Science.gov

Sample records for marine predators track

  1. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures

    PubMed Central

    Tew Kai, Emilie; Rossi, Vincent; Sudre, Joel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Lopez, Cristobal; Hernandez-Garcia, Emilio; Marsac, Francis; Garçon, Veronique

    2009-01-01

    Meso- and submesoscales (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behavior and the displacement of marine top predators (tuna, birds, turtles, and cetaceans). In this work we focus on the role of submesoscale structures in the Mozambique Channel in the distribution of a marine predator, the Great Frigatebird. Using a newly developed dynamic concept, the finite-size Lyapunov exponent (FSLE), we identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow in the channel over a 2-month observation period (August and September 2003). By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCS locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. After comparing bird positions during long and short trips and different parts of these trips, we propose several hypotheses to understand how frigatebirds can follow these LCSs. The birds might use visual and/or olfactory cues and/or atmospheric current changes over the structures to move along these biologic corridors. The birds being often associated with tuna schools around foraging areas, a thorough comprehension of their foraging behavior and movement during the breeding season is crucial not only to seabird ecology but also to an appropriate ecosystemic approach to fisheries in the channel. PMID:19416811

  2. Taking animal tracking to new depths: synthesizing horizontal--vertical movement relationships for four marine predators.

    PubMed

    Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Hindell, Mark A; Harcourt, Robert G; Gales, Nicholas J

    2015-02-01

    In animal ecology, a question of key interest for aquatic species is how changes in movement behavior are related in the horizontal and vertical dimensions when individuals forage. Alternative theoretical models and inconsistent empirical findings mean that this question remains unresolved. Here we tested expectations by incorporating the vertical dimension (dive information) when predicting switching between movement states ("resident" or "directed") within a state-space model. We integrated telemetry-based tracking and diving data available for four seal species (southern elephant, Weddell, antarctic fur, and crabeater) in East Antarctica. Where possible, we included dive variables derived from the relationships between (1) dive duration and depth (as a measure of effort), and (2) dive duration and the postdive surface interval (as a physiological measure of cost). Our results varied within and across species, but there was a general tendency for the probability of switching into "resident" state to be positively associated with shorter dive durations (for a given depth) and longer postdive surface intervals (for a given dive duration). Our results add to a growing body of literature suggesting that simplistic interpretations of optimal foraging theory based only on horizontal movements do not directly translate into the vertical dimension in dynamic marine environments. Analyses that incorporate at least two dimensions can test more sophisticated models of foraging behavior. PMID:26240863

  3. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della Penna, Alice; de Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; D'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  4. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators.

    PubMed

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-12-15

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels.

  5. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators

    PubMed Central

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d’Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1–100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels. PMID:26666350

  6. Quasi-planktonic behavior of foraging top marine predators.

    PubMed

    Della Penna, Alice; De Monte, Silvia; Kestenare, Elodie; Guinet, Christophe; d'Ovidio, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring marine top predators is fundamental for assessing the health and functioning of open ocean ecosystems. Although recently tracking observations have substantially increased, factors determining the horizontal exploration of the ocean by marine predators are still largely unknown, especially at the scale of behavioral switches (1-100 km, days-weeks). It is commonly assumed that the influence of water movement can be neglected for animals capable of swimming faster than the current. Here, we challenge this assumption by combining the use of biologging (GPS and accelerometry), satellite altimetry and in-situ oceanographic data (ADCP and drifting buoys) to investigate the effect of the mesoscale ocean dynamics on a marine predator, the southern elephant seal. A Lagrangian approach reveals that trajectories of elephant seals are characterized by quasi-planktonic bouts where the animals are horizontally drifting. These bouts correspond to periods of increased foraging effort, indicating that in the quasi-planktonic conditions energy is allocated to diving and chasing, rather than in horizontal search of favourable grounds. These results suggest that mesoscale features like eddies and fronts may act as a focal points for trophic interactions not only by bottom-up modulation of nutrient injection, but also by directly entraining horizontal displacements of the upper trophic levels. PMID:26666350

  7. Scaling laws of marine predator search behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sims, David W; Southall, Emily J; Humphries, Nicolas E; Hays, Graeme C; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Pitchford, Jonathan W; James, Alex; Ahmed, Mohammed Z; Brierley, Andrew S; Hindell, Mark A; Morritt, David; Musyl, Michael K; Righton, David; Shepard, Emily L C; Wearmouth, Victoria J; Wilson, Rory P; Witt, Matthew J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2008-02-28

    Many free-ranging predators have to make foraging decisions with little, if any, knowledge of present resource distribution and availability. The optimal search strategy they should use to maximize encounter rates with prey in heterogeneous natural environments remains a largely unresolved issue in ecology. Lévy walks are specialized random walks giving rise to fractal movement trajectories that may represent an optimal solution for searching complex landscapes. However, the adaptive significance of this putative strategy in response to natural prey distributions remains untested. Here we analyse over a million movement displacements recorded from animal-attached electronic tags to show that diverse marine predators-sharks, bony fishes, sea turtles and penguins-exhibit Lévy-walk-like behaviour close to a theoretical optimum. Prey density distributions also display Lévy-like fractal patterns, suggesting response movements by predators to prey distributions. Simulations show that predators have higher encounter rates when adopting Lévy-type foraging in natural-like prey fields compared with purely random landscapes. This is consistent with the hypothesis that observed search patterns are adapted to observed statistical patterns of the landscape. This may explain why Lévy-like behaviour seems to be widespread among diverse organisms, from microbes to humans, as a 'rule' that evolved in response to patchy resource distributions.

  8. Prioritized phenotypic responses to combined predators in a marine snail.

    PubMed

    Bourdeau, Paul E

    2009-06-01

    Although many species face numerous predators in nature, the combined impact of multiple predators on the inducible defenses of prey has rarely been studied. Prey may respond with an intermediate phenotype that balances the risk from several sources or may simply respond to the most dangerous predator. I examined the separate and combined effects of the presence of shell-breaking (crabs, Cancer productus) and shell-entry (seastars, Pisaster ochraceus) predators fed conspecific snails on the defensive shell morphology and antipredator behavior of a marine snail (Nucella lamellosa). When exposed to each feeding predator separately, snails responded with a combination of morphological defenses that reflect the attack mode of the predator and a generalized behavioral response. Snails responded to feeding crabs by increasing refuge use and producing a thick, rotund shell. Snails responded to feeding seastars with increased refuge use but produced elongate shells with high spires that allowed for greater retraction of the soft tissue. Seastar-induced phenotypes reduced susceptibility to seastars relative to crab-induced phenotypes, but crab-induced phenotypes did not significantly reduce susceptibility to crabs, indicating an asymmetrical functional trade-off. When feeding predators were combined, snails produced a morphological phenotype similar to that expressed in the presence of the predator that imposed the highest mortality at the population level, suggesting that predator-induced morphology was prioritized according to predation risk. These results suggest that prioritizing conflicting defenses according to predator danger may be a common strategy for prey responding to combined predators, particularly in conjunction with generalized behavioral responses that reduce overall risk in multiple-predator environments.

  9. Prey Patch Patterns Predict Habitat Use by Top Marine Predators with Diverse Foraging Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Battaile, Brian C.; Heppell, Scott A.; Hoover, Brian; Irons, David; Jones, Nathan; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Nordstrom, Chad A.; Paredes, Rosana; Suryan, Robert M.; Waluk, Chad M.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial coherence between predators and prey has rarely been observed in pelagic marine ecosystems. We used measures of the environment, prey abundance, prey quality, and prey distribution to explain the observed distributions of three co-occurring predator species breeding on islands in the southeastern Bering Sea: black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia), and northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus). Predictions of statistical models were tested using movement patterns obtained from satellite-tracked individual animals. With the most commonly used measures to quantify prey distributions - areal biomass, density, and numerical abundance - we were unable to find a spatial relationship between predators and their prey. We instead found that habitat use by all three predators was predicted most strongly by prey patch characteristics such as depth and local density within spatial aggregations. Additional prey patch characteristics and physical habitat also contributed significantly to characterizing predator patterns. Our results indicate that the small-scale prey patch characteristics are critical to how predators perceive the quality of their food supply and the mechanisms they use to exploit it, regardless of time of day, sampling year, or source colony. The three focal predator species had different constraints and employed different foraging strategies – a shallow diver that makes trips of moderate distance (kittiwakes), a deep diver that makes trip of short distances (murres), and a deep diver that makes extensive trips (fur seals). However, all three were similarly linked by patchiness of prey rather than by the distribution of overall biomass. This supports the hypothesis that patchiness may be critical for understanding predator-prey relationships in pelagic marine systems more generally. PMID:23301063

  10. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, E.M.; Esler, Daniel; Boyd, W.S.; Evenson, J.R.; Nysewander, D.R.; Ward, D.H.; Dickson, R.D.; Uher-Koch, B. D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, J.W.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (???0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  11. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (≤ 0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  12. Marine biofilm bacteria evade eukaryotic predation by targeted chemical defense.

    PubMed

    Matz, Carsten; Webb, Jeremy S; Schupp, Peter J; Phang, Shui Yen; Penesyan, Anahit; Egan, Suhelen; Steinberg, Peter; Kjelleberg, Staffan

    2008-07-23

    Many plants and animals are defended from predation or herbivory by inhibitory secondary metabolites, which in the marine environment are very common among sessile organisms. Among bacteria, where there is the greatest metabolic potential, little is known about chemical defenses against bacterivorous consumers. An emerging hypothesis is that sessile bacterial communities organized as biofilms serve as bacterial refuge from predation. By testing growth and survival of two common bacterivorous nanoflagellates, we find evidence that chemically mediated resistance against protozoan predators is common among biofilm populations in a diverse set of marine bacteria. Using bioassay-guided chemical and genetic analysis, we identified one of the most effective antiprotozoal compounds as violacein, an alkaloid that we demonstrate is produced predominately within biofilm cells. Nanomolar concentrations of violacein inhibit protozoan feeding by inducing a conserved eukaryotic cell death program. Such biofilm-specific chemical defenses could contribute to the successful persistence of biofilm bacteria in various environments and provide the ecological and evolutionary context for a number of eukaryote-targeting bacterial metabolites.

  13. Combining Methods to Describe Important Marine Habitats for Top Predators: Application to Identify Biological Hotspots in Tropical Waters

    PubMed Central

    Thiers, Laurie; Louzao, Maite; Ridoux, Vincent; Le Corre, Matthieu; Jaquemet, Sébastien; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    In tropical waters resources are usually scarce and patchy, and predatory species generally show specific adaptations for foraging. Tropical seabirds often forage in association with sub-surface predators that create feeding opportunities by bringing prey close to the surface, and the birds often aggregate in large multispecific flocks. Here we hypothesize that frigatebirds, a tropical seabird adapted to foraging with low energetic costs, could be a good predictor of the distribution of their associated predatory species, including other seabirds (e.g. boobies, terns) and subsurface predators (e.g., dolphins, tunas). To test this hypothesis, we compared distribution patterns of marine predators in the Mozambique Channel based on a long-term dataset of both vessel- and aerial surveys, as well as tracking data of frigatebirds. By developing species distribution models (SDMs), we identified key marine areas for tropical predators in relation to contemporaneous oceanographic features to investigate multi-species spatial overlap areas and identify predator hotspots in the Mozambique Channel. SDMs reasonably matched observed patterns and both static (e.g. bathymetry) and dynamic (e.g. Chlorophyll a concentration and sea surface temperature) factors were important explaining predator distribution patterns. We found that the distribution of frigatebirds included the distributions of the associated species. The central part of the channel appeared to be the best habitat for the four groups of species considered in this study (frigatebirds, brown terns, boobies and sub-surface predators). PMID:25494047

  14. Predator-induced morphological defenses in marine zooplankton: a larval case study.

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Dawn

    2007-04-01

    While there are numerous reports of predator-induced morphological defenses for freshwater zooplankton, freshwater larvae, and benthic marine animals, a literature search revealed no reports of predator-induced morphological defenses for marine zooplankton. Rarity of predator-induced morphological defenses in marine zooplankton would imply a difference in predation risks compared to those experienced by freshwater organisms and benthic marine adults, whereas the presence of such plasticity in defenses would imply that risks are modified by developmental responses. This study reports a predator-induced change in defenses and vulnerability of a marine planktonic larva. Specifically, when reared in the presence of zoea larvae of Cancer spp., veliger larvae of the intertidal snail Littorina scutulata developed significantly smaller shell apertures and rounder shells than did cohort veligers reared in the absence of predator cues. Pairwise predation trials demonstrated that veligers reared with caged zoeas throughout development had greater survival than predator-naive veligers during short-term exposure to zoeas. The development of predator-induced morphological defenses by some marine larvae introduces a range of testable hypotheses on developmental plasticity that reduces vulnerability of planktonic larvae and other marine zooplankton to predators.

  15. 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. PMID:26448058

  16. 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.

  17. Early Triassic Marine Biotic Recovery: The Predators' Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Scheyer, Torsten M.; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent. PMID

  18. Early Triassic marine biotic recovery: the predators' perspective.

    PubMed

    Scheyer, Torsten M; Romano, Carlo; Jenks, Jim; Bucher, Hugo

    2014-01-01

    Examining the geological past of our planet allows us to study periods of severe climatic and biological crises and recoveries, biotic and abiotic ecosystem fluctuations, and faunal and floral turnovers through time. Furthermore, the recovery dynamics of large predators provide a key for evaluation of the pattern and tempo of ecosystem recovery because predators are interpreted to react most sensitively to environmental turbulences. The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe crisis experienced by life on Earth, and the common paradigm persists that the biotic recovery from the extinction event was unusually slow and occurred in a step-wise manner, lasting up to eight to nine million years well into the early Middle Triassic (Anisian) in the oceans, and even longer in the terrestrial realm. Here we survey the global distribution and size spectra of Early Triassic and Anisian marine predatory vertebrates (fishes, amphibians and reptiles) to elucidate the height of trophic pyramids in the aftermath of the end-Permian event. The survey of body size was done by compiling maximum standard lengths for the bony fishes and some cartilaginous fishes, and total size (estimates) for the tetrapods. The distribution and size spectra of the latter are difficult to assess because of preservation artifacts and are thus mostly discussed qualitatively. The data nevertheless demonstrate that no significant size increase of predators is observable from the Early Triassic to the Anisian, as would be expected from the prolonged and stepwise trophic recovery model. The data further indicate that marine ecosystems characterized by multiple trophic levels existed from the earliest Early Triassic onwards. However, a major change in the taxonomic composition of predatory guilds occurred less than two million years after the end-Permian extinction event, in which a transition from fish/amphibian to fish/reptile-dominated higher trophic levels within ecosystems became apparent. PMID

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  20. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Bonnie L.; Kus, Barbara E.; Deutschman, Douglas H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  1. Crossing latitudes--long-distance tracking of an apex predator.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Luciana C; Thums, Michele; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Vianna, Gabriel M S; Stevens, John; McAuley, Rory; Meekan, Mark G

    2015-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are apex predators occurring in most tropical and warm temperate marine ecosystems, but we know relatively little of their patterns of residency and movement over large spatial and temporal scales. We deployed satellite tags on eleven tiger sharks off the north-western coast of Western Australia and used the Brownian Bridge kernel method to calculate home ranges and analyse movement behaviour. One individual recorded one of the largest geographical ranges of movement ever reported for the species, travelling over 4000 km during 517 days of monitoring. Tags on the remainder of the sharks reported for shorter periods (7-191 days). Most of these sharks had restricted movements and long-term (30-188 days) residency in coastal waters in the vicinity of the area where they were tagged. Core home range areas of sharks varied greatly from 1166.9 to 634,944 km2. Tiger sharks spent most of their time in water temperatures between 23°-26°C but experienced temperatures ranging from 6°C to 33°C. One shark displayed seasonal movements among three distinct home range cores spread along most of the coast of Western Australia and generalized linear models showed that this individual had different patterns of temperature and depth occupancy in each region of the coast, with the highest probability of residency occurring in the shallowest areas of the coast with water temperatures above 23°C. These results suggest that tiger sharks can migrate over very large distances and across latitudes ranging from tropical to the cool temperate waters. Such extensive long-term movements may be a key element influencing the connectivity of populations within and among ocean basins.

  2. Crossing latitudes--long-distance tracking of an apex predator.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Luciana C; Thums, Michele; Meeuwig, Jessica J; Vianna, Gabriel M S; Stevens, John; McAuley, Rory; Meekan, Mark G

    2015-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are apex predators occurring in most tropical and warm temperate marine ecosystems, but we know relatively little of their patterns of residency and movement over large spatial and temporal scales. We deployed satellite tags on eleven tiger sharks off the north-western coast of Western Australia and used the Brownian Bridge kernel method to calculate home ranges and analyse movement behaviour. One individual recorded one of the largest geographical ranges of movement ever reported for the species, travelling over 4000 km during 517 days of monitoring. Tags on the remainder of the sharks reported for shorter periods (7-191 days). Most of these sharks had restricted movements and long-term (30-188 days) residency in coastal waters in the vicinity of the area where they were tagged. Core home range areas of sharks varied greatly from 1166.9 to 634,944 km2. Tiger sharks spent most of their time in water temperatures between 23°-26°C but experienced temperatures ranging from 6°C to 33°C. One shark displayed seasonal movements among three distinct home range cores spread along most of the coast of Western Australia and generalized linear models showed that this individual had different patterns of temperature and depth occupancy in each region of the coast, with the highest probability of residency occurring in the shallowest areas of the coast with water temperatures above 23°C. These results suggest that tiger sharks can migrate over very large distances and across latitudes ranging from tropical to the cool temperate waters. Such extensive long-term movements may be a key element influencing the connectivity of populations within and among ocean basins. PMID:25671609

  3. Crossing Latitudes—Long-Distance Tracking of an Apex Predator

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Luciana C.; Thums, Michele; Meeuwig, Jessica J.; Vianna, Gabriel M. S.; Stevens, John; McAuley, Rory; Meekan, Mark G.

    2015-01-01

    Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are apex predators occurring in most tropical and warm temperate marine ecosystems, but we know relatively little of their patterns of residency and movement over large spatial and temporal scales. We deployed satellite tags on eleven tiger sharks off the north-western coast of Western Australia and used the Brownian Bridge kernel method to calculate home ranges and analyse movement behaviour. One individual recorded one of the largest geographical ranges of movement ever reported for the species, travelling over 4000 km during 517 days of monitoring. Tags on the remainder of the sharks reported for shorter periods (7-191 days). Most of these sharks had restricted movements and long-term (30-188 days) residency in coastal waters in the vicinity of the area where they were tagged. Core home range areas of sharks varied greatly from 1166.9 to 634,944 km2. Tiger sharks spent most of their time in water temperatures between 23°-26°C but experienced temperatures ranging from 6°C to 33°C. One shark displayed seasonal movements among three distinct home range cores spread along most of the coast of Western Australia and generalized linear models showed that this individual had different patterns of temperature and depth occupancy in each region of the coast, with the highest probability of residency occurring in the shallowest areas of the coast with water temperatures above 23°C. These results suggest that tiger sharks can migrate over very large distances and across latitudes ranging from tropical to the cool temperate waters. Such extensive long-term movements may be a key element influencing the connectivity of populations within and among ocean basins. PMID:25671609

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

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mary I; Bruno, John F

    2009-07-01

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

  5. Marine taxa track local climate velocities.

    PubMed

    Pinsky, Malin L; Worm, Boris; Fogarty, Michael J; Sarmiento, Jorge L; Levin, Simon A

    2013-09-13

    Organisms are expected to adapt or move in response to climate change, but observed distribution shifts span a wide range of directions and rates. Explanations often emphasize biological distinctions among species, but general mechanisms have been elusive. We tested an alternative hypothesis: that differences in climate velocity-the rate and direction that climate shifts across the landscape-can explain observed species shifts. We compiled a database of coastal surveys around North America from 1968 to 2011, sampling 128 million individuals across 360 marine taxa. Climate velocity explained the magnitude and direction of shifts in latitude and depth much more effectively than did species characteristics. Our results demonstrate that marine species shift at different rates and directions because they closely track the complex mosaic of local climate velocities.

  6. Marine asset security and tracking (MAST) system

    DOEpatents

    Hanson, Gregory Richard; Smith, Stephen Fulton; Moore, Michael Roy; Dobson, Eric Lesley; Blair, Jeffrey Scott; Duncan, Christopher Allen; Lenarduzzi, Roberto

    2008-07-01

    Methods and apparatus are described for marine asset security and tracking (MAST). A method includes transmitting identification data, location data and environmental state sensor data from a radio frequency tag. An apparatus includes a radio frequency tag that transmits identification data, location data and environmental state sensor data. Another method includes transmitting identification data and location data from a radio frequency tag using hybrid spread-spectrum modulation. Another apparatus includes a radio frequency tag that transmits both identification data and location data using hybrid spread-spectrum modulation.

  7. Bacterial predation in a marine host-associated microbiome.

    PubMed

    Welsh, Rory M; Zaneveld, Jesse R; Rosales, Stephanie M; Payet, Jérôme P; Burkepile, Deron E; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2016-06-01

    In many ecological communities, predation has a key role in regulating community structure or function. Although predation has been extensively explored in animals and microbial eukaryotes, predation by bacteria is less well understood. Here we show that predatory bacteria of the genus Halobacteriovorax are prevalent and active predators on the surface of several genera of reef-building corals. Across a library of 198 16S rRNA samples spanning three coral genera, 79% were positive for carriage of Halobacteriovorax. Cultured Halobacteriovorax from Porites asteroides corals tested positive for predation on the putative coral pathogens Vibrio corallyticus and Vibrio harveyii. Co-occurrence network analysis showed that Halobacteriovorax's interactions with other bacteria are influenced by temperature and inorganic nutrient concentration, and further suggested that this bacterial predator's abundance may be driven by prey availability. Thus, animal microbiomes can harbor active bacterial predators, which may regulate microbiome structure and protect the host by consuming potential pathogens. PMID:26613338

  8. Impact of oceanic submesoscale coherent structures on marine top predators: new tools and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tew-Kai, E.; Sudre, J.; Gremillet, D.; Yahia, H.; Rossi, V.; Hernandez-Garcia, E.; López, C.; Marsac, F.; Weimerskirch, H.; Garçon, V.

