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Settlement is a key process for meroplanktonic organisms as it determines distribution of adult populations. Starvation and predation are two of the main mortality causes during this period; therefore, settlement tends to be optimized in microhabitats with high food availability and low predator density. Furthermore, brachyuran megalopae actively select favorable habitats for settlement, via chemical, visual and/or tactile cues. The main objective in this study was to assess the settlement of Metacarcinus edwardsii and Cancer plebejus under different combinations of food availability levels and predator presence. We determined, in the field, which factor is of greater relative importance when choosing a suitable microhabitat for settling. Passive larval collectors were deployed, crossing different scenarios of food availability and predator presence. We also explore if megalopae actively choose predator-free substrates in response to visual and/or chemical cues. We tested the response to combined visual and chemical cues and to each individually. Data was tested using a two-way factorial design ANOVA. In both species, food did not cause significant effect on settlement success, but predator presence did, therefore there was not trade-off in this case and megalopae respond strongly to predation risk by active aversion. Larvae of M. edwardsii responded to chemical and visual cues simultaneously, but there was no response to either cue by itself. Statistically, C. plebejus did not exhibit a differential response to cues, but reacted with a strong similar tendency as M. edwardsii. We concluded that crab megalopae actively select predator-free microhabitat, independently of food availability, using chemical and visual cues combined. The findings in this study highlight the great relevance of predation on the settlement process and recruitment of marine invertebrates with complex life cycles.

  12. Field Assessment of the Predation Risk - Food Availability Trade-Off in Crab Megalopae Settlement

    PubMed Central

    Tapia-Lewin, Sebastián; Pardo, Luis Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Settlement is a key process for meroplanktonic organisms as it determines distribution of adult populations. Starvation and predation are two of the main mortality causes during this period; therefore, settlement tends to be optimized in microhabitats with high food availability and low predator density. Furthermore, brachyuran megalopae actively select favorable habitats for settlement, via chemical, visual and/or tactile cues. The main objective in this study was to assess the settlement of Metacarcinus edwardsii and Cancer plebejus under different combinations of food availability levels and predator presence. We determined, in the field, which factor is of greater relative importance when choosing a suitable microhabitat for settling. Passive larval collectors were deployed, crossing different scenarios of food availability and predator presence. We also explore if megalopae actively choose predator-free substrates in response to visual and/or chemical cues. We tested the response to combined visual and chemical cues and to each individually. Data was tested using a two-way factorial design ANOVA. In both species, food did not cause significant effect on settlement success, but predator presence did, therefore there was not trade-off in this case and megalopae respond strongly to predation risk by active aversion. Larvae of M. edwardsii responded to chemical and visual cues simultaneously, but there was no response to either cue by itself. Statistically, C. plebejus did not exhibit a differential response to cues, but reacted with a strong similar tendency as M. edwardsii. We concluded that crab megalopae actively select predator-free microhabitat, independently of food availability, using chemical and visual cues combined. The findings in this study highlight the great relevance of predation on the settlement process and recruitment of marine invertebrates with complex life cycles. PMID:24748151

  13. Habitat-mediated variation in predation risk by the American marten.

    PubMed

    Andruskiw, Mark; Fryxell, John M; Thompson, Ian D; Baker, James A

    2008-08-01

    The probability of prey encounter, attack, capture, and kill are often hypothesized to depend on habitat structure, but field evidence in terrestrial systems is rare. We tested whether predation efficiency by the American marten (Martes americana) and fear of predation by their primary prey, the red-backed vole (Clethrionomys gapperi), differed between 20- to 50-year-old regenerating forest stands and older uncut stands. Our results showed that the frequency of prey encounter, prey attack, and prey kill were higher in old uncut forests, despite the fact that small-mammal density was similar to that in younger logged forests. These differences in predation efficiency were linked to higher abundance of coarse woody debris, which seems to offer sensory cues to martens, thereby increasing the odds of hunting success. Red-backed voles in regenerating forest stands exhibited increased wariness compared to voles living in old uncut forest, suggestive of a behavioral response to habitat-mediated variation in predation risk.

  14. Sexual Selection and Predator Avoidance in the Acoustic Lepidoptera: Discriminating Females Take Fewer Risks

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-07-01

    UNCLASSIFIED Defense Technical Information Center Compilation Part Notice ADP022934 TITLE: Sexual Selection and Predator Avoidance in the Acoustic...technical report. The following component part numbers comprise the compilation report: ADP022883 thru ADP023022 UNCLASSIFIED Sexual Selection and...a fundamental expectation of sexual selection theory that mating activities incur risk. Normally, these risks are considered from the perspective of

  15. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird.

    PubMed

    Latif, Quresh S; Heath, Sacha K; Rotenberry, John T

    2012-12-01

    Nest predation limits avian fitness, so ornithologists study nest predation, but they often only document patterns of predation rates without substantively investigating underlying mechanisms. Parental behavior and predator ecology are two fundamental drivers of predation rates and patterns, but the role of parents is less certain, particularly for songbirds. Previous work reproduced microhabitat-predation patterns experienced by Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) in the Mono Lake basin at experimental nests without parents, suggesting that these patterns were driven by predator ecology rather than predator interactions with parents. In this study, we further explored effects of post-initiation parental behavior (nest defense and attendance) on predation risk by comparing natural versus experimental patterns related to territory density, seasonal timing of nest initiation, and nest age. Rates of parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) were high in this system (49% nests parasitized), so we also examined parasitism-predation relationships. Natural nest predation rates (NPR) correlated negatively with breeding territory density and nonlinearly (U-shaped relationship) with nest-initiation timing, but experimental nests recorded no such patterns. After adjusting natural-nest data to control for these differences from experimental nests other than the presence of parents (e.g., defining nest failure similarly and excluding nestling-period data), we obtained similar results. Thus, parents were necessary to produce observed patterns. Lower natural NPR compared with experimental NPR suggested that parents reduced predation rates via nest defense, so this parental behavior or its consequences were likely correlated with density or seasonal timing. In contrast, daily predation rates decreased with nest age for both nest types, indicating this pattern did not involve parents. Parasitized nests suffered higher rates of partial predation but lower rates of

  16. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird

    PubMed Central

    Latif, Quresh S; Heath, Sacha K; Rotenberry, John T

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation limits avian fitness, so ornithologists study nest predation, but they often only document patterns of predation rates without substantively investigating underlying mechanisms. Parental behavior and predator ecology are two fundamental drivers of predation rates and patterns, but the role of parents is less certain, particularly for songbirds. Previous work reproduced microhabitat-predation patterns experienced by Yellow Warblers (Setophaga petechia) in the Mono Lake basin at experimental nests without parents, suggesting that these patterns were driven by predator ecology rather than predator interactions with parents. In this study, we further explored effects of post-initiation parental behavior (nest defense and attendance) on predation risk by comparing natural versus experimental patterns related to territory density, seasonal timing of nest initiation, and nest age. Rates of parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) were high in this system (49% nests parasitized), so we also examined parasitism-predation relationships. Natural nest predation rates (NPR) correlated negatively with breeding territory density and nonlinearly (U-shaped relationship) with nest-initiation timing, but experimental nests recorded no such patterns. After adjusting natural-nest data to control for these differences from experimental nests other than the presence of parents (e.g., defining nest failure similarly and excluding nestling-period data), we obtained similar results. Thus, parents were necessary to produce observed patterns. Lower natural NPR compared with experimental NPR suggested that parents reduced predation rates via nest defense, so this parental behavior or its consequences were likely correlated with density or seasonal timing. In contrast, daily predation rates decreased with nest age for both nest types, indicating this pattern did not involve parents. Parasitized nests suffered higher rates of partial predation but lower rates of

  17. Oviposition site choice under conflicting risks demonstrates that aquatic predators drive terrestrial egg-laying

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin C.; Worley, Julie L.

    2015-01-01

    Laying eggs out of water was crucial to the transition to land and has evolved repeatedly in multiple animal phyla. However, testing hypotheses about this transition has been difficult because extant species only breed in one environment. The pantless treefrog, Dendropsophus ebraccatus, makes such tests possible because they lay both aquatic and arboreal eggs. Here, we test the oviposition site choices of D. ebraccatus under conflicting risks of arboreal egg desiccation and aquatic egg predation, thereby estimating the relative importance of each selective agent on reproduction. We also measured discrimination between habitats with and without predators and development of naturally laid aquatic and arboreal eggs. Aquatic embryos in nature developed faster than arboreal embryos, implying no cost to aquatic egg laying. In choice tests, D. ebraccatus avoided habitats with fish, showing that they can detect aquatic egg predators. Most importantly, D. ebraccatus laid most eggs in the water when faced with only desiccation risk, but switched to laying eggs arboreally when desiccation risk and aquatic predators were both present. This provides the first experimental evidence to our knowledge that aquatic predation risk influences non-aquatic oviposition and strongly supports the hypothesis that it was a driver of the evolution of terrestrial reproduction. PMID:25948689

  18. Adult frogs are sensitive to the predation risks of olfactory communication.

    PubMed

    Hamer, Rowena; Lemckert, Francis L; Banks, Peter B

    2011-06-23

    Olfaction is a common sensory mode of communication in much of the Vertebrata, although its use by adult frogs remains poorly studied. Being part of an open signalling system, odour cues can be exploited by 'eavesdropping' predators that hunt by smell, making association with odour a high-risk behaviour for prey. Here, we show that adult great barred frogs (Mixophes fasciolatus) are highly attracted to odour cues of conspecifics and those of sympatric striped marsh frogs (Limnodynastes peronii). This attraction decreased significantly with the addition of odours of a scent-hunting predator, the red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), indicating that frogs perceived predation risks from associating with frog odours. Male frogs, however, maintained some attraction to unfamiliar conspecific scents even with predator odours present, suggesting that they perceived benefits of odour communication despite the risk. Our results indicate that adult frogs can identify species and individuals from their odours and assess the associated predation risk, revealing a complexity in olfactory communication previously unknown in adult anurans.

  19. Oviposition site choice under conflicting risks demonstrates that aquatic predators drive terrestrial egg-laying.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin C; Worley, Julie L

    2015-06-07

    Laying eggs out of water was crucial to the transition to land and has evolved repeatedly in multiple animal phyla. However, testing hypotheses about this transition has been difficult because extant species only breed in one environment. The pantless treefrog, Dendropsophus ebraccatus, makes such tests possible because they lay both aquatic and arboreal eggs. Here, we test the oviposition site choices of D. ebraccatus under conflicting risks of arboreal egg desiccation and aquatic egg predation, thereby estimating the relative importance of each selective agent on reproduction. We also measured discrimination between habitats with and without predators and development of naturally laid aquatic and arboreal eggs. Aquatic embryos in nature developed faster than arboreal embryos, implying no cost to aquatic egg laying. In choice tests, D. ebraccatus avoided habitats with fish, showing that they can detect aquatic egg predators. Most importantly, D. ebraccatus laid most eggs in the water when faced with only desiccation risk, but switched to laying eggs arboreally when desiccation risk and aquatic predators were both present. This provides the first experimental evidence to our knowledge that aquatic predation risk influences non-aquatic oviposition and strongly supports the hypothesis that it was a driver of the evolution of terrestrial reproduction.

  20. Learning about non-predators and safe places: the forgotten elements of risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P

    2011-05-01

    A fundamental prerequisite for prey to avoid being captured is the ability to distinguish dangerous stimuli such as predators and risky habitats from non-dangerous stimuli such as non-predators and safe locations. Most research to date has focused on mechanisms allowing prey to learn to recognize risky stimuli. The paradox of learned predator recognition is that its remarkable efficiency leaves room for potentially costly mistakes if prey inadvertently learn to recognize non-predatory species as dangerous. Here, we pre-exposed embryonic woodfrogs, Rana sylvatica, to the odour of a tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, without risk reinforcement, and later try to teach the tadpoles to recognize the salamander, a red-bellied newt Cynops pyrrhogaster-a closely related amphibian, or a goldfish, Carassius auratus, as a predator. Tadpoles were then tested for their responses to salamander, newt or fish odour. Pre-exposure to salamander did not affect the ability of tadpoles to learn to recognize goldfish as a predator. However, the embryonic pre-exposure to salamanders inhibited the subsequent learning of salamanders as a potential predator, through a mechanism known as latent inhibition. The embryonic pre-exposure also prevented the learned recognition of novel newts, indicating complete generalization of non-predator recognition. This pattern does not match that of generalization of predator recognition, whereby species learning to recognize a novel predator do respond, but not as strongly, to novel species closely related to the known predator. The current paper discusses the costs of making recognition mistakes within the context of generalization of predators and dangerous habitats versus generalization of non-predators and safe habitats and highlights the asymmetry in which amphibians incorporate information related to safe versus risky cues in their decision-making. Mechanisms such as latent inhibition allow a variety of prey species to collect information about

  1. Evidence of the Trade-Off between Starvation and Predation Risks in Ducks

    PubMed Central

    Zimmer, Cédric; Boos, Mathieu; Poulin, Nicolas; Gosler, Andrew; Petit, Odile; Robin, Jean-Patrice

    2011-01-01

    The theory of trade-off between starvation and predation risks predicts a decrease in body mass in order to improve flight performance when facing high predation risk. To date, this trade-off has mainly been validated in passerines, birds that store limited body reserves for short-term use. In the largest avian species in which the trade-off has been investigated (the mallard, Anas platyrhynchos), the slope of the relationship between mass and flight performance was steeper in proportion to lean body mass than in passerines. In order to verify whether the same case can be applied to other birds with large body reserves, we analyzed the response to this trade-off in two other duck species, the common teal (Anas crecca) and the tufted duck (Aythya fuligula). Predation risk was simulated by disturbing birds. Ducks within disturbed groups were compared to non-disturbed control birds. In disturbed groups, both species showed a much greater decrease in food intake and body mass during the period of simulated high risk than those observed in the control group. This loss of body mass allows reaching a more favourable wing loading and increases power for flight, hence enhancing flight performances and reducing predation risk. Moreover, body mass loss and power margin gain in both species were higher than in passerines, as observed in mallards. Our results suggest that the starvation-predation risk trade-off is one of the major life history traits underlying body mass adjustments, and these findings can be generalized to all birds facing predation. Additionally, the response magnitude seems to be influenced by the strategy of body reserve management. PMID:21789252

  2. Foraging Patch Selection in Winter: A Balance between Predation Risk and Thermoregulation Benefit

    PubMed Central

    Villén-Pérez, Sara; Carrascal, Luis M.; Seoane, Javier

    2013-01-01

    In winter, foraging activity is intended to optimize food search while minimizing both thermoregulation costs and predation risk. Here we quantify the relative importance of thermoregulation and predation in foraging patch selection of woodland birds wintering in a Mediterranean montane forest. Specifically, we account for thermoregulation benefits related to temperature, and predation risk associated with both illumination of the feeding patch and distance to the nearest refuge provided by vegetation. We measured the amount of time that 38 marked individual birds belonging to five small passerine species spent foraging at artificial feeders. Feeders were located in forest patches that vary in distance to protective cover and exposure to sun radiation; temperature and illumination were registered locally by data loggers. Our results support the influence of both thermoregulation benefits and predation costs on feeding patch choice. The influence of distance to refuge (negative relationship) was nearly three times higher than that of temperature (positive relationship) in determining total foraging time spent at a patch. Light intensity had a negligible and no significant effect. This pattern was generalizable among species and individuals within species, and highlights the preponderance of latent predation risk over thermoregulation benefits on foraging decisions of birds wintering in temperate Mediterranean forests. PMID:23874632

  3. Foraging patch selection in winter: a balance between predation risk and thermoregulation benefit.

    PubMed

    Villén-Pérez, Sara; Carrascal, Luis M; Seoane, Javier

    2013-01-01

    In winter, foraging activity is intended to optimize food search while minimizing both thermoregulation costs and predation risk. Here we quantify the relative importance of thermoregulation and predation in foraging patch selection of woodland birds wintering in a Mediterranean montane forest. Specifically, we account for thermoregulation benefits related to temperature, and predation risk associated with both illumination of the feeding patch and distance to the nearest refuge provided by vegetation. We measured the amount of time that 38 marked individual birds belonging to five small passerine species spent foraging at artificial feeders. Feeders were located in forest patches that vary in distance to protective cover and exposure to sun radiation; temperature and illumination were registered locally by data loggers. Our results support the influence of both thermoregulation benefits and predation costs on feeding patch choice. The influence of distance to refuge (negative relationship) was nearly three times higher than that of temperature (positive relationship) in determining total foraging time spent at a patch. Light intensity had a negligible and no significant effect. This pattern was generalizable among species and individuals within species, and highlights the preponderance of latent predation risk over thermoregulation benefits on foraging decisions of birds wintering in temperate Mediterranean forests.

  4. 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.

  5. Plant resistance reduces the strength of consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on aphids.

    PubMed

    Kersch-Becker, Mônica F; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-09-01

    1. The impact of predators on prey has traditionally been attributed to the act of consumption. Prey responses to the presence of the predator (non-consumptive effects), however, can be as important as predation itself. While plant defences are known to influence predator-prey interactions, their relative effects on consumptive vs. non-consumptive effects are not well understood. 2. We evaluated the consequences of plant resistance and predators (Hippodamia convergens) on the mass, number of nymphs, population growth, density and dispersal of aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae). We tested for the effects of plant resistance on non-consumptive and consumptive effects of predators on aphid performance and dispersal using a combination of path analysis and experimental manipulation of predation risk. 3. We manipulated plant resistance using genetically modified lines of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) that vary incrementally in the expression of the jasmonate pathway, which mediates induced resistance to insects and manipulated aphid exposure to lethal and risk predators. Predation risk predators had mandibles impaired to prevent killing. 4. Plant resistance reduced predation rate (consumptive effect) on high resistance plants. As a consequence, predators had no impact on the number of nymphs, aphid density or population growth on high resistance plants, whereas on low resistance plants, predators reduced aphid density by 35% and population growth by 86%. Path analysis and direct manipulation of predation risk showed that predation risk rather than predation rate promoted aphid dispersal and varied with host plant resistance. Aphid dispersal in response to predation risk was greater on low compared to high resistance plants. The predation risk experiment also showed that the number of aphid nymphs increased in the presence of risk predators but did not translate into increased population growth. 5. In conclusion, the consumptive and non-consumptive components of predators

  6. Enhancement of chromatic contrast increases predation risk for striped butterflies.

    PubMed

    Stobbe, Nina; Schaefer, H Martin

    2008-07-07

    Many prey species have evolved defensive colour patterns to avoid attacks. One type of camouflage, disruptive coloration, relies on contrasting patterns that hinder predators' ability to recognize an object. While high contrasts are used to facilitate detection in many visual communication systems, they are thought to provide misleading information about prey appearance in disruptive patterns. A fundamental tenet in disruptive coloration theory is the principle of 'maximum disruptive contrast', i.e. disruptive patterns are more effective when higher contrasts are involved. We tested this principle in highly contrasting stripes that have often been described as disruptive patterns. Varying the strength of chromatic contrast between stripes and adjacent pattern elements in artificial butterflies, we found a strong negative correlation between survival probability and chromatic contrast strength. We conclude that too high a contrast leads to increased conspicuousness rather than to effective camouflage. However, artificial butterflies that sported contrasts similar to those of the model species Limenitis camilla survived equally well as background-matching butterflies without these stripes. Contrasting stripes do thus not necessarily increase predation rates. This result may provide new insights into the design and characteristics of a range of colour patterns such as sexual, mimetic and aposematic signals.

  7. Protection first then facilitation: a manipulative parasite modulates the vulnerability to predation of its intermediate host according to its own developmental stage.

    PubMed

    Dianne, Lucile; Perrot-Minnot, Marie-Jeanne; Bauer, Alexandre; Gaillard, Mickaël; Léger, Elsa; Rigaud, Thierry

    2011-09-01

    Many trophically transmitted parasites with complex life cycles manipulate their intermediate host behavior in ways facilitating their transmission to final host by predation. This facilitation generally results from lowering host's antipredatory defenses when the parasite is infective to the final host. However, a recent theoretical model predicts that an optimal parasitic strategy would be to protect the intermediate host from predation when noninfective, before switching to facilitation when the infective stage is reached. We tested this hypothesis in the fish acanthocephalan parasite Pomphorhynchus laevis using the amphipod Gammarus pulex as intermediate host. Gammarids parasitized by noninfective stage of P. laevis (acanthella) hid significantly more under refuges than uninfected ones. In addition, acanthella-infected gammarids were less predated upon by trout than uninfected ones. As predicted, a switch toward decreased antipredatory behavior of G. pulex and enhanced vulnerability to predation was found when P. laevis reached the stage infective to its final host. The parasites appear to be able to exploit plasticity in host antipredatory responses, and shift the host optimal response toward their own optimal balance. © 2011 The Author(s).

  8. Contacts with large, active individuals intensify the predation risk of small conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Aya; Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2016-11-01

    Size variation within a population can influence the structure of ecosystem interactions, because ecological performance differs between individuals of different sizes. Although the impact of size variation in a predator species on the structure of interactions is well understood, our knowledge about how size variation in a prey species might modify the interactions between predators and prey is very limited. Here, by examining the interactions between predatory Hynobius retardatus salamander larvae and their prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles, we investigated how large prey individuals affect the predation mortality of small prey conspecifics. First, in an experiment conducted in a field pond in which we manipulated the presence of salamanders and large tadpoles (i.e., large enough to protect them against salamander predation) with small tadpoles, we showed that in the presence of large tadpoles the mortality of small tadpoles from salamander predation was increased. On the basis of our observations of the activity of individuals, we hypothesized that active large tadpoles caused physical disturbances, which in turn caused the small tadpoles to move, and thus increased their encounter frequency with the predatory salamanders. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a laboratory experiment in small tanks with three players (i.e., one salamander as predator, one small tadpole as focal prey, and either a small or a large tadpole as the prospective movement inducer). In each tank, we manipulated the presence or absence of a movement inducer, and, when present, its size (large or small) and access (caged or uncaged) to the focal prey. In the presence of a large, uncaged movement inducer, the focal prey was more active and suffered from higher predation mortality compared with the other treatments, because the large movement inducer (unlike a small movement inducer) moved actively and, when uncaged, could stimulate movement of the focal prey through direct contact. The

  9. Sexually violent predator risk assessments with the violence risk appraisal guide-revised: A shaky practice.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Brian R

    2017-04-08

    Twenty-two jurisdictions in the United States permit the involuntary civil confinement of sexual offenders upon expiration of their criminal sentence and, if committed, these individuals face possible lifetime commitment. One of the legal requirements that psychologists must address in sexually violent predator evaluations is the likelihood that an individual will engage in dangerous sexual behavior and consideration of the probabilities for sexual recidivism contained in actuarial experience tables best address this inquiry. Clinicians find it increasingly difficult to affirm the likelihood threshold in the face of decreasing base rates and score-wise probability estimates for sexual recidivism reported in contemporary actuarial experience tables. The Violence Risk Appraisal Guide-Revised (VRAG-R) has been promoted to assess sexually violent predators because it has been presented as a more accurate predictor of sexual recidivism and the results more likely satisfy the legal standard of sexual dangerousness. This article conducts an in-depth analysis of the predictive and psychometric properties of the VRAG-R that are most relevant to the fit of the VRAG-R when addressing the sexual dangerousness standard proscribed by SVP laws. Recommendations for future research are offered to improve the fit of the VRAG-R to the legal inquiry of sexual dangerousness and implications for using the current iteration of the VRAG-R in forensic practice are discussed.

  10. Injury-mediated decrease in locomotor performance increases predation risk in schooling fish.

    PubMed

    Krause, J; Herbert-Read, J E; Seebacher, F; Domenici, P; Wilson, A D M; Marras, S; Svendsen, M B S; Strömbom, D; Steffensen, J F; Krause, S; Viblanc, P E; Couillaud, P; Bach, P; Sabarros, P S; Zaslansky, P; Kurvers, R H J M

    2017-08-19

    The costs and benefits of group living often depend on the spatial position of individuals within groups and the ability of individuals to occupy preferred positions. For example, models of predation events for moving prey groups predict higher mortality risk for individuals at the periphery and front of groups. We investigated these predictions in sardine (Sardinella aurita) schools under attack from group hunting sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) in the open ocean. Sailfish approached sardine schools about equally often from the front and rear, but prior to attack there was a chasing period in which sardines attempted to swim away from the predator. Consequently, all sailfish attacks were directed at the rear and peripheral positions of the school, resulting in higher predation risk for individuals at these positions. During attacks, sailfish slash at sardines with their bill causing prey injury including scale removal and tissue damage. Sardines injured in previous attacks were more often found in the rear half of the school than in the front half. Moreover, injured fish had lower tail-beat frequencies and lagged behind uninjured fish. Injuries inflicted by sailfish bills may, therefore, hinder prey swimming speed and drive spatial sorting in prey schools through passive self-assortment. We found only partial support for the theoretical predictions from current predator-prey models, highlighting the importance of incorporating more realistic predator-prey dynamics into these models.This article is part of the themed issue 'Physiological determinants of social behaviour in animals'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. Risky Business: Do Native Rodents Use Habitat and Odor Cues to Manage Predation Risk in Australian Deserts?

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Emma E.; Crowther, Mathew S.; Dickman, Christopher R.

    2014-01-01

    In open, arid environments with limited shelter there may be strong selection on small prey species to develop behaviors that facilitate predator avoidance. Here, we predicted that rodents should avoid predator odor and open habitats to reduce their probability of encounter with potential predators, and tested our predictions using a native Australian desert rodent, the spinifex hopping-mouse (Notomys alexis). We tested the foraging and movement responses of N. alexis to non-native predator (fox and cat) odor, in sheltered and open macro- and microhabitats. Rodents did not respond to predator odor, perhaps reflecting the inconsistent selection pressure that is imposed on prey species in the desert environment due to the transience of predator-presence. However, they foraged primarily in the open and moved preferentially across open sand. The results suggest that N. alexis relies on escape rather than avoidance behavior when managing predation risk, with its bipedal movement probably allowing it to exploit open environments most effectively. PMID:24587396

  12. Chronic Predation Risk Reduces Escape Speed by Increasing Oxidative Damage: A Deadly Cost of an Adaptive Antipredator Response

    PubMed Central

    Janssens, Lizanne; Stoks, Robby

    2014-01-01

    Prey organisms evolved a multitude of plastic responses to avoid being eaten by predators. Besides the evolution of plastic morphological responses to escape predation, prey also evolved a set of physiological stress responses to avoid dying because of chronic predator stress per se due to disruption of cellular homeostasis. As physiological stress theory predicts increased energy consumption and the inhibition of essential nonemergency body functions, we tested whether chronic predation risk may increase oxidative damage thereby generating negative effects on escape performance. Specifically, we evaluated whether predation risk reduces escape swimming speed in damselfly larvae and whether this operates through stress-associated increases in oxidative damage. Counterintuitively and in contrast with many empirical studies, chronic predation risk decreased escape performance. This is however entirely consistent with the expectation of it being a long-term cost of responding to predation risk (e.g. by increasing respiration or upregulating the stress protein levels). The decreased swimming speed could be explained by an increased oxidative damage to proteins, thereby providing one of the poorly studied ecological links between oxidative damage and whole-animal performance. This likely widespread, understudied cost of chronic predation risk may provide an important pathway of non-consumptive predator effects on prey population dynamics. Moreover, it could play an evolutionary role by acting as a selective force causing prey organisms to adjust the magnitude of the physiological stress response and should be considered when evaluating life history trade-offs thought to be mediated by oxidative damage. PMID:24968142

  13. Chronic predation risk reduces escape speed by increasing oxidative damage: a deadly cost of an adaptive antipredator response.

    PubMed

    Janssens, Lizanne; Stoks, Robby

    2014-01-01

    Prey organisms evolved a multitude of plastic responses to avoid being eaten by predators. Besides the evolution of plastic morphological responses to escape predation, prey also evolved a set of physiological stress responses to avoid dying because of chronic predator stress per se due to disruption of cellular homeostasis. As physiological stress theory predicts increased energy consumption and the inhibition of essential nonemergency body functions, we tested whether chronic predation risk may increase oxidative damage thereby generating negative effects on escape performance. Specifically, we evaluated whether predation risk reduces escape swimming speed in damselfly larvae and whether this operates through stress-associated increases in oxidative damage. Counterintuitively and in contrast with many empirical studies, chronic predation risk decreased escape performance. This is however entirely consistent with the expectation of it being a long-term cost of responding to predation risk (e.g. by increasing respiration or upregulating the stress protein levels). The decreased swimming speed could be explained by an increased oxidative damage to proteins, thereby providing one of the poorly studied ecological links between oxidative damage and whole-animal performance. This likely widespread, understudied cost of chronic predation risk may provide an important pathway of non-consumptive predator effects on prey population dynamics. Moreover, it could play an evolutionary role by acting as a selective force causing prey organisms to adjust the magnitude of the physiological stress response and should be considered when evaluating life history trade-offs thought to be mediated by oxidative damage.

  14. Mating behavior of Daphnia: impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females.

    PubMed

    La, Geung-Hwan; Choi, Jong-Yun; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Jang, Min-Ho; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo

    2014-01-01

    High predation risk and food depletion lead to sexual reproduction in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia. Mating, the core of sexual reproduction, also occurs under these conditions. Assessment of the environmental conditions and alteration of mating efforts may aid in determining the success of sexual reproduction. Here, we evaluated the impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females on the mating behavior of Daphnia obtusa males including contact frequency and duration using video analysis. Mating-related behavior involved male-female contact (mating) as well as male-male contact (fighting). Mating frequency increased while unnecessary fighting decreased in the presence of predation risk. In addition, low food concentration reduced fighting between males. Males attempted to attach to sexual females more than asexual females, and fighting occurred more frequently in the presence of sexual females. Duration of mating was relatively long; however, males separated shortly after contact in terms of fighting behavior. Thus, assessment of environmental factors and primary sexing of mates were performed before actual contact, possibly mechanically, and precise sex discrimination was conducted after contact. These results suggest that mating in Daphnia is not a random process but rather a balance between predation risk and energetic cost that results in changes in mating and fighting strategies.