    2011-12-01

    In recent years it appears that meso- and submesoscale features (fronts, eddies, filaments) in surface ocean flow have a crucial influence on marine ecosystems. Their dynamics partly control the foraging behaviour and the movements of marine top. One of the challenges in ecology is to define critical habitats and understand the rules of habitat selection. Recently new tools for detection of coherent structures at submesoscale open the way for new studies never investigated before in marine ecology. Through two examples we highlight novel research on the importance of submesoscale structures for the spatial distribution of marine top predators. We studied two seabird populations with contrasting characteristics: Frigatebirds in the Mozambique Channel, and Cape gannets in the Benguela upwelling off southern Africa. Frigatebirds are mainly offshore birds while Cape gannets do not venture beyond the continental shelf. For these two studies, we used products derived from remote sensing data, to describe submesoscale coherent structures (<10km). In the first example, using Finite-Size Lyapunov Exponents (FSLE), we have identified Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) present in the surface flow of the Mozambique Channel resulting from an intense mesoscale activity. By comparing seabird satellite positions with LCSs locations, we demonstrate that frigatebirds track precisely these structures in the Mozambique Channel, providing the first evidence that a top predator is able to track these FSLE ridges to locate food patches. Although many questions remain unanswered, this work remains a pioneering on this topic. Despite the interest of FSLE, they are limited to offshore areas due to altimetry products limitation on continental shelves. However, many seabirds operate in coastal areas undergoing stronger anthropogenic pressures, such as Cape gannets off South Africa. The Benguela system is characterized by an upwelling inhabited by numerous fronts and filaments that very

  9. Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumhansl, R.; Kochevar, R. E.; Aluwihare, L.; Bardar, E. W.; Hirsch, L.; Hoyle, C.; Krumhansl, K.; Louie, J.; Madura, J.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Peach, C. L.; Trujillo, A.; Winney, B.; Zetterlind, V.; Busey, A.

    2015-12-01

    The availability of scientific data sets online opens up exciting new opportunities to raise students' understanding of the worlds' oceans and the potential impacts of climate change. The Oceans of Data Institute at EDC; Stanford University; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating, with the support of three National Science Foundation grants over the past 5 years, to bring marine science data sets into high school and undergraduate classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a web-based student interface to data from the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, NOAA's Global Drifter Program, and NASA Earth-orbiting satellites through a student-friendly Web interface, customized data analysis tools, multimedia supports, and course modules. Ocean Tracks (http://oceantracks.org), which incorporates design principles based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education and learning science, focuses on optimizing students' opportunities to focus their cognitive resources on viewing and comparing data to test hypotheses, while minimizing the time spent on downloading, filtering and creating displays. Ocean Tracks allows students to display the tracks of elephant seals, white sharks, Bluefin tuna, albatross, and drifting buoys along with sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-A, bathymetry, ocean currents, and human impacts overlays. A graphing tool allows students to dynamically display parameters associated with the track such as speed, deepest daily dive and track tortuosity (curviness). These interface features allow students to engage in investigations that mirror those currently being conducted by scientists to understand the broad-scale effects of changes in climate and other human activities on ocean ecosystems. In addition to supporting the teaching of the Ocean and Climate Literacy principles, high school curriculum modules facilitate the teaching

  10. Marine Mammal Transmitter for porpoise tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briscoe, W. G.

    The Marine Mammal Transmitter (MMT) forms part of the equipment to be used in a worldwide Porpoise Tracking System. Knowledge of porpoise migration, distribution characteristics, and population estimates are needed to aid in protection of the porpoise. A major problem is suffocation of porpoises when they are caught in tuna purse seine fishing nets. Location of the porpoise can be determined to within + or - 5 kilometers. The MMT utilizes low power CMOS integrated circuits in timing and control circuits to extend battery life. The MMT with battery pack is contained in two cylinders which are two inches in diameter and 8.5 inches long. The unit is mounted to the porpoise's dorsal fin with a vertical quarter wave monopole antenna extending from one of the cylinders. A signal from the MMT is transmitted to the Nimbus satellite. From there the information is later transmitted to a ground receiver and a data processing facility.

  11. Tracking marine mammals using passive acoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosal, Eva-Marie

    2007-12-01

    It is difficult to study the behavior and physiology of marine mammals or to understand and mitigate human impact on them because much of their lives are spent underwater. Since sound propagates for long distances in the ocean and since many cetaceans are vocal, passive acoustics is a valuable tool for studying and monitoring their behavior. After a brief introduction to and review of passive acoustic tracking methods, this dissertation develops and applies two new methods. Both methods use widely-spaced (tens of kilometers) bottom-mounted hydrophone arrays, as well as propagation models that account for depth-dependent sound speed profiles. The first passive acoustic tracking method relies on arrival times of direct and surface-reflected paths. It is used to track a sperm whale using 5 at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) and gives position estimates that are accurate to within 10 meters. With such accuracy, the whale's pitch and yaw are estimated by assuming that its main axis (which points from the tail to the rostrum) is parallel to its velocity. Roll is found by fitting the details of the pulses within each sperm whale click to the so-called bent horn model of sperm whale sound production. Finally, given the position and orientation of the whale, its beam pattern is reconstructed and found to be highly directional with an intense forward directed component. Pair-wise spectrogram (PWS) processing is the second passive acoustic tracking method developed in this dissertation. Although it is computationally more intensive, PWS has several advantages over arrival-time tracking methods, especially in shallow water environments, for long duration calls, and for multiple-animal datasets, as is the case for humpback whales on Hawaiian breeding grounds. Results of simulations with realistic noise conditions and environmental mismatch are given and compared to other passive localization techniques. When applied to the AUTEC sperm whale dataset, PWS

  12. Behavioral and physiological adjustments to new predators in an endemic island species, the Galápagos marine iguana.

    PubMed

    Berger, Silke; Wikelski, Martin; Romero, L Michael; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Rödl, Thomas

    2007-12-01

    For the past 5 to 15 million years, marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, experienced relaxed predation pressure and consequently show negligible anti-predator behavior. However, over the past few decades introduced feral cats and dogs started to prey on iguanas on some of the islands. We investigated experimentally whether behavioral and endocrine anti-predator responses changed in response to predator introduction. We hypothesized that flight initiation distances (FID) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations should increase in affected populations to cope with the novel predators. Populations of marine iguanas reacted differentially to simulated predator approach depending on whether or not they were previously naturally exposed to introduced predators. FIDs were larger at sites with predation than at sites without predation. Furthermore, the occurrence of new predators was associated with increased stress-induced CORT levels in marine iguanas. In addition, age was a strong predictor of variation in FID and CORT levels. Juveniles, which are generally more threatened by predators compared to adults, showed larger FIDs and higher CORT baseline levels as well as higher stress-induced levels than adults. The results demonstrate that this naive island species shows behavioral and physiological plasticity associated with actual predation pressure, a trait that is presumably adaptive. However, the adjustments in FID are not sufficient to cope with the novel predators. We suggest that low behavioral plasticity in the face of introduced predators may drive many island species to extinction. PMID:17904141

  13. Examining predator-prey body size, trophic level and body mass across marine and terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-12-22

    Predator-prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator-prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator-prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator-prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities.

  14. Evidence that dimethyl sulfide facilitates a tritrophic mutualism between marine primary producers and top predators

    PubMed Central

    Savoca, Matthew S.; Nevitt, Gabrielle A.

    2014-01-01

    Tritrophic mutualistic interactions have been best studied in plant–insect systems. During these interactions, plants release volatiles in response to herbivore damage, which, in turn, facilitates predation on primary consumers or benefits the primary producer by providing nutrients. Here we explore a similar interaction in the Southern Ocean food web, where soluble iron limits primary productivity. Dimethyl sulfide has been studied in the context of global climate regulation and is an established foraging cue for marine top predators. We present evidence that procellariiform seabird species that use dimethyl sulfide as a foraging cue selectively forage on phytoplankton grazers. Their contribution of beneficial iron recycled to marine phytoplankton via excretion suggests a chemically mediated link between marine top predators and oceanic primary production. PMID:24591607

  15. Evidence that dimethyl sulfide facilitates a tritrophic mutualism between marine primary producers and top predators.

    PubMed

    Savoca, Matthew S; Nevitt, Gabrielle A

    2014-03-18

    Tritrophic mutualistic interactions have been best studied in plant-insect systems. During these interactions, plants release volatiles in response to herbivore damage, which, in turn, facilitates predation on primary consumers or benefits the primary producer by providing nutrients. Here we explore a similar interaction in the Southern Ocean food web, where soluble iron limits primary productivity. Dimethyl sulfide has been studied in the context of global climate regulation and is an established foraging cue for marine top predators. We present evidence that procellariiform seabird species that use dimethyl sulfide as a foraging cue selectively forage on phytoplankton grazers. Their contribution of beneficial iron recycled to marine phytoplankton via excretion suggests a chemically mediated link between marine top predators and oceanic primary production.

  16. Geometric factors influencing the diet of vertebrate predators in marine and terrestrial environments

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Chris; Codron, Daryl; Scofield, Conrad; Clauss, Marcus; Bielby, Jon; Enquist, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey relationships are vital to ecosystem function and there is a need for greater predictive understanding of these interactions. We develop a geometric foraging model predicting minimum prey size scaling in marine and terrestrial vertebrate predators taking into account habitat dimensionality and biological traits. Our model predicts positive predator–prey size relationships on land but negative relationships in the sea. To test the model, we compiled data on diets of 794 predators (mammals, snakes, sharks and rays). Consistent with predictions, both terrestrial endotherm and ectotherm predators have significantly positive predator–prey size relationships. Marine predators, however, exhibit greater variation. Some of the largest predators specialise on small invertebrates while others are large vertebrate specialists. Prey–predator mass ratios were generally higher for ectothermic than endothermic predators, although dietary patterns were similar. Model-based simulations of predator–prey relationships were consistent with observed relationships, suggesting that our approach provides insights into both trends and diversity in predator–prey interactions. PMID:25265992

  17. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles.

  18. A carapace-like bony 'body tube' in an early triassic marine reptile and the onset of marine tetrapod predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan'an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan'an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles. PMID:24718682

  19. Sedimentary cobalt concentrations track marine redox evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanner, Elizabeth; Planavsky, Noah; Lalonde, Stefan; Robbins, Jamie; Bekker, Andrey; Rouxel, Olivier; Konhauser, Kurt O.; Mojzsis, Stephen J.

    2013-04-01

    Oxygen production by photosynthesis drove the redox evolution of the atmosphere and ocean. Primary productivity by oxygenic photosynthesizers in the modern surface ocean is limited by trace nutrients such as iron, but previous studies have also observed high Co uptake associated with natural cyanobacterial populations. Constraining the size and variation of the oceanic reservoir of Co through time will help to understand the regulation of primary productivity and hence oxygenation through time. In this study, Co concentrations from iron formations (IF), shales and marine pyrites deposited over nearly 4 billion years of Earth's history are utilized to reconstruct secular changes in the mechanisms of Co removal from the oceanic reservoir. The Co reservoir prior to ~2 Ga was dominated by hydrothermal inputs and Fe(III)oxyhydroxides were likely involved in the removal of Co from the water column. Fe(II) oxidation in the water column resulted in the deposition of IF in the Archean and Paleoproterozoic, and the Co inventory of IF records a large oceanic reservoir of Co during this time. Lower Co concentrations in sediments during the Middle Proterozoic signify a decrease in the oceanic reservoir due to the expansion euxinic environments, corresponding to the results of previous studies. A transition to an oxidized deep ocean in the Phanerozoic is evidenced by correlation between Co and manganese (Mn) concentrations in hydrothermal and exhalative deposits, and in marine pyrites. This relationship between Co and Mn, signifying deposition of Co in association with Mn(IV)oxides, does not occur in the Precambrian. Mn(II) oxidation occurs at higher redox potentials than that required for Fe(II) oxidation, and the extent of Mn redox cycling prior to full ventilation of the oceans at the end of the Neoproterozoic was likely limited to spatially restricted oxic surface waters. In this regard, Co is another valuable redox proxy for tracking the growth and decline in oxygenated

  20. 22. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    22. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy of original. Boston National Historical Park Archives, Charlestown Navy Yard. BOSTS 13439, #551-5 - Charlestown Navy Yard, Marine Railway, Between Piers 2 & 3, on Charlestown Waterfront at west end of Navy Yard, Boston, Suffolk County, MA

  1. 19. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Cradle and Track Plan, 1917. ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    19. Historic drawing, Marine Railway. Cradle and Track Plan, 1917. Photographic copy of original. Boston National Historical Park Archives, Charlestown Navy Yard. BOSTS 13439, #551-1 - Charlestown Navy Yard, Marine Railway, Between Piers 2 & 3, on Charlestown Waterfront at west end of Navy Yard, Boston, Suffolk County, MA

  2. Functional responses and scaling in predator-prey interactions of marine fishes: contemporary issues and emerging concepts.

    PubMed

    Hunsicker, Mary E; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Bailey, Kevin M; Buckel, Jeffrey A; Wilson White, J; Link, Jason S; Essington, Timothy E; Gaichas, Sarah; Anderson, Todd W; Brodeur, Richard D; Chan, Kung-Sik; Chen, Kun; Englund, Göran; Frank, Kenneth T; Freitas, Vânia; Hixon, Mark A; Hurst, Thomas; Johnson, Darren W; Kitchell, James F; Reese, Doug; Rose, George A; Sjodin, Henrik; Sydeman, William J; van der Veer, Henk W; Vollset, Knut; Zador, Stephani

    2011-12-01

    Predator-prey interactions are a primary structuring force vital to the resilience of marine communities and sustainability of the world's oceans. Human influences on marine ecosystems mediate changes in species interactions. This generality is evinced by the cascading effects of overharvesting top predators on the structure and function of marine ecosystems. It follows that ecological forecasting, ecosystem management, and marine spatial planning require a better understanding of food web relationships. Characterising and scaling predator-prey interactions for use in tactical and strategic tools (i.e. multi-species management and ecosystem models) are paramount in this effort. Here, we explore what issues are involved and must be considered to advance the use of predator-prey theory in the context of marine fisheries science. We address pertinent contemporary ecological issues including (1) the approaches and complexities of evaluating predator responses in marine systems; (2) the 'scaling up' of predator-prey interactions to the population, community, and ecosystem level; (3) the role of predator-prey theory in contemporary fisheries and ecosystem modelling approaches; and (4) directions for the future. Our intent is to point out needed research directions that will improve our understanding of predator-prey interactions in the context of the sustainable marine fisheries and ecosystem management.

  3. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems.

  4. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels.

    PubMed

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E; Munday, Philip L

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator-prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  5. The trophodynamics of marine top predators: Current knowledge, recent advances and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Jock W.; Hunt, Brian P. V.; Cook, Timothée R.; Llopiz, Joel K.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Pethybridge, Heidi R.; Ceccarelli, Daniela; Lorrain, Anne; Olson, Robert J.; Allain, Valerie; Menkes, Christophe; Patterson, Toby; Nicol, Simon; Lehodey, Patrick; Kloser, Rudy J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Anela Choy, C.

    2015-03-01

    We review present understanding of the spatial and temporal diet variability (trophodynamics) of a range of pelagic marine top predators, at both early and adult life history stages. We begin with a review of methodologies used to advance our understanding of the trophodynamics of marine top predators, particularly in relation to climate change. We then explore how these developments are informing our understanding of the major trophic groups in food webs leading to, and including, marine top predators. We examine through specific examples how the impacts of ocean warming may affect pelagic food web relationships from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. We examine the potential, in the absence of long-term data sets, of using large-scale spatial studies to examine how potential changes in biological oceanography could impact the biomass and composition of prey species, particularly the role of phytoplankton size spectra. We focus on examples from regions where biotic change with respect to climate change is likely. In particular, we detail the effects of climate change on oceanographic and bathymetric "hotspots" and provide the example involving seabirds in the Benguela Current system. We end by urging the development of international collaborations and databases to facilitate comprehensive ocean-scale understanding of climate impacts on marine top predators.

  6. Contaminants in tracked seabirds showing regional patterns of marine pollution.

    PubMed

    Ito, Atsuo; Yamashita, Rei; Takada, Hideshige; Yamamoto, Takashi; Shiomi, Kozue; Zavalaga, Carlos; Abe, Tomoya; Watanabe, Shinichi; Yamamoto, Maki; Sato, Katsufumi; Kohno, Hiroyoshi; Yoda, Ken; Iida, Tomohiko; Watanuki, Yutaka

    2013-07-16

    Ocean-scale monitoring of pollution is challenging. Seabirds are useful indicators because they travel over a broad foraging range. Nevertheless, this coarse spatial resolution is not fine enough to discriminate pollution in a finer scale. Previous studies have demonstrated that pollution levels are higher in the Sea of Japan and South and East China Seas than the Northen Pacific Ocean. To test these findings in a wide-ranging animal, we tracked streaked shearwaters (Calonectris leucomelas) from four islands in Japan using global positioning system (GPS) and measured persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the oil of their preen glands. The POPs did not change during 6 to 21 days when birds from Awashima were foraging only in the Sea of Japan, while it increased when they crossed to the Pacific through the Tsugaru Strait and foraged along the eastern coast of Hokkaido where industrial cities occur. These results indicate that POPs in the oil reflect relatively short-term exposure. Concentrations of POPs displayed greater variation among regions. Total polychlorinated biphenyls were highest in birds foraging in a small area of the semiclosed Seto Inland Sea surrounded by urbanized coast, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was highest in birds foraging in the East China Sea, and total hexachlorocyclohexanes were highest in birds foraging in the Sea of Japan. All were lowest in birds foraging in the Pacific. This distribution of POPs concentration partly agrees with previous findings based on mussels, fish, and seawater and possibly reflects the mobility and emission sources of each type of POP. These results highlight the importance of information on the foraging area of highly mobile top predators to make them more effective monitors of regional marine pollution.

  7. Infrared tomographic PIV and 3D motion tracking system applied to aquatic predator-prey interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Deepak; Longmire, Ellen K.

    2013-02-01

    Infrared tomographic PIV and 3D motion tracking are combined to measure evolving volumetric velocity fields and organism trajectories during aquatic predator-prey interactions. The technique was used to study zebrafish foraging on both non-evasive and evasive prey species. Measurement volumes of 22.5 mm × 10.5 mm × 12 mm were reconstructed from images captured on a set of four high-speed cameras. To obtain accurate fluid velocity vectors within each volume, fish were first masked out using an automated visual hull method. Fish and prey locations were identified independently from the same image sets and tracked separately within the measurement volume. Experiments demonstrated that fish were not influenced by the infrared laser illumination or the tracer particles. Results showed that the zebrafish used different strategies, suction and ram feeding, for successful capture of non-evasive and evasive prey, respectively. The two strategies yielded different variations in fluid velocity between the fish mouth and the prey. In general, the results suggest that the local flow field, the direction of prey locomotion with respect to the predator and the relative accelerations and speeds of the predator and prey may all be significant in determining predation success.

  8. Stable Isotopic Insights into the Foraging Ecology of an Endangered Marine Predator, the Hawaiian Petrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiley, A. E.; Ostrom, P. H.; James, H. F.

    2010-12-01

    Seabirds play vital roles in their ecosystems, both as predators in their oceanic foraging grounds and conduits of marine nutrients to island nesting sites. Despite growing evidence that food availability limits seabird populations, characterization of the diet and even foraging locations of some seabird species remains elusive. Here, we use stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes to study the foraging ecology of an endangered and poorly known seabird, the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis). This species nests solely on the main Hawaiian Islands but forages widely across the NE Pacific, sometimes traveling over 10,000km on single foraging trips. δ13C and δ15N values vary with trophic level and at the base of food webs throughout the marine range of the Hawaiian petrel. Thus, we are able to use isotope signatures in modern and ancient petrel tissues to track spatial and temporal variation in foraging location and diet. We find strong evidence of foraging segregation between populations, with hatch-year birds from the island of Hawaii exhibiting feather δ15N and δ13C values over 3‰ and 1 ‰ higher, respectively, than those found in Maui and Kauai hatch-year birds. There is also significant variation in δ15N values between feathers from Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui adults, indicating additional foraging segregation during the winter molt. To distinguish between the effects of trophic level and foraging location, we relate our data to those from seabirds with known diet and foraging location, as well as to previous characterizations of isoscapes in the NE Pacific and at-sea observations of our study species. Finally, we track Hawaiian petrel foraging ecology back in time through examination of stable isotope values in historical feathers and ancient bone collagen. We find that, despite a species-wide decline in δ15N values (consistent with trophic level decline), populations have maintained divergent isotopic niches through at least the past 1

  9. Contrasting patterns of individual specialization and trophic coupling in two marine apex predators.

    PubMed

    Matich, Philip; Heithaus, Michael R; Layman, Craig A

    2011-01-01

    1. Apex predators are often assumed to be dietary generalists and, by feeding on prey from multiple basal nutrient sources, serve to couple discrete food webs. But there is increasing evidence that individual level dietary specialization may be common in many species, and this has not been investigated for many marine apex predators. 2. Because of their position at or near the top of many marine food webs, and the possibility that they can affect populations of their prey and induce trophic cascades, it is important to understand patterns of dietary specialization in shark populations. 3. Stable isotope values from body tissues with different turnover rates were used to quantify patterns of individual specialization in two species of 'generalist' sharks (bull sharks, Carcharhinus leucas, and tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier). 4. Despite wide population-level isotopic niche breadths in both species, isotopic values of individual tiger sharks varied across tissues with different turnover rates. The population niche breadth was explained mostly by variation within individuals suggesting tiger sharks are true generalists. In contrast, isotope values of individual bull sharks were stable through time and their wide population level niche breadth was explained by variation among specialist individuals. 5. Relative resource abundance and spatial variation in food-predation risk tradeoffs may explain the differences in patterns of specialization between shark species. 6. The differences in individual dietary specialization between tiger sharks and bull sharks results in different functional roles in coupling or compartmentalizing distinct food webs. 7. Individual specialization may be an important feature of trophic dynamics of highly mobile marine top predators and should be explicitly considered in studies of marine food webs and the ecological role of top predators. PMID:20831730

  10. Marine predator surveys in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodkin, James L.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Coletti, Heather A.; Esslinger, George G.; Monson, Daniel H.; Ballachey, Brenda E.

    2002-01-01

    Since 1999, vessel based surveys to estimate species composition, distribution and relative abundance of marine birds and mammals have been conducted along coastal and pelagic (offshore) transects in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Surveys have been conducted during winter (November-March) and summer (June). This annual report presents the results of those surveys conducted in March and June of 2001. Following completion of surveys in 2002 we will provide a final report of the results of all surveys conducted between 1999 and 2002. Glacier Bay supports diverse and abundant assemblages of marine birds and mammals. In 2001 we identified 58 species of bird, 7 species of marine mammal, and 6 species of terrestrial mammal on transects sampled during winter and summer. Of course all species are not equally abundant. Among all taxa, in both seasons, sea ducks were the numerically dominant group. In their roles as consumers and because of their generally large size, marine mammals are also likely important in the consumption of energy produced in the Glacier Bay ecosystem. Most common and abundant marine birds and mammals can be placed in either a fish based (e.g. alcids and pinnipeds), or a benthic invertebrate (e.g. sea ducks and sea otters) based food web. Distinct differences in the species composition and abundance of marine birds were observed between winter and summer surveys. Winter marine bird assemblages were dominated numerically (> 11,000; 65% of all birds) by a relatively few species of sea ducks (scoters, goldeneye, Bufflehead, Harlequin and Long-tailed ducks). The sea ducks were distributed almost exclusively along near shore habitats. The prevalence of sea ducks during the March surveys indicates the importance of Glacier Bay as a wintering area for this poorly understood group of animals that occupy a high trophic position in a principally benthic invertebrate (mussel and clam) food web. Marine mammal assemblages were generally consistent between seasons, although

  11. 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…

  12. Marine mollusc predator-escape behaviour altered by near-future carbon dioxide levels

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Sue-Ann; Lefevre, Sjannie; McCormick, Mark I.; Domenici, Paolo; Nilsson, Göran E.; Munday, Philip L.