  15. Mating Behavior of Daphnia: Impacts of Predation Risk, Food Quantity, and Reproductive Phase of Females

    PubMed Central

    La, Geung-Hwan; Choi, Jong-Yun; Chang, Kwang-Hyeon; Jang, Min-Ho; Joo, Gea-Jae; Kim, Hyun-Woo

    2014-01-01

    High predation risk and food depletion lead to sexual reproduction in cyclically parthenogenetic Daphnia. Mating, the core of sexual reproduction, also occurs under these conditions. Assessment of the environmental conditions and alteration of mating efforts may aid in determining the success of sexual reproduction. Here, we evaluated the impacts of predation risk, food quantity, and reproductive phase of females on the mating behavior of Daphnia obtusa males including contact frequency and duration using video analysis. Mating–related behavior involved male–female contact (mating) as well as male–male contact (fighting). Mating frequency increased while unnecessary fighting decreased in the presence of predation risk. In addition, low food concentration reduced fighting between males. Males attempted to attach to sexual females more than asexual females, and fighting occurred more frequently in the presence of sexual females. Duration of mating was relatively long; however, males separated shortly after contact in terms of fighting behavior. Thus, assessment of environmental factors and primary sexing of mates were performed before actual contact, possibly mechanically, and precise sex discrimination was conducted after contact. These results suggest that mating in Daphnia is not a random process but rather a balance between predation risk and energetic cost that results in changes in mating and fighting strategies. PMID:25111600

  16. Perceived Risk of Predation Affects Reproductive Life-History Traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but Not in Heterandria formosa

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R.; Trexler, Joel C.; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes. PMID:24551171

  17. Perceived risk of predation affects reproductive life-history traits in Gambusia holbrooki, but not in Heterandria formosa.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Shomen; Heithaus, Michael R; Trexler, Joel C; Ray-Mukherjee, Jayanti; Vaudo, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Key to predicting impacts of predation is understanding the mechanisms through which predators impact prey populations. While consumptive effects are well-known, non-consumptive predator effects (risk effects) are increasingly being recognized as important. Studies of risk effects, however, have focused largely on how trade-offs between food and safety affect fitness. Less documented, and appreciated, is the potential for predator presence to directly suppress prey reproduction and affect life-history characteristics. For the first time, we tested the effects of visual predator cues on reproduction of two prey species with different reproductive modes, lecithotrophy (i.e. embryonic development primarily fueled by yolk) and matrotrophy (i.e. energy for embryonic development directly supplied by the mother to the embryo through a vascular connection). Predation risk suppressed reproduction in the lecithotrophic prey (Gambusia holbrokii) but not the matrotroph (Heterandria formosa). Predator stress caused G. holbrooki to reduce clutch size by 43%, and to produce larger and heavier offspring compared to control females. H. formosa, however, did not show any such difference. In G. holbrooki we also found a significantly high percentage (14%) of stillbirths in predator-exposed treatments compared to controls (2%). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first direct empirical evidence of predation stress affecting stillbirths in prey. Our results suggest that matrotrophy, superfetation (clutch overlap), or both decrease the sensitivity of mothers to environmental fluctuation in resource (food) and stress (predation risk) levels compared to lecithotrophy. These mechanisms should be considered both when modeling consequences of perceived risk of predation on prey-predator population dynamics and when seeking to understand the evolution of reproductive modes.

  18. 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.

  19. Guardian or threat: does golden eagle predation risk have cascading effects on forest grouse?

    PubMed

    Lyly, Mari S; Villers, Alexandre; Koivisto, Elina; Helle, Pekka; Ollila, Tuomo; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2016-10-01

    Previous studies on intraguild predation have mainly focused on within-class assemblages, even though avian top predators may also influence mammalian mesopredator prey. By using nation-wide long-term data from Finland, northern Europe, we examined the impacts of golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) together with red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and pine martens (Martes martes) on forest-dwelling herbivores, black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) and hazel grouse (Tetrastes bonasia). We hypothesized that eagles may alleviate the overall predation pressure on grouse by imposing intraguild predation risk on mesopredators. The predation impact of eagle was modelled using eagle density estimates and distance to eagle nest. Wildlife triangle counts were used as predation impact proxies of mammalian mesopredators and as measures of response in grouse. Our results show that eagle density correlated negatively with black grouse abundance indices while being positively associated with the proportion of juveniles in both grouse species, irrespective of the abundance of mesopredators. Yet, foxes and martens alone had a negative effect on the abundance indices and the proportion of young in the two grouse species. This suggests that the possible cascading effects of eagles are not mediated by decreased mesopredator numbers, but instead by fear effects. Alternatively, they may be mediated by other species than fox or marten studied here. In conclusion, we found support for the hypothesis that eagles provide protection for juvenile black and hazel grouse, whereas they are a threat for adult grouse. This important information helps us to better understand the role of avian top predators in terrestrial ecosystems.

  20. Assessing predation risks for small fish in a large river ecosystem between contrasting habitats and turbidity conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodrill, Michael J.; Yard, Mike; Pine, William E.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined predation risk for juvenile native fish between two riverine shoreline habitats, backwater and debris fan, across three discrete turbidity levels (low, intermediate, high) to understand environmental risks associated with habitat use in a section of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, AZ. Inferences are particularly important to juvenile native fish, including the federally endangered humpback chub Gila cypha. This species uses a variety of habitats including backwaters which are often considered important rearing areas. Densities of two likely predators, adult rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and adult humpback chub, were estimated between habitats using binomial mixture models to examine whether higher predator density was associated with patterns of predation risk. Tethering experiments were used to quantify relative predation risk between habitats and turbidity conditions. Under low and intermediate turbidity conditions, debris fan habitat showed higher relative predation risk compared to backwaters. In both habitats the highest predation risk was observed during intermediate turbidity conditions. Density of likely predators did not significantly differ between these habitats. This information can help managers in Grand Canyon weigh flow policy options designed to increase backwater availability or extant turbidity conditions.

  1. Linking Predation Risk, Herbivore Physiological Stress and Microbial Decomposition of Plant Litter

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Oswald J.; Bradford, Mark A.; Strickland, Michael S.; Hawlena, Dror

    2013-01-01

    The quantity and quality of detritus entering the soil determines the rate of decomposition by microbial communities as well as recycle rates of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) sequestration1,2. Plant litter comprises the majority of detritus3, and so it is assumed that decomposition is only marginally influenced by biomass inputs from animals such as herbivores and carnivores4,5. However, carnivores may influence microbial decomposition of plant litter via a chain of interactions in which predation risk alters the physiology of their herbivore prey that in turn alters soil microbial functioning when the herbivore carcasses are decomposed6. A physiological stress response by herbivores to the risk of predation can change the C:N elemental composition of herbivore biomass7,8,9 because stress from predation risk increases herbivore basal energy demands that in nutrient-limited systems forces herbivores to shift their consumption from N-rich resources to support growth and reproduction to C-rich carbohydrate resources to support heightened metabolism6. Herbivores have limited ability to store excess nutrients, so stressed herbivores excrete N as they increase carbohydrate-C consumption7. Ultimately, prey stressed by predation risk increase their body C:N ratio7,10, making them poorer quality resources for the soil microbial pool likely due to lower availability of labile N for microbial enzyme production6. Thus, decomposition of carcasses of stressed herbivores has a priming effect on the functioning of microbial communities that decreases subsequent ability to of microbes to decompose plant litter6,10,11. We present the methodology to evaluate linkages between predation risk and litter decomposition by soil microbes. We describe how to: induce stress in herbivores from predation risk; measure those stress responses, and measure the consequences on microbial decomposition. We use insights from a model grassland ecosystem comprising the hunting spider predator (Pisuarina

  2. Risk of damage to tomato crops by the generalist zoophytophagous predator Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae).

    PubMed

    Arnó, J; Castañé, C; Riudavets, J; Gabarra, R

    2010-02-01

    Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hem. Miridae) is a native zoophytophagous predator of the Mediterranean region, and its populations colonize tomato crops when they are not heavily treated with insecticides. This generalist predator has a high capacity for controlling insect pests, and it is currently commercially produced and released in some areas to control Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hem. Aleyrodidae). However, its status as a pest and/or as beneficial is controversial. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of damage to tomatoes in extreme conditions of prey scarcity, as well as high predator populations. Three predator densities were tested in a greenhouse cage experiment during a summer tomato crop. The crop did not display any negative effect caused by the predators during the first six weeks of interaction, independently of the density released. However, subsequently, the effect was dramatic, both on the vegetative growth of the plant and on the production of fruits. The reduction in vegetative growth was located at truss eight and it was expressed mainly by a lower number of leaves and a shorter length of the shoot above the truss. There was a significant reduction of yield with a lower number of fruits collected and a smaller mean weight, although this was not observable until truss seven. It seems that feeding on the plant by this mirid bug competed with the vegetative growth and fruiting processes of the plant in the extreme conditions of prey shortage maintained in our experiment.

  3. Predation risk modifies behaviour by shaping the response of identified brain neurons.

    PubMed

    Magani, Fiorella; Luppi, Tomas; Nuñez, Jesus; Tomsic, Daniel

    2016-04-15

    Interpopulation comparisons in species that show behavioural variations associated with particular ecological disparities offer good opportunities for assessing how environmental factors may foster specific functional adaptations in the brain. Yet, studies on the neural substrate that can account for interpopulation behavioural adaptations are scarce. Predation is one of the strongest driving forces for behavioural evolvability and, consequently, for shaping structural and functional brain adaptations. We analysed the escape response of crabs ITALIC! Neohelice granulatafrom two isolated populations exposed to different risks of avian predation. Individuals from the high-risk area proved to be more reactive to visual danger stimuli (VDS) than those from an area where predators are rare. Control experiments indicate that the response difference was specific for impending visual threats. Subsequently, we analysed the response to VDS of a group of giant brain neurons that are thought to play a main role in the visually guided escape response of the crab. Neurons from animals of the population with the stronger escape response were more responsive to VDS than neurons from animals of the less reactive population. Our results suggest a robust linkage between the pressure imposed by the predation risk, the response of identified neurons and the behavioural outcome.

  4. Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival

    PubMed Central

    DeCesare, Nicholas J; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bradley, Mark; Hervieux, David; Neufeld, Lalenia; Musiani, Marco; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    1. A central assumption underlying the study of habitat selection is that selected habitats confer enhanced fitness. Unfortunately, this assumption is rarely tested, and in some systems, gradients of predation risk may more accurately characterize spatial variation in vital rates than gradients described by habitat selection studies. 2. Here, we separately measured spatial patterns of both resource selection and predation risk and tested their relationships with a key demographic trait, adult female survival, for a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou Gmelin). We also evaluated whether exposure to gradients in both predation risk and resource selection value was manifested temporally through instantaneous or seasonal effects on survival outcomes. 3. We used Cox proportional hazards spatial survival modelling to assess the relative support for 5 selection- and risk-based definitions of habitat quality, as quantified by woodland caribou adult female survival. These hypotheses included scenarios in which selection ideally mirrored survival, risk entirely drove survival, non-ideal selection correlated with survival but with additive risk effects, an ecological trap with maladaptive selection and a non-spatial effect of annual variation in weather. 4. Indeed, we found positive relationships between the predicted values of a resource selection function (RSF) and survival, yet subsequently incorporating an additional negative effect of predation risk greatly improved models further. This revealed a positive, but non-ideal relationship between selection and survival. Gradients in these covariates were also shown to affect individual survival probability at multiple temporal scales. Exposure to increased predation risk had a relatively instantaneous effect on survival outcomes, whereas variation in habitat suitability predicted by an RSF had both instantaneous and longer-term seasonal effects on survival. 5. Predation risk was an additive source

  5. Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival.

    PubMed

    DeCesare, Nicholas J; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bradley, Mark; Hervieux, David; Neufeld, Lalenia; Musiani, Marco

    2014-03-01

    A central assumption underlying the study of habitat selection is that selected habitats confer enhanced fitness. Unfortunately, this assumption is rarely tested, and in some systems, gradients of predation risk may more accurately characterize spatial variation in vital rates than gradients described by habitat selection studies. Here, we separately measured spatial patterns of both resource selection and predation risk and tested their relationships with a key demographic trait, adult female survival, for a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou Gmelin). We also evaluated whether exposure to gradients in both predation risk and resource selection value was manifested temporally through instantaneous or seasonal effects on survival outcomes. We used Cox proportional hazards spatial survival modelling to assess the relative support for 5 selection- and risk-based definitions of habitat quality, as quantified by woodland caribou adult female survival. These hypotheses included scenarios in which selection ideally mirrored survival, risk entirely drove survival, non-ideal selection correlated with survival but with additive risk effects, an ecological trap with maladaptive selection and a non-spatial effect of annual variation in weather. Indeed, we found positive relationships between the predicted values of a resource selection function (RSF) and survival, yet subsequently incorporating an additional negative effect of predation risk greatly improved models further. This revealed a positive, but non-ideal relationship between selection and survival. Gradients in these covariates were also shown to affect individual survival probability at multiple temporal scales. Exposure to increased predation risk had a relatively instantaneous effect on survival outcomes, whereas variation in habitat suitability predicted by an RSF had both instantaneous and longer-term seasonal effects on survival. Predation risk was an additive source of hazard

  6. The risk associated with spinal manipulation: an overview of reviews.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Sabrina Mai; Tarp, Simon; Christensen, Robin; Bliddal, Henning; Klokker, Louise; Henriksen, Marius

    2017-03-24

    Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is a widely used manual treatment, but many reviews exist with conflicting conclusions about the safety of SMT. We performed an overview of reviews to elucidate and quantify the risk of serious adverse events (SAEs) associated with SMT. We searched five electronic databases from inception to December 8, 2015. We included reviews on any type of studies, patients, and SMT technique. Our primary outcome was SAEs. Quality of the included reviews was assessed using a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR). Since there were insufficient data for calculating incidence rates of SAEs, we used an alternative approach; the conclusions regarding safety of SMT were extracted for each review, and the communicated opinion were judged by two reviewers independently as safe, harmful, or neutral/unclear. Risk ratios (RRs) of a review communicating that SMT is safe and meeting the requirements for each AMSTAR item, were calculated. We identified 283 eligible reviews, but only 118 provided data for synthesis. The most frequently described adverse events (AEs) were stroke, headache, and vertebral artery dissection. Fifty-four reviews (46%) expressed that SMT is safe, 15 (13%) expressed that SMT is harmful, and 49 reviews (42%) were neutral or unclear. Thirteen reviews reported incidence estimates for SAEs, roughly ranging from 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 250,000,000 manipulations. Low methodological quality was present, with a median of 4 of 11 AMSTAR items met (interquartile range, 3 to 6). Reviews meeting the requirements for each of the AMSTAR items (i.e. good internal validity) had a higher chance of expressing that SMT is safe. It is currently not possible to provide an overall conclusion about the safety of SMT; however, the types of SAEs reported can indeed be significant, sustaining that some risk is present. High quality research and consistent reporting of AEs and SAEs are needed. PROSPERO CRD42015030068 .

  7. Context-dependent planktivory: interacting effects of turbidity and predation risk on adaptive foraging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pangle, Kevin L.; Malinich, Timothy D.; Bunnell, David B.; DeVries, Dennis R.; Ludsin, Stuart A.

    2012-01-01

    By shaping species interactions, adaptive phenotypic plasticity can profoundly influence ecosystems. Predicting such outcomes has proven difficult, however, owing in part to the dependence of plasticity on the environmental context. Of particular relevance are environmental factors that affect sensory performance in organisms in ways that alter the tradeoffs associated with adaptive phenotypic responses. We explored the influence of turbidity, which simultaneously and differentially affects the sensory performance of consumers at multiple trophic levels, on the indirect effect of a top predator (piscivorous fish) on a basal prey resource (zooplankton) that is mediated through changes in the plastic foraging behavior of an intermediate consumer (zooplanktivorous fish). We first generated theoretical predictions of the adaptive foraging response of a zooplanktivore across wide gradients of turbidity and predation risk by a piscivore. Our model predicted that predation risk can change the negative relationship between intermediate consumer foraging and turbidity into a humped-shaped (unimodal) one in which foraging is low in both clear and highly turbid conditions due to foraging-related risk and visual constraints, respectively. Consequently, the positive trait-mediated indirect effect (TMIE) of the top predator on the basal resource is predicted to peak at low turbidity and decline thereafter until it reaches an asymptote of zero at intermediate turbidity levels (when foraging equals that which is predicted when the top predator is absent). We used field observations and a laboratory experiment to test our model predictions. In support, we found humped-shaped relationships between planktivory and turbidity for several zooplanktivorous fishes from diverse freshwater ecosystems with predation risk. Further, our experiment demonstrated that predation risk reduced zooplanktivory by yellow perch (Perca flavescens) at a low turbidity, but had no effect on consumption at

  8. Spatial ecology of refuge selection by an herbivore under risk of predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Tammy L.; Rayburn, Andrew P.; Edwards, Thomas C.

    2012-01-01

    Prey species use structures such as burrows to minimize predation risk. The spatial arrangement of these resources can have important implications for individual and population fitness. For example, there is evidence that clustered resources can benefit individuals by reducing predation risk and increasing foraging opportunity concurrently, which leads to higher population density. However, the scale of clustering that is important in these processes has been ignored during theoretical and empirical development of resource models. Ecological understanding of refuge exploitation by prey can be improved by spatial analysis of refuge use and availability that incorporates the effect of scale. We measured the spatial distribution of pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) refugia (burrows) through censuses in four 6-ha sites. Point pattern analyses were used to evaluate burrow selection by comparing the spatial distribution of used and available burrows. The presence of food resources and additional overstory cover resources was further examined using logistic regression. Burrows were spatially clustered at scales up to approximately 25 m, and then regularly spaced at distances beyond ~40 m. Pygmy rabbit exploitation of burrows did not match availability. Burrows used by pygmy rabbits were likely to be located in areas with high overall burrow density (resource clusters) and high overstory cover, which together minimized predation risk. However, in some cases we observed an interaction between either overstory cover (safety) or understory cover (forage) and burrow density. The interactions show that pygmy rabbits will use burrows in areas with low relative burrow density (high relative predation risk) if understory food resources are high. This points to a potential trade-off whereby rabbits must sacrifice some safety afforded by additional nearby burrows to obtain ample forage resources. Observed patterns of clustered burrows and non-random burrow use improve

  9. Along came a spider who sat down beside her: Perceived predation risk, but not female age, affects female mate choosiness.

    PubMed

    Atwell, Ashley; Wagner, William E

    2015-06-01

    Organisms often exhibit behavioral plasticity in response to changes in factors, such as predation risk, mate density, and age. Particularly, female mate choosiness (the strength of female's attraction to male traits as they deviate from preferred trait values) has repeatedly been shown to be plastic. This is due to the costs associated with searching for preferred males fluctuating with changes in such factors. Because these factors can interact naturally, it is important to understand how female mate choosiness responds to these interactions. We studied the interaction between perceived predation risk and female age on the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. Females were either exposed or not exposed to predation cues from a sympatric, cursorial, wolf spider predator, Hogna sp. We then tested the females at one of three adult ages and measured their choosiness by recording their responsiveness to a low quality male song. We found female choosiness plasticity was affected by neither age nor the interaction between age and perceived predation risk. Perceived predation risk was the only factor to significantly affect the plasticity of female mate choosiness: females were less choosy when they perceived predation risk and were more choosy when they did not. Predation may be such a strong source of selection that, regardless of differences in other factors, most individuals respond similarly. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Prey state shapes the effects of temporal variation in predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Matassa, Catherine M.; Trussell, Geoffrey C.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological impacts of predation risk are influenced by how prey allocate foraging effort across periods of safety and danger. Foraging decisions depend on current danger, but also on the larger temporal, spatial or energetic context in which prey manage their risks of predation and starvation. Using a rocky intertidal food chain, we examined the responses of starved and fed prey (Nucella lapillus dogwhelks) to different temporal patterns of risk from predatory crabs (Carcinus maenas). Prey foraging activity declined during periods of danger, but as dangerous periods became longer, prey state altered the magnitude of risk effects on prey foraging and growth, with likely consequences for community structure (trait-mediated indirect effects on basal resources, Mytilus edulis mussels), prey fitness and trophic energy transfer. Because risk is inherently variable over time and space, our results suggest that non-consumptive predator effects may be most pronounced in productive systems where prey can build energy reserves during periods of safety and then burn these reserves as ‘trophic heat’ during extended periods of danger. Understanding the interaction between behavioural (energy gain) and physiological (energy use) responses to risk may illuminate the context dependency of trait-mediated trophic cascades and help explain variation in food chain length. PMID:25339716

  11. Short- and long-term behavioural, physiological and stoichiometric responses to predation risk indicate chronic stress and compensatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    Prey organisms are expected to use different short- and long-term responses to predation risk to avoid excessive costs. Contrasting both types of responses is important to identify chronic stress responses and possible compensatory mechanisms in order to better understand the full impact of predators on prey life history and population dynamics. Using larvae of the damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, we contrasted the effects of short- and long-term predation risk, with special focus on consequences for body stoichiometry. Under short-term predation risk, larvae reduced growth rate, which was associated with a reduced food intake, increased metabolic rate and reduced glucose content. Under long-term predation risk, larvae showed chronic predator stress as indicated by persistent increases in metabolic rate and reduced food intake. Despite this, larvae were able to compensate for the short-term growth reduction under long-term predation risk by relying on physiological compensatory mechanisms, including reduced energy storage. Only under long-term predation risk did we observe an increase in body C:N ratio, as predicted under the general stress paradigm (GSP). Although this was caused by a predator-induced decrease in N content, there was no associated increase in C content. These stoichiometric changes could not be explained by GSP responses because, under chronic predation risk, there was no decrease in N-rich proteins or increase in C-rich fat and sugars; instead glycogen decreased. Our results highlight the importance of compensatory mechanisms and the value of explicitly integrating physiological mechanisms to obtain insights into the temporal dynamics of non-consumptive effects, including effects on body stoichiometry.

  12. Testing the risk of predation hypothesis: the influence of recolonizing wolves on habitat use by moose.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Kerry L; Milleret, Cyril; Månsson, Johan; Sand, Håkan

    2014-09-01

    Considered as absent throughout Scandinavia for >100 years, wolves (Canis lupus) have recently naturally recolonized south-central Sweden. This recolonization has provided an opportunity to study behavioral responses of moose (Alces alces) to wolves. We used satellite telemetry locations from collared moose and wolves to determine whether moose habitat use was affected by predation risk based on wolf use distributions. Moose habitat use was influenced by reproductive status and time of day and showed a different selection pattern between winter and summer, but there was weak evidence that moose habitat use depended on predation risk. The seemingly weak response may have several underlying explanations that are not mutually exclusive from the long term absence of non-human predation pressure: intensive harvest by humans during the last century is more important than wolf predation as an influence on moose behavior; moose have not adapted to recolonizing wolves; and responses may include other behavioral adaptations or occur at finer temporal and spatial levels than investigated.

  13. The effect of predation risk on spermatophore deposition rate of the eriophyoid mite, Aculops allotrichus.

    PubMed

    Michalska, Katarzyna

    2016-02-01

    Eriophyoids are minute herbivores in which males deposit spermatophores on a substrate while females, independent of the presence of males, pick up sperm (sex dissociation). Their most dangerous enemies are phytoseiid mites. Eriophyoids can successfully avoid the predation by, e.g., forming galls in which they live, by inhabiting narrow spaces on plants, or by climbing up leaf trichomes for the time of quiescence. All these behaviours, however, are fixed and independent of the actual risk of predation. The aim of this study was to examine whether eriophyoids can respond to the cues of predation risk and how this could affect their spermatophore deposition rate. Aculops allotrichus is a vagrant eriophyoid which inhabits leaves of the black locust tree, Robinia pseudoacacia. On leaf arenas with injured conspecifics (pierced with a fine needle which simulated the attack of phytoseiids), single males of Ac. allotrichus deposited a similar number of spermatophores as on control, 'clean' leaves. They did not respond to the cues left by the non-enemy, yeast-fed acarid mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae either. However, they deposited significantly fewer spermatophores on leaf arenas previously exposed to the presence of the eriophyoid-fed phytoseiid mite Amblyseius swirskii. This is a first report indicating that eriophyoids can respond to the cues left by predators and change their reproductive activity accordingly. The ultimate and proximate factors that may influence the behaviour of Ac. allotrichus males are discussed.

  14. Plastic proteans: reduced predictability in the face of predation risk in hermit crabs.

    PubMed

    Briffa, Mark

    2013-10-23

    Variation in behaviour occurs at multiple levels, including between individuals (personality) and between situations (plasticity). Behaviour also varies within individuals, and intra-individual variation (IIV) in behaviour describes within-individual residual variance in behaviour that remains after the effects of obvious external and internal influences on behaviour have been accounted for. IIV thus describes how predictable an individual's behaviour is. Differences in predictability, between individuals and between situations, might be biologically significant. For example, behaving unpredictably under predation threat might reduce the chance of capture. Here, we investigated the duration of startle responses in hermit crabs, in the presence and absence of a predator cue. Individuals differed in startle response duration (personality) and while individuals also varied in their sensitivity to risk, mean response time was greater in the presence of a predator (plasticity). Moreover, IIV was greater in the presence of a predator, providing some of the first evidence that the facultative injection of unpredictability into behaviour might represent a strategy for dealing with risk.

  15. Reliability of risk assessment measures used in sexually violent predator proceedings.

    PubMed

    Miller, Cailey S; Kimonis, Eva R; Otto, Randy K; Kline, Suzonne M; Wasserman, Adam L

    2012-12-01

    The field interrater reliability of three assessment tools frequently used by mental health professionals when evaluating sex offenders' risk for reoffending--the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) and the Static-99-was examined within the context of sexually violent predator program proceedings. Rater agreement was highest for the Static--99 (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC₁] = .78) and lowest for the PCL-R (ICC₁ = .60; MnSOST-R ICC₁ = .74), although all instruments demonstrated lower field reliability than that reported in their test manuals. Findings raise concerns about the reliability of risk assessment tools that are used to inform judgments of risk in high-stake sexually violent predator proceedings. Implications for future research and suggestions for improving evaluator training to increase accuracy when informing legal decision making are discussed.

  16. Relaxation of risk-sensitive behaviour of prey following disease-induced decline of an apex predator, the Tasmanian devil

    PubMed Central

    Hollings, Tracey; McCallum, Hamish; Kreger, Kaely; Mooney, Nick; Jones, Menna

    2015-01-01

    Apex predators structure ecosystems through lethal and non-lethal interactions with prey, and their global decline is causing loss of ecological function. Behavioural changes of prey are some of the most rapid responses to predator decline and may act as an early indicator of cascading effects. The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), an apex predator, is undergoing progressive and extensive population decline, of more than 90% in long-diseased areas, caused by a novel disease. Time since local disease outbreak correlates with devil population declines and thus predation risk. We used hair traps and giving-up densities (GUDs) in food patches to test whether a major prey species of devils, the arboreal common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), is responsive to the changing risk of predation when they forage on the ground. Possums spend more time on the ground, discover food patches faster and forage more to a lower GUD with increasing years since disease outbreak and greater devil population decline. Loss of top–down effects of devils with respect to predation risk was evident at 90% devil population decline, with possum behaviour indistinguishable from a devil-free island. Alternative predators may help to maintain risk-sensitive anti-predator behaviours in possums while devil populations remain low. PMID:26085584

  17. Behavioural responses of prey fishes to habitat complexity and predation risk induce bias in minnow trap catches.

    PubMed

    Dupuch, A; Paradis, Y; Magnan, P

    2011-08-01

    The effects of predation risk and habitat complexity on the efficiency of minnow traps to catch northern redbelly dace Chrosomus eos in laboratory experiments were investigated. Trap efficiency significantly decreased in the presence of vegetation and predators. These results suggest that the various antipredator behaviours used by prey fishes can affect trap efficiency.

  18. Relaxation of risk-sensitive behaviour of prey following disease-induced decline of an apex predator, the Tasmanian devil.

    PubMed

    Hollings, Tracey; McCallum, Hamish; Kreger, Kaely; Mooney, Nick; Jones, Menna

    2015-07-07

    Apex predators structure ecosystems through lethal and non-lethal interactions with prey, and their global decline is causing loss of ecological function. Behavioural changes of prey are some of the most rapid responses to predator decline and may act as an early indicator of cascading effects. The Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), an apex predator, is undergoing progressive and extensive population decline, of more than 90% in long-diseased areas, caused by a novel disease. Time since local disease outbreak correlates with devil population declines and thus predation risk. We used hair traps and giving-up densities (GUDs) in food patches to test whether a major prey species of devils, the arboreal common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), is responsive to the changing risk of predation when they forage on the ground. Possums spend more time on the ground, discover food patches faster and forage more to a lower GUD with increasing years since disease outbreak and greater devil population decline. Loss of top-down effects of devils with respect to predation risk was evident at 90% devil population decline, with possum behaviour indistinguishable from a devil-free island. Alternative predators may help to maintain risk-sensitive anti-predator behaviours in possums while devil populations remain low. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Predators select against high growth rates and risk-taking behaviour in domestic trout populations.

    PubMed Central

    Biro, Peter A.; Abrahams, Mark V.; Post, John R.; Parkinson, Eric A.

    2004-01-01

    Domesticated (farm) salmonid fishes display an increased willingness to accept risk while foraging, and achieve high growth rates not observed in nature. Theory predicts that elevated growth rates in domestic salmonids will result in greater risk-taking to access abundant food, but low survival in the presence of predators. In replicated whole-lake experiments, we observed that domestic trout (selected for high growth rates) took greater risks while foraging and grew faster than a wild strain. However, survival consequences for greater growth rates depended upon the predation environment. Domestic trout experienced greater survival when risk was low, but lower survival when risk was high. This suggests that animals with high intrinsic growth rates are selected against in populations with abundant predators, explaining the absence of such phenotypes in nature. This is, to our knowledge, the first large-scale field experiment to directly test this theory and simultaneously quantify the initial invasibility of domestic salmonid strains that escape into the wild from aquaculture operations, and the ecological conditions affecting their survival. PMID:15539348

  20. Avian top predator and the landscape of fear: responses of mammalian mesopredators to risk imposed by the golden eagle.

    PubMed

    Lyly, Mari S; Villers, Alexandre; Koivisto, Elina; Helle, Pekka; Ollila, Tuomo; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2015-01-01

    Top predators may induce extensive cascading effects on lower trophic levels, for example, through intraguild predation (IGP). The impacts of both mammalian and avian top predators on species of the same class have been extensively studied, but the effects of the latter upon mammalian mesopredators are not yet as well known. We examined the impact of the predation risk imposed by a large avian predator, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos, L.), on its potential mammalian mesopredator prey, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes, L.), and the pine marten (Martes martes, L.). The study combined 23 years of countrywide data from nesting records of eagles and wildlife track counts of mesopredators in Finland, northern Europe. The predation risk of the golden eagle was modeled as a function of territory density, density of fledglings produced, and distance to nearest active eagle territory, with the expectation that a high predation risk would reduce the abundances of smaller sized pine martens in particular. Red foxes appeared not to suffer from eagle predation, being in fact most numerous close to eagle nests and in areas with more eagle territories. This is likely due to similar prey preferences of the two predators and the larger size of foxes enabling them to escape eagle predation risk. Somewhat contrary to our prediction, the abundance of pine martens increased from low to intermediate territory density and at close proximity to eagle nests, possibly because of similar habitat preferences of martens and eagles. We found a slightly decreasing trend of marten abundance at high territory density, which could indicate that the response in marten populations is dependent on eagle density. However, more research is needed to better establish whether mesopredators are intimidated or predated by golden eagles, and whether such effects could in turn cascade to lower trophic levels, benefitting herbivorous species.

  1. Avian top predator and the landscape of fear: responses of mammalian mesopredators to risk imposed by the golden eagle

    PubMed Central

    Lyly, Mari S; Villers, Alexandre; Koivisto, Elina; Helle, Pekka; Ollila, Tuomo; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2015-01-01

    Top predators may induce extensive cascading effects on lower trophic levels, for example, through intraguild predation (IGP). The impacts of both mammalian and avian top predators on species of the same class have been extensively studied, but the effects of the latter upon mammalian mesopredators are not yet as well known. We examined the impact of the predation risk imposed by a large avian predator, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos, L.), on its potential mammalian mesopredator prey, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes, L.), and the pine marten (Martes martes, L.). The study combined 23 years of countrywide data from nesting records of eagles and wildlife track counts of mesopredators in Finland, northern Europe. The predation risk of the golden eagle was modeled as a function of territory density, density of fledglings produced, and distance to nearest active eagle territory, with the expectation that a high predation risk would reduce the abundances of smaller sized pine martens in particular. Red foxes appeared not to suffer from eagle predation, being in fact most numerous close to eagle nests and in areas with more eagle territories. This is likely due to similar prey preferences of the two predators and the larger size of foxes enabling them to escape eagle predation risk. Somewhat contrary to our prediction, the abundance of pine martens increased from low to intermediate territory density and at close proximity to eagle nests, possibly because of similar habitat preferences of martens and eagles. We found a slightly decreasing trend of marten abundance at high territory density, which could indicate that the response in marten populations is dependent on eagle density. However, more research is needed to better establish whether mesopredators are intimidated or predated by golden eagles, and whether such effects could in turn cascade to lower trophic levels, benefitting herbivorous species. PMID:25691975

  2. Supplemental food that supports both predator and pest: a risk for biological control?

    PubMed

    Leman, Ada; Messelink, Gerben J

    2015-04-01

    Supplemental food sources to support natural enemies in crops are increasingly being tested and used. This is particularly interesting for generalist predators that can reproduce on these food sources. However, a potential risk for pest control could occur when herbivores also benefit from supplemental food sources. In order to optimize biological control, it may be important to select food sources that support predator populations more than herbivore populations. In this study we evaluated the nutritional quality of four types of supplemental food for the generalist predatory mites Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot and Amblydromalus (Typhlodromalus) limonicus (Garman and McGregor), both important thrips predators, and for the herbivore western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande, by assessing oviposition rates. These tests showed that application of corn pollen, cattail pollen or sterilized eggs of Ephestia kuehniella Zeller to chrysanthemum leaves resulted in three times higher oviposition rates of thrips compared to leaves without additional food. None of the tested food sources promoted predatory mites or western flower thrips exclusively. Decapsulated cysts of Artemia franciscana Kellogg were not suitable, whereas cattail pollen was very suitable for both predatory mites and western flower thrips. In addition, we found that the rate of thrips predation by A. swirskii can be reduced by 50 %, when pollen is present. Nevertheless, application of pollen or Ephestia eggs to a chrysanthemum crop still strongly enhanced the biological control of thrips with A. swirskii, both at low and high release densities of predatory mites through the strong numerical response of the predators. Despite these positive results, application in a crop should be approached with caution, as the results may strongly depend on the initial predator-prey ratio, the nutritional quality of the supplemental food source, the species of predatory mites, the distribution of the

  3. Contrast in edge vegetation structure modifies the predation risk of natural ground nests in an agricultural landscape.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Nicole A; Low, Matthew; Arlt, Debora; Pärt, Tomas

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation risk generally increases nearer forest-field edges in agricultural landscapes. However, few studies test whether differences in edge contrast (i.e. hard versus soft edges based on vegetation structure and height) affect edge-related predation patterns and if such patterns are related to changes in nest conspicuousness between incubation and nestling feeding. Using data on 923 nesting attempts we analyse factors influencing nest predation risk at different edge types in an agricultural landscape of a ground-cavity breeding bird species, the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). As for many other bird species, nest predation is a major determinant of reproductive success in this migratory passerine. Nest predation risk was higher closer to woodland and crop field edges, but only when these were hard edges in terms of ground vegetation structure (clear contrast between tall vs short ground vegetation). No such edge effect was observed at soft edges where adjacent habitats had tall ground vegetation (crop, ungrazed grassland). This edge effect on nest predation risk was evident during the incubation stage but not the nestling feeding stage. Since wheatear nests are depredated by ground-living animals our results demonstrate: (i) that edge effects depend on edge contrast, (ii) that edge-related nest predation patterns vary across the breeding period probably resulting from changes in parental activity at the nest between the incubation and nestling feeding stage. Edge effects should be put in the context of the nest predator community as illustrated by the elevated nest predation risk at hard but not soft habitat edges when an edge is defined in terms of ground vegetation. These results thus can potentially explain previously observed variations in edge-related nest predation risk.

  4. From process to pattern: how fluctuating predation risk impacts the stress axis of snowshoe hares during the 10-year cycle.

    PubMed

    Sheriff, Michael J; Krebs, Charles J; Boonstra, Rudy

    2011-07-01

    Predation is a central organizing process affecting populations and communities. Traditionally, ecologists have focused on the direct effects of predation--the killing of prey. However, predators also have significant sublethal effects on prey populations. We investigated how fluctuating predation risk affected the stress physiology of a cyclic population of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in the Yukon, finding that they are extremely sensitive to the fluctuating risk of predation. In years of high predator numbers, hares had greater plasma cortisol levels at capture, greater fecal cortisol metabolite levels, a greater plasma cortisol response to a hormone challenge, a greater ability to mobilize energy and poorer body condition. These indices of stress had the same pattern within years, during the winter and over the breeding season when the hare:lynx ratio was lowest and the food availability the worst. Previously we have shown that predator-induced maternal stress lowers reproduction and compromises offspring's stress axis. We propose that predator-induced changes in hare stress physiology affect their demography through negative impacts on reproduction and that the low phase of cyclic populations may be the result of predator-induced maternal stress reducing the fitness of progeny. The hare population cycle has far reaching ramifications on predators, alternate prey, and vegetation. Thus, predation is the predominant organizing process for much of the North American boreal forest community, with its indirect signature--stress in hares--producing a pattern of hormonal changes that provides a sensitive reflection of fluctuating predator pressure that may have long-term demographic consequences.

  5. Reproduction under predation risk and the trade-off between current and future reproduction in the threespine stickleback

    PubMed Central

    Candolin, U.

    1998-01-01

    An increasing number of studies show that animals adjust their reproductive effort to the risk of predation. However, to maximize lifetime reproductive success this adjustment should depend on the animals' current and future reproductive potential. Here I tested this hypothesis by allowing threespine stickleback males (Gasterosteus aculeatus), differing in current and future mating probabilities, to reproduce in pools in both the presence and absence of predators. As expected, males adjusted their reproductive effort to the risk of predation. Fewer males bred, and all males developed less nuptial coloration in the presence of predators. However, males with a low current mating probability took less risk than males with a higher mating probability, whereas all males increased risk taking when future reproductive opportunities decreased. The results thus support the hypothesis that males are able to assess both the risk of predation and their current versus future mating probability, and adjust their reproductive decisions accordingly. The study further suggests that predation risk may have less effect on sexual selection than previously assumed, as the males which refrained from reproducing in the presence of predators were mainly males with a low mating probability.

  6. Corridors and olfactory predator cues affect small mammal behavior.

    SciTech Connect

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Haddad, Nick M.; Orrock, John L.

    2005-03-30

    Abstract The behavior of prey individuals is influenced by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, habitat configuration, risk of predation, and availability of resources, and these habitat-dependent factors may have interactive effects. We studied the responses of mice to an increase in perceived predation risk in a patchy environment to understand how habitat corridors might affect interactions among species in a fragmented landscape. We used a replicated experiment to investigate corridor-mediated prey responses to predator cues in a network of open habitat patches surrounded by a matrix of planted pine forest. Some of the patches were connected by corridors. We used mark–recapture techniques and foraging trays to monitor the movement, behavior, and abundance of small mammals. Predation threat was manipulated in one-half of the replicates by applying an olfactory predator cue. Corridors synchronized small mammal foraging activity among connected patches. Foraging also was inhibited in the presence of an olfactory predator cue but apparently increased in adjacent connected patches. Small mammal abundance did not change as a result of the predator manipulation and was not influenced by the presence of corridors. This study is among the 1st to indicate combined effects of landscape configuration and predation risk on prey behavior. These changes in prey behavior may, in turn, have cascading effects on community dynamics where corridors and differential predation risk influence movement and patch use.

  7. Daphnia predation on the amphibian chytrid fungus and its impacts on disease risk in tadpoles

    PubMed Central

    Searle, Catherine L; Mendelson, Joseph R; Green, Linda E; Duffy, Meghan A

    2013-01-01

    Direct predation upon parasites has the potential to reduce infection in host populations. For example, the fungal parasite of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is commonly transmitted through a free-swimming zoospore stage that may be vulnerable to predation. Potential predators of Bd include freshwater zooplankton that graze on organisms in the water column. We tested the ability of two species of freshwater crustacean (Daphnia magna and D. dentifera) to consume Bd and to reduce Bd density in water and infection in tadpoles. In a series of laboratory experiments, we allowed Daphnia to graze in water containing Bd while manipulating Daphnia densities, Daphnia species identity, grazing periods and concentrations of suspended algae (Ankistrodesmus falcatus). We then exposed tadpoles to the grazed water. We found that high densities of D. magna reduced the amount of Bd detected in water, leading to a reduction in the proportion of tadpoles that became infected. Daphnia dentifera, a smaller species of Daphnia, also reduced Bd in water samples, but did not have an effect on tadpole infection. We also found that algae affected Bd in complex ways. When Daphnia were absent, less Bd was detected in water and tadpole samples when concentrations of algae were higher, indicating a direct negative effect of algae on Bd. When Daphnia were present, however, the amount of Bd detected in water samples showed the opposite trend, with less Bd when densities of algae were lower. Our results indicate that Daphnia can reduce Bd levels in water and infection in tadpoles, but these effects vary with species, algal concentration, and Daphnia density. Therefore, the ability of predators to consume parasites and reduce infection is likely to vary depending on ecological context. PMID:24324864

  8. Daphnia predation on the amphibian chytrid fungus and its impacts on disease risk in tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Searle, Catherine L; Mendelson, Joseph R; Green, Linda E; Duffy, Meghan A

    2013-10-01

    Direct predation upon parasites has the potential to reduce infection in host populations. For example, the fungal parasite of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is commonly transmitted through a free-swimming zoospore stage that may be vulnerable to predation. Potential predators of Bd include freshwater zooplankton that graze on organisms in the water column. We tested the ability of two species of freshwater crustacean (Daphnia magna and D. dentifera) to consume Bd and to reduce Bd density in water and infection in tadpoles. In a series of laboratory experiments, we allowed Daphnia to graze in water containing Bd while manipulating Daphnia densities, Daphnia species identity, grazing periods and concentrations of suspended algae (Ankistrodesmus falcatus). We then exposed tadpoles to the grazed water. We found that high densities of D. magna reduced the amount of Bd detected in water, leading to a reduction in the proportion of tadpoles that became infected. Daphnia dentifera, a smaller species of Daphnia, also reduced Bd in water samples, but did not have an effect on tadpole infection. We also found that algae affected Bd in complex ways. When Daphnia were absent, less Bd was detected in water and tadpole samples when concentrations of algae were higher, indicating a direct negative effect of algae on Bd. When Daphnia were present, however, the amount of Bd detected in water samples showed the opposite trend, with less Bd when densities of algae were lower. Our results indicate that Daphnia can reduce Bd levels in water and infection in tadpoles, but these effects vary with species, algal concentration, and Daphnia density. Therefore, the ability of predators to consume parasites and reduce infection is likely to vary depending on ecological context.

  9. Does moonlight increase predation risk? Meta-analysis reveals divergent responses of nocturnal mammals to lunar cycles.

    PubMed

    Prugh, Laura R; Golden, Christopher D

    2014-03-01

    The risk of predation strongly affects mammalian population dynamics and community interactions. Bright moonlight is widely believed to increase predation risk for nocturnal mammals by increasing the ability of predators to detect prey, but the potential for moonlight to increase detection of predators and the foraging efficiency of prey has largely been ignored. Studies have reported highly variable responses to moonlight among species, calling into question the assumption that moonlight increases risk. Here, we conducted a quantitative meta-analysis examining the effects of moonlight on the activity of 59 nocturnal mammal species to test the assumption that moonlight increases predation risk. We examined patterns of lunarphilia and lunarphobia across species in relation to factors such as trophic level, habitat cover preference and visual acuity. Across all species included in the meta-analysis, moonlight suppressed activity. The magnitude of suppression was similar to the presence of a predator in experimental studies of foraging rodents (13.6% and 18.7% suppression, respectively). Contrary to the expectation that moonlight increases predation risk for all prey species, however, moonlight effects were not clearly related to trophic level and were better explained by phylogenetic relatedness, visual acuity and habitat cover. Moonlight increased the activity of prey species that use vision as their primary sensory system and suppressed the activity of species that primarily use other senses (e.g. olfaction, echolocation), and suppression was strongest in open habitat types. Strong taxonomic patterns underlay these relationships: moonlight tended to increase primate activity, whereas it tended to suppress the activity of rodents, lagomorphs, bats and carnivores. These results indicate that visual acuity and habitat cover jointly moderate the effect of moonlight on predation risk, whereas trophic position has little effect. While the net effect of moonlight appears

  10. Assessment of predation risk through conspecific alarm odors by spiny lobsters

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Strong “alarm odors” emanating from lethally injured conspecifics may indicate an imminent risk of predation to spiny lobsters. In laboratory trials,1 strong conspecific alarm odors elicited avoidance in Panulirus argus, a highly gregarious species that displays collective defense behavior, but not in Panulirus guttatus, a species that tends to aggregate when reproductive activity is high (spring) but not when it is low (late summer) and does not display collective defensive behavior. To reduce predation risk, however, lobsters may autotomize limbs, thus sustaining nonlethal injuries. I tested the response of these lobsters to scents emanating from intact, lethally-injured and non-lethally injured conspecifics. In P. argus, these scents elicited, respectively, attraction, avoidance and a random response, suggesting that, in P. argus, avoidance of conspecific alarm odors depends on their strength. In contrast, P. guttatus lobsters responded at random to scents of lethally injured conspecifics and showed a similar response to scents of intact and non-lethally injured conspecifics in the spring (attraction) and in the summer (random), reflecting the more cryptic defensive behavior of this species. Therefore, both species use conspecific alarm odors for risk-assessment, but each responds to these cues in the most effective way to reduce its risk of predation. PMID:19721871

  11. Integrating the costs of plant toxins and predation risk in foraging decisions of a mammalian herbivore.

    PubMed

    Kirmani, Sahar N; Banks, Peter B; McArthur, Clare

    2010-10-01

    Foraging herbivores must satisfy their nutrient requirements in a world of toxic plants while also avoiding predators. Plant toxins and perceived predation risk at food patches should both reduce patch residency time, but the relative strengths of these factors on feeding decisions has rarely been quantified. Using an arboreal generalist herbivore, the common brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula, we tested the effects on food intake of the plant toxin, cineole, and regurgitated pellets from one of its predators, the powerful owl Ninox strenua at the small spatial scale of the food patch. We used the giving-up density (GUD) framework, with animals harvesting food items (sultanas) in an inedible matrix (small pebbles). We ran two consecutive field experiments in a eucalypt woodland in eastern Australia, 1 month apart in the same location. In experiment 1, there was a significant interaction between cineole [at 17% of dry matter (DM)] and owl pellets. The GUD was lowest in the absence of both cineole and owl pellet, intermediate in the presence of owl pellet; and highest with cineole ± owl pellet. The effect of owl pellet diminished over time. In experiment 2, only cineole (at 10% DM) increased the GUD significantly. The difference in effect of owl pellet was probably due to both habituation and freshness of the cue. Our study demonstrates the importance of synthesising predator-prey and plant-herbivore ecology to better understand the complex set of constraints influencing foraging herbivores. The greater effect of toxin than fear on possums is likely to be due to its high, but ecologically relevant concentration. This highlights the need to explore the relative and net impacts of a range of concentrations of plant toxins and predation risks.

  12. Are males more scared of predators? Differential change in metabolic rate between males and females under predation risk.

    PubMed

    Lagos, Patricio A; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-02-03

    The non-consumptive effects of predation contribute to reduce preys' fitness. In this way, predation imposes a cost to animals, not only through direct consumption, but also as an energetic cost. One way used to estimate this cost in the past has been to measure the production of CO2 to estimate the change in metabolic rate because of predation. It has been proposed that this change is mediated by the insect stress neurohormone octopamine. Here we study the change in metabolic rate of the black field cricket (Teleogryllus commodus), and how the production of CO2 varies when a chemical cue from a sympatric predator is added. We hypothesised that after the addition of a predatory cue, the metabolic rate will increase. Moreover, since the pressure of predation is stronger on females, we propose that females will have a greater increase in the CO2 produce as consequence of the added cues from the predator. Our results confirmed our first hypothesis, showing an almost two-fold increase in CO2 when the predatory cue was added. However, males were the ones that showed a greater increase, in opposition to our second hypothesis. We put these results in the context of the escape theory and, in particular, the "landscape of fear" hypothesis. Also, because the timing between the increase of metabolic rate we measure here and the release of octopamine reported in previous studies do not match, we reject the idea that octopamine causes the increase in metabolism.

  13. Chlorpyrifos-induced oxidative damage is reduced under warming and predation risk: Explaining antagonistic interactions with a pesticide.

    PubMed

    Janssens, Lizanne; Stoks, Robby

    2017-07-01

    Interactions with pollutants and environmental factors are poorly studied for physiological traits. Yet physiological traits are important for explaining and predicting interactions at higher levels of organization. We investigated the single and combined impact of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, predation risk and warming on endpoints related to oxidative stress in the damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. We thereby integrated information on reactive oxygen species (ROS), antioxidant enzymes and oxidative damage. All three treatments impacted the oxidative stress levels and for most traits the pesticide interacted antagonistically with warming or predation risk. Chlorpyrifos exposure resulted in increased ROS levels, decreased antioxidant defence and increased oxidative damage compared to the control situation. Under warming, the pesticide-induced increase in oxidative stress was less strong and the investment in antioxidant defence higher. Although both the pesticide and predation risk increased oxidative damage, the effects of the pesticide on oxidative damage were less strong in the presence of predator cues (at 20 °C). Despite the weaker pesticide-induced effects under predation risk, the combination of the pesticide and predator cues consistently caused the highest ROS levels, the lowest antioxidant defence and the highest oxidative damage, indicating the importance of cumulative stressor effects for impairing fitness. Our results provide the first evidence for antagonistic interactions of warming and predation risk with a pollutant for physiological traits. We identified two general mechanisms that may generate antagonistic interactions for oxidative stress: cross-tolerance and the maximum cumulative levels of damage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Are the mediterraneantop predators exposed to toxicological risk due to endocrine disrupters?

    PubMed

    Fossi, M C; Casini, S; Marsili, L; Ausili, A; di Sciara, G N

    2001-12-01

    Man-made endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) range across all continents and oceans; some geographic areas are potentially more threatened than others: one of these is the Mediterranean Sea. This basin has limited exchange of water with the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by some of the most heavily populated and industrialized countries in the world. Accordingly, levels of some xenobiotics are much higher here than in other seas and oceans. In this research the unexplored hypothesis that Mediterranean top predator species (such as large pelagic fish and marine mammals) are potentially at risk due to EDCs is investigated. Here we illustrate the development of sensitive biomarkers (Vitellogenin, Zona Radiata proteins) for evaluation of toxicological risk in top marine predators (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus thynnus), and nonlethal techniques, such as nondestructive biomarkers (BPMO activities in skin biopsy), for the hazard assessment of threatened species exposed to EDCs, such as marine mammals (Stenella coeruleoalba, Tursiops truncatus, Delphinus delphis, and Balaenoptera physalus).

  15. Quantifying a dynamic risk landscape: heterogeneous predator activity and implications for prey persistence.

    PubMed

    Schauber, Eric M; Connors, Matthew J; Goodwin, Brett J; Jones, Clive G; Ostfeld, Richard S

    2009-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity in predation risk can ameliorate impacts on prey populations, particularly for prey of generalists. Spatially heterogeneous risk implies the existence of refugia, and the spatial scale of those refugia and their persistence over time affect whether prey can avoid predation by aggregating therein. Our objective was to quantify the magnitude, spatial scale, and temporal persistence of heterogeneity in risk of predation by white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus), an abundant generalist predator of gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) and songbirds. We used track plates to measure white-footed mouse activity at > 170 trees in each of three forest plots in upstate New York during summers of 2003-2005. We quantified the mean and coefficient of variation of track activity among trees by fitting the beta-binomial distribution to data from each plot and study period. We measured temporal persistence by disattenuated autocorrelation, and spatial scale by fitting exponential variograms. Mice were much less abundant in 2005 than the other two years, leading to lower overall track activity but higher coefficient of variation among trees. Mouse track activity at individual trees was positively autocorrelated between monthly study periods in 2003 and 2004, and even between the two years, whereas temporal autocorrelation in 2005 was much weaker. Track activity showed positive spatial autocorrelation over lag distances from approximately 30 to > 1000 m. These findings indicate that mouse activity, and hence risk to their prey, varies substantially in space at spatial and temporal scales that appear responsive to mouse population dynamics. The spatial scale and temporal persistence of that variation imply that prey may benefit from returning to, or failing to disperse from, refugia.

  16. Personality predicts individual responsiveness to the risks of starvation and predation

    PubMed Central

    Quinn, J. L.; Cole, E. F.; Bates, J.; Payne, R. W.; Cresswell, W.

    2012-01-01

    Theory suggests that individual personality is tightly linked to individual life histories and to environmental variation. The reactive–proactive axis, for example, is thought to reflect whether individuals prioritize productivity or survival, mutually exclusive options that can be caused by conflicts between foraging and anti-predation behaviour. Evidence for this trade-off hypothesis, however, is limited. Here, we tested experimentally whether exploration behaviour (EB), an assay of proactivity, could explain how great tits (Parus major) respond to changes in starvation and predation risk. Individuals were presented with two feeders, holding good or poor quality food, which interchanged between safe and dangerous positions 10 m apart, across two 24 h treatments. Starvation risk was assumed to be highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon. The proportion of time spent feeding on good quality food (PTG) rather than poor quality food was repeatable within treatments, but individuals varied in how PTG changed with respect to predation- and starvation-risk across treatments. This individual plasticity variation in foraging behaviour was linked to EB, as predicted by the reactive–proactive axis, but only among individuals in dominant social classes. Our results support the trade-off hypothesis at the level of individuals in a wild population, and suggest that fine-scale temporal and spatial variation may play important roles in the evolution of personality. PMID:22179807

  17. Personality predicts individual responsiveness to the risks of starvation and predation.

    PubMed

    Quinn, J L; Cole, E F; Bates, J; Payne, R W; Cresswell, W

    2012-05-22

    Theory suggests that individual personality is tightly linked to individual life histories and to environmental variation. The reactive-proactive axis, for example, is thought to reflect whether individuals prioritize productivity or survival, mutually exclusive options that can be caused by conflicts between foraging and anti-predation behaviour. Evidence for this trade-off hypothesis, however, is limited. Here, we tested experimentally whether exploration behaviour (EB), an assay of proactivity, could explain how great tits (Parus major) respond to changes in starvation and predation risk. Individuals were presented with two feeders, holding good or poor quality food, which interchanged between safe and dangerous positions 10 m apart, across two 24 h treatments. Starvation risk was assumed to be highest in the morning and lowest in the afternoon. The proportion of time spent feeding on good quality food (PTG) rather than poor quality food was repeatable within treatments, but individuals varied in how PTG changed with respect to predation- and starvation-risk across treatments. This individual plasticity variation in foraging behaviour was linked to EB, as predicted by the reactive-proactive axis, but only among individuals in dominant social classes. Our results support the trade-off hypothesis at the level of individuals in a wild population, and suggest that fine-scale temporal and spatial variation may play important roles in the evolution of personality.

  18. Functional Traits, Flocking Propensity, and Perceived Predation Risk in an Amazonian Understory Bird Community.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Ari E; Gomez, Juan P; Ponciano, José Miguel; Robinson, Scott K

    2016-05-01

    Within a community, different species might share similar predation risks, and, thus, the ability of species to signal and interpret heterospecific threat information may determine species' associations. We combined observational, experimental, and phylogenetic approaches to determine the extent to which evolutionary history and functional traits determined flocking propensity and perceived predation risk (response to heterospecific alarm calls) in a lowland Amazonian bird community. We predicted that small birds that feed myopically and out in the open would have higher flocking propensities and account for a higher proportion of positive responses to alarms. Using generalized linear models and the incorporation of phylogeny on data from 56 species, our results suggest that phylogenetic relationships alongside body size, foraging height, vegetation density, and response to alarm calls influence flocking propensity. Conversely, phylogenetic relationships did not influence response to heterospecific alarm calls. Among functional traits, however, foraging strategy, foraging density, and flocking propensity partially explained responses to alarm calls. Our results suggest that flocking propensity and perceived predation risk are positively related and that functional ecological traits and evolutionary history may explain certain species' associations.

  19. Risk of predation reflects variation in the reproductive strategy of a dominant forage fish in mangrove tidal tributaries.

    PubMed

    Krebs, Justin M; Bell, Susan S

    2012-03-01

    The role of predators in shaping prey life histories is a central theme in the ecological literature. However, the association between degree of predation risk and prey reproductive strategies has not been clearly established. We examined reproduction in the sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna) from small tidal tributaries in a subtropical estuary. Our results revealed a gradient along which females produced many, small offspring at one extreme (mean = 42 offspring, 17 mg each) and fewer, larger offspring at the other (24 offspring, 29 mg each). Reproductive allotment ranged from 14.9-21.5% of maternal biomass. Based on our observation of divergent reproductive strategies, we experimentally tested the null hypothesis of no difference in predation risk among tributaries using a novel quantitative approach to estimate predation. We predicted greater risk in tributaries where mollies produced many, small offspring. Tethering confirmed increasing risk from 16.2 ± 5.3% SE to 54.7 ± 3.6% fish lost h(-1) across sites in agreement with observed variation in reproduction. Predation was unexpectedly higher than predicted at one of the four sites suggesting that additional factors (e.g., food) had influenced reproduction there. Our results provide insight into the well-studied concept of predator-mediated variation in prey reproduction by quantitatively demonstrating differential risk for mollies exhibiting divergent reproductive strategies. While the observed range of variation in reproductive traits was consistent with previous studies reporting strong predator effects, higher than expected predation in one case may suggest that the prey response does not follow a continuous trajectory of incremental change with increasing predation risk, but may be better defined as a threshold beyond which a significant shift in reproductive strategy occurs.

  20. Spatial distribution of fishes in a Northwest Atlantic ecosystem in relation to risk of predation by a marine mammal.

    PubMed

    Swain, Douglas P; Benoît, Hugues P; Hammill, Mike O

    2015-09-01

    1. Numerous studies have shown that, at spatial scales of metres to several kilometres, animals balance the trade-off between foraging success and predation mortality by increasing their use of safer but less profitable habitats as predation risk increases. However, it is less clear whether prey respond similarly at the larger spatiotemporal scales of many ecosystems. 2. We determine whether this behaviour is evident in a large marine ecosystem, the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (sGSL, 75 000 km(2) ) over a 42-year period. This ecosystem is characterized by a recent increase in the abundance of a large marine predator, the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus Fabricius), by more than an order of magnitude. 3. We compared changes in spatial distribution over the 1971-2012 period between important prey of grey seals (Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L.; white hake, Urophycis tenuis Mitchill; and thorny skate, Amblyraja radiata Donovan) and non-prey fishes. 4. Distribution was modelled using generalized additive models incorporating spatially variable effects of predation risk, density dependence and water temperature. Distributions of cod, hake and skate were strongly related to risk of predation by seals, with distribution shifting into lower risk areas as predation risk increased. Non-prey species did not show similar changes in habitat use. Spatial variation in fish condition suggests that these low-risk areas are also less profitable for cod and skate in terms of food availability. The effects of density dependence and water temperature were also important in models, but did not account for the changes in habitat use as the risk of predation increased. 5. These results indicate that these fish are able to assess and respond to spatial variation in predation risk at very large spatial scales. They also suggest that non-consumptive 'risk' effects may be an important component of the declines in productivity of seal prey in this ecosystem, and of the indirect effects at lower

  1. Maternal Experience with Predation Risk Influences Genome-Wide Embryonic Gene Expression in Threespined Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

    PubMed Central

    Mommer, Brett C.; Bell, Alison M.