    2014-01-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the potential effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) on marine invertebrate behaviour are largely unknown. Marine gastropod conch snails have a modified foot and operculum allowing them to leap backwards rapidly when faced with a predator, such as a venomous cone shell. Here, we show that projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (961 µatm) impair this escape behaviour during a predator–prey interaction. Elevated-CO2 halved the number of snails that jumped from the predator, increased their latency to jump and altered their escape trajectory. Physical ability to jump was not affected by elevated-CO2 indicating instead that decision-making was impaired. Antipredator behaviour was fully restored by treatment with gabazine, a GABA antagonist of some invertebrate nervous systems, indicating potential interference of neurotransmitter receptor function by elevated-CO2, as previously observed in marine fishes. Altered behaviour of marine invertebrates at projected future CO2 levels could have potentially far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. PMID:24225456

  13. Straight Line Foraging in Yellow-Eyed Penguins: New Insights into Cascading Fisheries Effects and Orientation Capabilities of Marine Predators

    PubMed Central

    Mattern, Thomas; Ellenberg, Ursula; Houston, David M.; Lamare, Miles; Davis, Lloyd S.; van Heezik, Yolanda; Seddon, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging marine predators rarely search for prey along straight lines because dynamic ocean processes usually require complex search strategies. If linear movement patterns occur they are usually associated with travelling events or migratory behaviour. However, recent fine scale tracking of flying seabirds has revealed straight-line movements while birds followed fishing vessels. Unlike flying seabirds, penguins are not known to target and follow fishing vessels. Yet yellow-eyed penguins from New Zealand often exhibit directed movement patterns while searching for prey at the seafloor, a behaviour that seems to contradict common movement ecology theories. While deploying GPS dive loggers on yellow-eyed penguins from the Otago Peninsula we found that the birds frequently followed straight lines for several kilometres with little horizontal deviation. In several cases individuals swam up and down the same line, while some of the lines were followed by more than one individual. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) we found a highly visible furrow on the seafloor most likely caused by an otter board of a demersal fish trawl, which ran in a straight line exactly matching the trajectory of a recent line identified from penguin tracks. We noted high abundances of benthic scavengers associated with fisheries-related bottom disturbance. While our data demonstrate the acute way-finding capabilities of benthic foraging yellow-eyed penguins, they also highlight how hidden cascading effects of coastal fisheries may alter behaviour and potentially even population dynamics of marine predators, an often overlooked fact in the examination of fisheries’ impacts. PMID:24367656

  14. Straight line foraging in yellow-eyed penguins: new insights into cascading fisheries effects and orientation capabilities of marine predators.

    PubMed

    Mattern, Thomas; Ellenberg, Ursula; Houston, David M; Lamare, Miles; Davis, Lloyd S; van Heezik, Yolanda; Seddon, Philip J

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging marine predators rarely search for prey along straight lines because dynamic ocean processes usually require complex search strategies. If linear movement patterns occur they are usually associated with travelling events or migratory behaviour. However, recent fine scale tracking of flying seabirds has revealed straight-line movements while birds followed fishing vessels. Unlike flying seabirds, penguins are not known to target and follow fishing vessels. Yet yellow-eyed penguins from New Zealand often exhibit directed movement patterns while searching for prey at the seafloor, a behaviour that seems to contradict common movement ecology theories. While deploying GPS dive loggers on yellow-eyed penguins from the Otago Peninsula we found that the birds frequently followed straight lines for several kilometres with little horizontal deviation. In several cases individuals swam up and down the same line, while some of the lines were followed by more than one individual. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) we found a highly visible furrow on the seafloor most likely caused by an otter board of a demersal fish trawl, which ran in a straight line exactly matching the trajectory of a recent line identified from penguin tracks. We noted high abundances of benthic scavengers associated with fisheries-related bottom disturbance. While our data demonstrate the acute way-finding capabilities of benthic foraging yellow-eyed penguins, they also highlight how hidden cascading effects of coastal fisheries may alter behaviour and potentially even population dynamics of marine predators, an often overlooked fact in the examination of fisheries' impacts. PMID:24367656

  15. Straight line foraging in yellow-eyed penguins: new insights into cascading fisheries effects and orientation capabilities of marine predators.

    PubMed

    Mattern, Thomas; Ellenberg, Ursula; Houston, David M; Lamare, Miles; Davis, Lloyd S; van Heezik, Yolanda; Seddon, Philip J

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging marine predators rarely search for prey along straight lines because dynamic ocean processes usually require complex search strategies. If linear movement patterns occur they are usually associated with travelling events or migratory behaviour. However, recent fine scale tracking of flying seabirds has revealed straight-line movements while birds followed fishing vessels. Unlike flying seabirds, penguins are not known to target and follow fishing vessels. Yet yellow-eyed penguins from New Zealand often exhibit directed movement patterns while searching for prey at the seafloor, a behaviour that seems to contradict common movement ecology theories. While deploying GPS dive loggers on yellow-eyed penguins from the Otago Peninsula we found that the birds frequently followed straight lines for several kilometres with little horizontal deviation. In several cases individuals swam up and down the same line, while some of the lines were followed by more than one individual. Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) we found a highly visible furrow on the seafloor most likely caused by an otter board of a demersal fish trawl, which ran in a straight line exactly matching the trajectory of a recent line identified from penguin tracks. We noted high abundances of benthic scavengers associated with fisheries-related bottom disturbance. While our data demonstrate the acute way-finding capabilities of benthic foraging yellow-eyed penguins, they also highlight how hidden cascading effects of coastal fisheries may alter behaviour and potentially even population dynamics of marine predators, an often overlooked fact in the examination of fisheries' impacts.

  16. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-27

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  17. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    PubMed Central

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  18. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, Charles A.; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-10-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes.

  19. Large-scale climatic anomalies affect marine predator foraging behaviour and demography.

    PubMed

    Bost, Charles A; Cotté, Cedric; Terray, Pascal; Barbraud, Christophe; Bon, Cécile; Delord, Karine; Gimenez, Olivier; Handrich, Yves; Naito, Yasuhiko; Guinet, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Determining the links between the behavioural and population responses of wild species to environmental variations is critical for understanding the impact of climate variability on ecosystems. Using long-term data sets, we show how large-scale climatic anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere affect the foraging behaviour and population dynamics of a key marine predator, the king penguin. When large-scale subtropical dipole events occur simultaneously in both subtropical Southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans, they generate tropical anomalies that shift the foraging zone southward. Consequently the distances that penguins foraged from the colony and their feeding depths increased and the population size decreased. This represents an example of a robust and fast impact of large-scale climatic anomalies affecting a marine predator through changes in its at-sea behaviour and demography, despite lack of information on prey availability. Our results highlight a possible behavioural mechanism through which climate variability may affect population processes. PMID:26506134

  20. Predictive modelling of habitat use by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L.; Punt, André E..; Vanblaricom, Glenn R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Analysis of the relative importance of abundance and accessibility is essential for the design and evaluation of effective management responses to reduced prey availability for seabirds and other top predators in marine systems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Evolution of predator-prey interactions in ancient lakes: implications for coevolution in marine environments

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, A.

    1985-01-01

    Highly generalized predator-prey interrelationships are a hallmark of most lacustrine ecosystems where accommodation to the physical environment plays the major role in determining organismal distributions. Since the vast majority of lakes are ephemeral on a geological and evolutionary times scale, dispersal, rather than organism interaction, appears to be the dominant selective theme in lacustrine species evolution. In a few, very long lasting lakes, notably modern Lakes Tanganyika (Africa) and Baikal (USSR) and ancient lakes of the Brazilian Rift (Cretaceous) and Snake River Plain (Tertiary), invertebrates and fish occur which demonstrate the development of intense biological accommodation in coevolving predator-prey interactions. Shell crushing experiments on 2 endemic Tanganyikan gastropods, Lavigeria nassa and Spekia zonata show them to be comparable to warm temperature marine species in terms of grow load strength: 1-2 orders of magnitude stronger than confamilial cosmopolitan species from more ephemeral lakes in the same region of Africa. Shell repair is commonly observed in these and other Tanganyikan endemic snails although it is exceedingly rare inmost other lakes. The study of these early stages of evolutionary processes and rates in coevolving predator-prey systems in isolated lacustrine microcosms has important implications for those paleontologists concerned with marine invertebrates. It may shed considerable light on the interpretation of such events as the marine Mesozoic Revolution.

  3. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    The Southern Ocean ecosystem is undergoing rapid physical and biological changes that are likely to have profound implications for higher-order predators. Here, we compare the long-term, historical responses of Southern Ocean predators to climate change. We examine palaeoecological evidence for changes in the abundance and distribution of seabirds and marine mammals, and place these into context with palaeoclimate records in order to identify key environmental drivers associated with population changes. Our synthesis revealed two key factors underlying Southern Ocean predator population changes; (i) the availability of ice-free ground for breeding and (ii) access to productive foraging grounds. The processes of glaciation and sea ice fluctuation were key; the distributions and abundances of elephant seals, snow petrels, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins all responded strongly to the emergence of new breeding habitat coincident with deglaciation and reductions in sea ice. Access to productive foraging grounds was another limiting factor, with snow petrels, king and emperor penguins all affected by reduced prey availability in the past. Several species were isolated in glacial refugia and there is evidence that refuge populations were supported by polynyas. While the underlying drivers of population change were similar across most Southern Ocean predators, the individual responses of species to environmental change varied because of species specific factors such as dispersal ability and environmental sensitivity. Such interspecific differences are likely to affect the future climate change responses of Southern Ocean marine predators and should be considered in conservation plans. Comparative palaeoecological studies are a valuable source of long-term data on species' responses to environmental change that can provide important insights into future climate change responses. This synthesis highlights the importance of protecting productive foraging grounds

  4. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    PubMed

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    The Southern Ocean ecosystem is undergoing rapid physical and biological changes that are likely to have profound implications for higher-order predators. Here, we compare the long-term, historical responses of Southern Ocean predators to climate change. We examine palaeoecological evidence for changes in the abundance and distribution of seabirds and marine mammals, and place these into context with palaeoclimate records in order to identify key environmental drivers associated with population changes. Our synthesis revealed two key factors underlying Southern Ocean predator population changes; (i) the availability of ice-free ground for breeding and (ii) access to productive foraging grounds. The processes of glaciation and sea ice fluctuation were key; the distributions and abundances of elephant seals, snow petrels, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins all responded strongly to the emergence of new breeding habitat coincident with deglaciation and reductions in sea ice. Access to productive foraging grounds was another limiting factor, with snow petrels, king and emperor penguins all affected by reduced prey availability in the past. Several species were isolated in glacial refugia and there is evidence that refuge populations were supported by polynyas. While the underlying drivers of population change were similar across most Southern Ocean predators, the individual responses of species to environmental change varied because of species specific factors such as dispersal ability and environmental sensitivity. Such interspecific differences are likely to affect the future climate change responses of Southern Ocean marine predators and should be considered in conservation plans. Comparative palaeoecological studies are a valuable source of long-term data on species' responses to environmental change that can provide important insights into future climate change responses. This synthesis highlights the importance of protecting productive foraging grounds

  5. A Rao-Blackwellized particle filter for joint parameter estimation and biomass tracking in a stochastic predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Martín-Fernández, Laura; Gilioli, Gianni; Lanzarone, Ettore; Miguez, Joaquin; Pasquali, Sara; Ruggeri, Fabrizio; Ruiz, Diego P

    2014-06-01

    Functional response estimation and population tracking in predator-prey systems are critical problems in ecology. In this paper we consider a stochastic predator-prey system with a Lotka-Volterra functional response and propose a particle filtering method for: (a) estimating the behavioral parameter representing the rate of effective search per predator in the functional response and (b) forecasting the population biomass using field data. In particular, the proposed technique combines a sequential Monte Carlo sampling scheme for tracking the time-varying biomass with the analytical integration of the unknown behavioral parameter. In order to assess the performance of the method, we show results for both synthetic and observed data collected in an acarine predator-prey system, namely the pest mite Tetranychus urticae and the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. PMID:24506552

  6. Searching for the True Diet of Marine Predators: Incorporating Bayesian Priors into Stable Isotope Mixing Models

    PubMed Central

    Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G.; McInnes, Julie C.; Ramírez, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Reconstructing the diet of top marine predators is of great significance in several key areas of applied ecology, requiring accurate estimation of their true diet. However, from conventional stomach content analysis to recent stable isotope and DNA analyses, no one method is bias or error free. Here, we evaluated the accuracy of recent methods to estimate the actual proportion of a controlled diet fed to a top-predator seabird, the Little penguin (Eudyptula minor). We combined published DNA data of penguins scats with blood plasma δ15N and δ13C values to reconstruct the diet of individual penguins fed experimentally. Mismatch between controlled (true) ingested diet and dietary estimates obtained through the separately use of stable isotope and DNA data suggested some degree of differences in prey assimilation (stable isotope) and digestion rates (DNA analysis). In contrast, combined posterior isotope mixing model with DNA Bayesian priors provided the closest match to the true diet. We provided the first evidence suggesting that the combined use of these complementary techniques may provide better estimates of the actual diet of top marine predators- a powerful tool in applied ecology in the search for the true consumed diet. PMID:24667296

  7. Post-Paleozoic crinoid radiation in response to benthic predation preceded the Mesozoic marine revolution

    PubMed Central

    Baumiller, Tomasz K.; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Gorzelak, Przemysław; Mooi, Rich; Messing, Charles G.; Gahn, Forest J.

    2010-01-01

    It has been argued that increases in predation over geological time should result in increases in defensive adaptations in prey taxa. Recent in situ and laboratory observations indicate that cidaroid sea urchins feed on live stalked crinoids, leaving distinct bite marks on their skeletal elements. Similar bite marks on fossil crinoids from Poland strongly suggest that these animals have been subject to echinoid predation since the Triassic. Following their near-demise during the end-Permian extinction, crinoids underwent a major evolutionary radiation during the Middle–Late Triassic that produced distinct morphological and behavioral novelties, particularly motile taxa that contrasted strongly with the predominantly sessile Paleozoic crinoid faunas. We suggest that the appearance and subsequent evolutionary success of motile crinoids were related to benthic predation by post-Paleozoic echinoids with their stronger and more active feeding apparatus and that, in the case of crinoids, the predation-driven Mesozoic marine revolution started earlier than in other groups, perhaps soon after the end-Permian extinction. PMID:20231453

  8. Post-Paleozoic crinoid radiation in response to benthic predation preceded the Mesozoic marine revolution.

    PubMed

    Baumiller, Tomasz K; Salamon, Mariusz A; Gorzelak, Przemyslaw; Mooi, Rich; Messing, Charles G; Gahn, Forest J

    2010-03-30

    It has been argued that increases in predation over geological time should result in increases in defensive adaptations in prey taxa. Recent in situ and laboratory observations indicate that cidaroid sea urchins feed on live stalked crinoids, leaving distinct bite marks on their skeletal elements. Similar bite marks on fossil crinoids from Poland strongly suggest that these animals have been subject to echinoid predation since the Triassic. Following their near-demise during the end-Permian extinction, crinoids underwent a major evolutionary radiation during the Middle-Late Triassic that produced distinct morphological and behavioral novelties, particularly motile taxa that contrasted strongly with the predominantly sessile Paleozoic crinoid faunas. We suggest that the appearance and subsequent evolutionary success of motile crinoids were related to benthic predation by post-Paleozoic echinoids with their stronger and more active feeding apparatus and that, in the case of crinoids, the predation-driven Mesozoic marine revolution started earlier than in other groups, perhaps soon after the end-Permian extinction. PMID:20231453

  9. Impacts of climate change on marine top predators: Advances and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobday, Alistair J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Evans, Karen; Nicol, Simon; Young, Jock W.; Weng, Kevin C.

    2015-03-01

    Oceanic top predators are the subject of studies by researchers under the international Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) program. A wide range of data sets have shown that environmental conditions, such as temperature and marine productivity, affect the distribution and biological processes of these species, and thus the activities of the humans that depend on them. In this special issue, 25 papers arising from the 2nd CLIOTOP symposium, held in Noumea, New Caledonia in February 2013 report the importance of realistic physical descriptions of oceanic processes for climate change projections, demonstrate a wide range of predator responses to historical climate variability, describe new analytical approaches for understanding the physiology, behaviour and trophodynamics, and project future distributions for a range of species. Several contributions discuss the implications for conservation and fisheries and show that resolving ecosystem management challenges and conflicts in the face of climate change is possible, but will require attention by decision-makers to issues that are broader than their traditional mandate. In the coming years, an increased focus on the development of management options to reduce the impacts of climate change on top predators and their dependent industries is needed.

  10. Evidence of localized resource depletion following a natural colonization event by a large marine predator.

    PubMed

    Kuhn, Carey E; Baker, Jason D; Towell, Rodney G; Ream, Rolf R

    2014-09-01

    For central place foragers, forming colonies can lead to extensive competition for prey around breeding areas and a zone of local prey depletion. As populations grow, this area of reduced prey can expand impacting foraging success and forcing animals to alter foraging behaviour. Here, we examine a population of marine predators, the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), which colonized a recently formed volcanic island, and assess changes in foraging behaviour associated with increasing population density. Specifically, we measured pup production and adult foraging behaviour over a 15-year period, during which the population increased 4-fold. Using measures of at-sea movements and dive behaviour, we found clear evidence that as the population expanded, animals were required to allot increasing effort to obtain resources. These changes in behaviour included longer duration foraging trips, farther distances travelled, a larger foraging range surrounding the island and deeper maximum dives. Our results suggest that as the northern fur seal population increased, local prey resources were depleted as a result of increased intraspecific competition. In addition, the recent slowing of population growth indicates that this population may be approaching carrying capacity just 31 years after a natural colonization event. Our study offers insight into the dynamics of population growth and impacts of increasing population density on a large marine predator. Such data could be vital for understanding future population fluctuations that occur in response to the dynamic environment, as natural and anthropogenic factors continue to modify marine habitats. PMID:24450364

  11. 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

  12. Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity

    PubMed Central

    Duffy, J. Emmett; Ziegler, Shelby L.; Campbell, Justin E.; Bippus, Paige M.; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple, standardized assay, the squidpop, for measuring the relative feeding intensity of generalist predators in aquatic systems. The assay consists of a 1.3-cm diameter disk of dried squid mantle tethered to a rod, which is either inserted in the sediment in soft-bottom habitats or secured to existing structure. Each replicate squidpop is scored as present or absent after 1 and 24 hours, and the data for analysis are proportions of replicate units consumed at each time. Tests in several habitats of the temperate southeastern USA (Virginia and North Carolina) and tropical Central America (Belize) confirmed the assay’s utility for measuring variation in predation intensity among habitats, among seasons, and along environmental gradients. In Belize, predation intensity varied strongly among habitats, with reef > seagrass = mangrove > unvegetated bare sand. Quantitative visual surveys confirmed that assayed feeding intensity increased with abundance and species richness of fishes across sites, with fish abundance and richness explaining up to 45% and 70% of the variation in bait loss respectively. In the southeastern USA, predation intensity varied seasonally, being highest during summer and declining in late autumn. Deployments in marsh habitats generally revealed a decline in mean predation intensity from fully marine to tidal freshwater sites. The simplicity, economy, and standardization of the squidpop assay should facilitate engagement of scientists and citizens alike, with the goal of constructing high-resolution maps of how top-down control varies through space and time in aquatic ecosystems, and addressing a broad array of long-standing hypotheses in macro- and community ecology. PMID:26599815

  13. Squidpops: A Simple Tool to Crowdsource a Global Map of Marine Predation Intensity.

    PubMed

    Duffy, J Emmett; Ziegler, Shelby L; Campbell, Justin E; Bippus, Paige M; Lefcheck, Jonathan S

    2015-01-01

    We present a simple, standardized assay, the squidpop, for measuring the relative feeding intensity of generalist predators in aquatic systems. The assay consists of a 1.3-cm diameter disk of dried squid mantle tethered to a rod, which is either inserted in the sediment in soft-bottom habitats or secured to existing structure. Each replicate squidpop is scored as present or absent after 1 and 24 hours, and the data for analysis are proportions of replicate units consumed at each time. Tests in several habitats of the temperate southeastern USA (Virginia and North Carolina) and tropical Central America (Belize) confirmed the assay's utility for measuring variation in predation intensity among habitats, among seasons, and along environmental gradients. In Belize, predation intensity varied strongly among habitats, with reef > seagrass = mangrove > unvegetated bare sand. Quantitative visual surveys confirmed that assayed feeding intensity increased with abundance and species richness of fishes across sites, with fish abundance and richness explaining up to 45% and 70% of the variation in bait loss respectively. In the southeastern USA, predation intensity varied seasonally, being highest during summer and declining in late autumn. Deployments in marsh habitats generally revealed a decline in mean predation intensity from fully marine to tidal freshwater sites. The simplicity, economy, and standardization of the squidpop assay should facilitate engagement of scientists and citizens alike, with the goal of constructing high-resolution maps of how top-down control varies through space and time in aquatic ecosystems, and addressing a broad array of long-standing hypotheses in macro- and community ecology. PMID:26599815

  14. Microhabitat selection by marine mesoconsumers in a thermally heterogeneous habitat: behavioral thermoregulation or avoiding predation risk?

    PubMed

    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

  15. Prey density and the behavioral flexibility of a marine predator: The common murre (Uria aalge)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harding, A.M.A.; Piatt, J.F.; Schmutz, J.A.; Shultz, M.T.; van Pelt, Thomas I.; Kettle, A.B.; Speckman, S.G.