    2014-01-01

    There is growing evidence for nongenetic effects of maternal experience on offspring. For example, previous studies have shown that female threespined stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) exposed to predation risk produce offspring with altered behavior, metabolism and stress physiology. Here, we investigate the effect of maternal exposure to predation risk on the embryonic transcriptome in sticklebacks. Using RNA-sequencing we compared genome-wide transcription in three day post-fertilization embryos of predator-exposed and control mothers. There were hundreds of differentially expressed transcripts between embryos of predator-exposed mothers and embryos of control mothers including several non-coding RNAs. Gene Ontology analysis revealed biological pathways involved in metabolism, epigenetic inheritance, and neural proliferation and differentiation that differed between treatments. Interestingly, predation risk is associated with an accelerated life history in many vertebrates, and several of the genes and biological pathways that were identified in this study suggest that maternal exposure to predation risk accelerates the timing of embryonic development. Consistent with this hypothesis, embryos of predator-exposed mothers were larger than embryos of control mothers. These findings point to some of the molecular mechanisms that might underlie maternal effects. PMID:24887438

  2. Predator identity and time of day interact to shape the risk-reward trade-off for herbivorous coral reef fishes.

    PubMed

    Catano, Laura B; Barton, Mark B; Boswell, Kevin M; Burkepile, Deron E

    2017-03-01

    Non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of predators occur as prey alters their habitat use and foraging decisions to avoid predation. Although NCEs are recognized as being important across disparate ecosystems, the factors influencing their strength and importance remain poorly understood. Ecological context, such as time of day, predator identity, and prey condition, may modify how prey species perceive and respond to risk, thereby altering NCEs. To investigate how predator identity affects foraging of herbivorous coral reef fishes, we simulated predation risk using fiberglass models of two predator species (grouper Mycteroperca bonaci and barracuda Sphyraena barracuda) with different hunting modes. We quantified how predation risk alters herbivory rates across space (distance from predator) and time (dawn, mid-day, and dusk) to examine how prey reconciles the conflicting demands of avoiding predation vs. foraging. When we averaged the effect of both predators across space and time, they suppressed herbivory similarly. Yet, they altered feeding differently depending on time of day and distance from the model. Although feeding increased strongly with increasing distance from the predators particularly during dawn, we found that the barracuda model suppressed herbivory more strongly than the grouper model during mid-day. We suggest that prey hunger level and differences in predator hunting modes could influence these patterns. Understanding how context mediates NCEs provides insight into the emergent effects of predator-prey interactions on food webs. These insights have broad implications for understanding how anthropogenic alterations to predator abundances can affect the spatial and temporal dynamics of important ecosystem processes.

  3. Predation Risk versus Pesticide Exposure: Consequences of Fear and Loathing in the Life of Stream Shredders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pestana, J. T.; Baird, D. J.; Soares, A. M.

    2005-05-01

    Stream invertebrates are exposed to complex stressor regimes including both biotic and abiotic factors. Species living in streams in agricultural landscapes are often subjected to episodic or continuous exposures to low levels of agrochemicals, which may approach or exceed specific substance guidelines. Sublethal effects of pesticides may result in direct effects on organisms (e.g. reduced physiological performance), which may in turn contribute to indirect effects relating to survival (e.g. increased predation risk). Here, we investigate the possibility that predator-release kairomones can act additively with low-level pesticide exposure to reduce physiological performance and survival of stream invertebrates in previously unforeseen ways. Feeding, metabolic and behavioural responses of two shredder insects, the North American stonefly Pteronarcys comstockii and the European caddisfly Sericostoma vittatum were measured under exposure to the insecticide imidacloprid at different levels of indirect predation stress using predator-release kairomones from Brown Trout (Salmo trutta). Pteronarcys feeding was measured in terms of mass of naturally conditioned alder leaf discs consumed over a 6-day and 10 -day period in animals held in cages in stream mesocosms. Pteronarcys feeding was impaired at 1 ppb in the 6-day trial and at 0,5 ppb in the 10-day trial relatively to unexposed controls. Metabolic rate was measured in the lab in terms of oxygen consumption of Pteronarcys. Animals exposed to 0.5 and 1 ppb imidacloprid showed elevated respiratory rates compared to controls. Laboratory experiments with Sericostoma, currently in progress, are examining the separate and combined effects of imidacloprid and predator kairomone on similar endpoints. These preliminary results are discussed in relation to the development of the Mechanistic Unifying Stressor Effects (MUSE) model which can be used to predict combined ecological effects of multiple stressors at the population level.

  4. Microhabitat Selection by Marine Mesoconsumers in a Thermally Heterogeneous Habitat: Behavioral Thermoregulation or Avoiding Predation Risk?

    PubMed Central

    Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers – juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus), reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak), and pink whiprays (H. fai) – in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season) suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics. PMID:23593501

  5. Impact of high predation risk on genome-wide hippocampal gene expression in snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Lavergne, Sophia G; McGowan, Patrick O; Krebs, Charles J; Boonstra, Rudy

    2014-11-01

    The population dynamics of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) are fundamental to the ecosystem dynamics of Canada's boreal forest. During the 8- to 11-year population cycle, hare densities can fluctuate up to 40-fold. Predators in this system (lynx, coyotes, great-horned owls) affect population numbers not only through direct mortality but also through sublethal effects. The chronic stress hypothesis posits that high predation risk during the decline severely stresses hares, leading to greater stress responses, heightened ability to mobilize cortisol and energy, and a poorer body condition. These effects may result in, or be mediated by, differential gene expression. We used an oligonucleotide microarray designed for a closely-related species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), to characterize differences in genome-wide hippocampal RNA transcript abundance in wild hares from the Yukon during peak and decline phases of a single cycle. A total of 106 genes were differentially regulated between phases. Array results were validated with quantitative real-time PCR, and mammalian protein sequence similarity was used to infer gene function. In comparison to hares from the peak, decline phase hares showed increased expression of genes involved in metabolic processes and hormone response, and decreased expression of immune response and blood cell formation genes. We found evidence for predation risk effects on the expression of genes whose putative functions correspond with physiological impacts known to be induced by predation risk in snowshoe hares. This study shows, for the first time, a link between changes in demography and alterations in neural RNA transcript abundance in a natural population.

  6. The consequences of crowned eagle central-place foraging on predation risk in monkeys.

    PubMed

    Shultz, Susanne; Noë, Ronald

    2002-09-07

    The African crowned eagle (Stepahnoaetus coronatus) is the primary predator for arboreal primates throughout sub-Saharan forests. Monkeys typically respond with alarm calls when they are aware of the presence of crowned eagles and such calls can be considered a corollary of predation risk within primate groups. Alarm calls from six species of monkeys were recorded across the home range of an eagle pair in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. Spatial and temporal variation in primate alarm calling was found to be related to eagle ranging behaviour according to the predictions of central-place foraging models. Radio-tracking data indicate that eagle activity is higher in the centre of their home range and monkey alarm-calling rates are correspondingly elevated near eagle nests as opposed to farther away. Alarm-calling rates are also temporally coupled with measures of eagle activity. There were considerable differences between the species in both rates and spatial patterns of alarm calling. The variation we measure in predation risk is expected to have consequences at the behavioural and population level.

  7. Insect development under predation risk variable temperature, and variable food quality.

    PubMed

    Logan, J David; Wolesensky, William; Joern, Anthony

    2007-01-01

    We model the development of an individual insect, a grasshopper, through its nymphal period as a function of a trade-off between prey vigilance and nutrient intake in a changing environment. Both temperature and food quality may be variable. We scale up to the population level using natural mortality and a predation risk that is mass, vigilance, and temperature dependent. Simulations reveal the sensitivity of both survivorship and development time to risk and nutrient intake, including food quality and temperature variations. The model quantifies the crucial role of temperature in trophic interactions and development, which is an important issue in assessing the effects of global climate change on complex environmental interactions.

  8. Assessing juvenile salmon rearing habitat and associated predation risk in a lower Snake River reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hatten, James R.; Trachtenbarg, David A

    2015-01-01

    Subyearling fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River basin exhibit a transient rearing strategy and depend on connected shoreline habitats during freshwater rearing. Impoundment has greatly reduced the amount of shallow-water rearing habitat that is exacerbated by the steep topography of reservoirs. Periodic dredging creates opportunities to strategically place spoils to increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for subyearlings while at the same time reducing the amount of unsuitable area that is often preferred by predators. We assessed the amount and spatial arrangement of subyearling rearing habitat in Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River to guide future habitat improvement efforts. A spatially explicit habitat assessment was conducted using physical habitat data, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling and a statistical habitat model in a geographic information system framework. We used field collections of subyearlings and a common predator [smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)] to draw inferences about predation risk within specific habitat types. Most of the high-probability rearing habitat was located in the upper half of the reservoir where gently sloping landforms created low lateral bed slopes and shallow-water habitats. Only 29% of shorelines were predicted to be suitable (probability >0.5) for subyearlings, and the occurrence of these shorelines decreased in a downstream direction. The remaining, less suitable areas were composed of low-probability habitats in unmodified (25%) and riprapped shorelines (46%). As expected, most subyearlings were found in high-probability habitat, while most smallmouth bass were found in low-probability locations. However, some subyearlings were found in low-probability habitats, such as riprap, where predation risk could be high. Given their transient rearing strategy and dependence on shoreline habitats, subyearlings could benefit from habitat creation efforts in the lower

  9. Prey composition modulates exposure risk to anticoagulant rodenticides in a sentinel predator, the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Geduhn, Anke; Esther, Alexandra; Schenke, Detlef; Gabriel, Doreen; Jacob, Jens

    2016-02-15

    Worldwide, small rodents are main prey items for many mammalian and avian predators. Some rodent species have pest potential and are managed with anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs). ARs are consumed by target and non-target small mammals and can lead to secondary exposure of predators. The development of appropriate risk mitigation strategies is important and requires detailed knowledge of AR residue pathways. From July 2011 to October 2013 we collected 2397 regurgitated barn owl (Tyto alba) pellets to analyze diet composition of owls on livestock farms in western Germany. 256 of them were fresh pellets that were collected during brodifacoum baiting. Fresh pellets and 742 liver samples of small mammals that were trapped during baiting in the same area were analyzed for residues of ARs. We calculated exposure risk of barn owls to ARs by comparing seasonal diet composition of owls with AR residue patterns in prey species. Risk was highest in autumn, when barn owls increasingly preyed on Apodemus that regularly showed AR residues, sometimes at high concentrations. The major prey species (Microtus spp.) that was consumed most frequently in summer had less potential to contribute to secondary poisoning of owls. There was no effect of AR application on prey composition. We rarely detected ARs in pellets (2 of 256 samples) but 13% of 38 prey individuals in barn owl nests were AR positive and substantiated the expected pathway. AR residues were present in 55% of 11 barn owl carcasses. Fluctuation in non-target small mammal abundance and differences in AR residue exposure patterns in prey species drives exposure risk for barn owls and probably other predators of small mammals. Exposure risk could be minimized through spatial and temporal adaption of AR applications (avoiding long baiting and non-target hot spots at farms) and through selective bait access for target animals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Towards a predictive framework for predator risk effects: the interaction of landscape features and prey escape tactics.

    PubMed

    Heithaus, Michael R; Wirsing, Aaron J; Burkholder, Derek; Thomson, Jordan; Dill, Lawrence M

    2009-05-01

    1. Risk effects of predators can profoundly affect community dynamics, but the nature of these effects is context dependent. 2. Although context dependence has hindered the development of a general framework for predicting the nature and extent of risk effects, recent studies suggest that such a framework is attainable if the factors that shape anti-predator behaviour, and its effectiveness, in natural communities are well understood. 3. One of these factors, the interaction of prey escape tactics and landscape features, has been largely overlooked. 4. We tested whether this interaction gives rise to interspecific variation in habitat-use patterns of sympatric large marine vertebrates at risk of tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier Peron and LeSueur, 1822) predation. Specifically, we tested the a priori hypothesis that pied cormorants (Phalacrocorax varius Gmelin, 1789) would modify their use of shallow seagrass habitats in a manner opposite to that of previously studied dolphins (Tursiops aduncus Ehrenberg, 1833), dugongs (Dugong dugon Müller, 1776), and green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758) because, unlike these species, the effectiveness of cormorant escape behaviour does not vary spatially. 5. As predicted, cormorants used interior and edge portions of banks proportional to the abundance of their potential prey when sharks were absent but shifted to interior portions of banks to minimize encounters with tiger sharks as predation risk increased. Other shark prey, however, shift to edge microhabitats when shark densities increase to take advantage of easier escape despite higher encounter rates with sharks. 6. The interaction of landscape features and escape ability likely is important in diverse communities. 7. When escape probabilities are high in habitats with high predator density, risk effects of predators can reverse the direction of commonly assumed indirect effects of top predators. 8. The interaction between landscape features and prey escape tactics

  11. Advanced autumn migration of sparrowhawk has increased the predation risk of long-distance migrants in Finland.

    PubMed

    Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2011-01-01

    Predation affects life history traits of nearly all organisms and the population consequences of predator avoidance are often larger than predation itself. Climate change has been shown to cause phenological changes. These changes are not necessarily similar between species and may cause mismatches between prey and predator. Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, the main predator of passerines, has advanced its autumn phenology by about ten days in 30 years due to climate change. However, we do not know if sparrowhawk migrate earlier in response to earlier migration by its prey or if earlier sparrowhawk migration results in changes to predation risk on its prey. By using the median departure date of 41 passerine species I was able to show that early migrating passerines tend to advance, and late migrating species delay their departure, but none of the species have advanced their departure times as much as the sparrowhawk. This has lead to a situation of increased predation risk on early migrating long-distance migrants (LDM) and decreased the overlap of migration season with later departing short-distance migrants (SDM). Findings highlight the growing list of problems of declining LDM populations caused by climate change. On the other hand it seems that the autumn migration may become safer for SDM whose populations are growing. Results demonstrate that passerines show very conservative response in autumn phenology to climate change, and thus phenological mismatches caused by global warming are not necessarily increasing towards the higher trophic levels.

  12. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    PubMed

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  13. Habitat Selection and Risk of Predation: Re-colonization by Lynx had Limited Impact on Habitat Selection by Roe Deer

    PubMed Central

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx – the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations. PMID:24069419

  14. Resource-mediated impact of spider predation risk on performance in the grasshopper Ageneotettix deorum (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    PubMed

    Danner, Bradford J; Joern, Anthony

    2003-11-01

    In response to increased exposure to predators when searching for food, many prey increase the frequency of antipredator behaviors, potentially reducing foraging rate and food intake. Such direct, nonlethal interactions between predators and prey resulting in reduced food intake can indirectly influence lifecycle development through effects on growth, developmental rate, and survival. We investigated the general hypothesis that individual performance of a herbivorous insect can be negatively affected when exposed to nonlethal predation risk, and that the response can be mediated by food quality. This hypothesis was tested using the common rangeland grasshopper Ageneotettix deorum with and without exposure to common wolf spider predators (Lycosidae, Schizocosa spp.) on both untreated natural and fertilized vegetation. All spiders were rendered temporarily incapable of direct feeding by restricting function of the chelicerae with beeswax. Detectable responses by grasshoppers to spiders indicate indirect consequences for lifecycle development. Grasshopper performance was measured as hind femur growth, duration of nymphal lifecycle stages, and survivorship in a caged field experiment conducted over 2 years. Grasshoppers developed faster and grew 3-5% larger when allowed to forage on fertilized vegetation in the absence of risk from a spider predator. Failure-time analysis illustrated enhanced survival probability in response to elevated food quality and the negative effects of grasshopper susceptibility to nonlethal predation risk. Performance on food of relatively low, ambient quality with no predation risk equaled that of grasshoppers caged with high quality vegetation in the presence of a modified spider. Increased resource quality can clearly moderate the negative life history responses caused by the behavioral modification of grasshoppers when exposed to spider predation risk, a compensatory response.

  15. Predators or prey? Spatio-temporal discrimination of human-derived risk by brown bears.

    PubMed

    Ordiz, Andrés; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Delibes, Miguel; Swenson, Jon E

    2011-05-01

    Prey usually adjust anti-predator behavior to subtle variations in perceived risk. However, it is not clear whether adult large carnivores that are virtually free of natural predation adjust their behavior to subtle variations in human-derived risk, even when living in human-dominated landscapes. As a model, we studied resting-site selection by a large carnivore, the brown bear (Ursus arctos), under different spatial and temporal levels of human activity. We quantified horizontal and canopy cover at 440 bear beds and 439 random sites at different distances from human settlements, seasons, and times of the day. We hypothesized that beds would be more concealed than random sites and that beds would be more concealed in relation to human-derived risk. Although human densities in Scandinavia are the lowest within bear ranges in Western Europe, we found an effect of human activity; bears chose beds with higher horizontal and canopy cover during the day (0700-1900 hours), especially when resting closer to human settlements, than at night (2200-0600 hours). In summer/fall (the berry season), with more intensive and dispersed human activity, including hunting, bears rested further from human settlements during the day than in spring (pre-berry season). Additionally, day beds in the summer/fall were the most concealed. Large carnivores often avoid humans at a landscape scale, but total avoidance in human-dominated areas is not possible. Apparently, bears adjust their behavior to avoid human encounters, which resembles the way prey avoid their predators. Bears responded to fine-scale variations in human-derived risk, both on a seasonal and a daily basis.

  16. Risk of spider predation alters food web structure and reduces local herbivory in the field.

    PubMed

    Bucher, Roman; Menzel, Florian; Entling, Martin H

    2015-06-01

    Predators can indirectly enhance plant performance via herbivore suppression, with both prey consumption and changes in prey traits (e.g. changes in foraging behaviour) contributing to the reduction in herbivory. We performed a field experiment to determine the extent of such non-consumptive effects which consisted of repeatedly placing spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) on enclosed plants (Urtica dioica) for cue deposition. Control plants were enclosed in the same way but without spiders. After cue deposition, the enclosures were removed to allow arthropods to colonize the plants and feed on them. Arthropods were removed from the plants before the subsequent spider deposition or control enclosure. During six cycles of enclosure, we quantified leaf damage on the plants. After a seventh cycle, the colonizing arthropods were sampled to determine community composition in relation to the presence/absence of spider cues. We found that the presence of chemotactile spider cues reduced leaf damage by 50 %. In addition, spider cues led to changes in the arthropod community: smaller spiders avoided plants with spider cues. In contrast, the aphid-tending ant Myrmica rubra showed higher recruitment of workers on cue-bearing plants, possibly to protect aphids. Our results show that the risk of spider predation can reduce herbivory on wild plants and also demonstrate that non-consumptive effects can be particularly strong within the predator guild.

  17. Conditional Reduction of Predation Risk Associated with a Facultative Symbiont in an Insect

    PubMed Central

    Polin, Sarah; Le Gallic, Jean-François; Simon, Jean-Christophe; Tsuchida, Tsutomu; Outreman, Yannick

    2015-01-01

    Symbionts are widespread among eukaryotes and their impacts on the ecology and evolution of their hosts are meaningful. Most insects harbour obligate and facultative symbiotic bacteria that can influence their phenotype. In the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, an astounding symbiotic-mediated phenotype has been recently observed: when infected with the symbiotic bacteria Rickettsiella viridis, young red aphid larvae become greener at adulthood and even darker green when co-infected with Rickettsiella viridis and Hamiltonella defensa. As body colour affects the susceptibility towards natural enemies in aphids, the influence of the colour change due to these facultative symbionts on the host survival in presence of predators was tested. Our results suggested that the Rickettsiella viridis infection may impact positively host survival by reducing predation risk. Due to results from uninfected aphids (i.e., more green ones attacked), the main assumption is that this symbiotic infection would deter the predatory ladybird feeding by reducing the profitability of their hosts rather than decreasing host detection through body colour change. Aphids co-infected with Rickettsiella viridis and Hamiltonella defensa were, however, more exposed to predation suggesting an ecological cost associated with multiple infections. The underlying mechanisms and ecological consequences of these symbiotic effects are discussed. PMID:26618776

  18. Fine-scale predation risk on elk after wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone National Park, USA.

    PubMed

    Halofsky, Joshua S; Ripple, William J

    2008-04-01

    While patterns from trophic cascade studies have largely focused on density-mediated effects of predators on prey, there is increasing recognition that behaviorally mediated indirect effects of predators on prey can, at least in part, explain trophic cascade patterns. To determine if a relationship exists between predation risk perceived by elk (Cervus elaphus) while browsing and elk position within the landscape, we observed a total of 56 female elk during two summers and 29 female elk during one winter. At a fine spatial (0-187 m) and temporal scale (145-300 s), results from our model selection indicated summer vigilance levels were greater for females with calves than for females without calves, with vigilance levels greater for all females at closer escape-impediment distances. Winter results also suggested greater female vigilance levels at closer escape-impediment distances, but further indicated an increase in vigilance levels with closer conifer-edge distances. Placed within the context of other studies, the results were consistent with a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade and provide a potential mechanism to explain the variability in observed woody plant release from browsing in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.

  19. Species-specific responsiveness of four enzymes to endosulfan and predation risk questions their usefulness as general biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Trekels, Hendrik; Van de Meutter, Frank; Bervoets, Lieven; Stoks, Robby

    2012-01-01

    General biochemical biomarkers are widely used in current ecotoxicology and may function as early warning signals. We have, however, poor knowledge on how ecologically similar species differ in their biomarker responsiveness and how predation risk may affect these biomarkers, potentially in an interactive way with pesticides. We evaluated this by exposing four corixid water bug species to combinations of endosulfan and predation risk and quantifying the activity of four general enzymatic biomarkers: acetylcholinesterase (AChE), phenoloxidase (PO), catalase (CAT) and superoxidedismutase (SOD). AChE activity was inhibited at an endosulfan concentration of 2 μg l(-1) and this did not differ significantly among species. Predation risk inhibited AChE activity with the same magnitude as endosulfan in one species, S. striata. Reduction in the investment of immune function following pesticide exposure, as measured by the activity of PO, was only observed in C. coleoptrata at 8 μg l(-1) while we observed an increase of PO levels in S. striata. Overall, PO was suppressed under predation risk at 8 μg l(-1) endosulfan. For SOD we observed a pesticide-induced increase across all species under predation risk, while for CAT the pesticide-induced increase was only present without predation risk. These results indicate that even within this group of ecologically similar and closely related species opposing biomarker responses may exist, as observed for PO. Effects of predation risk on all four enzymes, at a similar magnitude as the pesticide effects, further question their usefulness as general biomarkers.

  20. Microhabitat preference and vertical use of space by patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas) in relation to predation risk and habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Enstam, Karin L; Isbell, Lynne A

    2004-01-01

    Habitat structure can be important in determining habitat preference of animals because it is often closely linked to factors that affect survival and reproduction, such as food availability and predation risk. Here we examine the ways in which microhabitat structure and predation risk affect the habitat preference of wild patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas). Patas monkeys in Kenya are typically restricted to Acacia drepanolobium habitat, but within our study group's home range, there are two distinct microhabitats, one with taller trees ('tall microhabitat') and one with apparently perennially shorter trees ('short microhabitat'). Examination of ranging behavior indicates that the patas monkeys preferred the tall microhabitat. In the tall microhabitat, focal animals climbed into trees that were significantly taller than average, indicating that they preferred tall trees. Female patas monkeys spent more time scanning from tall trees than from short trees and detected predators only from taller than average trees, based on alarm call data. Their use of tall trees may have decreased their predation risk by increasing their ability to detect predators. We found no evidence of increased food availability or reduced predator presence in the tall microhabitat that could contribute to the monkeys' preference for the tall microhabitat.

  1. Effects of size on predation risk, behavioural response to fish, and cost of reduced feeding in larval Ischnura verticalis (Coenagrionidae: Odonata).

    PubMed

    Dixon, S M; Baker, R L

    1988-07-01

    We used laboratory studies to examine the role of predation risk and cost of anti-predator behaviour in determining the behavioural response of several larval instars of Ischnura verticalis to a fish predator (Lepomis gibbosus). Smaller larvae were less susceptible to fish predation than larger larvae. Smaller larvae depressed movement to a greater degree in the presence of fish than did larger larvae; large larvae were generally less active than small larvae regardless of fish presence. Reduced feeding resulted in smaller larvae suffering more in terms of reduced growth than did large larvae. In general, our results tend to support the hypothesis that individuals that suffer high costs of anti-predator behaviour but little risk of predation may only exhibit anti-predator behaviours in the presence of predators, whereas individuals with a higher risk of predation and a lower cost of anti-predator behaviour may evolve anti-predator mechanisms that are in effect even in the absence of predators.

  2. Pastoral Herding Strategies and Governmental Management Objectives: Predation Compensation as a Risk Buffering Strategy in the Saami Reindeer Husbandry.

    PubMed

    Næss, Marius Warg; Bårdsen, Bård-Jørgen; Pedersen, Elisabeth; Tveraa, Torkild

    2011-08-01

    Previously it has been found that an important risk buffering strategy in the Saami reindeer husbandry in Norway is the accumulation of large herds of reindeer as this increases long-term household viability. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated how official policies, such as economic compensation for livestock losses, can influence pastoral strategies. This study investigated the effect of received predation compensation on individual husbandry units' future herd size. The main finding in this study is that predation compensation had a positive effect on husbandry units' future herd size. The effect of predation compensation, however, was nonlinear in some years, indicating that predation compensation had a positive effect on future herd size only up to a certain threshold whereby adding additional predation compensation had little effect on future herd size. More importantly, the effect of predation compensation was positive after controlling for reindeer density, indicating that for a given reindeer density husbandry units receiving more predation compensation performed better (measured as the size of future herds) compared to husbandry units receiving less compensation.

  3. Effects of maternal nutrition, resource use and multi-predator risk on neonatal white-tailed deer survival.

    PubMed

    Duquette, Jared F; Belant, Jerrold L; Svoboda, Nathan J; Beyer, Dean E; Lederle, Patrick E

    2014-01-01

    Growth of ungulate populations is typically most sensitive to survival of neonates, which in turn is influenced by maternal nutritional condition and trade-offs in resource selection and avoidance of predators. We assessed whether resource use, multi-predator risk, maternal nutritional effects, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained variation in daily survival of free-ranging neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during their post-partum period (14 May-31 Aug) in Michigan, USA. We used Cox proportional hazards mixed-effects models to assess survival related to covariates of resource use, composite predation risk of 4 mammalian predators, fawn body mass at birth, winter weather, and vegetation growth phenology. Predation, particularly from coyotes (Canis latrans), was the leading cause of mortality; however, an additive model of non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects explained 71% of the variation in survival. This relationship suggested that dams selected areas where fawns had poor resources, while greater predation in these areas led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resource use alone. Also, maternal nutritional effects suggested that severe winters resulted in dams producing smaller fawns, which decreased their likelihood of survival. Fawn resource use appeared to reflect dam avoidance of lowland forests with poor forage and greater use by wolves (C. lupus), their primary predator. While this strategy led to greater fawn mortality, particularly by coyotes, it likely promoted the life-long reproductive success of dams because many reached late-age (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple generations of fawns. Studies often link resource selection and survival of ungulates, but our results suggested that multiple factors can mediate that relationship, including multi-predator risk. We emphasize the importance of identifying interactions among biological and environmental factors when

  4. Effects of Maternal Nutrition, Resource Use and Multi-Predator Risk on Neonatal White-Tailed Deer Survival

    PubMed Central

    Duquette, Jared F.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Svoboda, Nathan J.; Beyer, Dean E.; Lederle, Patrick E.

    2014-01-01

    Growth of ungulate populations is typically most sensitive to survival of neonates, which in turn is influenced by maternal nutritional condition and trade-offs in resource selection and avoidance of predators. We assessed whether resource use, multi-predator risk, maternal nutritional effects, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained variation in daily survival of free-ranging neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during their post-partum period (14 May–31 Aug) in Michigan, USA. We used Cox proportional hazards mixed-effects models to assess survival related to covariates of resource use, composite predation risk of 4 mammalian predators, fawn body mass at birth, winter weather, and vegetation growth phenology. Predation, particularly from coyotes (Canis latrans), was the leading cause of mortality; however, an additive model of non-ideal resource use and maternal nutritional effects explained 71% of the variation in survival. This relationship suggested that dams selected areas where fawns had poor resources, while greater predation in these areas led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resource use alone. Also, maternal nutritional effects suggested that severe winters resulted in dams producing smaller fawns, which decreased their likelihood of survival. Fawn resource use appeared to reflect dam avoidance of lowland forests with poor forage and greater use by wolves (C. lupus), their primary predator. While this strategy led to greater fawn mortality, particularly by coyotes, it likely promoted the life-long reproductive success of dams because many reached late-age (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple generations of fawns. Studies often link resource selection and survival of ungulates, but our results suggested that multiple factors can mediate that relationship, including multi-predator risk. We emphasize the importance of identifying interactions among biological and environmental factors

  5. Effects of depth and crayfish size on predation risk and foraging profitability of a lotic crayfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flinders, C.A.; Magoulick, D.D.

    2007-01-01

    crayfish grew faster in shallow habitats where they might have had a fitness advantage caused by high prey availability and reduced predation risk. Size-dependent reduction of silt by crayfish might influence benthic habitats where large crayfish are abundant. ?? 2007 by The North American Benthological Society.

  6. Carrying food items to cover for consumption: the behavior of ten bird species feeding under the risk of predation.

    PubMed

    Valone, T J; Lima, S L

    1987-01-01

    In earlier work (Lima et al. 1985; Lima 1985), we found that gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus) when exploiting a patch of food in the open often carried individual food items to protective cover for consumption. Their tendency to carry (i) decreased as distance of the patch from cover increased, and (ii) increased as size of the available food items increased. A simple model indicated that this behavior was consistent with a trade-off between efficient foraging and predation risk. Maximal feeding efficiency was achieved by always eating at the patch, whereas minimal time exposure to predators was achieved by carrying all items to cover for consumption. Because predation-riskrelated trade-offs are likely to be of importance in the determination of feeding behavior, we surveyed the behavior of 10 bird species feeding under similar conditions to assess both the generality of the above results and the adequacy of some simple assumptions concerning the assessment and perception of predation risk.We observed considerable interspecific variability in behavior. Of the 10 species studied, 4 behaved in a manner similar to the squirrels and chickadees. Five other species showed an increased tendency to carry with larger items but no clear tendency to decrease carrying from longer distances. The one remaining species exhibited neither behavioral trend.The model that predicted squirrel and chickadee behavior failed to account for all observed behavior. The behavior of all species, however, was influenced by predation risk, and the discrepancy between theory and observation most likely reflects shortcomings of the model. These discrepancies indicate that other factors, in addition to exposure time, may be of significance in the perception of predation risk by several (or all) of the species studied. Of particular importance may be a distance-dependent probability of escaping attack. Other results indicate that predation risk

  7. The relative importance of predation risk and water temperature in maintaining Bergmann's rule in a marine ectotherm.

    PubMed

    Manyak-Davis, Anna; Bell, Tina M; Sotka, Erik E

    2013-09-01

    Bergmann's rule-an increase in body size with latitude-correlates with latitudinal declines in ambient temperature and predation risk, but relatively few studies simultaneously explore the relative importance of these factors. Along temperate Atlantic shorelines, the isopod Idotea balthica from high latitudes are 53% longer on average than isopods from low latitudes. When reared at 6°-24°C, juveniles increased growth and development rates with temperature. Because the increase in growth rate with temperature outstripped increases in development rate, female size at maturity increased with temperature. This thermal sensitivity of growth cannot account for the latitudinal pattern in body size. Within temperature treatments, females from low latitudes reached sexual maturity at younger ages and at a smaller size than did females from higher latitudes. This shift in life-history strategy is predicted by latitudinal declines in predation pressure, which we tested using field-tethering experiments. Overall, isopods at low latitudes had a 44% greater mortality risk from daytime predators relative to isopods at higher latitudes. We conclude that a latitudinal gradient in predation risk, not temperature, is principally responsible for Bergmann's rule in I. balthica. Increases in body size during future warming of oceans may be constrained by local patterns of predation risk.

  8. Linking anti-predator behaviour to prey demography reveals limited risk effects of an actively hunting large carnivore

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Middleton, Arthur D.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; McWhirter, Douglas E.; Jimenez, Michael D.; Cook, Rachel C.; Cook, John G.; Albeke, Shannon E.; Sawyer, Hall; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the diffuse risk cues generated by wide-ranging, active predators should induce prey behavioural responses but not major, population- or community-level consequences. We evaluated the non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of an active predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), by simultaneously tracking wolves and the behaviour, body fat, and pregnancy of elk (Cervus elaphus), their primary prey in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. When wolves approached within 1 km, elk increased their rates of movement, displacement and vigilance. Even in high-risk areas, however, these encounters occurred only once every 9 days. Ultimately, despite 20-fold variation in the frequency of encounters between wolves and individual elk, the risk of predation was not associated with elk body fat or pregnancy. Our findings suggest that the ecological consequences of actively hunting large carnivores, such as the wolf, are more likely transmitted by consumptive effects on prey survival than NCEs on prey behaviour.

  9. Linking anti-predator behaviour to prey demography reveals limited risk effects of an actively hunting large carnivore.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Arthur D; Kauffman, Matthew J; McWhirter, Douglas E; Jimenez, Michael D; Cook, Rachel C; Cook, John G; Albeke, Shannon E; Sawyer, Hall; White, P J

    2013-08-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the diffuse risk cues generated by wide-ranging, active predators should induce prey behavioural responses but not major, population- or community-level consequences. We evaluated the non-consumptive effects (NCEs) of an active predator, the grey wolf (Canis lupus), by simultaneously tracking wolves and the behaviour, body fat, and pregnancy of elk (Cervus elaphus), their primary prey in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. When wolves approached within 1 km, elk increased their rates of movement, displacement and vigilance. Even in high-risk areas, however, these encounters occurred only once every 9 days. Ultimately, despite 20-fold variation in the frequency of encounters between wolves and individual elk, the risk of predation was not associated with elk body fat or pregnancy. Our findings suggest that the ecological consequences of actively hunting large carnivores, such as the wolf, are more likely transmitted by consumptive effects on prey survival than NCEs on prey behaviour.

  10. Are migrant and resident elk (Cervus elaphus) exposed to similar forage and predation risk on their sympatric winter range?

    PubMed

    Robinson, Barry G; Hebblewhite, Mark; Merrill, Evelyn H

    2010-09-01

    Partially migratory populations, where one portion of a population conducts seasonal migrations (migrants) while the other remains on a single range (residents), are common in ungulates. Studies that assess trade-offs between migratory strategies typically compare the amount of predation risk and forage resources migrants and residents are exposed to only while on separate ranges and assume both groups intermix completely while on sympatric ranges. Here we provide one of the first tests of this assumption by comparing the amount of overlap between home ranges of GPS-collared migrant and resident elk and fine-scale exposure to wolf predation risk and forage biomass at telemetry locations on a sympatric winter range in west-central Alberta, Canada. Overlap between migrant and resident home ranges increased throughout the winter, and both groups were generally intermixed and exposed to equal forage biomass. During the day, both migrants and residents avoided predation risk by remaining in areas far from timber with high human activity, which wolves avoided. However, at night wolves moved onto the grasslands close to humans and away from timber. Resident elk were consistently closer to areas of human activity and further from timber than migrants, possibly because of a habituation to humans. As a result, resident elk were exposed to higher night-time predation risk than migrants. Our study does not support the assumption that migrant and resident elk are exposed to equal predation risk on their sympatric range when human presence alters predation risk dynamics and habituation to humans is unequal between migratory strategies.

  11. Is it safe to nest near conspicuous neighbours? Spatial patterns in predation risk associated with the density of American Golden-Plover nests

    PubMed Central

    Trottier-Paquet, Myriam; Bêty, Joël; Lamarre, Vincent; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Predation is one of the main factors explaining nesting mortality in most bird species. Birds can avoid nest predation or reduce predation pressure by breeding at higher latitude, showing anti-predator behaviour, selecting nest sites protected from predators, and nesting in association with protective species. American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica) defend their territory by using various warning and distraction behaviours displayed at varying levels of intensity (hereafter “conspicuous behaviour”), as well as more aggressive behaviours such as aerial attacks, but only in some populations. Such antipredator behaviour has the potential to repel predators and thus benefit the neighbouring nests by decreasing their predation risk. Yet, conspicuous behaviour could also attract predators by signalling the presence of a nest. To test for the existence of a protective effect associated with the conspicuous antipredator behaviour of American Golden-Plovers, we studied the influence of proximity to plover nests on predation risk of artificial nests on Igloolik Island (Nunavut, Canada) in July 2014. We predicted that the predation risk of artificial nests would decrease with proximity to and density of plover nests. We monitored 18 plover nests and set 35 artificial nests at 30, 50, 100, 200, and 500 m from seven of those plover nests. We found that the predation risk of artificial nests increases with the density of active plover nests. We also found a significant negative effect of the distance to the nearest active protector nest on predation risk of artificial nests. Understanding how the composition and structure of shorebird communities generate spatial patterns in predation risks represents a key step to better understand the importance of these species of conservation concern in tundra food webs. PMID:27602257

  12. Is it safe to nest near conspicuous neighbours? Spatial patterns in predation risk associated with the density of American Golden-Plover nests.

    PubMed

    Giroux, Marie-Andrée; Trottier-Paquet, Myriam; Bêty, Joël; Lamarre, Vincent; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Predation is one of the main factors explaining nesting mortality in most bird species. Birds can avoid nest predation or reduce predation pressure by breeding at higher latitude, showing anti-predator behaviour, selecting nest sites protected from predators, and nesting in association with protective species. American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica) defend their territory by using various warning and distraction behaviours displayed at varying levels of intensity (hereafter "conspicuous behaviour"), as well as more aggressive behaviours such as aerial attacks, but only in some populations. Such antipredator behaviour has the potential to repel predators and thus benefit the neighbouring nests by decreasing their predation risk. Yet, conspicuous behaviour could also attract predators by signalling the presence of a nest. To test for the existence of a protective effect associated with the conspicuous antipredator behaviour of American Golden-Plovers, we studied the influence of proximity to plover nests on predation risk of artificial nests on Igloolik Island (Nunavut, Canada) in July 2014. We predicted that the predation risk of artificial nests would decrease with proximity to and density of plover nests. We monitored 18 plover nests and set 35 artificial nests at 30, 50, 100, 200, and 500 m from seven of those plover nests. We found that the predation risk of artificial nests increases with the density of active plover nests. We also found a significant negative effect of the distance to the nearest active protector nest on predation risk of artificial nests. Understanding how the composition and structure of shorebird communities generate spatial patterns in predation risks represents a key step to better understand the importance of these species of conservation concern in tundra food webs.

  13. Trade-Offs between Predation Risk and Growth Benefits in the Copepod Eurytemora affinis with Contrasting Pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Gorokhova, Elena; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Motwani, Nisha H.

    2013-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in body pigmentation is an ecologically and evolutionary important trait; however, the pigmentation related trade-offs in marine zooplankton are poorly understood. We tested the effects of intrapopulation phenotypic variation in the pigmentation of the copepod Eurytemora affinis on predation risk, foraging, growth, metabolic activity and antioxidant capacity. Using pigmented and unpigmented specimens, we compared (1) predation and selectivity by the invertebrate predator Cercopagis pengoi, (2) feeding activity of the copepods measured as grazing rate in experiments and gut fluorescence in situ, (3) metabolic activity assayed as RNA:DNA ratio in both experimental and field-collected copepods, (4) reproductive output estimated as egg ratio in the population, and (5) total antioxidant capacity. Moreover, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) COI gene variation was analysed. The pigmented individuals were at higher predation risk as evidenced by significantly higher predation rate by C. pengoi on pigmented individuals and positive selection by the predator fed pigmented and unpigmented copepods in a mixture. However, the antioxidant capacity, RNA:DNA and egg ratio values were significantly higher in the pigmented copepods, whereas neither feeding rate nor gut fluorescence differed between the pigmented and unpigmented copepods. The phenotypic variation in pigmentation was not associated with any specific mtDNA genotype. Together, these results support the metabolic stimulation hypothesis to explain variation in E. affinis pigmentation, which translates into beneficial increase in growth via enhanced metabolism and antioxidant protective capacity, together with disadvantageous increase in predation risk. We also suggest an alternative mechanism for the metabolic stimulation via elevated antioxidant levels as a primary means of increasing metabolism without the increase in heat absorbance. The observed trade-offs are relevant to evolutionary mechanisms

  14. Trade-offs between predation risk and growth benefits in the copepod Eurytemora affinis with contrasting pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Gorokhova, Elena; Lehtiniemi, Maiju; Motwani, Nisha H

    2013-01-01

    Intraspecific variation in body pigmentation is an ecologically and evolutionary important trait; however, the pigmentation related trade-offs in marine zooplankton are poorly understood. We tested the effects of intrapopulation phenotypic variation in the pigmentation of the copepod Eurytemora affinis on predation risk, foraging, growth, metabolic activity and antioxidant capacity. Using pigmented and unpigmented specimens, we compared (1) predation and selectivity by the invertebrate predator Cercopagis pengoi, (2) feeding activity of the copepods measured as grazing rate in experiments and gut fluorescence in situ, (3) metabolic activity assayed as RNA:DNA ratio in both experimental and field-collected copepods, (4) reproductive output estimated as egg ratio in the population, and (5) total antioxidant capacity. Moreover, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) COI gene variation was analysed. The pigmented individuals were at higher predation risk as evidenced by significantly higher predation rate by C. pengoi on pigmented individuals and positive selection by the predator fed pigmented and unpigmented copepods in a mixture. However, the antioxidant capacity, RNA:DNA and egg ratio values were significantly higher in the pigmented copepods, whereas neither feeding rate nor gut fluorescence differed between the pigmented and unpigmented copepods. The phenotypic variation in pigmentation was not associated with any specific mtDNA genotype. Together, these results support the metabolic stimulation hypothesis to explain variation in E. affinis pigmentation, which translates into beneficial increase in growth via enhanced metabolism and antioxidant protective capacity, together with disadvantageous increase in predation risk. We also suggest an alternative mechanism for the metabolic stimulation via elevated antioxidant levels as a primary means of increasing metabolism without the increase in heat absorbance. The observed trade-offs are relevant to evolutionary mechanisms

  15. Personality and the response to predation risk: effects of information quantity and quality.

    PubMed

    Brown, Grant E; Elvidge, Chris K; Ramnarine, Indar; Chivers, Douglas P; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2014-09-01

    Within aquatic ecosystems, chemosensory cues provide valuable public information regarding the form and degree of risk, allowing prey to make informed behavioural decisions. Such cues, however, may vary in both relative concentration detected (i.e. 'quantity') and reliability of the information available (i.e. 'quality'), leading to varying response patterns. Moreover, prey species are also known to exhibit consistent behavioural tactics towards managing risk (i.e. personality), possibly shaping their use of public information. Here, we present two experiments examining the potential interacting effects of personality and the quantity (Experiment 1) or quality (Experiment 2) of public information on the short-term predator avoidance responses of wild-caught Trinidadian guppies under semi-natural conditions. Our first experiment demonstrated that personality shaped responses to a high concentration of alarm cues (high risk), with shyer guppies exhibiting stronger antipredator responses than bolder guppies. When exposed to either low risk or stream water controls, personality had no effect on the intensity of response. Our second experiment demonstrated that personality again shaped the response to high concentrations of alarm cues (a known risk) but not to a novel chemosensory cue (tilapia odour). When exposed to the unknown novel cue, guppies exhibited a relatively high intensity antipredator response, regardless of personality. Combined, our results suggest that individual risk-taking tactics shape the use of public information in a context-dependent fashion.

  16. Using the risk-disturbance hypothesis to assess the relative effects of human disturbance and predation risk on foraging American Oystercatchers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, K.A.; Otis, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    The risk-disturbance hypothesis asserts that animals perceive human disturbance similar to nonlethal predation stimuli, and exhibit comparable responses in the form of optimization tradeoffs. However, few studies have examined how natural predation risk factors interact with human-disturbance stimuli to elicit such responses. We observed American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) vigilance behavior from September-December 2002 on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina. A set of models was constructed based on 340 focal-animal samples and models revealed relationships between vigilance behavior, predator density, and boat activity. Oystercatchers increased vigilance in response to aerial predators, particularly late in the season when predator species composition was dominated by Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus). At a broader temporal scale, oystercatchers exhibited the highest vigilance rates during simultaneous peaks in boating disturbance and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) activity. Due to this temporal overlap of stimuli, it is difficult to interpret what may have been driving the observed increased in vigilance. Foraging rates appeared to be primarily driven by habitat and tidal stage indicating that time lost to vigilance did not effectively reduce intake. Taken together, these findings provide some support for the risk-disturbance hypothesis, underscore the sensitivity of disturbance studies to temporal scale, and draw attention to the potential confounding effects of natural predation risk. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2005.

  17. To dare or not to dare? Risk management by owls in a predator-prey foraging game.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Raveh, Ashael; Burns, Darren; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-07-01

    In a foraging game, predators must catch elusive prey while avoiding injury. Predators manage their hunting success with behavioral tools such as habitat selection, time allocation, and perhaps daring-the willingness to risk injury to increase hunting success. A predator's level of daring should be state dependent: the hungrier it is, the more it should be willing to risk injury to better capture prey. We ask, in a foraging game, will a hungry predator be more willing to risk injury while hunting? We performed an experiment in an outdoor vivarium in which barn owls (Tyto alba) were allowed to hunt Allenby's gerbils (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi) from a choice of safe and risky patches. Owls were either well fed or hungry, representing the high and low state, respectively. We quantified the owls' patch use behavior. We predicted that hungry owls would be more daring and allocate more time to the risky patches. Owls preferred to hunt in the safe patches. This indicates that owls manage risk of injury by avoiding the risky patches. Hungry owls doubled their attacks on gerbils, but directed the added effort mostly toward the safe patch and the safer, open areas in the risky patch. Thus, owls dared by performing a risky action-the attack maneuver-more times, but only in the safest places-the open areas. We conclude that daring can be used to manage risk of injury and owls implement it strategically, in ways we did not foresee, to minimize risk of injury while maximizing hunting success.

  18. Metamorphosing reef fishes avoid predator scent when choosing a home.

    PubMed

    Vail, Alexander L; McCormick, Mark I

    2011-12-23

    Most organisms possess anti-predator adaptations to reduce their risk of being consumed, but little is known of the adaptations prey employ during vulnerable life-history transitions when predation pressures can be extreme. We demonstrate the use of a transition-specific anti-predator adaptation by coral reef fishes as they metamorphose from pelagic larvae to benthic juveniles, when over half are consumed within 48 h. Our field experiment shows that naturally settling damselfish use olfactory, and most likely innate, predator recognition to avoid settling to habitat patches manipulated to emit predator odour. Settlement to patches emitting predator odour was on average 24-43% less than to control patches. Evidence strongly suggests that this avoidance of sedentary and patchily distributed predators by nocturnal settlers will gain them a survival advantage, but also lead to non-lethal predator effects: the costs of exhibiting anti-predator adaptations. Transition-specific anti-predator adaptations, such as demonstrated here, may be widespread among organisms with complex life cycles and play an important role in prey population dynamics.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26041358

  20. 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.

  1. Identifying Risk: Concurrent Overlap of the Antarctic Krill Fishery with Krill-Dependent Predators in the Scotia Sea.

    PubMed

    Hinke, Jefferson T; Cossio, Anthony M; Goebel, Michael E; Reiss, Christian S; Trivelpiece, Wayne Z; Watters, George M

    2017-01-01

    Mitigating direct and indirect interactions between marine predators and fisheries is a motivating factor for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), especially where predators and fisheries compete for a shared resource. One difficulty in advancing EBFM is parameterizing clear functional responses of predators to indices of prey availability. Alternative characterizations of fishery-predator interactions may therefore benefit the implementation of EBFM. Telemetry data identify foraging areas used by predators and, therefore, represent critical information to mitigate potential competition between predators and fisheries. We analyzed six years (2009-2014) of telemetry data collected at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island and Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, on three species of Pygoscelid penguins and female Antarctic fur seals. In this region, all four species are primarily dependent on Antarctic krill. The tracking data demonstrate local movements near breeding colonies during the austral summer and dispersal from breeding colonies during the winter. We then assessed overlap between predators and the Antarctic krill fishery on a suite of spatiotemporal scales to examine how different data aggregations affect the extent and location of overlap. Concurrent overlap was observed on all spatiotemporal scales considered throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and South Orkney Islands region, including near tagging locations and in distant areas where recent fishing activity has concentrated. Overlap occurred at depths where mean krill densities were relatively high. Our results demonstrate that direct overlap of krill-dependent predators with the krill fishery on small spatiotemporal scales is relatively common throughout the Antarctic Peninsula region. As the krill fishery continues to develop and efforts to implement ecosystem-based management mature, indices of overlap may provide a useful metric for indicating where the risks of fishing are highest. A

  2. Identifying Risk: Concurrent Overlap of the Antarctic Krill Fishery with Krill-Dependent Predators in the Scotia Sea

    PubMed Central

    Hinke, Jefferson T.

    2017-01-01

    Mitigating direct and indirect interactions between marine predators and fisheries is a motivating factor for ecosystem-based fisheries management (EBFM), especially where predators and fisheries compete for a shared resource. One difficulty in advancing EBFM is parameterizing clear functional responses of predators to indices of prey availability. Alternative characterizations of fishery-predator interactions may therefore benefit the implementation of EBFM. Telemetry data identify foraging areas used by predators and, therefore, represent critical information to mitigate potential competition between predators and fisheries. We analyzed six years (2009–2014) of telemetry data collected at Cape Shirreff, Livingston Island and Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, on three species of Pygoscelid penguins and female Antarctic fur seals. In this region, all four species are primarily dependent on Antarctic krill. The tracking data demonstrate local movements near breeding colonies during the austral summer and dispersal from breeding colonies during the winter. We then assessed overlap between predators and the Antarctic krill fishery on a suite of spatiotemporal scales to examine how different data aggregations affect the extent and location of overlap. Concurrent overlap was observed on all spatiotemporal scales considered throughout the Antarctic Peninsula and South Orkney Islands region, including near tagging locations and in distant areas where recent fishing activity has concentrated. Overlap occurred at depths where mean krill densities were relatively high. Our results demonstrate that direct overlap of krill-dependent predators with the krill fishery on small spatiotemporal scales is relatively common throughout the Antarctic Peninsula region. As the krill fishery continues to develop and efforts to implement ecosystem-based management mature, indices of overlap may provide a useful metric for indicating where the risks of fishing are highest. A

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Inbreeding depression in adaptive plasticity under predation risk in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Auld, Josh R; Relyea, Rick A

    2010-04-23

    While much attention has been paid to the effects of inbreeding on fitness, this has mostly come from a genetic perspective. Consequently, the interaction between inbreeding and the environment is less well understood. To understand the effects of inbreeding in natural populations where environmental conditions are variable, we need to examine not only how the effects of inbreeding change among environments but also how inbreeding may affect the ability to respond to environmental conditions (i.e. phenotypic plasticity). We reared selfed and outcrossed hermaphroditic snails (Physa acuta) in the presence and absence of chemical cues from predatory crayfish and quantified expression of an inducible defence, an adaptively plastic response to predation risk. Overall, inbred snails exhibited reduced defences, but more importantly, inbreeding reduced the expression of predator-induced adaptive plasticity. Inbreeding depression in defensive morphology was 26 per cent and inbreeding depression in the plasticity of this trait was 48 per cent. Inbreeding depression in adaptive plasticity may be important to understanding the effects of inbreeding in nature.

  6. Predation Risk, Resource Quality, and Reef Structural Complexity Shape Territoriality in a Coral Reef Herbivore

    PubMed Central

    Gunn, Bridgette K.; Kelley, Megan C.

    2015-01-01

    For many species securing territories is important for feeding and reproduction. Factors such as competition, habitat availability, and male characteristics can influence an individual’s ability to establish and maintain a territory. The risk of predation can have an important influence on feeding and reproduction; however, few have studied its effect on territoriality. We investigated territoriality in a haremic, polygynous species of coral reef herbivore, Sparisoma aurofrenatum (redband parrotfish), across eight reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary that were either protected or unprotected from fishing of piscivorous fishes. We examined how territory size and quality varied with reef protection status, competition, predation risk, and male size. We then determined how territory size and quality influenced harem size and female size to understand the effect of territoriality on reproductive potential. We found that protected reefs trended towards having more large predatory fishes and that territories there were smaller but had greater algal nutritional quality relative to unprotected reefs. Our data suggest that even though males in protected sites have smaller territories, which support fewer females, they may improve their reproductive potential by choosing nutritionally rich areas, which support larger females. Thus, reef protection appears to shape the trade-off that herbivorous fishes make between territory size and quality. Furthermore, we provide evidence that males in unprotected sites, which are generally less complex than protected sites, choose territories with higher structural complexity, suggesting the importance of this type of habitat for feeding and reproduction in S. aurofrenatum. Our work argues that the loss of corals and the resulting decline in structural complexity, as well as management efforts to protect reefs, could alter the territory dynamics and reproductive potential of important herbivorous fish species. PMID

  7. Predation risk, resource quality, and reef structural complexity shape territoriality in a coral reef herbivore.

    PubMed

    Catano, Laura B; Gunn, Bridgette K; Kelley, Megan C; Burkepile, Deron E

    2015-01-01

    For many species securing territories is important for feeding and reproduction. Factors such as competition, habitat availability, and male characteristics can influence an individual's ability to establish and maintain a territory. The risk of predation can have an important influence on feeding and reproduction; however, few have studied its effect on territoriality. We investigated territoriality in a haremic, polygynous species of coral reef herbivore, Sparisoma aurofrenatum (redband parrotfish), across eight reefs in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary that were either protected or unprotected from fishing of piscivorous fishes. We examined how territory size and quality varied with reef protection status, competition, predation risk, and male size. We then determined how territory size and quality influenced harem size and female size to understand the effect of territoriality on reproductive potential. We found that protected reefs trended towards having more large predatory fishes and that territories there were smaller but had greater algal nutritional quality relative to unprotected reefs. Our data suggest that even though males in protected sites have smaller territories, which support fewer females, they may improve their reproductive potential by choosing nutritionally rich areas, which support larger females. Thus, reef protection appears to shape the trade-off that herbivorous fishes make between territory size and quality. Furthermore, we provide evidence that males in unprotected sites, which are generally less complex than protected sites, choose territories with higher structural complexity, suggesting the importance of this type of habitat for feeding and reproduction in S. aurofrenatum. Our work argues that the loss of corals and the resulting decline in structural complexity, as well as management efforts to protect reefs, could alter the territory dynamics and reproductive potential of important herbivorous fish species.

  8. Refuge or predation risk? Alternate ways to perceive hiker disturbance based on maternal state of female caribou.

    PubMed

    Lesmerises, Frédéric; Johnson, Chris J; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues

    2017-02-01

    Human presence in natural environments is often a source of stress that is perceived by large ungulates as an increased risk of predation. Alternatively, disturbance induced by hikers creates a relatively predator-free space that may serve as a refuge. We measured the behavioral responses of female caribou to disturbance associated with the presence of hikers during summer in the Gaspésie National Park. We used those data to determine whether caribou responded negatively to human activity (i.e., the predation risk hypothesis) or whether human activity resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of perceived risk (i.e., the refuge hypothesis). Female caribou with a calf spent nearly half of their time feeding, regardless of the presence of a trail or the number of hikers. They also decreased their vigilance near trails when the number of hikers increased. Conversely, lone females fed less frequently and almost doubled the time invested in vigilance under the same circumstances. However, both groups of females moved away from trails during the day, especially in the presence of hikers. We demonstrated that risk avoidance was specific to the maternal state of the individual. Lactating females accommodated the presence of hikers to increase time spent foraging and nutritional intake, providing support for the refuge hypothesis. Alternatively, lone females with lower energetic requirements and no maternal investment in a vulnerable calf appeared less tolerant to risk, consistent with the predation risk hypothesis. Synthesis and applications: Hikers influenced the vigilance-feeding trade-off in caribou, underlining the importance of appropriate management of linear structures and human activities, especially across the critical habitat of endangered species. Even if some individuals seemed to benefit from human presence, this behavioral adaptation was not sufficient to reduce annual calf mortality associated with predation.

  9. An Indirect Cue of Predation Risk Counteracts Female Preference for Conspecifics in a Naturally Hybridizing Fish Xiphophorus birchmanni

    PubMed Central

    Willis, Pamela M.; Rosenthal, Gil G.; Ryan, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Mate choice is context dependent, but the importance of current context to interspecific mating and hybridization is largely unexplored. An important influence on mate choice is predation risk. We investigated how variation in an indirect cue of predation risk, distance to shelter, influences mate choice in the swordtail Xiphophorus birchmanni, a species which sometimes hybridizes with X. malinche in the wild. We conducted mate choice experiments to determine whether females attend to the distance to shelter and whether this cue of predation risk can counteract female preference for conspecifics. Females were sensitive to shelter distance independent of male presence. When conspecific and heterospecific X. malinche males were in equally risky habitats (i.e., equally distant from shelter), females associated primarily with conspecifics, suggesting an innate preference for conspecifics. However, when heterospecific males were in less risky habitat (i.e., closer to shelter) than conspecific males, females no longer exhibited a preference, suggesting that females calibrate their mate choices in response to predation risk. Our findings illustrate the potential for hybridization to arise, not necessarily through reproductive “mistakes”, but as one of many potential outcomes of a context-dependent mate choice strategy. PMID:22529936

  10. 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

  11. Cheek pouch use in relation to interspecific competition and predator risk for three guenon monkeys (Cercopithecus spp.).

    PubMed

    Buzzard, Paul J

    2006-10-01

    Forest guenons (Cercopithecus spp.) are often found in polyspecific associations that may decrease predator risk while increasing interspecific competition for food. Cheek pouch use may mitigate interspecific competition and predator risk by reducing the time spent in areas of high competition/predator risk. I investigated these ideas in three forest guenons: Campbell's monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli), spot-nosed monkey (C. petaurista), and Diana monkey (C. diana). I present 13 months of scan sample data from Taï Forest, Côte d'Ivoire, including 3,675, 3,330, and 5,689 records of cheek pouch distention, to quantify cheek pouch use, for Campbell's, spot-nosed, and Diana monkeys, respectively. Cheek pouches are often used to hold fruit, so I first predicted that the most frugivorous species, Diana monkeys, would have the most cheek pouch distension. Spot-nosed monkeys ate the least amount of fruit over the study period and had the least distended cheek pouches, suggesting the importance of frugivory in relation to cheek pouch distension for this species. This was not a sufficient explanation for Campbell's monkeys; Campbell's ate fruit less than Diana monkeys, but had more distended cheek pouches, suggesting that cheek pouch use was not simply a reflection of high frugivory. From the interspecific competition hypothesis, I predicted that Campbell's monkeys would have more distended cheek pouches than Diana and spot-nosed monkeys, and more distended cheek pouches when associated with Diana because Campbell's monkeys have the highest potential for interspecific competition with dominant Diana monkeys. From the predator risk hypothesis, I predicted that Campbell's would have more distended cheek pouches when not associated with highly vigilant Diana monkeys. Campbell's monkeys had the most distended cheek pouches overall, but had more distended cheek pouches when not in association with Diana, suggesting the greater importance of predator risk rather than

  12. 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

  13. Maternal steroids in egg yolk as a pathway to translate predation risk to offspring: experiments with great tits.

    PubMed

    Coslovsky, Michael; Groothuis, Ton; de Vries, Bonnie; Richner, Heinz

    2012-04-01

    Exposure of mothers to risk of predation can induce phenotypic changes in offspring as shown in several species. We previously found that cross-fostered great tit (Parus major) chicks of females exposed to increased predation risk were smaller and lighter, but had faster wing growth than control cross-fostered chicks, possibly improving predator-escaping abilities. Here we examined the possible role of maternal steroids deposited in eggs as an underlying mechanism. We collected eggs from female great tits under either experimentally increased predation risk (PRED) or control treatments (CON) and analyzed the concentration of testosterone, androstenedione, and progesterone in the yolks. PRED eggs contained lower levels of testosterone than CON eggs, but levels of androstenedione and progesterone did not differ. The smaller size and mass of chicks found in the previous study may thus be explained by the lower testosterone concentrations, since yolk testosterone is known to boost growth and development. Alternatively, testosterone may act as a modulator of differential investment into morphological traits, rather than a simple growth enhancer, explaining lower body mass in conjunction with the accelerated wing growth. This could possibly occur concurrently with other hormones such as corticosterone.