    2007-01-01

    Flexible time budgets allow individual animals to buffer the effects of variable food availability by allocating more time to foraging when food density decreases. This trait should be especially important for marine predators that forage on patchy and ephemeral food resources. We examined flexible time allocation by a long-lived marine predator, the Common Murre (Uria aalge), using data collected in a five-year study at three colonies in Alaska (USA) with contrasting environmental conditions. Annual hydroacoustic surveys revealed an order-of-magnitude variation in food density among the 15 colony-years of study. We used data on parental time budgets and local prey density to test predictions from two hypotheses: Hypothesis A, the colony attendance of seabirds varies nonlinearly with food density; and Hypothesis B, flexible time allocation of parent murres buffers chicks against variable food availability. Hypothesis A was supported; colony attendance by murres was positively correlated with food over a limited range of poor-to-moderate food densities, but independent of food over a broader range of higher densities. This is the first empirical evidence for a nonlinear response of a marine predator's time budget to changes in prey density. Predictions from Hypothesis B were largely supported: (1) chick-feeding rates were fairly constant over a wide range of densities and only dropped below 3.5 meals per day at the low end of prey density, and (2) there was a nonlinear relationship between chick-feeding rates and time spent at the colony, with chick-feeding rates only declining after time at the colony by the nonbrooding parent was reduced to a minimum. The ability of parents to adjust their foraging time by more than 2 h/d explains why they were able to maintain chick-feeding rates of more than 3.5 meals/d across a 10-fold range in local food density. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Evidence of marine mammal predation of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) on its marine migration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wahlberg, Magnus; Westerberg, Håkan; Aarestrup, Kim; Feunteun, Eric; Gargan, Paddy; Righton, David

    2014-04-01

    Temperature and depth logging tags were implanted into adult eels released on Atlantic west coasts of France and Ireland to study their oceanic migration behavior. For three of the tags, 25 to 256 days after release there was a dramatic rise in temperature from 10 °C to 36 °C and the dive profile changed from depths of 300-1000 m to repeated ascents to the surface. This indicated that the eels carrying the tags had been eaten by a mammalian predator. Two of the tags had sufficient sampling rate to resolve the dives in detail. They recorded a total of 91 dives to maximum depths of 250-860 m lasting 11-12 min and with surface intervals of 5-7 min. More than two thirds of the dives included a rapid descent from approximately 500 m to 600-700 m. From this we infer that the predator was most likely a deep-diving toothed whale. The dives logged while the tags were inside the predator revealed that the temperature usually decreased during dives, and increased again during surface periods. The temperature drops during dives were probably caused by the ingestion of prey or water. These observations provide insights into the behavior of toothed whales foraging in the mesopelagic zone.

  17. The role of epibenthic predators in structuring the marine invertebrate community of a British coastal salt marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frid, C. L. J.; James, R.

    The marine fauna of salt marshes are subjected to predation by birds, tidally feeding flatfish, crabs, prawns and small gobiid fish. The role of these epibenthic predators in structuring the community was investigated using cages to exclude predators. A range of designs of cages and partial cages was employed to control for artefacts due to caging, and sufficient cages were employed so that each cage was only sampled once to prevent the compounding of disturbance due to predation and sampling. Two mesh sizes were employed, a fine mesh excluding epibenthic predators and a coarse mesh allowing access by small crabs, prawns and gobiid fish but excluding birds and larger fish. The exclusion was maintained for 2 years. The presence of any experimental structure had a significant effect on the sedimentary regime within the cage. Epibentic predator exclusion let to an increase in infaunal predator density, but had no significant effect on the infaunal deposit feeders. There was some evidence that predators limit the surface deposit feeding gastropood Hydrobia ulvae during the winter. The gastropod Littorina littorea responded positively to the presence of any caging structure; this may be the result of changes in the availability of food, as the sides of a cage support a diatom flora which this species can exploit. The lack of a response from the infaunal deposit feeders is attributed to their horizontal mobility within the sediment. The possible interactions between epibenthic and infaunal predators are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Marine bacterial community structure resilience to changes in protist predation under phytoplankton bloom conditions.

    PubMed

    Baltar, Federico; Palovaara, Joakim; Unrein, Fernando; Catala, Philippe; Horňák, Karel; Šimek, Karel; Vaqué, Dolors; Massana, Ramon; Gasol, Josep M; Pinhassi, Jarone

    2016-03-01

    To test whether protist grazing selectively affects the composition of aquatic bacterial communities, we combined high-throughput sequencing to determine bacterial community composition with analyses of grazing rates, protist and bacterial abundances and bacterial cell sizes and physiological states in a mesocosm experiment in which nutrients were added to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom. A large variability was observed in the abundances of bacteria (from 0.7 to 2.4 × 10(6) cells per ml), heterotrophic nanoflagellates (from 0.063 to 2.7 × 10(4) cells per ml) and ciliates (from 100 to 3000 cells per l) during the experiment (∼3-, 45- and 30-fold, respectively), as well as in bulk grazing rates (from 1 to 13 × 10(6) bacteria per ml per day) and bacterial production (from 3 to 379 μg per C l per day) (1 and 2 orders of magnitude, respectively). However, these strong changes in predation pressure did not induce comparable responses in bacterial community composition, indicating that bacterial community structure was resilient to changes in protist predation pressure. Overall, our results indicate that peaks in protist predation (at least those associated with phytoplankton blooms) do not necessarily trigger substantial changes in the composition of coastal marine bacterioplankton communities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Environmental forcing and Southern Ocean marine predator populations: effects of climate change and variability.

    PubMed

    Trathan, P N; Forcada, J; Murphy, E J

    2007-12-29

    The Southern Ocean is a major component within the global ocean and climate system and potentially the location where the most rapid climate change is most likely to happen, particularly in the high-latitude polar regions. In these regions, even small temperature changes can potentially lead to major environmental perturbations. Climate change is likely to be regional and may be expressed in various ways, including alterations to climate and weather patterns across a variety of time-scales that include changes to the long interdecadal background signals such as the development of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Oscillating climate signals such as ENSO potentially provide a unique opportunity to explore how biological communities respond to change. This approach is based on the premise that biological responses to shorter-term sub-decadal climate variability signals are potentially the best predictor of biological responses over longer time-scales. Around the Southern Ocean, marine predator populations show periodicity in breeding performance and productivity, with relationships with the environment driven by physical forcing from the ENSO region in the Pacific. Wherever examined, these relationships are congruent with mid-trophic-level processes that are also correlated with environmental variability. The short-term changes to ecosystem structure and function observed during ENSO events herald potential long-term changes that may ensue following regional climate change. For example, in the South Atlantic, failure of Antarctic krill recruitment will inevitably foreshadow recruitment failures in a range of higher trophic-level marine predators. Where predator species are not able to accommodate by switching to other prey species, population-level changes will follow. The Southern Ocean, though oceanographically interconnected, is not a single ecosystem and different areas are dominated by different food webs. Where species occupy different positions in

  3. Model-based localization and tracking of marine mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abawi, Ahmad T.; Porter, Michael B.; Siderius, Martin; Hildebrand, John; Wiggins, Sean

    2001-05-01

    Data from the August 2003 experiment conducted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in the Southern California Offshore Range (SCORE) are used to localize and track marine mammals. SCORE is a naval training area near the island of San Clemente located in relatively shallow water. The water depth where the experiment was conducted is around 360 m. Data were recorded on a 100-m, eight-element vertical array deployed from the Floating Instrument Platform (FLIP) and four bottom-mounted seismometers deployed in an area covering approximately three square kilometers. During the course of the 7-day experiment continuous recording of the ocean environment was made. The recordings contain numerous blue and fin whale calls. Matched field processing was used on the vertical array data to localize and track singing whales. The differences between different animal calls (extended, low frequency calls in the case of blue whales and short, impulsive calls in the case of fin whales) are exploited to track different animal species. Animals were also independently tracked by comparing the predicted (computed using a propagation model) and measured difference in time of arrival recorded in each seismometer pairs. The tracking results obtained from the two techniques are compared.

  4. Estimating resource acquisition and at-sea body condition of a marine predator

    PubMed Central

    Schick, Robert S; New, Leslie F; Thomas, Len; Costa, Daniel P; Hindell, Mark A; McMahon, Clive R; Robinson, Patrick W; Simmons, Samantha E; Thums, Michele; Harwood, John; Clark, James S

    2013-01-01

    Body condition plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes at a variety of scales and across a broad range of animal taxa. An understanding of how body condition changes at fine spatial and temporal scales as a result of interaction with the environment provides necessary information about how animals acquire resources. However, comparatively little is known about intra- and interindividual variation of condition in marine systems. Where condition has been studied, changes typically are recorded at relatively coarse time-scales. By quantifying how fine-scale interaction with the environment influences condition, we can broaden our understanding of how animals acquire resources and allocate them to body stores. Here we used a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to estimate the body condition as measured by the size of an animal's lipid store in two closely related species of marine predator that occupy different hemispheres: northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). The observation model linked drift dives to lipid stores. The process model quantified daily changes in lipid stores as a function of the physiological condition of the seal (lipid:lean tissue ratio, departure lipid and departure mass), its foraging location, two measures of behaviour and environmental covariates. We found that physiological condition significantly impacted lipid gain at two time-scales – daily and at departure from the colony – that foraging location was significantly associated with lipid gain in both species of elephant seals and that long-term behavioural phase was associated with positive lipid gain in northern and southern elephant seals. In northern elephant seals, the occurrence of short-term behavioural states assumed to represent foraging were correlated with lipid gain. Lipid gain was a function of covariates in both species. Southern elephant seals performed fewer drift dives than

  5. Estimating resource acquisition and at-sea body condition of a marine predator.

    PubMed

    Schick, Robert S; New, Leslie F; Thomas, Len; Costa, Daniel P; Hindell, Mark A; McMahon, Clive R; Robinson, Patrick W; Simmons, Samantha E; Thums, Michele; Harwood, John; Clark, James S

    2013-11-01

    1. Body condition plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes at a variety of scales and across a broad range of animal taxa. An understanding of how body condition changes at fine spatial and temporal scales as a result of interaction with the environment provides necessary information about how animals acquire resources. 2. However, comparatively little is known about intra- and interindividual variation of condition in marine systems. Where condition has been studied, changes typically are recorded at relatively coarse time-scales. By quantifying how fine-scale interaction with the environment influences condition, we can broaden our understanding of how animals acquire resources and allocate them to body stores. 3. Here we used a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to estimate the body condition as measured by the size of an animal's lipid store in two closely related species of marine predator that occupy different hemispheres: northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). The observation model linked drift dives to lipid stores. The process model quantified daily changes in lipid stores as a function of the physiological condition of the seal (lipid:lean tissue ratio, departure lipid and departure mass), its foraging location, two measures of behaviour and environmental covariates. 4. We found that physiological condition significantly impacted lipid gain at two time-scales - daily and at departure from the colony - that foraging location was significantly associated with lipid gain in both species of elephant seals and that long-term behavioural phase was associated with positive lipid gain in northern and southern elephant seals. In northern elephant seals, the occurrence of short-term behavioural states assumed to represent foraging were correlated with lipid gain. Lipid gain was a function of covariates in both species. Southern elephant seals performed fewer drift dives

  6. 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

  7. Using inhibitors to investigate the involvement of cell signaling in predation by marine phagotrophic protists.

    PubMed

    Hartz, Aaron J; Sherr, Barry F; Sherr, Evelyn B

    2008-01-01

    Phagotrophic protists are major consumers of microbial biomass in aquatic ecosystems. However, biochemical mechanisms underlying prey recognition and phagocytosis by protists are not well understood. We investigated the potential roles of cell signaling mechanisms in chemosensory response to prey, and in capture of prey cells, by a marine ciliate (Uronema sp.) and a heterotrophic dinoflagellate (Oxyrrhis marina). Inhibition of protein kinase signal transduction biomolecules caused a decrease in both chemosensory response and predation. Inhibition of G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways significantly decreased chemosensory response but had no effect on prey ingestion. Inhibitor compounds did not appear to affect general cell health, but had a targeted effect. These results support the idea that cell signaling pathways known in other eukaryotic organisms are involved in feeding behavior of free-living protists.

  8. Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Spatial patterns of marine predator communities are influenced to varying degrees by prey distribution and environmental gradients. We examined physical and biological attributes of an estuarine fjord with strong glacier influence to determine the factors that most influence the structure of predator and prey communities. Our results suggest that some species, such as walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), were widely distributed across environmental gradients, indicating less specialization, whereas species such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) appeared to have more specialized habitat requirements related to glacial influence. We found that upper trophic level communities were well correlated with their mid trophic level prey community, but strong physical gradients in photic depth, temperature, and nutrients played an important role in community structure as well. Mid-trophic level forage fish communities were correlated with the physical gradients more closely than upper trophic levels were, and they showed strong affinity to tidewater glaciers. Silica was closely correlated with the distribution of fish communities, the mechanisms of which deserve further study.

  9. The effectiveness of marine protected areas for predator and prey with varying mobility.

    PubMed

    Pilyugin, Sergei S; Medlock, Jan; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2016-08-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are regions in the ocean where fishing is restricted or prohibited. Although several measures for MPA performance exist, here we focus on a specific one, namely the ratio of the steady state fish densities inside and outside the MPA. Several 2 patch models are proposed and analyzed mathematically. One patch represents the MPA, whereas the second patch represents the fishing ground. Fish move freely between both regions in a diffusive manner. Our main objective is to understand how fish mobility affects MPA performance. We show that MPA effectiveness decreases with fish mobility for single species models with logistic growth, and that densities inside and outside the MPA tend to equalize. This suggests that MPA performance is highest for the least mobile species. We then consider a 2 patch Lotka-Volterra predator-prey system. When one of the species moves, and the other does not, the ratio of the moving species first remains constant, and ultimately decreases with increased fish mobility, again with a tendency of equalization of the density in both regions. This suggests that MPA performance is not only highest for slow, but also for moderately mobile species. The discrepancy in MPA performance for single species models and for predator-prey models, confirms that MPA design requires an integrated, ecosystem-based approach. The mathematical approaches advocated here complement and enhance the numerical and theoretical approaches that are commonly applied to more complex models in the context of MPA design.

  10. The effectiveness of marine protected areas for predator and prey with varying mobility.

    PubMed

    Pilyugin, Sergei S; Medlock, Jan; De Leenheer, Patrick

    2016-08-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are regions in the ocean where fishing is restricted or prohibited. Although several measures for MPA performance exist, here we focus on a specific one, namely the ratio of the steady state fish densities inside and outside the MPA. Several 2 patch models are proposed and analyzed mathematically. One patch represents the MPA, whereas the second patch represents the fishing ground. Fish move freely between both regions in a diffusive manner. Our main objective is to understand how fish mobility affects MPA performance. We show that MPA effectiveness decreases with fish mobility for single species models with logistic growth, and that densities inside and outside the MPA tend to equalize. This suggests that MPA performance is highest for the least mobile species. We then consider a 2 patch Lotka-Volterra predator-prey system. When one of the species moves, and the other does not, the ratio of the moving species first remains constant, and ultimately decreases with increased fish mobility, again with a tendency of equalization of the density in both regions. This suggests that MPA performance is not only highest for slow, but also for moderately mobile species. The discrepancy in MPA performance for single species models and for predator-prey models, confirms that MPA design requires an integrated, ecosystem-based approach. The mathematical approaches advocated here complement and enhance the numerical and theoretical approaches that are commonly applied to more complex models in the context of MPA design. PMID:27151107

  11. Diving deeper into individual foraging specializations of a large marine predator, the southern sea lion.

    PubMed

    Baylis, A M M; Orben, R A; Arnould, J P Y; Peters, K; Knox, T; Costa, D P; Staniland, I J

    2015-12-01

    Despite global declines in the abundance of marine predators, knowledge of foraging ecology, necessary to predict the ecological consequences of large changes in marine predator abundance, remains enigmatic for many species. Given that populations suffering severe declines are of conservation concern, we examined the foraging ecology of southern sea lions (SSL) (Otaria flavescens)-one of the least studied otariids (fur seal and sea lions)-which have declined by over 90% at the Falkland Islands since the 1930s. Using a combination of biologging devices and stable isotope analysis of vibrissae, we redress major gaps in the knowledge of SSL ecology and quantify patterns of individual specialization. Specifically, we revealed two discrete foraging strategies, these being inshore (coastal) and offshore (outer Patagonian Shelf). The majority of adult female SSL (72% or n = 21 of 29 SSL) foraged offshore. Adult female SSL that foraged offshore travelled further (92 ± 20 vs. 10 ± 4 km) and dived deeper (75 ± 23 vs. 21 ± 8 m) when compared to those that foraged inshore. Stable isotope analysis revealed long-term fidelity (years) to these discrete foraging habitats. In addition, we found further specialization within the offshore group, with adult female SSL separated into two clusters on the basis of benthic or mixed (benthic and pelagic) dive behavior (benthic dive proportion was 76 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 8%, respectively). We suggest that foraging specialization in depleted populations such as SSL breeding at the Falkland Islands, are influenced by foraging site fidelity, and could be independent of intraspecific competition. Finally, the behavioral differences we describe are crucial to understanding population-level dynamics, impediments to population recovery, and threats to population persistence. PMID:26323982

  12. Diving deeper into individual foraging specializations of a large marine predator, the southern sea lion.

    PubMed

    Baylis, A M M; Orben, R A; Arnould, J P Y; Peters, K; Knox, T; Costa, D P; Staniland, I J

    2015-12-01

    Despite global declines in the abundance of marine predators, knowledge of foraging ecology, necessary to predict the ecological consequences of large changes in marine predator abundance, remains enigmatic for many species. Given that populations suffering severe declines are of conservation concern, we examined the foraging ecology of southern sea lions (SSL) (Otaria flavescens)-one of the least studied otariids (fur seal and sea lions)-which have declined by over 90% at the Falkland Islands since the 1930s. Using a combination of biologging devices and stable isotope analysis of vibrissae, we redress major gaps in the knowledge of SSL ecology and quantify patterns of individual specialization. Specifically, we revealed two discrete foraging strategies, these being inshore (coastal) and offshore (outer Patagonian Shelf). The majority of adult female SSL (72% or n = 21 of 29 SSL) foraged offshore. Adult female SSL that foraged offshore travelled further (92 ± 20 vs. 10 ± 4 km) and dived deeper (75 ± 23 vs. 21 ± 8 m) when compared to those that foraged inshore. Stable isotope analysis revealed long-term fidelity (years) to these discrete foraging habitats. In addition, we found further specialization within the offshore group, with adult female SSL separated into two clusters on the basis of benthic or mixed (benthic and pelagic) dive behavior (benthic dive proportion was 76 ± 9 vs. 51 ± 8%, respectively). We suggest that foraging specialization in depleted populations such as SSL breeding at the Falkland Islands, are influenced by foraging site fidelity, and could be independent of intraspecific competition. Finally, the behavioral differences we describe are crucial to understanding population-level dynamics, impediments to population recovery, and threats to population persistence.

  13. A Carapace-Like Bony ‘Body Tube’ in an Early Triassic Marine Reptile and the Onset of Marine Tetrapod Predation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao-hong; Motani, Ryosuke; Cheng, Long; Jiang, Da-yong; Rieppel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Parahupehsuchus longus is a new species of marine reptile from the Lower Triassic of Yuan’an County, Hubei Province, China. It is unique among vertebrates for having a body wall that is completely surrounded by a bony tube, about 50 cm long and 6.5 cm deep, comprising overlapping ribs and gastralia. This tube and bony ossicles on the back are best interpreted as anti-predatory features, suggesting that there was predation pressure upon marine tetrapods in the Early Triassic. There is at least one sauropterygian that is sufficiently large to feed on Parahupehsuchus in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna, together with six more species of potential prey marine reptiles with various degrees of body protection. Modern predators of marine tetrapods belong to the highest trophic levels in the marine ecosystem but such predators did not always exist through geologic time. The indication of marine-tetrapod feeding in the Nanzhang-Yuan’an fauna suggests that such a trophic level emerged for the first time in the Early Triassic. The recovery from the end-Permian extinction probably proceeded faster than traditionally thought for marine predators. Parahupehsuchus has superficially turtle-like features, namely expanded ribs without intercostal space, very short transverse processes, and a dorsal outgrowth from the neural spine. However, these features are structurally different from their turtle counterparts. Phylogeny suggests that they are convergent with the condition in turtles, which has a fundamentally different body plan that involves the folding of the body wall. Expanded ribs without intercostal space evolved at least twice and probably even more among reptiles. PMID:24718682

  14. Climate and density shape population dynamics of a marine top predator.

    PubMed Central

    Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2003-01-01

    Long-term studies have documented that climate fluctuations affect the dynamics of populations, but the relative influence of stochastic and density-dependent processes is still poorly understood and debated. Most studies have been conducted on terrestrial systems, and lacking are studies on marine systems explicitly integrating the fact that most populations live in seasonal environments and respond to regular or systematic environmental changes. We separated winter from summer mortality in a seabird population, the blue petrel Halobaena caerulea, in the southern Indian Ocean where the El Niño/Southern Oscillation effects occur with a 3-4-year lag. Seventy per cent of the mortality occurred in winter and was linked to climatic factors, being lower during anomalous warm events. The strength of density dependence was affected by climate, with population crashes occurring when poor conditions occurred at high densities. We found that an exceptionally long-lasting warming caused a ca. 40% decline of the population, suggesting that chronic climate change will strongly affect this top predator. These findings demonstrate that populations in marine systems are particularly susceptible to climate variation through complex interactions between seasonal mortality and density-dependent effects. PMID:14561273

  15. Climate and density shape population dynamics of a marine top predator.

    PubMed

    Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2003-10-22

    Long-term studies have documented that climate fluctuations affect the dynamics of populations, but the relative influence of stochastic and density-dependent processes is still poorly understood and debated. Most studies have been conducted on terrestrial systems, and lacking are studies on marine systems explicitly integrating the fact that most populations live in seasonal environments and respond to regular or systematic environmental changes. We separated winter from summer mortality in a seabird population, the blue petrel Halobaena caerulea, in the southern Indian Ocean where the El Niño/Southern Oscillation effects occur with a 3-4-year lag. Seventy per cent of the mortality occurred in winter and was linked to climatic factors, being lower during anomalous warm events. The strength of density dependence was affected by climate, with population crashes occurring when poor conditions occurred at high densities. We found that an exceptionally long-lasting warming caused a ca. 40% decline of the population, suggesting that chronic climate change will strongly affect this top predator. These findings demonstrate that populations in marine systems are particularly susceptible to climate variation through complex interactions between seasonal mortality and density-dependent effects. PMID:14561273

  16. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken.

  17. Impact of jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae) predation on marine turtle populations in Tortuguero, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Arce, Stephanny; Salom-Pérez, Roberto

    2015-09-01

    Little is known about the effects of jaguars on the population of marine turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. This study assessed jaguar predation impact on three species of marine turtles (Chelonia mydas, Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata) that nest in Tortuguero beach. Jaguar predation data was obtained by using two methodologies, literature review (historical records prior the year 2005) and weekly surveys along the 29 km stretch of beach during the period 2005-2013. Our results indicated that jaguar predation has increased from one marine turtle in 1981 to 198 in 2013. Jaguars consumed annually an average of 120 (SD = 45) and 2 (SD = 3) green turtles and leatherbacks in Tortuguero beach, respectively. Based on our results we concluded that jaguars do not represent a threat to the population of green turtles that nest in Tortuguero beach, and it is not the main cause for population decline for leatherbacks and hawksbills. Future research should focus on continuing to monitor this predator-prey relationship as well as the factors that influence it so the proper management decisions can be taken. PMID:26666135

  18. Environmental response of upper trophic-level predators reveals a system change in an Antarctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Reid, K.; Croxall, J. P.