  14. Latitudinal and photic effects on diel foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Adam G; Beauchamp, David A

    2015-03-01

    . Model results show that diel-seasonal foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems changes considerably with latitude, turbidity and cloud cover. These changes alter the structure of pelagic predator-prey interactions, and in turn, the broader role of pelagic consumers in habitat coupling in lakes. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  15. Foraging and predation risk for larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Lake Superior: a modelling synthesis of empirical survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Myers, Jared T.; Yule, Daniel L.; Jones, Michael L.; Quinlan, Henry R.; Berglund, Eric K.

    2014-01-01

    The relative importance of predation and food availability as contributors to larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) mortality in Lake Superior were investigated using a visual foraging model to evaluate potential predation pressure by rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) and a bioenergetic model to evaluate potential starvation risk. The models were informed by observations of rainbow smelt, larval cisco, and zooplankton abundance at three Lake Superior locations during the period of spring larval cisco emergence and surface-oriented foraging. Predation risk was highest at Black Bay, ON, where average rainbow smelt densities in the uppermost 10 m of the water column were >1000 ha−1. Turbid conditions at the Twin Ports, WI-MN, affected larval cisco predation risk because rainbow smelt remained suspended in the upper water column during daylight, placing them alongside larval cisco during both day and night hours. Predation risk was low at Cornucopia, WI, owing to low smelt densities (<400 ha−1) and deep light penetration, which kept rainbow smelt near the lakebed and far from larvae during daylight. In situ zooplankton density estimates were low compared to the values used to develop the larval coregonid bioenergetics model, leading to predictions of negative growth rates for 10 mm larvae at all three locations. The model predicted that 15 mm larvae were capable of attaining positive growth at Cornucopia and the Twin Ports where low water temperatures (2–6 °C) decreased their metabolic costs. Larval prey resources were highest at Black Bay but warmer water temperatures there offset the benefit of increased prey availability. A sensitivity analysis performed on the rainbow smelt visual foraging model showed that it was relatively insensitive, while the coregonid bioenergetics model showed that the absolute growth rate predictions were highly sensitive to input parameters (i.e., 20% parameter perturbation led to order of magnitude differences in model estimates). Our

  16. Benefits of migration in relation to nutritional condition and predation risk in a partially migratory moose population.

    PubMed

    White, Kevin S; Barten, Neil L; Crouse, Stacy; Crouse, John

    2014-01-01

    The costs and benefits of alternative migratory strategies are often framed in the context of top-down and bottom-up effects on individual fitness. This occurs because migration is considered a costly behavioral strategy that presumably confers explicit benefits to migrants in the form of either decreased predation risk (predation risk avoidance hypothesis) or increased nutrition (forage maturation hypothesis). To test these hypotheses, we studied a partially migratory moose (Alces alces) population and contrasted explicit measures of predation risk (i.e., offspring survival) and nutrition (i.e., accumulation of endogenous energy reserves) between resident and migratory subpopulations. We relied on data collected from migratory and nonmigratory radio-marked moose (n = 67) that inhabited a novel study system located in coastal Alaska between 2004 and 2010. In this area, 30% of the population resides year-round on a coastal foreland area, while 48% migrate to either a small island archipelago or a subalpine ridge system (the remainder exhibited one of six different low-occurrence strategies). Overall, we determined that accumulation of body fat during the growing season did not differ between migratory or resident modalities. However, calf survival was 2.6-2.9 times higher for individuals that migrated (survival, islands = 0.49 +/- 0.16 [mean +/- SE], n = 35; ridge = 0.52 +/- 0.16, n = 33) than those that did not (survival, resident = 0.19 +/- 0.08, n = 57). Our results support the predation risk avoidance hypotheses, and suggest that migration is a behavioral strategy that principally operates to reduce the risk of calf predation and does not confer explicit nutritional benefits. We did not directly detect trade-offs between predation risk and nutrition for migratory individuals. Yet we identify an indirect life history mechanism that may mildly dampen the apparent fitness benefits of migration. The proximate factors accounting for differences in migration

  17. A 'dynamic' landscape of fear: prey responses to spatiotemporal variations in predation risk across the lunar cycle.

    PubMed

    Palmer, M S; Fieberg, J; Swanson, A; Kosmala, M; Packer, C

    2017-09-12

    Ambiguous empirical support for 'landscapes of fear' in natural systems may stem from failure to consider dynamic temporal changes in predation risk. The lunar cycle dramatically alters night-time visibility, with low luminosity increasing hunting success of African lions. We used camera-trap data from Serengeti National Park to examine nocturnal anti-predator behaviours of four herbivore species. Interactions between predictable fluctuations in night-time luminosity and the underlying risk-resource landscape shaped herbivore distribution, herding propensity and the incidence of 'relaxed' behaviours. Buffalo responded least to temporal risk cues and minimised risk primarily through spatial redistribution. Gazelle and zebra made decisions based on current light levels and lunar phase, and wildebeest responded to lunar phase alone. These three species avoided areas where likelihood of encountering lions was high and changed their behaviours in risky areas to minimise predation threat. These patterns support the hypothesis that fear landscapes vary heterogeneously in both space and time. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  18. Collateral damage or a shadow of safety? The effects of signalling heterospecific neighbours on the risks of parasitism and predation

    PubMed Central

    Bernal, Ximena E.; Caldwell, Michael S.; Halfwerk, Wouter H.; Wessel, Mallory O.; Page, Rachel A.

    2016-01-01

    Although males often display from mixed-species aggregations, the influence of nearby heterospecifics on risks associated with sexual signalling has not been previously examined. We tested whether predation and parasitism risks depend on proximity to heterospecific signallers. Using field playback experiments with calls of two species that often display from the same ponds, túngara frogs and hourglass treefrogs, we tested two hypotheses: (1) calling near heterospecific signallers attractive to eavesdroppers results in increased attention from predatory bats and parasitic midges (collateral damage hypothesis) or (2) calling near heterospecific signallers reduces an individual's predation and parasitism risks, as eavesdroppers are drawn to the heterospecifics (shadow of safety hypothesis). Bat visitation was not affected by calling neighbours. The number of frog-biting midges attracted to hourglass treefrog calls, however, rose threefold when played near túngara calls, supporting the collateral damage hypothesis. We thus show that proximity to heterospecific signallers can drastically alter both the absolute risks of signalling and the relative strengths of pressures from predation and parasitism. Through these mechanisms, interactions between heterospecific guild members are likely to influence the evolution of signalling strategies and the distribution of species at both local and larger scales. PMID:27194694

  19. Experimental support for the cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation: the effects of predation risk and food supply.

    PubMed

    Herczeg, Gábor; Herrero, Annika; Saarikivi, Jarmo; Gonda, Abigél; Jäntti, Maria; Merilä, Juha

    2008-02-01

    Huey and Slatkin's (Q Rev Biol 51:363-384, 1976) cost-benefit model of lizard thermoregulation predicts variation in thermoregulatory strategies (from active thermoregulation to thermoconformity) with respect to the costs and benefits of the thermoregulatory behaviour and the thermal quality of the environment. Although this framework has been widely employed in correlative field studies, experimental tests aiming to evaluate the model are scarce. We conducted laboratory experiments to see whether the common lizard Zootoca vivipara, an active and effective thermoregulator in the field, can alter its thermoregulatory behaviour in response to differences in perceived predation risk and food supply in a constant thermal environment. Predation risk and food supply were represented by chemical cues of a sympatric snake predator and the lizards' food in the laboratory, respectively. We also compared males and postpartum females, which have different preferred or "target" body temperatures. Both sexes thermoregulated actively in all treatments. We detected sex-specific differences in the way lizards adjusted their accuracy of thermoregulation to the treatments: males were less accurate in the predation treatment, while no such effects were detected in females. Neither sex reacted to the food treatment. With regard to the two main types of thermoregulatory behaviour (activity and microhabitat selection), the treatments had no significant effects. However, postpartum females were more active than males in all treatments. Our results further stress that increasing physiological performance by active thermoregulation has high priority in lizard behaviour, but also shows that lizards can indeed shift their accuracy of thermoregulation in response to costs with possible immediate negative fitness effects (i.e. predation-caused mortality).

  20. Impact of cannibalism on predator-prey dynamics: size-structured interactions and apparent mutualism.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W

    2008-06-01

    Direct and indirect interactions between two prey species can strongly alter the dynamics of predator-prey systems. Most predators are cannibalistic, and as a consequence, even systems with only one predator and one prey include two prey types: conspecifics and heterospecifics. The effects of the complex direct and indirect interactions that emerge in such cannibalistic systems are still poorly understood. This study examined how the indirect interaction between conspecific and heterospecific prey affects cannibalism and predation rates and how the direct interactions between both species indirectly alter the effect of the cannibalistic predator. I tested for these effects using larvae of the stream salamanders Eurycea cirrigera (prey) and Pseudotriton ruber (cannibalistic predator) by manipulating the relative densities of the conspecific and heterospecific prey in the presence and absence of the predator in experimental streams. The rates of cannibalism and heterospecific predation were proportional to the respective densities and negatively correlated, indicating a positive indirect interaction between conspecific and heterospecific prey, similar to "apparent mutualism." Direct interactions between prey species did not alter the effect of the predator. Although both types of prey showed a similar 30% reduction in night activity and switch in microhabitat use in response to the presence of the predator, cannibalism rates were three times higher than heterospecific predation rates irrespective of the relative densities of the two types of prey. Cumulative predation risks differed even more due to the 48% lower growth rate of conspecific prey. Detailed laboratory experiments suggest that the 3:1 difference in cannibalism and predation rate was due to the higher efficiency of heterospecific prey in escaping immediate attacks. However, no difference was observed when the predator was a closely related salamander species, Gyrinophilus porphyriticus, indicating that

  1. Donning your enemy's cloak: ground squirrels exploit rattlesnake scent to reduce predation risk

    PubMed Central

    Clucas, Barbara; Owings, Donald H; Rowe, Matthew P

    2008-01-01

    Ground squirrels (Spermophilus spp.) have evolved a battery of defences against the rattlesnakes (Crotalus spp.) that have preyed on them for millions of years. The distinctive behavioural reactions by these squirrels to rattlesnakes have recently been shown to include self-application of rattlesnake scent—squirrels apply scent by vigorously licking their fur after chewing on shed rattlesnake skins. Here, we present evidence that this behaviour is a novel antipredator defence founded on exploitation of a foreign scent. We tested three functional hypotheses for snake scent application—antipredator, conspecific deterrence and ectoparasite defence—by examining reactions to rattlesnake scent by rattlesnakes, ground squirrels and ectoparasites (fleas). Rattlesnakes were more attracted to ground squirrel scent than to ground squirrel scent mixed with rattlesnake scent or rattlesnake scent alone. However, ground squirrel behaviour and flea host choice were not affected by rattlesnake scent. Thus, ground squirrels can reduce the risk of rattlesnake predation by applying rattlesnake scent to their bodies, potentially as a form of olfactory camouflage. Opportunistic exploitation of heterospecific scents may be widespread; many species self-apply foreign odours, but few such cases have been demonstrated to serve in antipredator defence. PMID:18198147

  2. Donning your enemy's cloak: ground squirrels exploit rattlesnake scent to reduce predation risk.

    PubMed

    Clucas, Barbara; Owings, Donald H; Rowe, Matthew P

    2008-04-07

    Ground squirrels (Spermophilus spp.) have evolved a battery of defences against the rattlesnakes (Crotalus spp.) that have preyed on them for millions of years. The distinctive behavioural reactions by these squirrels to rattlesnakes have recently been shown to include self-application of rattlesnake scent-squirrels apply scent by vigorously licking their fur after chewing on shed rattlesnake skins. Here, we present evidence that this behaviour is a novel antipredator defence founded on exploitation of a foreign scent. We tested three functional hypotheses for snake scent application--antipredator, conspecific deterrence and ectoparasite defence--by examining reactions to rattlesnake scent by rattlesnakes, ground squirrels and ectoparasites (fleas). Rattlesnakes were more attracted to ground squirrel scent than to ground squirrel scent mixed with rattlesnake scent or rattlesnake scent alone. However, ground squirrel behaviour and flea host choice were not affected by rattlesnake scent. Thus, ground squirrels can reduce the risk of rattlesnake predation by applying rattlesnake scent to their bodies, potentially as a form of olfactory camouflage. Opportunistic exploitation of heterospecific scents may be widespread; many species self-apply foreign odours, but few such cases have been demonstrated to serve in antipredator defence.

  3. Effects of season, water and predation risk on patch use by birds on the African savannah.

    PubMed

    Molokwu, Mary Ngozi; Nilsson, Jan-Ake; Ottosson, Ulf; Olsson, Ola

    2010-11-01

    Birds from semi-arid regions may suffer dehydration during hot, dry seasons with low food availability. During this period, both energetic costs and water requirements for thermoregulation increase, limiting the scope of activity. For granivorous birds feeding on dry seeds, this is a major challenge and availability of water may affect the value of food. Water availability could (1) increase the value of a food patch when the surrounding environment is poor, due to an increase in the marginal value of energy, and (2) increase the value of the entire environment to the forager when environmental quality increases, due to an increase in the marginal value of time. We aimed to test this by measuring giving-up densities (GUDs, remaining food densities after foraging) of granivorous birds in the presence or absence of filled water pots, at different seasons differing in background food and water availability. We predicted that GUDs will increase with water provision during the dry season with moderate food, but in the early wet season with low food and water availability, GUDs will decrease with water provision. Later in the wet season, our experimental addition of water should have no effect. During seasons with low water availability but differing in food availability, results confirmed our predictions. However, when water became more abundant as the wet season progressed, birds still foraged more intensely during days with added water. In all seasons, birds fed more intensely in cover than in exposed areas, suggesting that predation risk rather than heat influenced microhabitat selection.

  4. Eutrophication and predation risk interact to affect sexual trait expression and mating success.

    PubMed

    Cothran, Rickey D; Stiff, Andy R; Jeyasingh, Punidan D; Relyea, Rick A

    2012-03-01

    Sexual traits are especially sensitive to low food resources. Other environmental parameters (e.g., predation) should also affect sexual trait expression by favoring investment in viability traits rather than sexual traits. We know surprisingly little about how predators alter investment in sexual traits, or how predator and resource environments interact to affect sexual trait investment. We explored how increasing phosphorous (P) availability, at a level mimicking cultural eutrophication, affects the development of sexual, nonsexual, and viability traits of amphipods in the presence and absence of predators. Sexual traits and growth were hypersensitive to low P compared to nonsexual traits. However, a key sexual trait responded to low P only when predator cues were absent. Furthermore, investment trade-offs between sexual traits and growth only occurred when P was low. The phenotypic changes caused by predator cues and increased P availability resulted in higher male mating success. Thus, eutrophication not only affects sexual trait expression but also masks the trade-off between traits with similar P demand. Sensitivity of sexually selected traits to changes in P, combined with the important roles these traits play in determining fitness and driving speciation, suggests that human-induced environmental change can greatly alter the evolutionary trajectories of populations. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Predation Risk Reverses the Potential Effects of Warming on Plant-Herbivore Interactions by Altering the Relative Strengths of Trait- and Density-Mediated Interactions.

    PubMed

    Lemoine, Nathan P

    2017-09-01

    Climate warming will initiate numerous changes in ecological community structure and function, and such high-level impacts derive from temperature-driven changes in individual physiology. Specifically, top-down control of plant biomass is sensitive to rising temperatures, but the direction of change depends on a complex interaction between temperature, predation risk, and predator thermal preference. Here, I developed an individual-based optimal foraging model of three trophic levels (primary producers, herbivores, and predators) to examine how warming affects top-down control of primary producers via both trait- and density-mediated indirect interactions (TMII and DMII). This model also factorially crossed warm- and cold-adapted herbivores and predators to determine how local adaptation modifies the effects of warming on food web interactions. Regardless of predator thermal preference, warming increased herbivore foraging effort and by extension predation rates. As a result, TMII declined in importance at high temperatures regardless of predator thermal adaptation. Finally, predation risk reduced herbivore fitness via both indirect (i.e., reduced herbivore size) and direct (i.e., reduced herbivore survival) pathways. These results suggest that, contrary to previous predictions, warming might stimulate primary productivity by reducing herbivore population sizes, releasing plants from immediate top-down control.

  6. Effects of parents and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) on nest predation risk for a songbird

    Treesearch

    Quresh S. Latif; Sacha K. Heath; John T. Rotenberry

    2012-01-01

    Nest predation limits avian fitness, so ornithologists study nest predation, but they often only document patterns of predation rates without substantively investigating underlying mechanisms. Parental behavior and predator ecology are two fundamental drivers of predation rates and patterns, but the role of parents is less certain, particularly for songbirds. Previous...

  7. Temporal variation in site fidelity: scale-dependent effects of forage abundance and predation risk in a non-migratory large herbivore.

    PubMed

    van Beest, F M; Vander Wal, E; Stronen, A V; Paquet, P C; Brook, R K

    2013-10-01

    Large herbivores are typically confronted by considerable spatial and temporal variation in forage abundance and predation risk. Although animals can employ a range of behaviours to balance these limiting factors, scale-dependent movement patterns are expected to be an effective strategy to reduce predation risk and optimise foraging opportunities. We tested this prediction by quantifying site fidelity of global positioning system-collared, non-migratory female elk (Cervus canadensis manitobensis) across multiple nested temporal scales using a long-established elk-wolf (Canis lupus) system in Manitoba, Canada. Using a hierarchical analytical approach, we determined the combined effect of forage abundance and predation risk on variation in site fidelity within four seasons across four nested temporal scales: monthly, biweekly, weekly, daily. Site fidelity of female elk was positively related to forage-rich habitat across all seasons and most temporal scales. At the biweekly, weekly and daily scales, elk became increasingly attached to low forage habitat when risk was high (e.g. when wolves were close or pack sizes were large), which supports the notion that predator-avoidance movements lead to a trade-off between energetic requirements and safety. Unexpectedly, predation risk at the monthly scale increased fidelity, which may indicate that elk use multiple behavioural responses (e.g. movement, vigilance, and aggregation) simultaneously to dilute predation risk, especially at longer temporal scales. Our study clearly shows that forage abundance and predation risk are important scale-dependent determinants of variation in site fidelity of non-migratory female elk and that their combined effect is most apparent at short temporal scales. Insight into the scale-dependent behavioural responses of ungulate populations to limiting factors such as predation risk and forage variability is essential to infer the fitness costs incurred.

  8. Latitudinal and photic effects on diel foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, Adam G.; Beauchamp, David A.

    2014-01-01

    summer into autumn. 4. Model results show that diel-seasonal foraging and predation risk in freshwater pelagic ecosystems changes considerably with latitude, turbidity and cloud cover. These changes alter the structure of pelagic predator–prey interactions, and in turn, the broader role of pelagic consumers in habitat coupling in lakes. 

  9. Modelling the fear effect in predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoying; Zanette, Liana; Zou, Xingfu

    2016-11-01

    A recent field manipulation on a terrestrial vertebrate showed that the fear of predators alone altered anti-predator defences to such an extent that it greatly reduced the reproduction of prey. Because fear can evidently affect the populations of terrestrial vertebrates, we proposed a predator-prey model incorporating the cost of fear into prey reproduction. Our mathematical analyses show that high levels of fear (or equivalently strong anti-predator responses) can stabilize the predator-prey system by excluding the existence of periodic solutions. However, relatively low levels of fear can induce multiple limit cycles via subcritical Hopf bifurcations, leading to a bi-stability phenomenon. Compared to classic predator-prey models which ignore the cost of fear where Hopf bifurcations are typically supercritical, Hopf bifurcations in our model can be both supercritical and subcritical by choosing different sets of parameters. We conducted numerical simulations to explore the relationships between fear effects and other biologically related parameters (e.g. birth/death rate of adult prey), which further demonstrate the impact that fear can have in predator-prey interactions. For example, we found that under the conditions of a Hopf bifurcation, an increase in the level of fear may alter the direction of Hopf bifurcation from supercritical to subcritical when the birth rate of prey increases accordingly. Our simulations also show that the prey is less sensitive in perceiving predation risk with increasing birth rate of prey or increasing death rate of predators, but demonstrate that animals will mount stronger anti-predator defences as the attack rate of predators increases.

  10. Signal honesty and predation risk among a closely related group of aposematic species

    PubMed Central

    María Arenas, Lina; Walter, Dominic; Stevens, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Many animals have bright colours to warn predators that they have defences and are not worth attacking. However, it remains unclear whether the strength of warning colours reliably indicate levels of defence. Few studies have unambiguously established if warning signals are honest, and have rarely considered predator vision or conspicuousness against the background. Importantly, little data exists either on how differences in signal strength translate into survival advantages. Ladybirds exhibit impressive variation in coloration both among and within species. Here we demonstrate that different levels of toxicity exist among and within ladybird species, and that signal contrast against the background is a good predictor of toxicity, showing that the colours are honest signals. Furthermore, field experiments with ladybird models created with regards to predator vision show that models with lower conspicuousness were attacked more frequently. This provides one of the most comprehensive studies on signal honesty in warning coloration to date. PMID:26046332

  11. Can convict Cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) socially learn the degree of predation risk associated with novel visual cues in their environment?

    PubMed

    Barks, Patrick M; Godin, Jean-Guy J

    2013-01-01

    For many animals, the ability to distinguish cues indicative of predation risk from cues unrelated to predation risk is not entirely innate, but rather is learned and improved with experience. Two pathways to such learning are possible. First, an animal could initially express antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of those cues are non-threatening. Alternatively, it could initially express no antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of them are threatening. While the learned recognition of threatening cues may occur either through personal interaction with a cue (asocial learning) or through observation of the behaviour of social companions toward a cue (social learning), the learned recognition of non-threatening cues seems to occur exclusively through habituation, a form of asocial learning. Here, we tested whether convict cichlid fish (Amatitlaniasiquia) can socially learn to recognize visual cues in their environment as either threatening or non-threatening. We exposed juvenile convict cichlids simultaneously to a novel visual cue and one of three (visual) social cues: a social cue indicative of non-risk (the sight of conspecifics that had previously been habituated to the novel cue), a social cue indicative of predation risk (the sight of conspecifics trained to fear the novel cue), or a control treatment with no social cue. The subsequent response of focal fish, when presented with the novel cue alone, was not influenced by the social cue that they had previously witnessed. We therefore did not find evidence that convict cichlids in our study could use social learning to recognize novel visual cues as either threatening or non-threatening. We consider alternative explanations for our findings.

  12. Can Convict Cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) Socially Learn the Degree of Predation Risk Associated with Novel Visual Cues in Their Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Barks, Patrick M.; Godin, Jean-Guy J.

    2013-01-01

    For many animals, the ability to distinguish cues indicative of predation risk from cues unrelated to predation risk is not entirely innate, but rather is learned and improved with experience. Two pathways to such learning are possible. First, an animal could initially express antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of those cues are non-threatening. Alternatively, it could initially express no antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of them are threatening. While the learned recognition of threatening cues may occur either through personal interaction with a cue (asocial learning) or through observation of the behaviour of social companions toward a cue (social learning), the learned recognition of non-threatening cues seems to occur exclusively through habituation, a form of asocial learning. Here, we tested whether convict cichlid fish (Amatitlaniasiquia) can socially learn to recognize visual cues in their environment as either threatening or non-threatening. We exposed juvenile convict cichlids simultaneously to a novel visual cue and one of three (visual) social cues: a social cue indicative of non-risk (the sight of conspecifics that had previously been habituated to the novel cue), a social cue indicative of predation risk (the sight of conspecifics trained to fear the novel cue), or a control treatment with no social cue. The subsequent response of focal fish, when presented with the novel cue alone, was not influenced by the social cue that they had previously witnessed. We therefore did not find evidence that convict cichlids in our study could use social learning to recognize novel visual cues as either threatening or non-threatening. We consider alternative explanations for our findings. PMID:24086648

  13. Growth rate variation among passerine species in tropical and temperate sites: an antagonistic interaction between parental food provisioning and nest predation risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.; Llyod, Penn; Bosque, Carlos; Barton, Daniel C.; Biancucci, Atilio L.; Cheng, Yi-Ru; Ton, Riccardo

    2011-01-01

    Causes of interspecific variation in growth rates within and among geographic regions remain poorly understood. Passerine birds represent an intriguing case because differing theories yield the possibility of an antagonistic interaction between nest predation risk and food delivery rates on evolution of growth rates. We test this possibility among 64 Passerine species studied on three continents, including tropical and north and south temperate latitudes. Growth rates increased strongly with nestling predation rates within, but not between, sites. The importance of nest predation was further emphasized by revealing hidden allometric scaling effects. Nestling predation risk also was associated with reduced total feeding rates and per-nestling feeding rates within each site. Consequently, faster growth rates were associated with decreased per-nestling food delivery rates across species, both within and among regions. These relationships suggest that Passerines can evolve growth strategies in response to predation risk whereby food resources are not the primary limit on growth rate differences among species. In contrast, reaction norms of growth rate relative to brood size suggest that food may limit growth rates within species in temperate, but not tropical, regions. Results here provide new insight into evolution of growth strategies relative to predation risk and food within and among species.

  14. Growth rate variation among passerine species in tropical and temperate sites: an antagonistic interaction between parental food provisioning and nest predation risk.

    PubMed

    Martin, Thomas E; Lloyd, Penn; Bosque, Carlos; Barton, Daniel C; Biancucci, Atilio L; Cheng, Yi-Ru; Ton, Riccardo

    2011-06-01

    Causes of interspecific variation in growth rates within and among geographic regions remain poorly understood. Passerine birds represent an intriguing case because differing theories yield the possibility of an antagonistic interaction between nest predation risk and food delivery rates on evolution of growth rates. We test this possibility among 64 Passerine species studied on three continents, including tropical and north and south temperate latitudes. Growth rates increased strongly with nestling predation rates within, but not between, sites. The importance of nest predation was further emphasized by revealing hidden allometric scaling effects. Nestling predation risk also was associated with reduced total feeding rates and per-nestling feeding rates within each site. Consequently, faster growth rates were associated with decreased per-nestling food delivery rates across species, both within and among regions. These relationships suggest that Passerines can evolve growth strategies in response to predation risk whereby food resources are not the primary limit on growth rate differences among species. In contrast, reaction norms of growth rate relative to brood size suggest that food may limit growth rates within species in temperate, but not tropical, regions. Results here provide new insight into evolution of growth strategies relative to predation risk and food within and among species.

  15. Young drivers' optimism bias for accident risk and driving skill: Accountability and insight experience manipulations.

    PubMed

    White, Melanie J; Cunningham, Lauren C; Titchener, Kirsteen

    2011-07-01

    This study aimed to determine whether two brief, low cost interventions would reduce young drivers' optimism bias for their driving skills and accident risk perceptions. This tendency for such drivers to perceive themselves as more skillful and less prone to driving accidents than their peers may lead to less engagement in precautionary driving behaviours and a greater engagement in more dangerous driving behaviour. 243 young drivers (aged 17-25 years) were randomly allocated to one of three groups: accountability, insight or control. All participants provided both overall and specific situation ratings of their driving skills and accident risk relative to a typical young driver. Prior to completing the questionnaire, those in the accountability condition were first advised that their driving skills and accident risk would be later assessed via a driving simulator. Those in the insight condition first underwent a difficult computer-based hazard perception task designed to provide participants with insight into their potential limitations when responding to hazards in difficult and unpredictable driving situations. Participants in the control condition completed only the questionnaire. Results showed that the accountability manipulation was effective in reducing optimism bias in terms of participants' comparative ratings of their accident risk in specific situations, though only for less experienced drivers. In contrast, among more experienced males, participants in the insight condition showed greater optimism bias for overall accident risk than their counterparts in the accountability or control groups. There were no effects of the manipulations on drivers' skills ratings. The differential effects of the two types of manipulations on optimism bias relating to one's accident risk in different subgroups of the young driver sample highlight the importance of targeting interventions for different levels of experience. Accountability interventions may be beneficial for

  16. Reduced predation risk for melanistic pygmy grasshoppers in post-fire environments.

    PubMed

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2012-09-01

    The existence of melanistic (black) color forms in many species represents interesting model systems that have played important roles for our understanding of selective processes, evolution of adaptations, and the maintenance of variation. A recent study reported on rapid evolutionary shifts in frequencies of the melanistic forms in replicated populations of Tetrix subulata pygmy grasshoppers; the incidence of the melanistic form was higher in recently burned areas with backgrounds blackened by fire than in nonburned areas, and it declined over time in postfire environments. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the frequency shifts of the black color variant were driven, at least in part, by changes in the selective regime imposed by visual predators. To study detectability of the melanistic form, we presented human "predators" with images of black grasshoppers and samples of the natural habitat on computer screens. We demonstrate that the protective value of black coloration differs between burnt and nonburnt environments and gradually increases in habitats that have been more blackened by fire. These findings support the notion that a black color pattern provides improved protection from visually oriented predators against blackened backgrounds and implicate camouflage and predation as important drivers of fire melanism in pygmy grasshoppers.

  17. Hypoxia increases the risk of egg predation in a nest-guarding fish

    PubMed Central

    Kvarnemo, Charlotta; Andrén, Maria Norevik; Larsson, Therése

    2016-01-01

    For fish with parental care, a nest should meet both the oxygenation needs of the eggs and help protect them against predators. While a small nest opening facilitates the latter, it impedes the former and vice versa. We investigated how the presence of potential egg predators in the form of shore crabs Carcinus maenas affects nest building, egg fanning, defensive displays and filial cannibalism of egg-guarding male sand gobies Pomatoschistus minutus under two levels of dissolved oxygen. In the high oxygen treatment, males retained their nest opening size in the presence of crabs, while males in low oxygen built large nest openings both in the absence and presence of crabs, despite the fact that crabs were more likely to successfully intrude into nests with large entrances. Males in low oxygen also fanned more. In the presence of crabs males increased their defensive displays, but while males in high oxygen reduced fanning, males in low oxygen did not. Filial cannibalism was unaffected by treatment. Sand gobies thus prioritize egg ventilation over the protection afforded by small nest openings under hypoxia and adopt defensive behaviour to avert predator attention, even though this does not fully offset the threat from the egg predators. PMID:27853611

  18. Effects of habitat patchiness on American lobster movement across a gradient of predation risk and shelter competition.

    PubMed

    Hovel, Kevin A; Wahle, Richard A

    2010-07-01

    The influence of landscape structure on marine ecological processes is receiving increasing attention. However, few studies conducted in coastal marine habitats have evaluated whether the effects of landscape structure on species interactions and organismal behavior are consistent across the range of an organism, over which landscape context and the strength of species interactions typically vary. American lobster (Homarus americanus) juveniles seek refuge from predators within shallow rocky habitat but make short-distance movements to forage outside of shelter. We evaluated how the patchiness of cobble habitat influences juvenile lobster movement by conducting mark-recapture experiments on lobsters placed within patchy and contiguous cobble plots in three regions of New England among which risk of predation and intraspecific shelter competition vary (Rhode Island, mid-coast Maine, and eastern Maine, USA). We also evaluated whether habitat patchiness influenced lobster colonization of plots and whether lobster fidelity to individual shelters corresponds to variability in predator abundance and conspecific density among regions. Cobble patchiness reduced rates of lobster movement in all three regions in 2004 and in two of three regions in 2005, despite large differences in landscape context among regions. Region had much larger effects on lobster colonization than did patchiness, but patchy plots were colonized at higher rates than were contiguous plots where lobster densities were highest. Fidelity to shelter was higher in regions with low conspecific density (Rhode Island and eastern Maine) than in mid-coast Maine where conspecific density is high and where unmarked lobsters often occupied shelters vacated by marked lobsters. Our results indicate that cobble patchiness influences juvenile lobster movement at small scales, but that the effects of patchiness on movement were consistent across much of the range of the American lobster despite strong regional

  19. Predation risk, elk, and aspen: tests of a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Winnie, John A

    2012-12-01

    Aspen in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are hypothesized to be recovering from decades of heavy browsing by elk due to a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade (BMTC). Several authors have suggested that wolves interact with certain terrain features, creating places of high predation risk at fine spatial scales, and that elk avoid these places, which creates refugia for plants. This hypothesized BMTC could release aspen from elk browsing pressure, leading to a patchy recovery in places of high risk. I tested whether four specific, hypothesized fine-scale risk factors are correlated with changes in current elk browsing pressure on aspen, or with aspen recruitment since wolf reintroduction, in the Daly Creek drainage in Yellowstone National Park, and near two aspen enclosures outside of the park boundary. Aspen were not responding to hypothesized fine-scale risk factors in ways consistent with the current BMTC hypothesis.

  20. Predator-specific effects on incubation behaviour and offspring growth in great tits.

    PubMed

    Basso, Alessandra; Richner, Heinz

    2015-01-01

    In birds, different types of predators may target adults or offspring differentially and at different times of the reproductive cycle. Hence they may also differentially influence incubation behaviour and thus embryonic development and offspring phenotype. This is poorly understood, and we therefore performed a study to assess the effects of the presence of either a nest predator or a predator targeting adults and offspring after fledging on female incubation behaviour in great tits (Parus major), and the subsequent effects on offspring morphological traits. We manipulated perceived predation risk during incubation using taxidermic models of two predators: the short-tailed weasel posing a risk to incubating females and nestlings, and the sparrowhawk posing a risk to adults and offspring after fledging. To disentangle treatment effects induced during incubation from potential carry-over effects of parental behaviour after hatching, we cross-fostered whole broods from manipulated nests with broods from unmanipulated nests. Both predator treatments lead to a reduced on- and off-bout frequency, to a slower decline in on-bout temperature as incubation advanced and showed a negative effect on nestling body mass gain. At the current state of knowledge on predator-induced variation in incubation patterns alternative hypotheses are feasible, and the findings of this study will be useful for guiding future research.

  1. Food availability and predation risk drive the distributional patterns of two pulmonate gastropods in a mangrove-saltmarsh transitional habitat.

    PubMed

    Peng, Yisheng; Zhang, Min; Lee, Shing Yip

    2017-07-08

    higher predation risk restricted the occurrence of P. solida and O. ornatus in the mangrove areas. More than verifying that the distributional pattern of macrobenthos is a complex outcome from environmental factors and interaction with predators, our study also indicated that the influencing strength of the biotic and abiotic factors on the pulmonates distribution might be spatially changeable within a geographically small-scale continuum. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Long-term trends in trait structure of riverine communities facing predation risk increase and trophic resource decline.

    PubMed

    Latli, Adrien; Descy, Jean-Pierre; Mondy, Cédric P; Floury, Mathieu; Viroux, Laurent; Otjacques, William; Marescaux, Jonathan; Depiereux, Eric; Ovidio, Michael; Usseglio-Polatera, Philippe; Kestemont, Patrick

    2017-09-05

    Many large European rivers have undergone multiple pressures which have strongly impaired ecosystem functioning at different spatial and temporal scales. Global warming and other environmental changes have favoured the success of invasive species, deeply modifying the structure of aquatic communities in large rivers. Some exogenous species could alter trophic interactions within assemblages by increasing the predation risk for potential prey species (top-down effect) and limiting the dynamics of others via resource availability limitation (bottom-up effect). Furthermore, large transboundary rivers are complex aquatic ecosystems which have often been poorly investigated so that data for assessing long-term ecological trends are missing. In this study, we propose an original approach for investigating long-term combined effects of global warming, trophic resource decrease, predation risk and water quality variations on the trait-based structure of macroinvertebrate and fish assemblages over 26 years (1985-2011) and 427-km stretch of the river Meuse (France and Belgium). The study of temporal variations in biological, physiological and ecological traits of macroinvertebrate and fish allowed identifying community trends and distinguishing impacts of environmental perturbations from those induced by biological alterations. We provide evidence, for this large European river, of an increase in water temperature (close to 1°C) and a decrease in phytoplankton biomass (- 85%), as well as independent effects of these changes on both invertebrate and fish communities. The reduction of trophic resources in the water column by invasive molluscs has dramatically affected the density of omnivorous fish in favour of invertebrate-feeders, while scrapers became the major feeding guild among invertebrates. Macroinvertebrate and fish communities have shifted from large-sized organisms with low fecundity to prolific, small-sized organisms, with early maturity, as a response to

  3. Group-size-mediated habitat selection and group fusion-fission dynamics of bison under predation risk.

    PubMed

    Fortin, Daniel; Fortin, Marie-Eve; Beyer, Hawthorne L; Duchesne, Thierry; Courant, Sabrina; Dancose, Karine

    2009-09-01

    For gregarious animals the cost-benefit trade-offs that drive habitat selection may vary dynamically with group size, which plays an important role in foraging and predator avoidance strategies. We examined how habitat selection by bison (Bison bison) varied as a function of group size and interpreted these patterns by testing whether habitat selection was more strongly driven by the competing demands of forage intake vs. predator avoidance behavior. We developed an analytical framework that integrated group size into resource selection functions (RSFs). These group-size-dependent RSFs were based on a matched case-control design and were estimated using conditional logistic regression (mixed and population-averaged models). Fitting RSF models to bison revealed that bison groups responded to multiple aspects of landscape heterogeneity and that selection varied seasonally and as a function of group size. For example, roads were selected in summer, but not in winter. Bison groups avoided areas of high snow water equivalent in winter. They selected areas composed of a large proportion of meadow area within a 700-m radius, and within those areas, bison selected meadows. Importantly, the strength of selection for meadows varied as a function of group size, with stronger selection being observed in larger groups. Hence the bison-habitat relationship depended in part on the dynamics of group formation and division. Group formation was most likely in meadows. In contrast, risk of group fission increased when bison moved into the forest and was higher during the time of day when movements are generally longer and more variable among individuals. We also found that stronger selection for meadows by large rather than small bison groups was caused by longer residence time in individual meadows by larger groups and that departure from meadows appears unlikely to result from a depression in food intake rate. These group-size-dependent patterns were consistent with the hypothesis

  4. Cryptic female Strawberry poison frogs experience elevated predation risk when associating with an aposematic partner.

    PubMed

    Segami Marzal, Julia Carolina; Rudh, Andreas; Rogell, Björn; Ödeen, Anders; Løvlie, Hanne; Rosher, Charlotte; Qvarnström, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Population divergence in sexual signals may lead to speciation through prezygotic isolation. Sexual signals can change solely due to variation in the level of natural selection acting against conspicuousness. However, directional mate choice (i.e., favoring conspicuousness) across different environments may lead to gene flow between populations, thereby delaying or even preventing the evolution of reproductive barriers and speciation. In this study, we test whether natural selection through predation upon mate-choosing females can favor corresponding changes in mate preferences. Our study system, Oophaga pumilio, is an extremely color polymorphic neotropical frog with two distinctive antipredator strategies: aposematism and crypsis. The conspicuous coloration and calling behavior of aposematic males may attract both cryptic and aposematic females, but predation may select against cryptic females choosing aposematic males. We used an experimental approach where domestic fowl were encouraged to find digitized images of cryptic frogs at different distances from aposematic partners. We found that the estimated survival time of a cryptic frog was reduced when associating with an aposematic partner. Hence, predation may act as a direct selective force on female choice, favoring evolution of color assortative mating that, in turn, may strengthen the divergence in coloration that natural selection has generated.

  5. Reduced predation risk for melanistic pygmy grasshoppers in post-fire environments

    PubMed Central

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2012-01-01

    The existence of melanistic (black) color forms in many species represents interesting model systems that have played important roles for our understanding of selective processes, evolution of adaptations, and the maintenance of variation. A recent study reported on rapid evolutionary shifts in frequencies of the melanistic forms in replicated populations of Tetrix subulata pygmy grasshoppers; the incidence of the melanistic form was higher in recently burned areas with backgrounds blackened by fire than in nonburned areas, and it declined over time in postfire environments. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the frequency shifts of the black color variant were driven, at least in part, by changes in the selective regime imposed by visual predators. To study detectability of the melanistic form, we presented human “predators” with images of black grasshoppers and samples of the natural habitat on computer screens. We demonstrate that the protective value of black coloration differs between burnt and nonburnt environments and gradually increases in habitats that have been more blackened by fire. These findings support the notion that a black color pattern provides improved protection from visually oriented predators against blackened backgrounds and implicate camouflage and predation as important drivers of fire melanism in pygmy grasshoppers. PMID:23139879

  6. Manipulating risk communication: Value predispositions shape public understandings of invasive species science in Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Warner, Keith D; Kinslow, Frances

    2013-02-01

    Most invasive species control programs are routine, but a small number prompt public controversy. Local value predispositions shape lay perception of the relative risks of invasive species and efforts to control them. Because control efforts are generally led by government scientists, lay perceptions of invasive species science are colored by public judgment of government credibility. This article examines the proposed release of an insect for biological control of the invasive strawberry guava tree which threatens conservation of Hawaii's forests. A local activist manipulated regulatory risk communication, appealed to local values, and persuaded some local members of the public and elected officials to oppose the insect release. This case illustrates how, in the absence of effective public engagement processes, routine scientific risk communication can be confounded by divergent knowledge taxonomies and perceptions of government hegemony.

  7. 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

  8. A risk/benefit analysis of spinal manipulation therapy for relief of lumbar or cervical pain.

    PubMed

    Powell, F C; Hanigan, W C; Olivero, W C

    1993-07-01

    Approximately 12 million Americans undergo spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) every year. Renewed interest in this method requires an analysis of its reported risks and possible benefits. This review describes two patients with spinal cord injuries associated with SMT and establishes the risk/benefit ratios for patients with lumbar or cervical pain. The first case is a man who underwent SMT for recurrent sciatica 4 years after chemonucleolysis. During therapy, he developed bilateral sciatica with urinary hesitancy. After self-referral, myelography demonstrated a total block; he underwent urgent discectomy with an excellent result 3 months after surgery. The second patient with an indwelling Broviac catheter and a history of lumbar osteomyelitis underwent SMT for neck pain. Therapy continued for 3 weeks despite the development of severe quadriparesis. After self-referral, he underwent an urgent anterior cervical decompression and removal of necrotic bone and an epidural abscess with partial neurological recovery. An analysis of these cases and 138 cases reported in the literature demonstrates six risk factors associated with complications of SMT. These include misdiagnosis, failure to recognize the onset or progression of neurological signs or symptoms, improper technique, SMT performed in the presence of a coagulation disorder or herniated nucleus pulposus, and manipulation of the cervical spine. Clinical trials of SMT have been summarized in several recent articles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  9. Stem cell manipulation, gene therapy and the risk of cancer stem cell emergence

    PubMed Central

    Clément, Flora; Grockowiak, Elodie; Zylbersztejn, Florence; Fossard, Gaëlle; Gobert, Stéphanie

    2017-01-01

    Stem cells (SCs) have been extensively studied in the context of regenerative medicine. Human hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-based therapies have been applied to treat leukemic patients for decades. Handling of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has also raised hopes and concerns in the field of tissue engineering. Lately, discovery of cell reprogramming by Yamanaka’s team has profoundly modified research strategies and approaches in this domain. As we gain further insight into cell fate mechanisms and identification of key actors and parameters, this also raises issues as to the manipulation of SCs. These include the engraftment of manipulated cells and the potential predisposition of those cells to develop cancer. As a unique and pioneer model, the use of HSCs to provide new perspectives in the field of regenerative and curative medicine will be reviewed. We will also discuss the potential use of various SCs from embryonic to adult stem cells (ASCs), including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as well as MSCs. Furthermore, to sensitize clinicians and researchers to unresolved issues in these new therapeutic approaches, we will highlight the risks associated with the manipulation of human SCs from embryonic or adult origins for each strategy presented. PMID:28815178

  10. Manipulation under anesthesia for post traumatic stiff knee-pearls, pitfalls and risk factors for failure.

    PubMed

    Saini, Pramod; Trikha, Vivek

    2016-10-01

    Stiffness is common following fractures around knee. Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is the initial noninvasive procedure usually performed for such patients. Though MUA has been extensively evaluated for knee arthroplasty, there is paucity of literature regarding its benefits in trauma cases. The purpose of this study was to define the role of manipulation in post traumatic stiff knees. Hospital inpatient and outpatient records from January 2010 to June 2014 were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients undergoing MUA at our institution. Patients with more than one year follow up and adequate data were included. Clinical and radiographic parameters were analyzed to assess outcomes, complications, effect of timing on flexion gain as well as identify risk factors associated with failure. Out of 45 patients undergoing manipulation, 41 patients with 48 knees (34 unilateral and 7 bilateral) met inclusion criteria. Thirty six manipulations were successful while 3 were abandoned due to tight tissues and 9 developed complications.Successful MUA resulted in immediate gain of 62.36° of flexion which decreased to 49.86° at 1year. There was statistically significant loss of flexion of 12.5° over a year (p value 0.0013). Arc of motion improved from 48.5° to 106.1° at 1year (p value <0.0001). Significant improvement was also seen in extension and fixed flexion deformity (p value <0.0001). No significant difference could be detected between early (<3 months) and late (>3 months) groups with respect to outcomes (p value 0.883)or complications (p value 0.3193). Failed group had significantly lower pre MUA flexion and pre MUA range of motion (p value 0.003). Univariate analysis showed that extensor mechanism ruptures during injury (p value <0.0001) and knees with Flexion <40° (p value 0.0022) or ROM<30° (p value 0.0002) were significantly associated with failures. MUA is a suitable non invasive treatment option for post traumatic stiffness. There is no effect of

  11. Artificial tritrophic exposure system for environmental risk analysis on aphidophagous predators.

    PubMed

    Paula, Débora P; Souza, Lucas M DE; Andow, David A; Sousa, Alex A T Cortês DE; Pires, Carmen S S; Sujii, Edison R

    2016-09-01

    We evaluated an artificial tritrophic exposure system for use in ecotoxicological evaluations of environmental stressors on aphidophagous predators. It consists of an acrylic tube with a Parafilm M sachet containing liquid aphid diet, into which can be added environmental stressors. Immature Cycloneda sanguinea, Harmonia axyridis and Chrysoperla externa, and adult H. axyridis were reared on Myzus persicae. Larval and pupal development and survival of all species and reproductive parameters of H. axyridis were similar to published results. The system provides a suitable tritrophic exposure route, enables ex-ante evaluation of stressors, and improves the accuracy of the assessment.

  12. Scale dependence of felid predation risk: Identifying predictors of livestock kills by tiger and leopard in Bhutan

    Treesearch

    Susana Rostro-Garcia; Lhendup Tharchen; Leandro Abade; Christos Astaras; Samuel A. Cushman; David W. Macdonald

    2016-01-01

    Livestock predation by tiger and leopard in Bhutan is a major threat to the conservation of these felids. Conflict mitigation planning would benefit from an improved understanding of the spatial pattern of livestock kills by the two predators.

  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. Molecular gut-content analysis of a predator assemblage reveals the effect of habitat manipulation on biological control in the field

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Despite growing evidence that habitat manipulation can alter predators’ impact on target prey consumption, few studies have directly examined the effect of habitat context on conservation biological control in the field. Because of contradictory evidence in the literature for the outcome of habita...

  15. Jurors report that risk measure scores matter in sexually violent predator trials, but that other factors matter more.

    PubMed

    Turner, Darrel B; Boccaccini, Marcus T; Murrie, Daniel C; Harris, Paige B

    2015-02-01

    After deliberating to a verdict, jurors (N = 462) from 40 sexually violent predator (SVP) trials completed a questionnaire asking them to rate the extent to which risk measure scores, diagnoses, expert witness testimony, and offender characteristics described during the trials influenced their commitment decisions. Jurors reported that offenders' sexual offending history, failure to change, and lack of remorse had the strongest influence on their commitment decisions. They reported that testimony about risk instrument scores (e.g., Static-99) and psychopathy had less influence on their decisions, but those who did report being influenced by instrument results were especially likely to view the offender as being at a high risk for reoffending. Overall, findings suggest that SVP jurors view risk measure results as important, but not as important as other offender, offense, and testimony characteristics, including some that have limited relevance to recidivism risk. Thus, findings also suggest that experts may need to better educate jurors regarding factors that do and do not relate to recidivism risk.

  16. Temporal effects of hunting on foraging behavior of an apex predator: Do bears forego foraging when risk is high?

    PubMed

    Hertel, Anne G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Mysterud, Atle; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Steyaert, Sam M J G; Swenson, Jon E

    2016-12-01

    Avoiding predators most often entails a food cost. For the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos), the hunting season coincides with the period of hyperphagia. Hunting mortality risk is not uniformly distributed throughout the day, but peaks in the early morning hours. As bears must increase mass for winter survival, they should be sensitive to temporal allocation of antipredator responses to periods of highest risk. We expected bears to reduce foraging activity at the expense of food intake in the morning hours when risk was high, but not in the afternoon, when risk was low. We used fine-scale GPS-derived activity patterns during the 2 weeks before and after the onset of the annual bear hunting season. At locations of probable foraging, we assessed abundance and sugar content, of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), the most important autumn food resource for bears in this area. Bears decreased their foraging activity in the morning hours of the hunting season. Likewise, they foraged less efficiently and on poorer quality berries in the morning. Neither of our foraging measures were affected by hunting in the afternoon foraging bout, indicating that bears did not allocate antipredator behavior to times of comparably lower risk. Bears effectively responded to variation in risk on the scale of hours. This entailed a measurable foraging cost. The additive effect of reduced foraging activity, reduced forage intake, and lower quality food may result in poorer body condition upon den entry and may ultimately reduce reproductive success.

  17. Another battle of the sexes: the consequences of sexual asymmetry in mating costs and predation risk in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata.

    PubMed

    Magurran, A E; Nowak, M A

    1991-10-22

    The risk of predation and cost or benefit of a mating attempt are rarely the same for both sexes. An excellent example is provided by the guppy. Poecilia reticulata, a species that has a promiscuous mating system in which female choice plays an important role. Male engage almost continuously in courtship behaviour but, as females are sexually receptive for short periods only, most male displays are ignored and sneaky mating attempts avoided. Experiments on guppies from wild Trinidad populations reveal that females appear to perceive themselves to be at a greater risk of predation and devote more time to antipredator behaviour, for example, schooling when threatened. Inspections of the predator are also mainly initiated and led by female guppies. Males exploit this behavioural switch by increasing their sneaky mating attempts. A game theoretical analysis is used to explore the sexual asymmetry in mating cost and predation risk. Together these approaches show that there is no intersexual cooperation during predator inspection behaviour in this species, and may explain the paradoxical increase in mating activity by male guppies under threat.

  18. Origins of female genital diversity: Predation risk and lock-and-key explain rapid divergence during an adaptive radiation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Christopher M; Langerhans, R Brian

    2015-09-01

    The study of male genital diversity has long overshadowed evolutionary inquiry of female genitalia, despite its nontrivial diversity. Here, we identify four nonmutually exclusive mechanisms that could lead to genital divergence in females, and potentially generate patterns of correlated male-female genital evolution: (1) ecological variation alters the context of sexual selection ("ecology hypothesis"), (2) sexually antagonistic selection ("sexual-conflict hypothesis"), (3) female preferences for male genitalia mediated by female genital traits ("female-choice hypothesis"), and (4) selection against inter-population mating ("lock-and-key hypothesis"). We performed an empirical investigation of all four hypotheses using the model system of Bahamas mosquitofish inhabiting blue holes that vary in predation risk. We found unequivocal support for the ecology hypothesis, with females exhibiting a smaller genital opening in blue holes containing piscivorous fish. This is consistent with stronger postmating female choice/conflict when predators are present, but greater premating female choice in their absence. Our results additionally supported the lock-and-key hypothesis, uncovering a pattern of reproductive character displacement for genital shape. We found no support for the sexual conflict or female choice hypotheses. Our results demonstrate a strong role for ecology in generating female genital diversity, and suggest that lock-and-key may provide a viable cause of female genital diversification.

  19. Foraging and refuge use by a pond snail: Effects of physiological state, predators, and resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2009-09-01

    The costs and benefits of anti-predator behavioral responses should be functions of the actual risk of predation, the availability of the prey's resources, and the physiological state of the prey. For example, a food-stressed individual risks starvation when hiding from predators, while a well-fed organism can better afford to hide (and pay the cost of not foraging). Similarly, the benefits of resource acquisition are probably highest for the prey in the poorest state, while there may be diminishing returns for prey nearing satiation. Empirical studies of state-dependent behavior are only beginning, however, and few studies have investigated interactions between all three potentially important factors. Here I present the results of a laboratory experiment where I manipulated the physiological state of pond snails ( Physa gyrina), the abundance of algal resources, and predation cues ( Belostoma flumineum waterbugs consuming snails) in a full factorial design to assess their direct effects on snail behavior and indirect effects on algal biomass. On average, snails foraged more when resources were abundant, and when predators were absent. Snails also foraged more when previously exposed to physiological stress. Snails spent more time at the water's surface (a refuging behavior) in the presence of predation cues on average, but predation, resource levels, and prey state had interactive effects on refuge use. There was a consistent positive trait-mediated indirect effect of predators on algal biomass, across all resource levels and prey states.

  20. 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.

  1. Geographic variation in sperm traits reflects predation risk and natural rates of multiple paternity in the guppy.

    PubMed

    Elgee, K E; Evans, J P; Ramnarine, I W; Rush, S A; Pitcher, Trevor E

    2010-06-01

    Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are models for understanding the interplay between natural and sexual selection. In particular, predation has been implicated as a major force affecting female sexual preferences, male mating tactics and the level of sperm competition. When predation is high, females typically reduce their preferences for showy males and engage more in antipredator behaviours, whereas males exploit these changes by switching from sexual displays to forced matings. These patterns are thought to account for the relatively high levels of multiple paternity in high-predation populations compared to low-predation populations. Here, we assess the possible evolutionary consequences of these patterns by asking whether variation in sperm traits reflect differences in predation intensity among four pairs of Trinidadian populations: four that experience relatively low levels of predation from a gape-limited predator and four that experience relatively high levels of predation from a variety of piscivores. We found that males in high-predation populations had faster swimming sperm with longer midpieces compared to males in low-predation populations. However, we found no differences among males in high- and low-predation populations with respect to sperm number, sperm head length, flagellum length and total sperm length.

  2. Sleeping site selection by agile gibbons: the influence of tree stability, fruit availability and predation risk.

    PubMed

    Cheyne, Susan M; Höing, Andrea; Rinear, John; Sheeran, Lori K

    2012-01-01

    Primates spend a significant proportion of their lives at sleeping sites: the selection of a secure and stable sleeping tree can be crucial for individual survival and fitness. We measured key characteristics of all tree species in which agile gibbons slept, including exposure of the tree crown, root system, height, species and presence of food. Gibbons most frequently slept in Dipterocarpaceae and Fabaceae trees and preferentially chose trees taller than average, slept above the mean canopy height and showed a preference for liana-free trees. These choices could reflect avoidance of competition with other frugivores, but we argue these choices reflect gibbons prioritizing avoidance of predation. The results highlight that gibbons are actively selecting and rejecting sleeping trees based on several characteristics. The importance of the presence of large trees for food is noted and provides insight into gibbon antipredatory behaviour. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. 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

  4. Food availability and predation risk, rather than intrinsic attributes, are the main factors shaping the reproductive decisions of a long-lived predator.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Sarah R; Millon, Alexandre; Petty, Steve J; Whitfield, D Philip; Lambin, Xavier

    2016-07-01

    Deciphering the causes of variation in reproductive success is a fundamental issue in ecology, as the number of offspring produced is an important driver of individual fitness and population dynamics. Little is known, however, about how different factors interact to drive variation in reproduction, such as whether an individual's response to extrinsic conditions (e.g. food availability or predation) varies according to its intrinsic attributes (e.g. age, previous allocation of resources towards reproduction). We used 29 years of reproductive data from marked female tawny owls and natural variation in food availability (field vole) and predator abundance (northern goshawk) to quantify the extent to which extrinsic and intrinsic factors interact to influence owl reproductive traits (breeding propensity, clutch size and nest abandonment). Extrinsic and intrinsic factors appeared to interact to affect breeding propensity (which accounted for 83% of the variation in owl reproductive success). Breeding propensity increased with vole density, although increasing goshawk abundance reduced the strength of this relationship. Owls became slightly more likely to breed as they aged, although this was only apparent for individuals who had fledged chicks the year before. Owls laid larger clutches when food was more abundant. When owls were breeding in territories less exposed to goshawk predation, 99·5% of all breeding attempts reached the fledging stage. In contrast, the probability of breeding attempts reaching the fledging stage in territories more exposed to goshawk predation depended on the amount of resources an owl had already allocated towards reproduction (averaging 87·7% for owls with clutches of 1-2 eggs compared to 97·5% for owls with clutches of 4-6 eggs). Overall, our results suggested that changes in extrinsic conditions (predominantly food availability, but also predator abundance) had the greatest influence on owl reproduction. In response to deteriorating

  5. Facultative nest patch shifts in response to nest predation risk in the Brewer's sparrow: a "win-stay, lose-switch" strategy?

    Treesearch

    Anna D. Chalfoun; Thomas E. Martin

    2010-01-01

    Facultative shifts in nesting habitat selection in response to perceived predation risk may allow animals to increase the survival probability of sessile offspring. Previous studies on this behavioral strategy have primarily focused on single attributes, such as the distance moved or changes in nesting substrate. However, nest site choice often encompasses multiple...

  6. Fear and loathing in the benthos: Responses of aquatic insect larvae to the pesticide imidacloprid in the presence of chemical signals of predation risk.

    PubMed

    Pestana, João L T; Loureiro, Susana; Baird, Donald J; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2009-06-28

    The influence of interactions between pesticide exposure and perceived predation risk on the lethal and sub-lethal responses of two aquatic insects was investigated using the pesticide imidacloprid, and a combination of predator-release kairomones from trout and alarm substances from conspecifics. Laboratory experiments examined feeding and respiration rates of the caddisfly Sericostoma vittatum as well as the growth, emergence and respiration rates of the midge Chironomus riparius, exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of imidacloprid. The effects of the two stressors on burrowing behaviour of both species were also assessed. The results show significant effects of environmentally relevant concentrations of imidacloprid on all endpoints studied. Perceived predation risk also elicited sub-lethal effects in C. riparius and S. vittatum, the latter species being less responsive to predation cues. The effects of simultaneous exposure to both types of stressors were assessed using two different approaches: analysis of variance and conceptual models [concentration addition (CA) and independent action (IA)] normally used for the evaluation of contaminant mixture exposure. Both statistical approaches showed no significant interactions on responses in simultaneous exposures in the majority of parameters assessed with only a signification deviation from the reference CA and IA models being found for C. riparius respiration data contrary to the ANOVA results. Exposure to imidacloprid also compromised antipredator behavioural responses of both insect species, with potential negative consequences in terms of mortality from predation in the field. The results obtained demonstrate that natural and anthropogenic stressors can be treated within the same framework providing compatible data for modelling. For an improved interpretation of ecological effects it will be important to expand the mechanistic study of effects of combined exposure to pesticides and perceived predation risk

  7. An experimental conflict of interest between parasites reveals the mechanism of host manipulation.

    PubMed

    Hafer, Nina; Milinski, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Parasites can increase their host's predation susceptibility. It is a long-standing puzzle, whether this is caused by host manipulation, an evolved strategy of the parasite, or by side effects due to, for example, the parasite consuming energy from its host thereby changing the host's trade-off between avoiding predation and foraging toward foraging. Here, we use sequential infection of three-spined sticklebacks with the cestode Schistocephalus solidus so that parasites have a conflict of interest over the direction of host manipulation. With true manipulation, the not yet infective parasite should reduce rather than enhance risk taking because predation would be fatal for its fitness; if host behavior is changed by a side effect, the 2 parasites would add their increase of predation risk because both drain energy. Our results support the latter hypothesis. In an additional experiment, we tested both infected and uninfected fish either starved or satiated. True host manipulation should act independently of the fish's hunger status and continue when energy drain is balanced through satiation. Starvation and satiation affect the risk averseness of infected sticklebacks similarly to that of uninfected starved and satiated ones. Increased energy drain rather than active host manipulation dominates behavioral changes of S. solidus-infected sticklebacks.