    2001-01-01

    Long-term changes in the physical environment in the Antarctic Peninsula region have significant potential for affecting populations of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), a keystone food web species. In order to investigate this, we analysed data on krill-eating predators at South Georgia from 1980 to 2000. Indices of population size and reproductive performance showed declines in all species and an increase in the frequency of years of low reproductive output. Changes in the population structure of krill and its relationship with reproductive performance suggested that the biomass of krill within the largest size class was sufficient to support predator demand in the 1980s but not in the 1990s. We suggest that the effects of underlying changes in the system on the krill population structure have been amplified by predator-induced mortality, resulting in breeding predators now regularly operating close to the limit of krill availability. Understanding how krill demography is affected by changes in physical environmental factors and by predator consumption and how, in turn, this influences predator performance and survival, is one of the keys to predicting future change in Antarctic marine ecosystems. PMID:11270434

  19. Can Thermoclines Be a Cue to Prey Distribution for Marine Top Predators? A Case Study with Little Penguins

    PubMed Central

    Pelletier, Laure; Kato, Akiko; Chiaradia, André; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2012-01-01

    The use of top predators as bio-platforms is a modern approach to understanding how physical changes in the environment may influence their foraging success. This study examined if the presence of thermoclines could be a reliable signal of resource availability for a marine top predator, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). We studied weekly foraging activity of 43 breeding individual penguins equipped with accelerometers. These loggers also recorded water temperature, which we used to detect changes in thermal characteristics of their foraging zone over 5 weeks during the penguin’s guard phase. Data showed the thermocline was detected in the first 3 weeks of the study, which coincided with higher foraging efficiency. When a thermocline was not detected in the last two weeks, foraging efficiency decreased as well. We suggest that thermoclines can represent temporary markers of enhanced food availability for this top-predator to which they must optimally adjust their breeding cycle. PMID:22536314

  20. Can thermoclines be a cue to prey distribution for marine top predators? A case study with little penguins.

    PubMed

    Pelletier, Laure; Kato, Akiko; Chiaradia, André; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2012-01-01

    The use of top predators as bio-platforms is a modern approach to understanding how physical changes in the environment may influence their foraging success. This study examined if the presence of thermoclines could be a reliable signal of resource availability for a marine top predator, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). We studied weekly foraging activity of 43 breeding individual penguins equipped with accelerometers. These loggers also recorded water temperature, which we used to detect changes in thermal characteristics of their foraging zone over 5 weeks during the penguin's guard phase. Data showed the thermocline was detected in the first 3 weeks of the study, which coincided with higher foraging efficiency. When a thermocline was not detected in the last two weeks, foraging efficiency decreased as well. We suggest that thermoclines can represent temporary markers of enhanced food availability for this top-predator to which they must optimally adjust their breeding cycle.

  1. Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cherry, Seth G; Derocher, Andrew E; Thiemann, Gregory W; Lunn, Nicholas J

    2013-07-01

    Understanding how seasonal environmental conditions affect the timing and distribution of synchronized animal movement patterns is a central issue in animal ecology. Migration, a behavioural adaptation to seasonal environmental fluctuations, is a fundamental part of the life history of numerous species. However, global climate change can alter the spatiotemporal distribution of resources and thus affect the seasonal movement patterns of migratory animals. We examined sea ice dynamics relative to migration patterns and seasonal geographical fidelity of an Arctic marine predator, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Polar bear movement patterns were quantified using satellite-linked telemetry data collected from collars deployed between 1991-1997 and 2004-2009. We showed that specific sea ice characteristics can predict the timing of seasonal polar bear migration on and off terrestrial refugia. In addition, fidelity to specific onshore regions during the ice-free period was predicted by the spatial pattern of sea ice break-up but not by the timing of break-up. The timing of migration showed a trend towards earlier arrival of polar bears on shore and later departure from land, which has been driven by climate-induced declines in the availability of sea ice. Changes to the timing of migration have resulted in polar bears spending progressively longer periods of time on land without access to sea ice and their marine mammal prey. The links between increased atmospheric temperatures, sea ice dynamics, and the migratory behaviour of an ice-dependent species emphasizes the importance of quantifying and monitoring relationships between migratory wildlife and environmental cues that may be altered by climate change. PMID:23510081

  2. Migration phenology and seasonal fidelity of an Arctic marine predator in relation to sea ice dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cherry, Seth G; Derocher, Andrew E; Thiemann, Gregory W; Lunn, Nicholas J

    2013-07-01

    Understanding how seasonal environmental conditions affect the timing and distribution of synchronized animal movement patterns is a central issue in animal ecology. Migration, a behavioural adaptation to seasonal environmental fluctuations, is a fundamental part of the life history of numerous species. However, global climate change can alter the spatiotemporal distribution of resources and thus affect the seasonal movement patterns of migratory animals. We examined sea ice dynamics relative to migration patterns and seasonal geographical fidelity of an Arctic marine predator, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Polar bear movement patterns were quantified using satellite-linked telemetry data collected from collars deployed between 1991-1997 and 2004-2009. We showed that specific sea ice characteristics can predict the timing of seasonal polar bear migration on and off terrestrial refugia. In addition, fidelity to specific onshore regions during the ice-free period was predicted by the spatial pattern of sea ice break-up but not by the timing of break-up. The timing of migration showed a trend towards earlier arrival of polar bears on shore and later departure from land, which has been driven by climate-induced declines in the availability of sea ice. Changes to the timing of migration have resulted in polar bears spending progressively longer periods of time on land without access to sea ice and their marine mammal prey. The links between increased atmospheric temperatures, sea ice dynamics, and the migratory behaviour of an ice-dependent species emphasizes the importance of quantifying and monitoring relationships between migratory wildlife and environmental cues that may be altered by climate change.

  3. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals) in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    PubMed Central

    Boos, Karin; D'Hert, Diederik; Nachtsheim, Dominik A.

    2016-01-01

    The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross's gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ), the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI), the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns. PMID:27777810

  4. Reproductive performance and organochlorine pollutants in an Antarctic marine top predator: the south polar skua.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Tveraa, Torkild; Varpe, Øystein; Henden, John A; Skaare, Janneche U

    2007-10-01

    Despite low levels of organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in Antarctic biota, some compounds may exceed the levels in equivalent Arctic species, and previous studies have found biochemical evidence of pollutant exposure in south polar skuas (Catharacta maccormicki), a common marine top predator in the region. In this study we examined relationships between fitness components (fecundity and adult return rate between breeding seasons) and concentrations of OCs in this species. In 65 nests, both males and females were caught, and using principal component analyses (PCA) we produced composite measurements (PC1 and PC2) of six highly correlated OCs measured in blood samples. Although the concentrations of OC were below those documented to have reproductive effects in other aquatic birds, we found that the eggs of females with high levels of OCs in the blood hatched later, and their chicks were in poorer condition at hatching, than females with low OC levels. Thus OCs may delay reproduction and reduce foetal growth in the skuas. However, there was no relationship between the parents' OC residues and the occurrence of non-viable eggs, although the proportion of nests containing non-viable eggs was high (47%). Moreover, there were no significant relationships between OCs and reproductive variables in males, even if males had higher OC levels than females, and no associations between OCs and adult return rate between breeding seasons. PMID:17561256

  5. Tracking system analytic calibration activities for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madrid, G. A.; Chao, C. C.; Fliegel, H. F.; Leavitt, R. K.; Mottinger, N. A.; Winn, F. B.; Wimberly, R. N.; Yip, K. B.; Zielenbach, J. W.

    1974-01-01

    Data covering various planning aspects of Mariner Mars 1971 mission are summarized. Data cover calibrating procedures for tracking stations, radio signal propagation in the troposphere, effects of charged particles on radio transmission, orbit calculation, and data smoothing.

  6. Can We Predict Foraging Success in a Marine Predator from Dive Patterns Only? Validation with Prey Capture Attempt Data

    PubMed Central

    Viviant, Morgane; Monestiez, Pascal; Guinet, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Predicting how climatic variations will affect marine predator populations relies on our ability to assess foraging success, but evaluating foraging success in a marine predator at sea is particularly difficult. Dive metrics are commonly available for marine mammals, diving birds and some species of fish. Bottom duration or dive duration are usually used as proxies for foraging success. However, few studies have tried to validate these assumptions and identify the set of behavioral variables that best predict foraging success at a given time scale. The objective of this study was to assess if foraging success in Antarctic fur seals could be accurately predicted from dive parameters only, at different temporal scales. For this study, 11 individuals were equipped with either Hall sensors or accelerometers to record dive profiles and detect mouth-opening events, which were considered prey capture attempts. The number of prey capture attempts was best predicted by descent and ascent rates at the dive scale; bottom duration and descent rates at 30-min, 1-h, and 2-h scales; and ascent rates and maximum dive depths at the all-night scale. Model performances increased with temporal scales, but rank and sign of the factors varied according to the time scale considered, suggesting that behavioral adjustment in response to prey distribution could occur at certain scales only. The models predicted the foraging intensity of new individuals with good accuracy despite high inter-individual differences. Dive metrics that predict foraging success depend on the species and the scale considered, as verified by the literature and this study. The methodology used in our study is easy to implement, enables an assessment of model performance, and could be applied to any other marine predator. PMID:24603534

  7. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem. PMID:25981204

  8. The role of a dominant predator in shaping biodiversity over space and time in a marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ellingsen, Kari E; Anderson, Marti J; Shackell, Nancy L; Tveraa, Torkild; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Frank, Kenneth T

    2015-09-01

    1. Exploitation of living marine resources has resulted in major changes to populations of targeted species and functional groups of large-bodied species in the ocean. However, the effects of overfishing and collapse of large top predators on the broad-scale biodiversity of oceanic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. 2. Populations of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) were overfished and several collapsed in the early 1990s across Atlantic Canada, providing a unique opportunity to study potential ecosystem-level effects of the reduction of a dominant predator on fish biodiversity, and to identify how such effects might interact with other environmental factors, such as changes in climate, over time. 3. We combined causal modelling with model selection and multimodel inference to analyse 41 years of fishery-independent survey data (1970-2010) and quantify ecosystem-level effects of overfishing and climate variation on the biodiversity of fishes across a broad area (172 000 km(2) ) of the Scotian Shelf. 4. We found that alpha and beta diversity increased with decreases in cod occurrence; fish communities were less homogeneous and more variable in systems where cod no longer dominated. These effects were most pronounced in the colder north-eastern parts of the Scotian Shelf. 5. Our results provide strong evidence that intensive harvesting (and collapse) of marine apex predators can have large impacts on biodiversity, with far-reaching consequences for ecological stability across an entire ecosystem.

  9. Size-dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: An individual-based numerical experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, J.H. Jr.; Houde, E.D.; Rose, K.A.

    1992-11-01

    An individual-based predation model permitted 20-d simulations to be initiated with populations of individual ``theoretical`` ctenophore-, medusae-, and planktivorous fish-like predators and larvae prey that varied in size, growth rate, and swimming speed similarly to populations in the field. Results of predation experiments in 3.2 M{sup 3} mesocosms were used to estimate parameters in a Gerritsen-Strickler type encounter model which is embedded into the individual-based framework. Larval susceptibility with size also was estimated for each predator. Model simulations indicate that the relationship between larval size and vulnerability to predation, and ultimately cohort survival rate, depends upon attributes both of individual predators and larval prey and that bigger or faster growing larvae within a cohort are not always most likely to survive. Despite the finding that cohort-specific mortality generally decreased as the mean size (length) of the members of the cohort increased, mean size or growth rate of individual surviving larvae each day was lower or not significantly different from those that died in most simulations until larvae reached a size threshold when susceptibility decreased more rapidly with larval size than encounter rate increased. After the size threshold was reached, a ``switch`` occurred whereby predation began to select for survivors of longer mean length. The time necessary to reach the threshold depends on growth rate of the larvae, size of the predators and the variance structure of these parameters.

  10. Size-dependent vulnerability of marine fish larvae to predation: An individual-based numerical experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, J.H. Jr. . Dept. of Marine Sciences); Houde, E.D. . Chesapeake Biological Lab.); Rose, K.A. )

    1992-01-01

    An individual-based predation model permitted 20-d simulations to be initiated with populations of individual theoretical'' ctenophore-, medusae-, and planktivorous fish-like predators and larvae prey that varied in size, growth rate, and swimming speed similarly to populations in the field. Results of predation experiments in 3.2 M{sup 3} mesocosms were used to estimate parameters in a Gerritsen-Strickler type encounter model which is embedded into the individual-based framework. Larval susceptibility with size also was estimated for each predator. Model simulations indicate that the relationship between larval size and vulnerability to predation, and ultimately cohort survival rate, depends upon attributes both of individual predators and larval prey and that bigger or faster growing larvae within a cohort are not always most likely to survive. Despite the finding that cohort-specific mortality generally decreased as the mean size (length) of the members of the cohort increased, mean size or growth rate of individual surviving larvae each day was lower or not significantly different from those that died in most simulations until larvae reached a size threshold when susceptibility decreased more rapidly with larval size than encounter rate increased. After the size threshold was reached, a switch'' occurred whereby predation began to select for survivors of longer mean length. The time necessary to reach the threshold depends on growth rate of the larvae, size of the predators and the variance structure of these parameters.

  11. Direct quantification of energy intake in an apex marine predator suggests physiology is a key driver of migrations

    PubMed Central

    Whitlock, Rebecca E.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Walli, Andreas; Farwell, Charles; Bograd, Steven J.; Foley, David G.; Castleton, Michael; Block, Barbara A.

    2015-01-01

    Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) are highly migratory apex marine predators that inhabit a broad thermal niche. The energy needed for migration must be garnered by foraging, but measuring energy intake in the marine environment is challenging. We quantified the energy intake of Pacific bluefin tuna in the California Current using a laboratory-validated model, the first such measurement in a wild marine predator. Mean daily energy intake was highest off the coast of Baja California, Mexico in summer (mean ± SD, 1034 ± 669 kcal), followed by autumn when Pacific bluefin achieve their northernmost range in waters off northern California (944 ± 579 kcal). Movements were not always consistent with maximizing energy intake: the Pacific bluefin move out of energy rich waters both in late summer and winter, coincident with rising and falling water temperatures, respectively. We hypothesize that temperature-related physiological constraints drive migration and that Pacific bluefin tuna optimize energy intake within a range of optimal aerobic performance. PMID:26601248

  12. Evolution of embryonic developmental period in the marine bird families Alcidae and Spheniscidae: roles for nutrition and predation?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Nutrition and predation have been considered two primary agents of selection important in the evolution of avian life history traits. The relative importance of these natural selective forces in the evolution of avian embryonic developmental period (EDP) remain poorly resolved, perhaps in part because research has tended to focus on a single, high taxonomic-level group of birds: Order Passeriformes. The marine bird families Alcidae (auks) and Spheniscidae (penguins) exhibit marked variation in EDP, as well as behavioural and ecological traits ultimately linked to EDP. Therefore, auks and penguins provide a unique opportunity to assess the natural selective basis of variation in a key life-history trait at a low taxonomic-level. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the relative importance of behavioural and ecological factors related to nutrition and predation in the evolution of avian EDP. Results Three behavioural and ecological variables related to nutrition and predation risk (i.e., clutch size, activity pattern, and nesting habits) were significant predictors of residual variation in auk and penguin EDP based on models predicting EDP from egg mass. Species with larger clutch sizes, diurnal activity patterns, and open nests had significantly shorter EDPs. Further, EDP was found to be longer among birds which forage in distant offshore waters, relative to those that foraged in near shore waters, in line with our predictions, but not significantly so. Conclusion Current debate has emphasized predation as the primary agent of selection driving avian life history diversification. Our results suggest that both nutrition and predation have been important selective forces in the evolution of auk and penguin EDP, and highlight the importance of considering these questions at lower taxonomic scales. We suggest that further comparative studies on lower taxonomic-level groups will continue to constructively inform the debate on evolutionary

  13. Interactive effects of pesticide exposure and habitat structure on behavior and predation of a marine larval fish.

    PubMed

    Renick, Violet Compton; Anderson, Todd W; Morgan, Steven G; Cherr, Gary N

    2015-03-01

    Coastal development has generated multiple stressors in marine and estuarine ecosystems, including habitat degradation and pollutant exposure, but the effects of these stressors on the ecology of fishes remain poorly understood. We studied the separate and combined effects of an acute 4 h sublethal exposure of the pyrethroid pesticide esfenvalerate and structural habitat complexity on behavior and predation risk of larval topsmelt (Atherinops affinis). Larvae were exposed to four nominal esfenvalerate concentrations (control, 0.12, 0.59, 1.18 μg/L), before placement into 12 L mesocosms with a three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) predator. Five treatments of artificial eelgrass included a (1) uniform and (2) patchy distribution of eelgrass at a low density (500 shoots per m(2)), a (3) uniform and (4) patchy distribution of eelgrass at a high density (1,000 shoots per m(2)), and (5) the absence of eelgrass. The capture success of predators and aggregative behavior of prey were observed in each mesocosm for 10 min of each trial, and mortality of prey was recorded after 60 min. Exposure to esfenvalerate increased the proportion of larvae with swimming abnormalities. Surprisingly, prey mortality did not increase linearly with pesticide exposure but increased with habitat structure (density of eelgrass), which may have been a consequence of compensating predator behavior. The degree of prey aggregation decreased with both habitat structure and pesticide exposure, suggesting that anti-predator behaviors by prey may have been hampered by the interactive effects of both of these factors.

  14. Predictive modelling of habitat selection by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L; Punt, André E; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey. We analysed contemporaneous data on the diving locations of two seabird species, the shallow-diving Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) and deeper diving Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum), and the abundance and depth distribution of their main prey, Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens). Based on this unique data set, we developed resource selection functions to test the hypothesis that the probability of seabird diving behaviour at a given location is a function of the relative abundance of prey in the upper water column. For both species, we show that the probability of diving behaviour is mostly explained by the distribution of prey at shallow depths. While the probability of diving behaviour increases sharply with prey abundance at relatively low levels of abundance, support for including abundance in addition to the depth distribution of prey is weak, suggesting that prey abundance was not a major factor determining the location of diving behaviour during the study period. The study thus highlights the importance of the depth distribution of prey for two species of seabird with different diving capabilities. The results complement previous research that points towards the importance of oceanographic processes that enhance the accessibility of prey to seabirds. The implications are that locations where prey is predictably found at accessible depths may be more important for surface foragers, such as seabirds, than locations where prey is predictably abundant. Analysis of the relative

  15. Predictive modelling of habitat selection by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L; Punt, André E; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey. We analysed contemporaneous data on the diving locations of two seabird species, the shallow-diving Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) and deeper diving Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum), and the abundance and depth distribution of their main prey, Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens). Based on this unique data set, we developed resource selection functions to test the hypothesis that the probability of seabird diving behaviour at a given location is a function of the relative abundance of prey in the upper water column. For both species, we show that the probability of diving behaviour is mostly explained by the distribution of prey at shallow depths. While the probability of diving behaviour increases sharply with prey abundance at relatively low levels of abundance, support for including abundance in addition to the depth distribution of prey is weak, suggesting that prey abundance was not a major factor determining the location of diving behaviour during the study period. The study thus highlights the importance of the depth distribution of prey for two species of seabird with different diving capabilities. The results complement previous research that points towards the importance of oceanographic processes that enhance the accessibility of prey to seabirds. The implications are that locations where prey is predictably found at accessible depths may be more important for surface foragers, such as seabirds, than locations where prey is predictably abundant. Analysis of the relative

  16. Interpopulation and context-related differences in responses of a marine gastropod to predation risk.

    PubMed

    Rochette; Maltais; Dill; Himmelman

    1999-04-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments to investigate interpopulation differences in the behavioural responses of the whelk Buccinum undatum to the predatory lobster Homarus americanus and the asteroid Leptasterias polaris, both in the absence and presence of feeding opportunities. Whelks from three populations in the eastern North Atlantic (1) responded to lobsters by displaying avoidance behaviours (burrowing in the sediments or retreating inside their shell), (2) responded to asteroids by displaying escape responses (rapid crawling, shell rocking behaviour or foot contortions), and (3) more often refrained from feeding in the presence of a lobster than in the presence of an asteroid. Although whelks from the three populations responded similarly to lobsters and asteroids, interpopulation differences were evident. Thus, whelks from populations sympatric with a given predator more frequently displayed 'appropriate' antipredator behaviours (i.e. avoidance in the presence of a lobster, and escape in the presence of an asteroid) than did whelks allopatric with that predator. Also, whelks from a population sympatric with both predators fed less readily in the presence of a given predator than did whelks allopatric with that predator. However, the presence of a lobster or an asteroid had the same impact on the feeding response of whelks from two populations with contrasting predator fields, one sympatric with lobsters, but allopatric with asteroids, and one sympatric with asteroids, but allopatric with lobsters. The results of our study indicate that coexistence (over evolutionary or ecological time) with lobsters and asteroids increases the propensity of the whelk to display avoidance and escape behaviours in the presence of lobsters and asteroids, respectively, but has a less predictable effect on how whelks trade off predation risk and food acquisition. Studies are needed to investigate the roles of inheritance and experience on the development of antipredator

  17. Marine animal behaviour: neglecting ocean currents can lead us up the wrong track

    PubMed Central

    Gaspar, Philippe; Georges, Jean-Yves; Fossette, Sabrina; Lenoble, Arnaud; Ferraroli, Sandra; Le Maho, Yvon

    2006-01-01

    Tracks of marine animals in the wild, now increasingly acquired by electronic tagging of individuals, are of prime interest not only to identify habitats and high-risk areas, but also to gain detailed information about the behaviour of these animals. Using recent satellite-derived current estimates and leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) tracking data, we demonstrate that oceanic currents, usually neglected when analysing tracking data, can substantially distort the observed trajectories. Consequently, this will affect several important results deduced from the analysis of tracking data, such as the evaluation of the orientation skills and the energy budget of animals or the identification of foraging areas. We conclude that currents should be systematically taken into account to ensure the unbiased interpretation of tracking data, which now play a major role in marine conservation biology. PMID:17015330

  18. Earth-moon mass ratio from Mariner 9 radio tracking data.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, S. K.; Reinbold, S. J.

    1973-01-01

    The phase-coherent range and Doppler tracking data obtained as a basis for the navigation of the Mariner 9 spacecraft from earth to Mars determine also the earth-moon mass ratio. As the earth revolves about the center of mass of the earth-moon system, a sinusoidal curve is impressed on the range and Doppler tracking data with a frequency equal to the sidereal mean motion of the moon. The mass ratio was determined from range and Doppler data obtained over a period of 15 weeks. The results from the Mariner Mars 1971 data are presented in a table together with previous results obtained in connection with other spacecraft.

  19. Applying IR Tomo PIV and 3D Organism Tracking to Study Turbulence Effects on Oceanic Predator-Prey Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, Deepak; Hallberg, Michael; Gemmell, Brad; Longmire, Ellen; Buskey, Edward

    2012-11-01

    The behavorial response of aquatic predators and prey depends strongly on the surrounding fluid motion. We present a facility and non-intrusive instrumentation system designed to quantify the motions associated with interactions between small coral reef fish (blennies) and evasive zooplankton prey (copepod) subject to various flow disturbances. A recirculating water channel facility is driven by a paddlewheel to prevent damaging the zooplankton located throughout the channel. Fluid velocity vectors surrounding both species are determined by time-resolved infrared tomographic PIV, while a circular Hough transform and PTV technique is used to track the fish eye in three-dimensional space. Simultaneously, zooplankton motions are detected and tracked using two additional high-speed cameras with IR filters. For capturing larger scales, a measurement volume of 80 x 40 x 18 mm is used with spatial resolution of 3.5 mm. For capturing smaller scales, particularly for observing flow near the mouth of the fish during feeding, the measurement volume is reduced to 20 × 18 × 18 mm with spatial resolution of 1.5 mm. Results will be presented for both freshwater and seawater species. Supported by NSF IDBR grant #0852875.

  20. Can Static Habitat Protection Encompass Critical Areas for Highly Mobile Marine Top Predators? Insights from Coastal East Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Jorge, Sergi; Pereira, Thalia; Corne, Chloe; Wijtten, Zeno; Omar, Mohamed; Katello, Jillo; Kinyua, Mark; Oro, Daniel; Louzao, Maite

    2015-01-01

    Along the East African coast, marine top predators are facing an increasing number of anthropogenic threats which requires the implementation of effective and urgent conservation measures to protect essential habitats. Understanding the role that habitat features play on the marine top predator’ distribution and abundance is a crucial step to evaluate the suitability of an existing Marine Protected Area (MPA), originally designated for the protection of coral reefs. We developed species distribution models (SDM) on the IUCN data deficient Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in southern Kenya. We followed a comprehensive ecological modelling approach to study the environmental factors influencing the occurrence and abundance of dolphins while developing SDMs. Through the combination of ensemble prediction maps, we defined recurrent, occasional and unfavourable habitats for the species. Our results showed the influence of dynamic and static predictors on the dolphins’ spatial ecology: dolphins may select shallow areas (5-30 m), close to the reefs (< 500 m) and oceanic fronts (< 10 km) and adjacent to the 100m isobath (< 5 km). We also predicted a significantly higher occurrence and abundance of dolphins within the MPA. Recurrent and occasional habitats were identified on large percentages on the existing MPA (47% and 57% using presence-absence and abundance models respectively). However, the MPA does not adequately encompass all occasional and recurrent areas and within this context, we propose to extend the MPA to incorporate all of them which are likely key habitats for the highly mobile species. The results from this study provide two key conservation and management tools: (i) an integrative habitat modelling approach to predict key marine habitats, and (ii) the first study evaluating the effectiveness of an existing MPA for marine mammals in the Western Indian Ocean. PMID:26186438

  1. Foraging parameters influencing the detection and interpretation of area-restricted search behaviour in marine predators: a case study with the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Sommerfeld, Julia; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Garthe, Stefan; Hindell, Mark A

    2013-01-01

    Identification of Area-restricted search (ARS) behaviour is used to better understand foraging movements and strategies of marine predators. Track-based descriptive analyses are commonly used to detect ARS behaviour, but they may be biased by factors such as foraging trip duration or non-foraging behaviours (i.e. resting on the water). Using first-passage time analysis we tested if (I) daylight resting at the sea surface positions falsely increase the detection of ARS behaviour and (II) short foraging trips are less likely to include ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra. We further analysed whether ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas. Depth-acceleration and GPS-loggers were simultaneously deployed on chick-rearing adults to obtain (1) location data every 4 minutes and (2) detailed foraging activity such as diving rates, time spent sitting on the water surface and in flight. In 82% of 50 foraging trips, birds adopted ARS behaviour. In 19.3% of 57 detected ARS zones, birds spent more than 70% of total ARS duration resting on the water, suggesting that these ARS zones were falsely detected. Based on generalized linear mixed models, the probability of detecting false ARS zones was 80%. False ARS zones mostly occurred during short trips in close proximity to the colony, with low or no diving activity. This demonstrates the need to account for resting on the water surface positions in marine animals when determining ARS behaviour based on foraging locations. Dive rates were positively correlated with trip duration and the probability of ARS behaviour increased with increasing number of dives, suggesting that the adoption of ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies is linked to enhanced foraging activity. We conclude that ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas in this species.

  2. Foraging parameters influencing the detection and interpretation of area-restricted search behaviour in marine predators: a case study with the masked booby.

    PubMed

    Sommerfeld, Julia; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Garthe, Stefan; Hindell, Mark A

    2013-01-01

    Identification of Area-restricted search (ARS) behaviour is used to better understand foraging movements and strategies of marine predators. Track-based descriptive analyses are commonly used to detect ARS behaviour, but they may be biased by factors such as foraging trip duration or non-foraging behaviours (i.e. resting on the water). Using first-passage time analysis we tested if (I) daylight resting at the sea surface positions falsely increase the detection of ARS behaviour and (II) short foraging trips are less likely to include ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra. We further analysed whether ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas. Depth-acceleration and GPS-loggers were simultaneously deployed on chick-rearing adults to obtain (1) location data every 4 minutes and (2) detailed foraging activity such as diving rates, time spent sitting on the water surface and in flight. In 82% of 50 foraging trips, birds adopted ARS behaviour. In 19.3% of 57 detected ARS zones, birds spent more than 70% of total ARS duration resting on the water, suggesting that these ARS zones were falsely detected. Based on generalized linear mixed models, the probability of detecting false ARS zones was 80%. False ARS zones mostly occurred during short trips in close proximity to the colony, with low or no diving activity. This demonstrates the need to account for resting on the water surface positions in marine animals when determining ARS behaviour based on foraging locations. Dive rates were positively correlated with trip duration and the probability of ARS behaviour increased with increasing number of dives, suggesting that the adoption of ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies is linked to enhanced foraging activity. We conclude that ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas in this species. PMID:23717471

  3. Foraging Parameters Influencing the Detection and Interpretation of Area-Restricted Search Behaviour in Marine Predators: A Case Study with the Masked Booby

    PubMed Central

    Sommerfeld, Julia; Kato, Akiko; Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Garthe, Stefan; Hindell, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    Identification of Area-restricted search (ARS) behaviour is used to better understand foraging movements and strategies of marine predators. Track-based descriptive analyses are commonly used to detect ARS behaviour, but they may be biased by factors such as foraging trip duration or non-foraging behaviours (i.e. resting on the water). Using first-passage time analysis we tested if (I) daylight resting at the sea surface positions falsely increase the detection of ARS behaviour and (II) short foraging trips are less likely to include ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra. We further analysed whether ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas. Depth-acceleration and GPS-loggers were simultaneously deployed on chick-rearing adults to obtain (1) location data every 4 minutes and (2) detailed foraging activity such as diving rates, time spent sitting on the water surface and in flight. In 82% of 50 foraging trips, birds adopted ARS behaviour. In 19.3% of 57 detected ARS zones, birds spent more than 70% of total ARS duration resting on the water, suggesting that these ARS zones were falsely detected. Based on generalized linear mixed models, the probability of detecting false ARS zones was 80%. False ARS zones mostly occurred during short trips in close proximity to the colony, with low or no diving activity. This demonstrates the need to account for resting on the water surface positions in marine animals when determining ARS behaviour based on foraging locations. Dive rates were positively correlated with trip duration and the probability of ARS behaviour increased with increasing number of dives, suggesting that the adoption of ARS behaviour in Masked Boobies is linked to enhanced foraging activity. We conclude that ARS behaviour may be used as a proxy to identify important feeding areas in this species. PMID:23717471

  4. Combined climate- and prey-mediated range expansion of Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), a large marine predator in the California Current System.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Julia S; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Byrnes, Jarrett E K; Foley, David G; Gilly, William F; Robison, Bruce H; Field, John C

    2014-06-01

    Climate-driven range shifts are ongoing in pelagic marine environments, and ecosystems must respond to combined effects of altered species distributions and environmental drivers. Hypoxic oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in midwater environments are shoaling globally; this can affect distributions of species both geographically and vertically along with predator-prey dynamics. Humboldt (jumbo) squid (Dosidicus gigas) are highly migratory predators adapted to hypoxic conditions that may be deleterious to their competitors and predators. Consequently, OMZ shoaling may preferentially facilitate foraging opportunities for Humboldt squid. With two separate modeling approaches using unique, long-term data based on in situ observations of predator, prey, and environmental variables, our analyses suggest that Humboldt squid are indirectly affected by OMZ shoaling through effects on a primary food source, myctophid fishes. Our results suggest that this indirect linkage between hypoxia and foraging is an important driver of the ongoing range expansion of Humboldt squid in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

  5. Lévy flight movement patterns in marine predators may derive from turbulence cues.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, A M

    2014-11-01

    The Lévy-flight foraging hypothesis states that because Lévy flights can optimize search efficiencies, natural selection should have led to adaptations for Lévy flight foraging. Some of the strongest evidence for this hypothesis has come from telemetry data for sharks, bony fish, sea turtles and penguins. Here, I show that the programming for these Lévy movement patterns does not need to be very sophisticated or clever on the predator's part, as these movement patterns would arise naturally if the predators change their direction of travel only after encountering patches of relatively strong turbulence (a seemingly natural response to buffeting). This is established with the aid of kinematic simulations of three-dimensional turbulence. Lévy flights movement patterns are predicted to arise in all but the most quiescent of oceanic waters. PMID:25383027

  6. Lévy flight movement patterns in marine predators may derive from turbulence cues

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, A. M.

    2014-01-01

    The Lévy-flight foraging hypothesis states that because Lévy flights can optimize search efficiencies, natural selection should have led to adaptations for Lévy flight foraging. Some of the strongest evidence for this hypothesis has come from telemetry data for sharks, bony fish, sea turtles and penguins. Here, I show that the programming for these Lévy movement patterns does not need to be very sophisticated or clever on the predator's part, as these movement patterns would arise naturally if the predators change their direction of travel only after encountering patches of relatively strong turbulence (a seemingly natural response to buffeting). This is established with the aid of kinematic simulations of three-dimensional turbulence. Lévy flights movement patterns are predicted to arise in all but the most quiescent of oceanic waters. PMID:25383027

  7. Acoustic telemetry and network analysis reveal the space use of multiple reef predators and enhance marine protected area design.

    PubMed

    Lea, James S E; Humphries, Nicolas E; von Brandis, Rainer G; Clarke, Christopher R; Sims, David W

    2016-07-13

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are commonly employed to protect ecosystems from threats like overfishing. Ideally, MPA design should incorporate movement data from multiple target species to ensure sufficient habitat is protected. We used long-term acoustic telemetry and network analysis to determine the fine-scale space use of five shark and one turtle species at a remote atoll in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean, and evaluate the efficacy of a proposed MPA. Results revealed strong, species-specific habitat use in both sharks and turtles, with corresponding variation in MPA use. Defining the MPA's boundary from the edge of the reef flat at low tide instead of the beach at high tide (the current best in Seychelles) significantly increased the MPA's coverage of predator movements by an average of 34%. Informed by these results, the larger MPA was adopted by the Seychelles government, demonstrating how telemetry data can improve shark spatial conservation by affecting policy directly. PMID:27412274

  8. Aerobic metabolism of the anglerfish Melanocetus johnsoni, a deep-pelagic marine sit-and-wait predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowles, David L.; Childress, James J.

    1995-09-01

    Melanocetus johnsoni (Teleostei:Melanocetidae), a bathypelagic marine sit-and-wait predatory fish captured off Hawaii, has an average aerobic metabolism of 0.486 μmol OZ g -1 h',a rate much lower than that of more active species from similar depths but similar to that of other sit-and-wait predators. Larger individuals have a lower mass-specific metabolic rate than do small ones (the slope of the allometric relationship between wet mass and mass-specific metabolism is -0.46). This species, a resident of the oxygen minimum layer, is capable of regulating its oxygen consumption down to the lowest oxygen pressures encountered in its environment off Hawaii, and can also survive for hours under severely hypoxic or anaerobic conditions.

  9. Acoustic telemetry and network analysis reveal the space use of multiple reef predators and enhance marine protected area design.

    PubMed

    Lea, James S E; Humphries, Nicolas E; von Brandis, Rainer G; Clarke, Christopher R; Sims, David W

    2016-07-13

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are commonly employed to protect ecosystems from threats like overfishing. Ideally, MPA design should incorporate movement data from multiple target species to ensure sufficient habitat is protected. We used long-term acoustic telemetry and network analysis to determine the fine-scale space use of five shark and one turtle species at a remote atoll in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean, and evaluate the efficacy of a proposed MPA. Results revealed strong, species-specific habitat use in both sharks and turtles, with corresponding variation in MPA use. Defining the MPA's boundary from the edge of the reef flat at low tide instead of the beach at high tide (the current best in Seychelles) significantly increased the MPA's coverage of predator movements by an average of 34%. Informed by these results, the larger MPA was adopted by the Seychelles government, demonstrating how telemetry data can improve shark spatial conservation by affecting policy directly.

  10. Integrative modelling of animal movement: incorporating in situ habitat and behavioural information for a migratory marine predator.

    PubMed

    Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Hindell, Mark A; Guinet, Christophe; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental goal in animal ecology is to quantify how environmental (and other) factors influence individual movement, as this is key to understanding responsiveness of populations to future change. However, quantitative interpretation of individual-based telemetry data is hampered by the complexity of, and error within, these multi-dimensional data. Here, we present an integrative hierarchical Bayesian state-space modelling approach where, for the first time, the mechanistic process model for the movement state of animals directly incorporates both environmental and other behavioural information, and observation and process model parameters are estimated within a single model. When applied to a migratory marine predator, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), we find the switch from directed to resident movement state was associated with colder water temperatures, relatively short dive bottom time and rapid descent rates. The approach presented here can have widespread utility for quantifying movement-behaviour (diving or other)-environment relationships across species and systems. PMID:23135676

  11. Tracking long-distance migration to assess marine pollution impact

    PubMed Central

    Montevecchi, William; Fifield, David; Burke, Chantelle; Garthe, Stefan; Hedd, April; Rail, Jean-François; Robertson, Gregory

    2012-01-01

    Animal tracking provides new means to assess far-reaching environmental impacts. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, a long-distance migrant, the northern gannet (Morus bassanus) suffered the highest oiling among beach-wrecked birds recovered. Analysis of bird-borne tracking data indicated that 25 per cent of their North American population from multiple colonies in eastern Canada migrated to the pollution zone. Findings contrasted sharply with available mark-recapture (band recovery) data. The timing of movement into and out of the Gulf indicates that immature birds would have absorbed most oil-induced mortality. Consequently, one of two outcomes is likely: either a lagged (likely difficult to assess) population decrease, or an undetectable population response buffered by age-related life-history adaptations. Tracking research is especially useful when little information on animal distributions in pollution zones is available, as is the case in the Gulf of Mexico. Ongoing research highlights current risks and conservation concerns. PMID:22012949

  12. Extraordinarily high spider densities on islands: flow of energy from the marine to terrestrial food webs and the absence of predation.

    PubMed Central

    Polis, G A; Hurd, S D

    1995-01-01

    Some islands in the Gulf of California support very high densities of spiders. Spider density is negatively correlated with island size; many small islands support 50-200 spiders per m3 of cactus. Energy for these spiders comes primarily from the ocean and not from in situ productivity by land plants. We explicitly connect the marine and terrestrial systems to show that insular food webs represent one endpoint of the marine web. We describe two conduits for marine energy entering these islands: shore drift and seabird colonies. Both conduits are related to island area, having a much stronger effect on smaller islands. This asymmetric effect helps to explain the exceptionally high spider densities on small islands. Although productivity sets the maximal potential densities, predation (by scorpions) limits realized spider abundance. Thus, prey availability and predation act in concert to set insular spider abundance. PMID:7753815

  13. Drivers of Daily Routines in an Ectothermic Marine Predator: Hunt Warm, Rest Warmer?

    PubMed Central

    Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; Watanabe, Yuuki Y.; Bradley, Darcy; Dee, Laura E.; Weng, Kevin; Lowe, Christopher G.; Caselle, Jennifer E.

    2015-01-01

    Animal daily routines represent a compromise between maximizing foraging success and optimizing physiological performance, while minimizing the risk of predation. For ectothermic predators, ambient temperature may also influence daily routines through its effects on physiological performance. Temperatures can fluctuate significantly over the diel cycle and ectotherms may synchronize behaviour to match thermal regimes in order to optimize fitness. We used bio-logging to quantify activity and body temperature of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) at a tropical atoll. Behavioural observations were used to concurrently measure bite rates in herbivorous reef fishes, as an index of activity for potential diurnal prey. Sharks showed early evening peaks in activity, particularly during ebbing high tides, while body temperatures peaked several hours prior to the period of maximal activity. Herbivores also displayed peaks in activity several hours earlier than the peaks in shark activity. Sharks appeared to be least active while their body temperatures were highest and most active while temperatures were cooling, although we hypothesize that due to thermal inertia they were still warmer than their smaller prey during this period. Sharks may be most active during early evening periods as they have a sensory advantage under low light conditions and/or a thermal advantage over cooler prey. Sharks swam into shallow water during daytime low tide periods potentially to warm up and increase rates of digestion before the nocturnal activity period, which may be a strategy to maximize ingestion rates. “Hunt warm, rest warmer” may help explain the early evening activity seen in other ectothermic predators. PMID:26061229

  14. Predator-induced behavioral and morphological plasticity in the tropical marine Gastropod Strombus gigas.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Gabriel A; Glazer, Robert A; Stewart, Nicola J

    2002-08-01

    Florida queen conch stocks once supported a significant fishery, but overfishing prompted the state of Florida to institute a harvest moratorium in 1985. Despite the closure of the fishery, the queen conch population has been slow to recover. One method used in the efforts to restore the Florida conch population has been to release hatchery-reared juvenile conch into the wild; however, suboptimal predator avoidance responses and lighter shell weights relative to their wild counterparts have been implicated in the high mortality rates of released hatchery juveniles. We conducted a series of experiments in which hatchery-reared juvenile conch were exposed to a predator, the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), to determine whether they could develop behavioral and morphological characteristics that would improve survival. Experiments were conducted in tanks with a calcareous sand substrate to simulate a natural environment. Conditioned conch were exposed to caged lobsters while conch in the control tanks were exposed to empty cages. Conditioned conch moved significantly less and buried themselves more frequently than the naive control conch. Morphometric data indicated that the conditioned conch grew at a significantly slower rate than the naive conch, but the shell weights of the two groups were not significantly different. This implies that the conditioned conch had thicker or denser shells than the control group. As a result, the conditioned conch had significantly higher survival than naive conch in a subsequent predation experiment in which a lobster was allowed to roam free in each tank for 24 hours. In the future, the conditioning protocols documented in this study will be used to increase the survival of hatchery-reared conch in the wild. PMID:12200261

  15. Drivers of Daily Routines in an Ectothermic Marine Predator: Hunt Warm, Rest Warmer?

    PubMed

    Papastamatiou, Yannis P; Watanabe, Yuuki Y; Bradley, Darcy; Dee, Laura E; Weng, Kevin; Lowe, Christopher G; Caselle, Jennifer E

    2015-01-01

    Animal daily routines represent a compromise between maximizing foraging success and optimizing physiological performance, while minimizing the risk of predation. For ectothermic predators, ambient temperature may also influence daily routines through its effects on physiological performance. Temperatures can fluctuate significantly over the diel cycle and ectotherms may synchronize behaviour to match thermal regimes in order to optimize fitness. We used bio-logging to quantify activity and body temperature of blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) at a tropical atoll. Behavioural observations were used to concurrently measure bite rates in herbivorous reef fishes, as an index of activity for potential diurnal prey. Sharks showed early evening peaks in activity, particularly during ebbing high tides, while body temperatures peaked several hours prior to the period of maximal activity. Herbivores also displayed peaks in activity several hours earlier than the peaks in shark activity. Sharks appeared to be least active while their body temperatures were highest and most active while temperatures were cooling, although we hypothesize that due to thermal inertia they were still warmer than their smaller prey during this period. Sharks may be most active during early evening periods as they have a sensory advantage under low light conditions and/or a thermal advantage over cooler prey. Sharks swam into shallow water during daytime low tide periods potentially to warm up and increase rates of digestion before the nocturnal activity period, which may be a strategy to maximize ingestion rates. "Hunt warm, rest warmer" may help explain the early evening activity seen in other ectothermic predators. PMID:26061229

  16. Predator-induced behavioral and morphological plasticity in the tropical marine Gastropod Strombus gigas.

    PubMed

    Delgado, Gabriel A; Glazer, Robert A; Stewart, Nicola J

    2002-08-01

    Florida queen conch stocks once supported a significant fishery, but overfishing prompted the state of Florida to institute a harvest moratorium in 1985. Despite the closure of the fishery, the queen conch population has been slow to recover. One method used in the efforts to restore the Florida conch population has been to release hatchery-reared juvenile conch into the wild; however, suboptimal predator avoidance responses and lighter shell weights relative to their wild counterparts have been implicated in the high mortality rates of released hatchery juveniles. We conducted a series of experiments in which hatchery-reared juvenile conch were exposed to a predator, the spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), to determine whether they could develop behavioral and morphological characteristics that would improve survival. Experiments were conducted in tanks with a calcareous sand substrate to simulate a natural environment. Conditioned conch were exposed to caged lobsters while conch in the control tanks were exposed to empty cages. Conditioned conch moved significantly less and buried themselves more frequently than the naive control conch. Morphometric data indicated that the conditioned conch grew at a significantly slower rate than the naive conch, but the shell weights of the two groups were not significantly different. This implies that the conditioned conch had thicker or denser shells than the control group. As a result, the conditioned conch had significantly higher survival than naive conch in a subsequent predation experiment in which a lobster was allowed to roam free in each tank for 24 hours. In the future, the conditioning protocols documented in this study will be used to increase the survival of hatchery-reared conch in the wild.

  17. Thermal regime, predation danger and the early marine exit of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka.