  8. Light pollution affects nesting behavior of loggerhead turtles and predation risk of nests and hatchlings.

    PubMed

    Silva, Elton; Marco, Adolfo; da Graça, Jesemine; Pérez, Héctor; Abella, Elena; Patino-Martinez, Juan; Martins, Samir; Almeida, Corrine

    2017-08-01

    The introduction of artificial light into wildlife habitats is a rapidly expanding aspect of global change, which has many negative impacts on a wide range of taxa. In this experimental study, which took place on a beach located on the island of Boa Vista (Cabo Verde), three types of artificial light were tested on nesting loggerhead sea turtles as well as on ghost crabs, which intensively predate on nests and hatchlings, to determine the effects they would produce on the behavior of both species. Over the course of 36days, female loggerheads and ghost crabs were studied under yellow, orange and red lights, with observations also being made on dark nights that served as a control treatment. During this period, the frequencies of nesting attempts, the time taken by turtles to complete each phase of the nesting process, and ghost crab abundance and behaviors were carefully recorded. 1146 loggerhead nesting attempts were observed and recorded during the experiments, and results showed a decrease in nesting attempts of at least 20% when artificial lighting was present. A significant decline in successful attempts was also observed within the central sections of the beach, which corresponded to those that received more light. This artificial lighting significantly increased the time that turtles spent on the nesting process and forced them to do more extensive beach crawls. Despite this, the presence of light had no apparent effect on the final selection of the nesting site. Yellow and orange lights significantly disrupted the sea finding behavior and turtles were often unable to orient themselves seaward under these color lights. Disoriented turtles were observed crawling in circuitous paths in front of the light source for several minutes. In addition, artificial lights had the potential to increase the number of ghost crabs present within the illuminated stretches of the beach. However, only yellow lighting produced a significant change on aggressive and prey

  9. Species and temporal factors affect predator-specific rates of nest predation for forest songbirds in the midwest

    Treesearch

    W. Andrew Cox; Frank R. III Thompson; John. Faaborg

    2012-01-01

    Knowledge of the relative contributions of predator species to overall rates of nest predation can improve our understanding of why predation risk varies, but the identity of predators is seldom known. We used video technology to identify nest predators of the tree-nesting Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) and the shrub-nesting Indigo Bunting...

  10. Chiropractic spinal manipulation and the risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a belief elicitation study.

    PubMed

    Hincapié, Cesar A; Cassidy, J David; Côté, Pierre; Rampersaud, Y Raja; Jadad, Alejandro R; Tomlinson, George A

    2017-09-18

    Chiropractic spinal manipulation treatment (SMT) is common for back pain and has been reported to increase the risk for lumbar disc herniation (LDH), but there is no high quality evidence about this. In the absence of good evidence, clinicians can have knowledge and beliefs about the risk. Our purpose was to determine clinicians' beliefs regarding the risk for acute LDH associated with chiropractic SMT. Using a belief elicitation design, 47 clinicians (16 chiropractors, 15 family physicians and 16 spine surgeons) that treat patients with back pain from primary and tertiary care practices were interviewed. Participants' elicited incidence estimates of acute LDH among a hypothetical group of patients with acute low back pain treated with and without chiropractic SMT, were used to derive the probability distribution for the relative risk (RR) for acute LDH associated with chiropractic SMT. Chiropractors expressed the most optimistic belief (median RR 0.56; IQR 0.39-1.03); family physicians expressed a neutral belief (median RR 0.97; IQR 0.64-1.21); and spine surgeons expressed a slightly more pessimistic belief (median RR 1.07; IQR 0.95-1.29). Clinicians with the most optimistic views believed that chiropractic SMT reduces the incidence of acute LDH by about 60% (median RR 0.42; IQR 0.29-0.53). Those with the most pessimistic views believed that chiropractic SMT increases the incidence of acute LDH by about 30% (median RR 1.29; IQR 1.11-1.59). Clinicians' beliefs about the risk for acute LDH associated with chiropractic SMT varied systematically across professions, in spite of a lack of scientific evidence to inform these beliefs. These probability distributions can serve as prior probabilities in future Bayesian analyses of this relationship.

  11. Titmouse calling and foraging are affected by head and body orientation of cat predator models and possible experience with real cats.

    PubMed

    Book, D L; Freeberg, Todd M

    2015-09-01

    Although anti-predator behavior systems have been studied in diverse taxa, less is known about how prey species detect and assess the immediate threat posed by a predator based on its behavior. In this study, we evaluated a potential cue that some species may utilize when assessing predation threat-the predator's body and head orientation. We tested the effect of this orientation cue on signaling and predation-risk-sensitive foraging of a prey species, tufted titmice (Baeolophus bicolor). Earlier work revealed sensitivity of titmice and related species to the presence of predator stimuli. Here, we manipulated cat models to face either toward or away from a food source preferred by titmice and then measured titmouse calling and seed-taking behavior. Titmice showed greater feeder avoidance when the cat predator models faced the feeder, compared to when the models faced away from the feeder or when titmice were exposed to control stimuli. Titmouse calling was also sensitive to predator head/body orientation, depending upon whether titmice were from sites where real cats had been observed or not. This study experimentally demonstrated that both calling and foraging of prey species can be affected by the head and body orientation of an important terrestrial predator. Prey species may therefore signal in strategic ways to conspecifics not just about predator presence, but also urgency of threat related to the more subtle cue of the head and body orientation of the predator. These findings hold potential implications for understanding animal cognition and learning processes.

  12. Diversity and evolution of bodyguard manipulation.

    PubMed

    Maure, Fanny; Daoust, Simon Payette; Brodeur, Jacques; Mitta, Guillaume; Thomas, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    Among the different strategies used by parasites to usurp the behaviour of their host, one of the most fascinating is bodyguard manipulation. While all classic examples of bodyguard manipulation involve insect parasitoids, induced protective behaviours have also evolved in other parasite-host systems, typically as specific dimensions of the total manipulation. For instance, parasites may manipulate the host to reduce host mortality during their development or to avoid predation by non-host predators. This type of host manipulation behaviour is rarely described, probably due to the fact that studies have mainly focused on predation enhancement rather than studying all the dimensions of the manipulation. Here, in addition to the classic cases of bodyguard manipulation, we also review these 'bodyguard dimensions' and propose extending the current definition of bodyguard manipulation to include the latter. We also discuss different evolutionary scenarios under which such manipulations could have evolved.

  13. Impact of brief self-affirmation manipulations on university students' reactions to risk information about binge drinking.

    PubMed

    Knight, Rebecca; Norman, Paul

    2016-09-01

    Binge drinking is associated with an array of negative health consequences and is particularly prevalent in university students. Health-risk messages about alcohol may fail to change such behaviour because they are dismissed or derogated. The present study sought to compare the effect of three brief self-affirmation manipulations on message processing, message acceptance, and subsequent alcohol-related behaviour in university students. Participants (N = 307) were randomly allocated to condition (kindness questionnaire, values essay, attributes questionnaire, control questionnaire) before reading a health-risk message about binge drinking. After reading the message, participants completed measures of message processing (message reactance, message evaluation, counter-arguing) and message acceptance (perceived risk, intention, plans) as well as a manipulation check. Alcohol consumption was assessed 1 week later. Participants in all three self-affirmation conditions scored significantly higher than participants in the control condition on the manipulation check measure. All other self-affirmation effects were non-significant. While the three self-affirmation manipulations were found to be self-affirming, they failed to impact on measures of message processing, message acceptance, or subsequent behaviour. The findings concur with previous research that questions the use of self-affirmation to reduce alcohol consumption in university students. Current self-affirmation manipulations may not be strong enough to overcome defensive processing of health-risk messages about alcohol in students and/or prime social goals that are related to the domain under threat (i.e., alcohol consumption), thereby nullifying any positive self-affirmation effects. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Health-risk messages to reduce alcohol consumption (e.g., binge drinking) in university students may fail due to defensive processing (e.g., message derogation

  14. Body condition and pregnancy in northern Yellowstone elk: evidence for predation risk effects?

    PubMed

    White, P J; Garrott, Robert A; Hamlin, Kenneth L; Cook, Rachel C; Cook, John G; Cunningham, Julie A

    2011-01-01

    S. Creel et al. reported a negative correlation between fecal progesterone concentrations and elk:wolf ratios in greater Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) herds and interpreted this correlation as evidence that pregnancy rates of elk decreased substantially in the presence of wolves (Canis lupus). Apparently, the hypothesized mechanism is that decreased forage intake reduces body condition and either results in elk failing to conceive during the autumn rut or elk losing the fetus during winter. We tested this hypothesis by comparing age-specific body condition (percentage ingesta-free body fat) and pregnancy rates for northern Yellowstone elk, one of the herds sampled by Creel et al., before (1962-1968) and after (2000-2006) wolf restoration using indices developed and calibrated for Rocky Mountain elk. Mean age-adjusted percentage body fat of female elk was similarly high in both periods (9.0%-0.9% pre-wolf; 8.9%-0.8% post-wolf). Estimated pregnancy rates (proportion of females that were pregnant) were 0.91 pre-wolf and 0.87 post-wolf for 4-9 year-old elk (95% CI on difference = -0.15 to 0.03, P = 0.46) and 0.64 pre-wolf and 0.78 post-wolf for elk > 9 years old (95% CI on difference = -0.01 to 0.27, P = 0.06). Thus, there was little evidence in these data to support strong effects of wolf presence on elk pregnancy. We caution that multiple lines of evidence and/or strong validation should be brought to bear before relying on indirect measures of how predators affect pregnancy rates.

  15. Florida's Sexually Violent Predator Program: An Examination of Risk and Civil Commitment Eligibility

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucken, Karol; Bales, William

    2008-01-01

    Sex offender civil commitment (SOCC) has been enacted in 16 states amid widespread controversy. A critical component of civil commitment is the risk assessment process that determines recommendations for civil confinement once a prison term has expired. This study analyzes the first stage of a two-stage risk assessment process that determines…

  16. Habitat preferences of a corallivorous reef fish: predation risk versus food quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Mcleod, I. M.; Jones, G. P.

    2013-09-01

    Many animals preferentially select a habitat from a range of those potentially available. However, the consequences of these preferences for distribution and abundance, and the underlying basis of habitat preferences are often unknown. The present study, conducted at Great Keppel Island, Australia, examined how distribution and abundance of an obligate corallivorous filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, relates to coral architecture and diversity. The main drivers of the distribution and abundance of O. longirostris among reefs were coral species richness and availability of branching coral. Feeding territories had a higher percentage of Acropora coral than surrounding habitat. In addition, feeding territories had a higher percentage of the structurally important branching coral, Acropora nobilis, and a primary prey species, Acropora millepora. A series of pair-wise choice experiments in which both structural complexity and coral tissue quality were independently manipulated showed that habitat choice was primarily based on structural complexity and shelter characteristics. In addition, the choice for the preferred coral ( A. nobilis) was stronger in the presence of a piscivorous fish. These results indicate that species-diverse coral habitats, which provide sufficient structural complexity along with nutritionally important prey, are essential for population persistence of this small, corallivorous reef fish.

  17. Brain development and predation: plastic responses depend on evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Gonda, Abigél; Välimäki, Kaisa; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2012-04-23

    Although the brain is known to be a very plastic organ, the effects of common ecological interactions like predation or competition on brain development have remained largely unexplored. We reared nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) from two coastal marine (predation-adapted) and two isolated pond (competition-adapted) populations in a factorial experiment, manipulating perceived predatory risk and food supply to see (i) if the treatments affected brain development and (ii) if there was population differentiation in the response to treatments. We detected differences in plasticity of the bulbus olfactorius (chemosensory centre) between habitats: marine fish were not plastic, whereas pond fish had larger bulbi olfactorii in the presence of perceived predation. Marine fish had larger bulbus olfactorius overall. Irrespective of population origin, the hypothalamus was smaller in the presence of perceived predatory risk. Our results demonstrate that perceived predation risk can influence brain development, and that the effect of an environmental factor on brain development may depend on the evolutionary history of a given population in respect to this environmental factor.

  18. Brain development and predation: plastic responses depend on evolutionary history

    PubMed Central

    Gonda, Abigél; Välimäki, Kaisa; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2012-01-01

    Although the brain is known to be a very plastic organ, the effects of common ecological interactions like predation or competition on brain development have remained largely unexplored. We reared nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius) from two coastal marine (predation-adapted) and two isolated pond (competition-adapted) populations in a factorial experiment, manipulating perceived predatory risk and food supply to see (i) if the treatments affected brain development and (ii) if there was population differentiation in the response to treatments. We detected differences in plasticity of the bulbus olfactorius (chemosensory centre) between habitats: marine fish were not plastic, whereas pond fish had larger bulbi olfactorii in the presence of perceived predation. Marine fish had larger bulbus olfactorius overall. Irrespective of population origin, the hypothalamus was smaller in the presence of perceived predatory risk. Our results demonstrate that perceived predation risk can influence brain development, and that the effect of an environmental factor on brain development may depend on the evolutionary history of a given population in respect to this environmental factor. PMID:21957092

  19. Spatiotemporal patterns of duck nest density and predation risk: a multi-scale analysis of 18 years and more than 10,000 nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringelman, Kevin M.; Eadie, John M.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Sih, Andrew; Loughman, Daniel L.; Yarris, Gregory S.; Oldenburger, Shaun L.; McLandress, M. Robert

    2017-01-01

    Many avian species are behaviorally-plastic in selecting nest sites, and may shift to new locations or habitats following an unsuccessful breeding attempt. If there is predictable spatial variation in predation risk, the process of many individuals using prior experience to adaptively change nest sites may scale up to create shifting patterns of nest density at a population level. We used 18 years of waterfowl nesting data to assess whether there were areas of consistently high or low predation risk, and whether low-risk areas increased, and high-risk areas decreased in nest density the following year. We created kernel density maps of successful and unsuccessful nests in consecutive years and found no correlation in predation risk and no evidence for adaptive shifts, although nest density was correlated between years. We also examined between-year correlations in nest density and nest success at three smaller spatial scales: individual nesting fields (10–28 ha), 16-ha grid cells and 4-ha grid cells. Here, results were similar across all scales: we found no evidence for year-to-year correlation in nest success but found strong evidence that nest density was correlated between years, and areas of high nest success increased in nest density the following year. Prior research in this system has demonstrated that areas of high nest density have higher nest success, and taken together, our results suggest that ducks may adaptively select nest sites based on the local density of conspecifics, rather than the physical location of last year's nest. In unpredictable environments, current cues, such as the presence of active conspecific nests, may be especially useful in selecting nest sites. The cues birds use to select breeding locations and successfully avoid predators deserve continued attention, especially in systems of conservation concern.

  20. Reliability of Risk Assessment Measures Used in Sexually Violent Predator Proceedings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Cailey S.; Kimonis, Eva R.; Otto, Randy K.; Kline, Suzonne M.; Wasserman, Adam L.

    2012-01-01

    The field interrater reliability of three assessment tools frequently used by mental health professionals when evaluating sex offenders' risk for reoffending--the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) and the Static-99--was examined within the context of sexually violent predator…

  1. Reliability of Risk Assessment Measures Used in Sexually Violent Predator Proceedings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Cailey S.; Kimonis, Eva R.; Otto, Randy K.; Kline, Suzonne M.; Wasserman, Adam L.

    2012-01-01

    The field interrater reliability of three assessment tools frequently used by mental health professionals when evaluating sex offenders' risk for reoffending--the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the Minnesota Sex Offender Screening Tool-Revised (MnSOST-R) and the Static-99--was examined within the context of sexually violent predator…

  2. Social familiarity reduces reaction times and enhances survival of group-living predatory mites under the risk of predation.

    PubMed

    Strodl, Markus Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Social familiarity, which is based on the ability to recognise familiar conspecific individuals following prior association, may affect all major life activities of group-living animals such as foraging, reproduction and anti-predator behaviours. A scarcely experimentally tested explanation why social familiarity is beneficial for group-living animals is provided by limited attention theory. Limited attention theory postulates that focusing on a given task, such as inspection and assessment of unfamiliar group members, has cognitive and associated physiological and behavioural costs with respect to the attention paid to other tasks, such as anti-predator vigilance and response. Accordingly, we hypothesised that social familiarity enhances the anti-predator success of group-living predatory mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis, confronted with an intraguild predator, the predatory mite Amblyseius andersoni. We videotaped and analysed the response of two P. persimilis larvae, held in familiar or unfamiliar pairs, to attacks by a gravid A. andersoni female, using the behavioural analyses software EthoVision Pro®. Familiar larvae were more frequently close together, reacted more quickly to predator attacks, survived more predator encounters and survived longer than unfamiliar larvae. In line with the predictions of limited attention theory, we suggest that social familiarity improves anti-predator behaviours because it allows prey to shift attention to other tasks rather than group member assessment.

  3. 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

  4. Volumetric Abnormalities Predating the Onset of Schizophrenia and Affective Psychoses: An MRI Study in Subjects at Ultrahigh Risk of Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    Dazzan, Paola; Soulsby, Bridget; Mechelli, Andrea; Wood, Stephen J.; Velakoulis, Dennis; Phillips, Lisa J.; Yung, Alison R.; Chitnis, Xavier; Lin, Ashleigh; Murray, Robin M.; McGorry, Patrick D.; McGuire, Philip K.; Pantelis, Christos

    2012-01-01

    It remains unclear whether brain structural abnormalities observed before the onset of psychosis are specific to schizophrenia or are common to all psychotic disorders. This study aimed to measure regional gray matter volume prior to the onset of schizophreniform and of affective psychoses. We investigated 102 subjects at ultrahigh risk (UHR) of developing psychosis recruited from the Personal Assessment and Crisis Evaluation Clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Twenty-eight of these subjects developed psychosis subsequent to scanning: 19 schizophrenia, 7 affective psychoses, and 2 other psychoses. We examined regional gray matter volume using 1.5 mm thick, coronal, 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry methods of image analysis. Subjects were scanned at presentation and were followed up clinically for a minimum of 12 months, to detect later transition to psychosis. We found that both groups of subjects who subsequently developed psychosis (schizophrenia and affective psychosis) showed reductions in the frontal cortex relative to UHR subjects who did not develop psychosis. The subgroup that subsequently developed schizophrenia also showed smaller volumes in the parietal cortex and, at trend level, in the temporal cortex, whereas those who developed an affective psychosis had significantly smaller subgenual cingulate volumes. These preliminary findings suggest that volumetric abnormalities in UHR individuals developing schizophrenia vs affective psychoses comprise a combination of features that predate both disorders and others that may be specific to the nature of the subsequent disorder. PMID:21518921

  5. Attracting predators without falling prey: chemical camouflage protects honeydew-producing treehoppers from ant predation.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Henrique C P; Oliveira, Paulo S; Trigo, José R

    2010-02-01

    Predaceous ants are dominant organisms on foliage and represent a constant threat to herbivorous insects. The honeydew of sap-feeding hemipterans has been suggested to appease aggressive ants, which then begin tending activities. Here, we manipulated the cuticular chemical profiles of freeze-dried insect prey to show that chemical background matching with the host plant protects Guayaquila xiphias treehoppers against predaceous Camponotus crassus ants, regardless of honeydew supply. Ant predation is increased when treehoppers are transferred to a nonhost plant with which they have low chemical similarity. Palatable moth larvae manipulated to match the chemical background of Guayaquila's host plant attracted lower numbers of predatory ants than unchanged controls. Although aggressive tending ants can protect honeydew-producing hemipterans from natural enemies, they may prey on the trophobionts under shortage of alternative food resources. Thus chemical camouflage in G. xiphias allows the trophobiont to attract predaceous bodyguards at reduced risk of falling prey itself.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessing the roles of population density and predation risk in the evolution of offspring size in populations of a placental fish

    PubMed Central

    Schrader, Matthew; Travis, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    Population density is an ecological variable that is hypothesized to be a major agent of selection on offspring size. In high-density populations, high levels of intraspecific competition are expected to favor the production of larger offspring. In contrast, lower levels of intraspecific competition and selection for large offspring should be weaker and more easily overridden by direct selection for increased fecundity in low-density populations. Some studies have found associations between population density and offspring size consistent with this hypothesis. However, their interpretations are often clouded by a number of issues. Here, we use data from a 10-year study of nine populations of the least killifish, Heterandria formosa, to describe the associations of offspring size with habitat type, population density, and predation risk. We found that females from spring populations generally produced larger offspring than females from ponds; however, the magnitude of this difference varied among years. Across all populations, larger offspring were associated with higher densities and lower risks of predation. Interestingly, the associations between the two ecological variables (density and predation risk) and offspring size were largely independent of one another. Our results suggest that previously described genetic differences in offspring size are due to density-dependent natural selection. PMID:22957156

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of hatchery fish density on emigration, growth, survival, and predation risk of natural steelhead parr in an experimental stream channel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tatara, Christopher P.; Riley, Stephen C.; Berejikian, Barry A.

    2011-01-01

    Hatchery supplementation of steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss raises concerns about the impacts on natural populations, including reduced growth and survival, displacement, and increased predation. The potential risks may be density dependent.We examined how hatchery stocking density and the opportunity to emigrate affect the responses of natural steelhead parr in an experimental stream channel and after 15 d found no density-dependent effects on growth, emigration, or survival at densities ranging from 1-6 hatchery parr/m2. The opportunity for steelhead parr to emigrate reduced predation by coastal cutthroat trout O. clarkii clarkii on both hatchery and natural steelhead parr. The cutthroat trout exhibited a type-I functional response (constant predation rate with increased prey density) for the hatchery and composite populations. In contrast, the predation rate on natural parr decreased as hatchery stocking density increased. Supplementation with hatchery parr at any experimental stocking density reduced the final natural parr density. This decline was explained by increased emigration fromthe supplemented groups. Natural parr had higher mean instantaneous growth rates than hatchery parr. The proportion of parr emigrating decreased as parr size increased over successive experimental trials. Smaller parr had lower survival and suffered higher predation. The final density of the composite population, a measure of supplementation effectiveness, increased with the hatchery steelhead stocking rate. Our results indicate that stocking larger hatchery parr (over 50 d postemergence) at densities within the carrying capacity would have low short-term impact on the growth, survival, and emigration of natural parr while increasing the density of the composite population; in addition, a stocking density greater than 3 fish/m2 might be a good starting point for the evaluation of parr stocking in natural streams.

  13. Food provisioning increases the risk of injury in a long-lived marine top predator

    PubMed Central

    McHugh, Katherine A.; Siegal, Eilidh M.; Lusseau, David; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Lovewell, Gretchen; Wells, Randall S.

    2016-01-01

    Food provisioning of wildlife is a major concern for management and conservation agencies worldwide because it encourages unnatural behaviours in wild animals and increases each individual's risk for injury and death. Here we investigate the contributing factors and potential fitness consequences of a recent increase in the frequency of human interactions with common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Sarasota Bay, Florida. A rising proportion of the local long-term resident dolphin community is becoming conditioned to human interactions through direct and indirect food provisioning. We investigate variables that are affecting conditioning and if the presence of human-induced injuries is higher for conditioned versus unconditioned dolphins. Using the most comprehensive long-term dataset available for a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin population (more than 45 years; more than 32 000 dolphin group sightings; more than 1100 individuals), we found that the association with already conditioned animals strongly affected the probability of dolphins becoming conditioned to human interactions, confirming earlier findings that conditioning is partly a learned behaviour. More importantly, we found that conditioned dolphins were more likely to be injured by human interactions when compared with unconditioned animals. This is alarming, as conditioning could lead to a decrease in survival, which could have population-level consequences. We did not find a significant relationship between human exposure or natural prey availability and the probability of dolphins becoming conditioned. This could be due to low sample size or insufficient spatio-temporal resolution in the available data. Our findings show that wildlife provisioning may lead to a decrease in survival, which could ultimately affect population dynamics. PMID:28083101

  14. What do predators really want? The role of gerbil energetic state in determining prey choice by Barn Owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Mukherjee, Shomen; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-02-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, predators should respond to variations in prey state. The value of energy for the prey changes depending on season. Prey in a low energetic state and/or in a reproductive state should invest more in foraging and tolerate higher predation risk. This should make the prey more catchable, and thereby, more preferable to predators. We ask, can predators respond to prey state? How does season and state affect the foraging game from the predator's perspective? By letting owls choose between gerbils whose states we experimentally manipulated, we could demonstrate predator sensitivity to prey state and predator selectivity that otherwise may be obscured by the foraging game. During spring, owls invested more time and attacks in the patch with well-fed gerbils. During summer, owls attacked both patches equally, yet allocated more time to the patch with hungry gerbils. Energetic state per se does not seem to be the basis of owl choice. The owls strongly responded to these subtle differences. In summer, gerbils managed their behavior primarily for survival, and the owls equalized capture opportunities by attacking both patches equally.

  15. A food web model of mercury transfer from stream sediment to predators of fish for ecological risk based clean-up goals

    SciTech Connect

    Burns, T.P.; Hadden, C.T.; Cornaby, B.W.; Mitz, S.V.

    1997-09-01

    A linear steady-state model of the food web linking sediment to piscivorous predators was used to derive ecological risk based clean-up concentrations for mercury in sediment of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC), Oak Ridge, TN. The model partitions aquatic invertebrates into two classes based on the primary source of exposure to mercury in sediment, and the prey-fish community into three classes based on differences in their diets and feeding habits. Biotransfer factors for the links between sediment and sediment-dwelling invertebrates, water and aquatic biota and fish, and prey and predators are published values. The model uses site specific data on the fraction of methylmercury in sediment, the relative abundance of prey fish, and the predicted flux of mercury from sediment. Monte Carlo analysis quantifies the uncertainty in the risk to top predators of fish. At 96 mg/kg mercury in sediment, less than 20% of the exposures exceed dietary limits for endpoint receptors. The fraction of methylmercury in sediment, the three biotransfer factors for methylmercury, and diet are sensitive parameters.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. Risk of traumatic injury associated with chiropractic spinal manipulation in Medicare Part B beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years.

    PubMed

    Whedon, James M; Mackenzie, Todd A; Phillips, Reed B; Lurie, Jon D

    2015-02-15

    Retrospective cohort study. In older adults with a neuromusculoskeletal complaint, to evaluate risk of injury to the head, neck, or trunk after an office visit for chiropractic spinal manipulation compared with office visit for evaluation by primary care physician. The risk of physical injury due to spinal manipulation has not been rigorously evaluated for older adults, a population particularly vulnerable to traumatic injury in general. We analyzed Medicare administrative data on Medicare B beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years with an office visit in 2007 for a neuromusculoskeletal complaint. Using a Cox proportional hazards model, we evaluated for adjusted risk of injury within 7 days, comparing 2 cohorts: those treated by chiropractic spinal manipulation versus those evaluated by a primary care physician. We used direct adjusted survival curves to estimate the cumulative probability of injury. In the chiropractic cohort only, we used logistic regression to evaluate the effect of specific chronic conditions on likelihood of injury. The adjusted risk of injury in the chiropractic cohort was lower than that of the primary care cohort (hazard ratio, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.25). The cumulative probability of injury in the chiropractic cohort was 40 injury incidents per 100,000 subjects compared with 153 incidents per 100,000 subjects in the primary care cohort. Among subjects who saw a chiropractic physician, the likelihood of injury was increased in those with a chronic coagulation defect, inflammatory spondylopathy, osteoporosis, aortic aneurysm and dissection, or long-term use of anticoagulant therapy. Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years with an office visit risk for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck, or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit than among those who saw a primary care physician. 3.

  2. 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.

  3. Assessing the risk of stroke from neck manipulation: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Haynes, M J; Vincent, K; Fischhoff, C; Bremner, A P; Lanlo, O; Hankey, G J

    2012-01-01

    Background Strokes, typically involving vertebral artery dissection, can follow cervical spinal manipulative therapy, and these types of stroke occur rarely. There is disagreement about whether a strong association between neck manipulation and stroke exists. An earlier systematic review found two relevant studies of association that used controls, which also discussed the limitations of the two papers. Our systematic review updates the earlier review, and aims to determine whether conclusive evidence of a strong association exists. Methods PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews were followed, and the literature was searched using a strategy that included the terms ‘neck manipulation’ and ‘stroke’ from the PubMed, Embase, CINAHL Plus and AMED databases. Citations were included if they met criteria such as being case–control studies, and dealt with neck manipulation and/or neck movement/positioning. Papers were scored for their quality, using similar criteria to the earlier review. For individual criteria, each study was assigned a full positive score if the criterion was satisfied completely. Results Four case–control studies and one case–control study, which included a case- crossover design, met the selection criteria, but all of them had at least three items in the quality assessment that failed to be completely positive. Two studies were assessed to be the most robustly designed, one indicating a strong association between stroke and various intensities of neck movement, including manipulation, and the other suggesting a much reduced relative association when using primary care practitioners’ visits as controls. However, potential biases and confounders render the results inconclusive. Conclusion Conclusive evidence is lacking for a strong association between neck manipulation and stroke, but is also absent for no association. Future studies of association will need to minimise potential biases and confounders, and ideally have sufficient

  4. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-04

    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.

  5. Conservation implications when the nest predators are known

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ribic, Christine; Thompson, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Conservation and management of passerines has largely focused on habitat manipulation or restoration because the natural communities on which these birds depend have been destroyed and fragmented. However, productivity is another important aspect of avian conservation, and nest predation can be a large source of nesting mortality for passerines. Recent studies using video surveillance to identify nest predators allow researchers to start evaluating what methods could be used to mitigate nest predation to help passerines of conservation concern. From recent studies, we identified latitudinal and habitat-related patterns in the importance of predator groups that depredate passerine nests. We then reviewed how knowledge of specific nest predators can benefit conservation of bird species of concern. Mammals were the dominant predator group in northern grasslands. Snakes were the dominant predator group in southern habitats. Fire ants were only a nest predator in southern latitudes. Differences in the importance of predator species or groups were likely the result of both their geographic patterns of distribution and habitat preferences. Some direct and indirect predator control measures developed for waterfowl management potentially could be used to benefit passerine productivity. We reviewed three examples-cowbirds, snakes in shrublands, and ground squirrels in grasslands-to illustrate how different predator control strategies may be needed in different situations. Mitigation of passerine nest predation will need to be based on knowledge of predator communities to be effective. This requires large samples of predation events with identified predators; video technology is essential for this task.

  6. 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.

  7. Landscape-scale accessibility of livestock to tigers: implications of spatial grain for modeling predation risk to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Jena, Jyotirmay; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-03-01

    Innovative conservation tools are greatly needed to reduce livelihood losses and wildlife declines resulting from human-carnivore conflict. Spatial risk modeling is an emergi