    PubMed

    Katinic, P J; Patterson, D A; Ydenberg, R C

    2015-01-01

    Marine exit timing of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka populations on the Haida Gwaii Archipelago, British Columbia, Canada, is described, with specific focus on Copper Creek. Marine exit in Copper Creek occurs > 130 days prior to spawning, one of the longest adult freshwater residence periods recorded for any O. nerka population. Copper Creek presents an easy upstream migration, with mild water temperatures (7 to 14°  C), short distance (13·1 km) and low elevation gain (41 m) to the lake where fish hold prior to spawning. An energetic model estimates that <1% of the initial energy reserve is required for upstream migration, compared with 62% for lake holding and 38% for reproductive development. Historical records suggest that it is unlikely that water temperature in any of the O.nerka streams in Haida Gwaii has ever exceeded the presumed temperature threshold (19° C) for early marine exit. Although it is not impossible that the thermal tolerance of Copper Creek O.nerka is very low, the data presented here appear inconsistent with thermal avoidance as an explanation for the early marine exit timing in Copper Creek and in three other populations on the archipelago with early marine exit. PMID:25494933

  18. Encounter success of free-ranging marine predator movements across a dynamic prey landscape

    PubMed Central

    Sims, David W; Witt, Matthew J; Richardson, Anthony J; Southall, Emily J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2006-01-01

    Movements of wide-ranging top predators can now be studied effectively using satellite and archival telemetry. However, the motivations underlying movements remain difficult to determine because trajectories are seldom related to key biological gradients, such as changing prey distributions. Here, we use a dynamic prey landscape of zooplankton biomass in the north-east Atlantic Ocean to examine active habitat selection in the plankton-feeding basking shark Cetorhinus maximus. The relative success of shark searches across this landscape was examined by comparing prey biomass encountered by sharks with encounters by random-walk simulations of ‘model’ sharks. Movements of transmitter-tagged sharks monitored for 964 days (16 754 km estimated minimum distance) were concentrated on the European continental shelf in areas characterized by high seasonal productivity and complex prey distributions. We show movements by adult and sub-adult sharks yielded consistently higher prey encounter rates than 90% of random-walk simulations. Behavioural patterns were consistent with basking sharks using search tactics structured across multiple scales to exploit the richest prey areas available in preferred habitats. Simple behavioural rules based on learned responses to previously encountered prey distributions may explain the high performances. This study highlights how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection in large predators to be investigated from a trophic perspective, an approach that may inform conservation by identifying critical habitat of vulnerable species. PMID:16720391

  19. Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intraspecific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steve; Choy, Emily S; Loseto, Lisa L; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Individual specialization (IS), where individuals within populations irrespective of age, sex, and body size are either specialized or generalized in terms of resource use, has implications on ecological niches and food web structure. Niche size and degree of IS of near-top trophic-level marine predators have been little studied in polar regions or with latitude. We quantified the large-scale latitudinal variation of population- and individual-level niche size and IS in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on 379 paired ringed seal liver and muscle samples and 124 paired beluga skin and muscle samples from eight locations ranging from the low to high Arctic. We characterized both within- and between-individual variation in predator niche size at each location as well as accounting for spatial differences in the isotopic ranges of potential prey. Total isotopic niche width (TINW) for populations of ringed seals and beluga decreased with increasing latitude. Higher TINW values were associated with greater ecological opportunity (i.e., prey diversity) in the prey fish community which mainly consists of Capelin (Mallotus villosus) and Sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) at lower latitudes and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) at high latitudes. In beluga, their dietary consistency between tissues also known as the within-individual component (WIC) increased in a near 1:1 ratio with TINW (slope = 0.84), suggesting dietary generalization, whereas the slope (0.18) of WIC relative to TINW in ringed seals indicated a high degree of individual specialization in ringed seal populations with higher TINWs. Our findings highlight the differences in TINW and level of IS for ringed seals and beluga relative to latitude as a likely response to large-scale spatial variation in ecological opportunity, suggesting species-specific variation in dietary plasticity to spatial differences in prey resources and

  20. History of expansion and anthropogenic collapse in a top marine predator of the Black Sea estimated from genetic data.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Michaël C; Snirc, Alodie; Frantzis, Alexandros; Koutrakis, Emmanuil; Oztürk, Bayram; Oztürk, Ayaka A; Austerlitz, Fréderic

    2012-09-18

    Two major ecological transitions marked the history of the Black Sea after the last Ice Age. The first was the postglacial transition from a brackish-water to a marine ecosystem dominated by porpoises and dolphins once this basin was reconnected back to the Mediterranean Sea (ca. 8,000 y B.P.). The second occurred during the past decades, when overfishing and hunting activities brought these predators close to extinction, having a deep impact on the structure and dynamics of the ecosystem. Estimating the extent of this decimation is essential for characterizing this ecosystem's dynamics and for formulating restoration plans. However, this extent is poorly documented in historical records. We addressed this issue for one of the main Black Sea predators, the harbor porpoise, using a population genetics approach. Analyzing its genetic diversity using an approximate Bayesian computation approach, we show that only a demographic expansion (at most 5,000 y ago) followed by a contemporaneous population collapse can explain the observed genetic data. We demonstrate that both the postglacial settlement of harbor porpoises in the Black Sea and the recent anthropogenic activities have left a clear footprint on their genetic diversity. Specifically, we infer a strong population reduction (~90%) that occurred within the past 5 decades, which can therefore clearly be related to the recent massive killing of small cetaceans and to the continuing incidental catches in commercial fisheries. Our study thus provides a quantitative assessment of these demographically catastrophic events, also showing that two separate historical events can be inferred from contemporary genetic data. PMID:22949646

  1. History of expansion and anthropogenic collapse in a top marine predator of the Black Sea estimated from genetic data.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Michaël C; Snirc, Alodie; Frantzis, Alexandros; Koutrakis, Emmanuil; Oztürk, Bayram; Oztürk, Ayaka A; Austerlitz, Fréderic

    2012-09-18

    Two major ecological transitions marked the history of the Black Sea after the last Ice Age. The first was the postglacial transition from a brackish-water to a marine ecosystem dominated by porpoises and dolphins once this basin was reconnected back to the Mediterranean Sea (ca. 8,000 y B.P.). The second occurred during the past decades, when overfishing and hunting activities brought these predators close to extinction, having a deep impact on the structure and dynamics of the ecosystem. Estimating the extent of this decimation is essential for characterizing this ecosystem's dynamics and for formulating restoration plans. However, this extent is poorly documented in historical records. We addressed this issue for one of the main Black Sea predators, the harbor porpoise, using a population genetics approach. Analyzing its genetic diversity using an approximate Bayesian computation approach, we show that only a demographic expansion (at most 5,000 y ago) followed by a contemporaneous population collapse can explain the observed genetic data. We demonstrate that both the postglacial settlement of harbor porpoises in the Black Sea and the recent anthropogenic activities have left a clear footprint on their genetic diversity. Specifically, we infer a strong population reduction (~90%) that occurred within the past 5 decades, which can therefore clearly be related to the recent massive killing of small cetaceans and to the continuing incidental catches in commercial fisheries. Our study thus provides a quantitative assessment of these demographically catastrophic events, also showing that two separate historical events can be inferred from contemporary genetic data.

  2. Latitudinal variation in ecological opportunity and intraspecific competition indicates differences in niche variability and diet specialization of Arctic marine predators.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steve; Choy, Emily S; Loseto, Lisa L; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Individual specialization (IS), where individuals within populations irrespective of age, sex, and body size are either specialized or generalized in terms of resource use, has implications on ecological niches and food web structure. Niche size and degree of IS of near-top trophic-level marine predators have been little studied in polar regions or with latitude. We quantified the large-scale latitudinal variation of population- and individual-level niche size and IS in ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on 379 paired ringed seal liver and muscle samples and 124 paired beluga skin and muscle samples from eight locations ranging from the low to high Arctic. We characterized both within- and between-individual variation in predator niche size at each location as well as accounting for spatial differences in the isotopic ranges of potential prey. Total isotopic niche width (TINW) for populations of ringed seals and beluga decreased with increasing latitude. Higher TINW values were associated with greater ecological opportunity (i.e., prey diversity) in the prey fish community which mainly consists of Capelin (Mallotus villosus) and Sand lance (Ammodytes sp.) at lower latitudes and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) at high latitudes. In beluga, their dietary consistency between tissues also known as the within-individual component (WIC) increased in a near 1:1 ratio with TINW (slope = 0.84), suggesting dietary generalization, whereas the slope (0.18) of WIC relative to TINW in ringed seals indicated a high degree of individual specialization in ringed seal populations with higher TINWs. Our findings highlight the differences in TINW and level of IS for ringed seals and beluga relative to latitude as a likely response to large-scale spatial variation in ecological opportunity, suggesting species-specific variation in dietary plasticity to spatial differences in prey resources and

  3. Efficient tools for marine operational forecast and oil spill tracking.

    PubMed

    Marta-Almeida, Martinho; Ruiz-Villarreal, Manuel; Pereira, Janini; Otero, Pablo; Cirano, Mauro; Zhang, Xiaoqian; Hetland, Robert D

    2013-06-15

    Ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling and tracking are complex activities requiring specialised institutions. In this work we present a lighter solution based on the Operational Ocean Forecast Python Engine (OOFε) and the oil spill model General NOAA Operational Modelling Environment (GNOME). These two are robust relocatable and simple to implement and maintain. Implementations of the operational engine in three different regions with distinct oceanic systems, using the ocean model Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS), are described, namely the Galician region, the southeastern Brazilian waters and the Texas-Louisiana shelf. GNOME was able to simulate the fate of the Prestige oil spill (Galicia) and compared well with observations of the Krimsk accident (Texas). Scenarios of hypothetical spills in Campos Basin (Brazil) are illustrated, evidencing the sensitiveness to the dynamical system. OOFε and GNOME are proved to be valuable, efficient and low cost tools and can be seen as an intermediate stage towards more complex operational implementations of ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling strategies. PMID:23643409

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Spaceborne Sensors Track Marine Debris Circulation in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reahard, Ross; Mitchell, Brandie; Lee, Lucas; Pezold, Blaise; Brook, Chris; Mallett, Candis; Barrett, Shelby; Albin, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    Marine debris is a problem for coastal areas throughout the world, including the Gulf of Mexico. To aid the NOAA Marine Debris Program in monitoring marine debris dispersal and regulating marine debris practices, sea surface height and height anomaly data provided by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, were utilized to help assess trash and other discarded items that routinely wash ashore in southeastern Texas, at Padre Island National Seashore. These data were generated from the NASA radar altimeter satellites TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason 1, and Jason 2, as well as the European altimeter satellites ERS-1, ERS-2 (European Remote Sensing Satellite), and ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite). Sea surface temperature data from MODIS were used to study of the dynamics of the Loop Current. Sea surface height and MODIS data analysis were used to show that warm water in the core of eddies, which periodically separate from the Loop Current, can be as high as 30 cm above the surrounding water. These eddies are known to directly transfer marine debris to the western continental shelf and the elevated area of water can be tracked using satellite radar altimeter data. Additionally, using sea surface height, geostrophic velocity, and particle path data, foretracking and backtracking simulations were created. These simulation runs demonstrated that marine debris on Padre Island National Seashore may arise from a variety of sources, such as commercial fishing/shrimping, the oil and gas industry, recreational boaters, and from rivers that empty into the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. A DNA-based method for identification of krill species and its application to analysing the diet of marine vertebrate predators.

    PubMed

    Jarman, S N; Gales, N J; Tierney, M; Gill, P C; Elliott, N G

    2002-12-01

    Accurate identification of species that are consumed by vertebrate predators is necessary for understanding marine food webs. Morphological methods for identifying prey components after consumption often fail to make accurate identifications of invertebrates because prey morphology becomes damaged during capture, ingestion and digestion. Another disadvantage of morphological methods for prey identification is that they often involve sampling procedures that are disruptive for the predator, such as stomach flushing or lethal collection. We have developed a DNA-based method for identifying species of krill (Crustacea: Malacostraca), an enormously abundant group of invertebrates that are directly consumed by many groups of marine vertebrates. The DNA-based approach allows identification of krill species present in samples of vertebrate stomach contents, vomit, and, more importantly, faeces. Utilizing samples of faeces from vertebrate predators minimizes the impact of dietary studies on the subject animals. We demonstrate our method first on samples of Adelie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) stomach contents, where DNA-based species identification can be confirmed by prey morphology. We then apply the method to faeces of Adelie penguins and to faeces of the endangered pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda). In each of these cases, krill species consumed by the predators could be identified from their DNA present in faeces or stomach contents.

  8. Environmental context explains Lévy and Brownian movement patterns of marine predators.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Nicolas E; Queiroz, Nuno; Dyer, Jennifer R M; Pade, Nicolas G; Musyl, Michael K; Schaefer, Kurt M; Fuller, Daniel W; Brunnschweiler, Juerg M; Doyle, Thomas K; Houghton, Jonathan D R; Hays, Graeme C; Jones, Catherine S; Noble, Leslie R; Wearmouth, Victoria J; Southall, Emily J; Sims, David W

    2010-06-24

    An optimal search theory, the so-called Lévy-flight foraging hypothesis, predicts that predators should adopt search strategies known as Lévy flights where prey is sparse and distributed unpredictably, but that Brownian movement is sufficiently efficient for locating abundant prey. Empirical studies have generated controversy because the accuracy of statistical methods that have been used to identify Lévy behaviour has recently been questioned. Consequently, whether foragers exhibit Lévy flights in the wild remains unclear. Crucially, moreover, it has not been tested whether observed movement patterns across natural landscapes having different expected resource distributions conform to the theory's central predictions. Here we use maximum-likelihood methods to test for Lévy patterns in relation to environmental gradients in the largest animal movement data set assembled for this purpose. Strong support was found for Lévy search patterns across 14 species of open-ocean predatory fish (sharks, tuna, billfish and ocean sunfish), with some individuals switching between Lévy and Brownian movement as they traversed different habitat types. We tested the spatial occurrence of these two principal patterns and found Lévy behaviour to be associated with less productive waters (sparser prey) and Brownian movements to be associated with productive shelf or convergence-front habitats (abundant prey). These results are consistent with the Lévy-flight foraging hypothesis, supporting the contention that organism search strategies naturally evolved in such a way that they exploit optimal Lévy patterns.

  9. Tracking Three-Dimensional Fish Behavior with a New Marine Acoustic Telemetry System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brosnan, Ian G.; McGarry, Louise P.; Greene, Charles H.; Steig, Tracey W.; Johnston, Samuel V.; Ehrenberg, John E.

    2015-01-01

    The persistent monitoring capability provided by acoustic telemetry systems allows us to study behavior, movement, and resource selection of mobile marine animals. Current marine acoustic telemetry systems are challenged by localization errors and limits in the number of animals that can be tracked simultaneously. We designed a new system to provide detection ranges of up to 1 km, to reduce localization errors to less than 1 m, and to increase to 500 the number of unique tags simultaneously tracked. The design builds on HTIs experience of more than a decade developing acoustic telemetry systems for freshwater environments. A field trial of the prototype system was conducted at the University of Washingtons Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory (Friday Harbor, WA). Copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) were selected for field trials of this new system because their high site-fidelity and small home ranges provide ample opportunity to track individual fish behavior while testing our ability to characterize the movements of a species of interest to management authorities.

  10. The Impact of Predation by Marine Mammals on Patagonian Toothfish Longline Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Söffker, Marta; Trathan, Phil; Clark, James; Collins, Martin A.; Belchier, Mark; Scott, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and orcas (Orcinus orca) frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of “depredation hot spots” can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources. PMID:25738698

  11. The impact of predation by marine mammals on patagonian toothfish longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Söffker, Marta; Trathan, Phil; Clark, James; Collins, Martin A; Belchier, Mark; Scott, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and orcas (Orcinus orca) frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of "depredation hot spots" can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources.

  12. The impact of predation by marine mammals on patagonian toothfish longline fisheries.

    PubMed

    Söffker, Marta; Trathan, Phil; Clark, James; Collins, Martin A; Belchier, Mark; Scott, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Predatory interaction of marine mammals with longline fisheries is observed globally, leading to partial or complete loss of the catch and in some parts of the world to considerable financial loss. Depredation can also create additional unrecorded fishing mortality of a stock and has the potential to introduce bias to stock assessments. Here we aim to characterise depredation in the Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) fishery around South Georgia focusing on the spatio-temporal component of these interactions. Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and orcas (Orcinus orca) frequently feed on fish hooked on longlines around South Georgia. A third of longlines encounter sperm whales, but loss of catch due to sperm whales is insignificant when compared to that due to orcas, which interact with only 5% of longlines but can take more than half of the catch in some cases. Orca depredation around South Georgia is spatially limited and focused in areas of putative migration routes, and the impact is compounded as a result of the fishery also concentrating in those areas at those times. Understanding the seasonal behaviour of orcas and the spatial and temporal distribution of "depredation hot spots" can reduce marine mammal interactions, will improve assessment and management of the stock and contribute to increased operational efficiency of the fishery. Such information is valuable in the effort to resolve the human-mammal conflict for resources. PMID:25738698

  13. Influences of past climatic changes on historical population structure and demography of a cosmopolitan marine predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus).

    PubMed

    Amaral, Ana R; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Bilgmann, Kerstin; Freitas, Luís; Robertson, Kelly M; Sequeira, Marina; Stockin, Karen A; Coelho, M M; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-10-01

    Climatic oscillations during the Pleistocene have greatly influenced the distribution and connectivity of many organisms, leading to extinctions but also generating biodiversity. While the effects of such changes have been extensively studied in the terrestrial environment, studies focusing on the marine realm are still scarce. Here we used sequence data from one mitochondrial and five nuclear loci to assess the potential influence of Pleistocene climatic changes on the phylogeography and demographic history of a cosmopolitan marine predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus). Population samples representing the three major morphotypes of Delphinus were obtained from 10 oceanic regions. Our results suggest that short-beaked common dolphins are likely to have originated in the eastern Indo-Pacific Ocean during the Pleistocene and expanded into the Atlantic Ocean through the Indian Ocean. On the other hand, long-beaked common dolphins appear to have evolved more recently and independently in several oceans. Our results also suggest that short-beaked common dolphins had recurrent demographic expansions concomitant with changes in sea surface temperature during the Pleistocene and its associated increases in resource availability, which differed between the North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. By proposing how past environmental changes had an effect on the demography and speciation of a widely distributed marine mammal, we highlight the impacts that climate change may have on the distribution and abundance of marine predators and its ecological consequences for marine ecosystems.

  14. Tracking and Data System Support for the Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, E. K.; Traxler, M. R.

    1977-01-01

    The Tracking and Data System, which provided outstanding support to the Mariner Venus/Mercury 1973 project during the period from January 1970 through March 1975 are chronologically described. In the Tracking and Data System organizations, plans, processes, and technical configurations, which were developed and employed to facilitate achievement of mission objectives, are described. In the Deep Space Network position of the tracking and data system, a number of special actions were taken to greatly increase the scientific data return and to assist the project in coping with in-flight problems. The benefits of such actions were high; however, there was also a significant increase in risk as a function of the experimental equipment and procedures required.

  15. How accurately can we estimate energetic costs in a marine top predator, the king penguin?

    PubMed

    Halsey, Lewis G; Fahlman, Andreas; Handrich, Yves; Schmidt, Alexander; Woakes, Anthony J; Butler, Patrick J

    2007-01-01

    King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) are one of the greatest consumers of marine resources. However, while their influence on the marine ecosystem is likely to be significant, only an accurate knowledge of their energy demands will indicate their true food requirements. Energy consumption has been estimated for many marine species using the heart rate-rate of oxygen consumption (f(H) - V(O2)) technique, and the technique has been applied successfully to answer eco-physiological questions. However, previous studies on the energetics of king penguins, based on developing or applying this technique, have raised a number of issues about the degree of validity of the technique for this species. These include the predictive validity of the present f(H) - V(O2) equations across different seasons and individuals and during different modes of locomotion. In many cases, these issues also apply to other species for which the f(H) - V(O2) technique has been applied. In the present study, the accuracy of three prediction equations for king penguins was investigated based on validity studies and on estimates of V(O2) from published, field f(H) data. The major conclusions from the present study are: (1) in contrast to that for walking, the f(H) - V(O2) relationship for swimming king penguins is not affected by body mass; (2) prediction equation (1), log(V(O2) = -0.279 + 1.24log(f(H) + 0.0237t - 0.0157log(f(H)t, derived in a previous study, is the most suitable equation presently available for estimating V(O2) in king penguins for all locomotory and nutritional states. A number of possible problems associated with producing an f(H) - V(O2) relationship are discussed in the present study. Finally, a statistical method to include easy-to-measure morphometric characteristics, which may improve the accuracy of f(H) - V(O2) prediction equations, is explained. PMID:17363231

  16. Predation on an Upper Trophic Marine Predator, the Steller Sea Lion: Evaluating High Juvenile Mortality in a Density Dependent Conceptual Framework

    PubMed Central

    Horning, Markus; Mellish, Jo-Ann E.

    2012-01-01

    The endangered western stock of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) – the largest of the eared seals – has declined by 80% from population levels encountered four decades ago. Current overall trends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Aleutian Islands appear neutral with strong regional heterogeneities. A published inferential model has been used to hypothesize a continuous decline in natality and depressed juvenile survival during the height of the decline in the mid-late 1980's, followed by the recent recovery of juvenile survival to pre-decline rates. However, these hypotheses have not been tested by direct means, and causes underlying past and present population trajectories remain unresolved and controversial. We determined post-weaning juvenile survival and causes of mortality using data received post-mortem via satellite from telemetry transmitters implanted into 36 juvenile Steller sea lions from 2005 through 2011. Data show high post-weaning mortality by predation in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. To evaluate the impact of such high levels of predation, we developed a conceptual framework to integrate density dependent with density independent effects on vital rates and population trajectories. Our data and model do not support the hypothesized recent recovery of juvenile survival rates and reduced natality. Instead, our data demonstrate continued low juvenile survival in the Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords region of the Gulf of Alaska. Our results on contemporary predation rates combined with the density dependent conceptual framework suggest predation on juvenile sea lions as the largest impediment to recovery of the species in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. The framework also highlights the necessity for demographic models based on age-structured census data to incorporate the differential impact of predation on multiple vital rates. PMID:22272296

  17. Predation on an upper trophic marine predator, the Steller sea lion: evaluating high juvenile mortality in a density dependent conceptual framework.

    PubMed

    Horning, Markus; Mellish, Jo-Ann E

    2012-01-01

    The endangered western stock of the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus)--the largest of the eared seals--has declined by 80% from population levels encountered four decades ago. Current overall trends from the Gulf of Alaska to the Aleutian Islands appear neutral with strong regional heterogeneities. A published inferential model has been used to hypothesize a continuous decline in natality and depressed juvenile survival during the height of the decline in the mid-late 1980's, followed by the recent recovery of juvenile survival to pre-decline rates. However, these hypotheses have not been tested by direct means, and causes underlying past and present population trajectories remain unresolved and controversial. We determined post-weaning juvenile survival and causes of mortality using data received post-mortem via satellite from telemetry transmitters implanted into 36 juvenile Steller sea lions from 2005 through 2011. Data show high post-weaning mortality by predation in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. To evaluate the impact of such high levels of predation, we developed a conceptual framework to integrate density dependent with density independent effects on vital rates and population trajectories. Our data and model do not support the hypothesized recent recovery of juvenile survival rates and reduced natality. Instead, our data demonstrate continued low juvenile survival in the Prince William Sound and Kenai Fjords region of the Gulf of Alaska. Our results on contemporary predation rates combined with the density dependent conceptual framework suggest predation on juvenile sea lions as the largest impediment to recovery of the species in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region. The framework also highlights the necessity for demographic models based on age-structured census data to incorporate the differential impact of predation on multiple vital rates.

  18. A New Laboratory Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) System for Behavioural Tracking of Marine Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Sbragaglia, Valerio; Sarriá, David; García, José Antonio; Costa, Corrado; del Río, Joaquín; Mànuel, Antoni; Menesatti, Paolo; Sardà, Francesc

    2011-01-01

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices are currently used to quantify several traits of animal behaviour with potential applications for the study of marine organisms. To date, behavioural studies with marine organisms are rare because of the technical difficulty of propagating radio waves within the saltwater medium. We present a novel RFID tracking system to study the burrowing behaviour of a valuable fishery resource, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus L.). The system consists of a network of six controllers, each handling a group of seven antennas. That network was placed below a microcosm tank that recreated important features typical of Nephrops’ grounds, such as the presence of multiple burrows. The animals carried a passive transponder attached to their telson, operating at 13.56 MHz. The tracking system was implemented to concurrently report the behaviour of up to three individuals, in terms of their travelled distances in a specified unit of time and their preferential positioning within the antenna network. To do so, the controllers worked in parallel to send the antenna data to a computer via a USB connection. The tracking accuracy of the system was evaluated by concurrently recording the animals’ behaviour with automated video imaging. During the two experiments, each lasting approximately one week, two different groups of three animals each showed a variable burrow occupancy and a nocturnal displacement under a standard photoperiod regime (12 h light:12 h dark), measured using the RFID method. Similar results were obtained with the video imaging. Our implemented RFID system was therefore capable of efficiently tracking the tested organisms and has a good potential for use on a wide variety of other marine organisms of commercial, aquaculture, and ecological interest. PMID:22163710

  19. A new laboratory radio frequency identification (RFID) system for behavioural tracking of marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Aguzzi, Jacopo; Sbragaglia, Valerio; Sarriá, David; García, José Antonio; Costa, Corrado; del Río, Joaquín; Mànuel, Antoni; Menesatti, Paolo; Sardà, Francesc

    2011-01-01

    Radio frequency identification (RFID) devices are currently used to quantify several traits of animal behaviour with potential applications for the study of marine organisms. To date, behavioural studies with marine organisms are rare because of the technical difficulty of propagating radio waves within the saltwater medium. We present a novel RFID tracking system to study the burrowing behaviour of a valuable fishery resource, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus L.). The system consists of a network of six controllers, each handling a group of seven antennas. That network was placed below a microcosm tank that recreated important features typical of Nephrops' grounds, such as the presence of multiple burrows. The animals carried a passive transponder attached to their telson, operating at 13.56 MHz. The tracking system was implemented to concurrently report the behaviour of up to three individuals, in terms of their travelled distances in a specified unit of time and their preferential positioning within the antenna network. To do so, the controllers worked in parallel to send the antenna data to a computer via a USB connection. The tracking accuracy of the system was evaluated by concurrently recording the animals' behaviour with automated video imaging. During the two experiments, each lasting approximately one week, two different groups of three animals each showed a variable burrow occupancy and a nocturnal displacement under a standard photoperiod regime (12 h light:12 h dark), measured using the RFID method. Similar results were obtained with the video imaging. Our implemented RFID system was therefore capable of efficiently tracking the tested organisms and has a good potential for use on a wide variety of other marine organisms of commercial, aquaculture, and ecological interest.

  20. Differences in foraging ecology align with genetically divergent ecotypes of a highly mobile marine top predator.

    PubMed

    Jeglinski, Jana W E; Wolf, Jochen B W; Werner, Christiane; Costa, Daniel P; Trillmich, Fritz

    2015-12-01

    Foraging differentiation within a species can contribute to restricted gene flow between ecologically different groups, promoting ecological speciation. Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) show genetic and morphological divergence between the western and central archipelago, possibly as a result of an ecologically mediated contrast in the marine habitat. We use global positioning system (GPS) data, time-depth recordings (TDR), stable isotope and scat data to compare foraging habitat characteristics, diving behaviour and diet composition of Galapagos sea lions from a western and a central colony. We consider both juvenile and adult life stages to assess the potential role of ontogenetic shifts that can be crucial in shaping foraging behaviour and habitat choice for life. We found differences in foraging habitat use, foraging style and diet composition that aligned with genetic differentiation. These differences were consistent between juvenile and adult sea lions from the same colony, overriding age-specific behavioural differences. Our study contributes to an understanding of the complex interaction of ecological condition, plastic behavioural response and genetic make-up of interconnected populations. PMID:26307593

  1. Differences in foraging ecology align with genetically divergent ecotypes of a highly mobile marine top predator.

    PubMed

    Jeglinski, Jana W E; Wolf, Jochen B W; Werner, Christiane; Costa, Daniel P; Trillmich, Fritz

    2015-12-01

    Foraging differentiation within a species can contribute to restricted gene flow between ecologically different groups, promoting ecological speciation. Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) show genetic and morphological divergence between the western and central archipelago, possibly as a result of an ecologically mediated contrast in the marine habitat. We use global positioning system (GPS) data, time-depth recordings (TDR), stable isotope and scat data to compare foraging habitat characteristics, diving behaviour and diet composition of Galapagos sea lions from a western and a central colony. We consider both juvenile and adult life stages to assess the potential role of ontogenetic shifts that can be crucial in shaping foraging behaviour and habitat choice for life. We found differences in foraging habitat use, foraging style and diet composition that aligned with genetic differentiation. These differences were consistent between juvenile and adult sea lions from the same colony, overriding age-specific behavioural differences. Our study contributes to an understanding of the complex interaction of ecological condition, plastic behavioural response and genetic make-up of interconnected populations.

  2. Shellfish dredging pushes a flexible avian top predator out of a marine protected area.

    PubMed

    van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis; Dekinga, Anne; Spaans, Bernard; Kraan, Casper

    2006-11-01

    There is a widespread concern about the direct and indirect effects of industrial fisheries; this concern is particularly pertinent for so-called "marine protected areas" (MPAs), which should be safeguarded by national and international law. The intertidal flats of the Dutch Wadden Sea are a State Nature Monument and are protected under the Ramsar convention and the European Union's Habitat and Birds Directives. Until 2004, the Dutch government granted permission for ~75% of the intertidal flats to be exploited by mechanical dredgers for edible cockles (Cerastoderma edule). Here we show that dredged areas belonged to the limited area of intertidal flats that were of sufficient quality for red knots (Calidris canutus islandica), a long-distance migrant molluscivore specialist, to feed. Dredging led to relatively lower settlement rates of cockles and also reduced their quality (ratio of flesh to shell). From 1998 to 2002, red knots increased gizzard mass to compensate for a gradual loss in shellfish quality, but this compensation was not sufficient and led to decreases in local survival. Therefore, the gradual destruction of the necessary intertidal resources explains both the loss of red knots from the Dutch Wadden Sea and the decline of the European wintering population. This study shows that MPAs that do not provide adequate protection from fishing may fail in their conservation objectives.

  3. Tracking marine mammals and ships with small and large-aperture hydrophone arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gassmann, Martin

    Techniques for passive acoustic tracking in all three spatial dimensions of marine mammals and ships were developed for long-term acoustic datasets recorded continuously over months using custom-designed arrays of underwater microphones (hydrophones) with spacing ranging from meters to kilometers. From the three-dimensional tracks, the acoustical properties of toothed whales and ships, such as sound intensity and directionality, were estimated as they are needed for the passive acoustic abundance estimation of toothed whales and for a quantitative description of the contribution of ships to the underwater soundscape. In addition, the tracks of the toothed whales reveal their underwater movements and demonstrate the potential of the developed tracking techniques to investigate their natural behavior and responses to sound generated by human activity, such as from ships or military SONAR. To track the periodically emitted echolocation sounds of toothed whales in an acoustically refractive environment in the upper ocean, a propagation-model based technique was developed for a hydrophone array consisting of one vertical and two L-shaped subarrays deployed from the floating instrument platform R/P FLIP. The technique is illustrated by tracking a group of five shallow-diving killer whales showing coordinated behavior. The challenge of tracking the highly directional echolocation sounds of deep-diving (< 1 km) toothed whales, in particular Cuvier's beaked whales, was addressed by embedding volumetric small-aperture (≈ 1 m element spacing) arrays into a large-aperture (≈ 1 km element spacing) seafloor array to reduce the minimum number of required receivers from five to two. The capabilities of this technique are illustrated by tracking several groups of up to three individuals over time periods from 10 min to 33 min within an area of 20 km2 in the Southern California Bight. To track and measure the underwater radiated sound of ships, a frequency domain beamformer was

  4. Environmental drivers and reproductive consequences of variation in the diet of a marine predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladics, Amanda J.; Suryan, Robert M.; Parrish, Julia K.; Horton, Cheryl A.; Daly, Elizabeth A.; Peterson, William T.

    2015-06-01

    Ocean conditions can greatly impact lower trophic level prey assemblages in marine ecosystems, with effects of ocean state propagating to higher trophic levels. In many regions throughout their range, common murre (Uria aalge) exhibit narrow dietary breadth in feeding chicks and therefore are vulnerable to recruitment failures of dominant prey species during the breeding season. Contrastingly, common murres nesting in the northern California Current off Oregon, exhibit high species diversity and variability in dominant prey consumed. We studied the diets of common murres over 10 years between 1998 and 2011, a period in which the northern California Current experienced dramatic interannual variability in ocean conditions. Likewise, murre diets off Oregon varied considerably. Interannual variation in murre chick diets was influenced by environmental drivers occurring before and during the breeding season, and at both basin and local scales. While clupeids (likely Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii) were an important diet component throughout the study period, in some years murre diets were dominated by Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) and in other years by osmerids (likely whitebait smelt, Allosmerus elongatus and surf smelt, Hypomesus pretiosus). Years in which the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and local sea surface temperatures were higher during summer also showed elevated levels of clupeids in murre diets, while years with higher North Pacific Gyre Oscillation index values and greater local winter ichthyoplankton biomass had fewer clupeids and more sand lance or smelts. Years with higher values of the Northern Oscillation Index during summer and an earlier spring transition showed higher proportion of smelts in the diets. Nesting phenology and reproductive success were negatively correlated with gradients in sand lance and clupeids, respectively, reflecting demographic consequences of environmental variability mediated through bottom-up food web dynamics.

  5. Changes in trace elements during lactation in a marine top predator, the grey seal.

    PubMed

    Habran, Sarah; Pomeroy, Paddy P; Debier, Cathy; Das, Krishna

    2013-01-15

    Lactation in pinnipeds represents the most significant cost to mothers during the reproductive cycle. Dynamics of trace elements and their mobilization associated with energy reserves during such an intense physiological process remains poorly understood in marine mammals. The changes in tissue concentrations of 11 elements (Ca, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, V, and Zn) were investigated in a longitudinal study during the lactation period and during the post-weaning fast period. Blood, milk, blubber, and hair samples were collected sequentially from 21 mother-pup pairs of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) from the Isle of May in Scotland. Maternal transfer through the milk was observed for all trace elements, except for Cd. As an indicator of the placental transfer, levels in pup lanugo (natal coat) revealed also the existence of maternal transfer and accumulation of all assayed trace elements during the foetal development. The placental and mammary barriers against non-essential metal transfer to offspring appear to be absent or weak in grey seals. Examining the contamination levels showed that this grey seal population seems more highly exposed to Pb than other phocid populations (2.2 mg/kg dw of grey seal hair). In contrast, blood and hair levels reflected a lower Hg exposure in grey seals from the Isle of May than in harbour seals from the southeastern North Sea. This study also showed that trace element concentrations in blood and blubber could change rapidly over the lactation period. Such physiological processes must be considered carefully during biomonitoring of trace elements, and potential impacts that rapid fluctuations in concentrations can exert on seal health should be further investigated.

  6. Global Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) from Space Based AIS Ship Tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwehr, K. D.; Foulkes, J. A.; Lorenzini, D.; Kanawati, M.

    2011-12-01

    All nations need to be developing long term integrated strategies for how to use and preserve our natural resources. As a part of these strategies, we must evalutate how communities of users react to changes in rules and regulations of ocean use. Global characterization of the vessel traffic on our Earth's oceans is essential to understanding the existing uses to develop international Coast and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP). Ship traffic within 100-200km is beginning to be effectively covered in low latitudes by ground based receivers collecting position reports from the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS). Unfortunately, remote islands, high latitudes, and open ocean Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are not covered by these ground systems. Deploying enough autonomous airborne (UAV) and surface (USV) vessels and buoys to provide adequate coverage is a difficult task. While the individual device costs are plummeting, a large fleet of AIS receivers is expensive to maintain. The global AIS coverage from SpaceQuest's low Earth orbit satellite receivers combined with the visualization and data storage infrastructure of Google (e.g. Maps, Earth, and Fusion Tables) provide a platform that enables researchers and resource managers to begin answer the question of how ocean resources are being utilized. Near real-time vessel traffic data will allow managers of marine resources to understand how changes to education, enforcement, rules, and regulations alter usage and compliance patterns. We will demonstrate the potential for this system using a sample SpaceQuest data set processed with libais which stores the results in a Fusion Table. From there, the data is imported to PyKML and visualized in Google Earth with a custom gx:Track visualization utilizing KML's extended data functionality to facilitate ship track interrogation. Analysts can then annotate and discuss vessel tracks in Fusion Tables.

  7. MODIS Observations of Ship Tracks: The Response of Marine Stratus to Smoke Particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coakley, J. A.; Segrin, M. S.; Tahnk, W. R.

    2004-12-01

    Ship tracks offer a unique opportunity for studying the response of marine stratus to increased particle concentrations. The study of ship tracks avoids the difficulties encountered in regional and global studies of cloud systems affected by haze in that in order to deduce the aerosol effects in the regional studies the response of clouds to the thermodynamics of the air mass in which the haze is imbedded must also be accounted for. With ship tracks, polluted clouds are compared with unpolluted clouds separated by only a few kilometers thereby insuring that the thermodynamics of the environments are on average the same and the only difference is the elevated particle concentrations in the polluted clouds. While marine stratus represent a specific cloud system having behavior that may not be representative of all low-level cloud types, such clouds nonetheless offer opportunities for testing the fidelity of at least a subset of cloud models. The use of MODIS observations to study ship tracks follows an earlier study based on AVHRR data. The earlier study demonstrated that polluted clouds lost on average approximately 20 percent of their liquid water. The finding contradicts the widely accepted theory that precipitation is suppressed in polluted clouds and thus should lead to increased cloud liquid water, cloud lifetimes, and cloud cover. The MODIS observations and the new analysis schemes developed for use with the MODIS data include several improvements on the earlier study with AVHRR data. First, MODIS radiances at 1.6 and 2.1 microns provide additional measures of cloud droplet radii thereby providing additional assessments of the changes in cloud liquid water which for the AVHRR observations were restricted to the use of 3.7-micron radiances to obtain droplet radii. Second, the new analysis procedures account for partial cloud cover in the 1-km fields of view and thus provide an objective means for estimating the growth in cloud liquid water due to increased

  8. Recreational Fish-Finders—An Inexpensive Alternative to Scientific Echo-Sounders for Unravelling the Links between Marine Top Predators and Their Prey

    PubMed Central

    McInnes, Alistair M.; Khoosal, Arjun; Murrell, Ben; Merkle, Dagmar; Lacerda, Miguel; Nyengera, Reason; Coetzee, Janet C.; Edwards, Loyd C.; Ryan, Peter G.; Rademan, Johan; van der Westhuizen, Jan J; Pichegru, Lorien

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating how mobile marine predators respond to their prey are limited due to the challenging nature of the environment. While marine top predators are increasingly easy to study thanks to developments in bio-logging technology, typically there is scant information on the distribution and abundance of their prey, largely due to the specialised nature of acquiring this information. We explore the potential of using single-beam recreational fish-finders (RFF) to quantify relative forage fish abundance and draw inferences of the prey distribution at a fine spatial scale. We compared fish school characteristics as inferred from the RFF with that of a calibrated scientific split-beam echo-sounder (SES) by simultaneously operating both systems from the same vessel in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Customized open-source software was developed to extract fish school information from the echo returns of the RFF. For schools insonified by both systems, there was close correspondence between estimates of mean school depth (R2 = 0.98) and school area (R2 = 0.70). Estimates of relative school density (mean volume backscattering strength; Sv) measured by the RFF were negatively biased through saturation of this system given its smaller dynamic range. A correction factor applied to the RFF-derived density estimates improved the comparability between the two systems. Relative abundance estimates using all schools from both systems were congruent at scales from 0.5 km to 18 km with a strong positive linear trend in model fit estimates with increasing scale. Although absolute estimates of fish abundance cannot be derived from these systems, they are effective at describing prey school characteristics and have good potential for mapping forage fish distribution and relative abundance. Using such relatively inexpensive systems could greatly enhance our understanding of predator-prey interactions. PMID:26600300

  9. Recreational Fish-Finders--An Inexpensive Alternative to Scientific Echo-Sounders for Unravelling the Links between Marine Top Predators and Their Prey.

    PubMed

    McInnes, Alistair M; Khoosal, Arjun; Murrell, Ben; Merkle, Dagmar; Lacerda, Miguel; Nyengera, Reason; Coetzee, Janet C; Edwards, Loyd C; Ryan, Peter G; Rademan, Johan; van der Westhuizen, Jan J; Pichegru, Lorien

    2015-01-01

    Studies investigating how mobile marine predators respond to their prey are limited due to the challenging nature of the environment. While marine top predators are increasingly easy to study thanks to developments in bio-logging technology, typically there is scant information on the distribution and abundance of their prey, largely due to the specialised nature of acquiring this information. We explore the potential of using single-beam recreational fish-finders (RFF) to quantify relative forage fish abundance and draw inferences of the prey distribution at a fine spatial scale. We compared fish school characteristics as inferred from the RFF with that of a calibrated scientific split-beam echo-sounder (SES) by simultaneously operating both systems from the same vessel in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Customized open-source software was developed to extract fish school information from the echo returns of the RFF. For schools insonified by both systems, there was close correspondence between estimates of mean school depth (R2 = 0.98) and school area (R2 = 0.70). Estimates of relative school density (mean volume backscattering strength; Sv) measured by the RFF were negatively biased through saturation of this system given its smaller dynamic range. A correction factor applied to the RFF-derived density estimates improved the comparability between the two systems. Relative abundance estimates using all schools from both systems were congruent at scales from 0.5 km to 18 km with a strong positive linear trend in model fit estimates with increasing scale. Although absolute estimates of fish abundance cannot be derived from these systems, they are effective at describing prey school characteristics and have good potential for mapping forage fish distribution and relative abundance. Using such relatively inexpensive systems could greatly enhance our understanding of predator-prey interactions. PMID:26600300

  10. Regional variability in diving physiology and behavior in a widely distributed air-breathing marine predator, the South American sea lion (Otaria byronia).

    PubMed

    Hückstädt, Luis A; Tift, Michael S; Riet-Sapriza, Federico; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Sepulveda, Maritza; Santos-Carvallo, Macarena; Burns, Jennifer M; Costa, Daniel P

    2016-08-01

    Our understanding of how air-breathing marine predators cope with environmental variability is limited by our inadequate knowledge of their ecological and physiological parameters. Because of their wide distribution along both coasts of the sub-continent, South American sea lions (Otaria byronia) provide a valuable opportunity to study the behavioral and physiological plasticity of a marine predator in different environments. We measured the oxygen stores and diving behavior of South American sea lions throughout most of its range, allowing us to demonstrate that diving ability and behavior vary across its range. We found no significant differences in mass-specific blood volumes of sea lions among field sites and a negative relationship between mass-specific oxygen storage and size, which suggests that exposure to different habitats and geographical locations better explains oxygen storage capacities and diving capability in South American sea lions than body size alone. The largest animals in our study (individuals from Uruguay) were the shallowest and shortest duration divers, and had the lowest mass-specific total body oxygen stores, while the deepest and longest duration divers (individuals from southern Chile) had significantly larger mass-specific oxygen stores, despite being much smaller animals. Our study suggests that the physiology of air-breathing diving predators is not fixed, but that it can be adjusted, to a certain extent, depending on the ecological setting and or habitat. These adjustments can be thought of as a 'training effect': as the animal continues to push its physiological capacity through greater hypoxic exposure, its breath-holding capacity increases.

  11. Regional variability in diving physiology and behavior in a widely distributed air-breathing marine predator, the South American sea lion (Otaria byronia).

    PubMed

    Hückstädt, Luis A; Tift, Michael S; Riet-Sapriza, Federico; Franco-Trecu, Valentina; Baylis, Alastair M M; Orben, Rachael A; Arnould, John P Y; Sepulveda, Maritza; Santos-Carvallo, Macarena; Burns, Jennifer M; Costa, Daniel P

    2016-08-01

    Our understanding of how air-breathing marine predators cope with environmental variability is limited by our inadequate knowledge of their ecological and physiological parameters. Because of their wide distribution along both coasts of the sub-continent, South American sea lions (Otaria byronia) provide a valuable opportunity to study the behavioral and physiological plasticity of a marine predator in different environments. We measured the oxygen stores and diving behavior of South American sea lions throughout most of its range, allowing us to demonstrate that diving ability and behavior vary across its range. We found no significant differences in mass-specific blood volumes of sea lions among field sites and a negative relationship between mass-specific oxygen storage and size, which suggests that exposure to different habitats and geographical locations better explains oxygen storage capacities and diving capability in South American sea lions than body size alone. The largest animals in our study (individuals from Uruguay) were the shallowest and shortest duration divers, and had the lowest mass-specific total body oxygen stores, while the deepest and longest duration divers (individuals from southern Chile) had significantly larger mass-specific oxygen stores, despite being much smaller animals. Our study suggests that the physiology of air-breathing diving predators is not fixed, but that it can be adjusted, to a certain extent, depending on the ecological setting and or habitat. These adjustments can be thought of as a 'training effect': as the animal continues to push its physiological capacity through greater hypoxic exposure, its breath-holding capacity increases. PMID:27247316

  12. Tracking medfly predation by the wolf spider, Pardosa cribata Simon, in citrus orchards using PCR-based gut-content analysis.

    PubMed

    Monzó, C; Sabater-Muñoz, B; Urbaneja, A; Castañera, P

    2010-04-01

    The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), which is often controlled chemically, is a major citrus pest in Spain; however, alternative biological control strategies such as those based on the conservation of polyphagous predators should be developed. The wolf spider, Pardosa cribata Simon, is an abundant predator found in citrus orchards in eastern Spain. In this study, we have evaluated polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques as a means of detecting C. capitata DNA remains in P. cribata specimens. To do so, two pairs of C. capitata species-specific primers were designed and tested. Primer specificity was tested on species closely related to C. capitata and with other pests and natural enemies present in citrus orchards. Medfly DNA was detectable in 100% of P. cribata from 0 to 12 h post ingestion for both primer pairs, decreasing to 37% at 96 h after prey ingestion for one pair of primers. DNA detectability half-lives were of 78.25 h and 78.08 h for each pair of primers but no statistical differences were found between them. Pardosa cribata specimens were field-collected daily after sterile C. capitata pupae had been deployed in the citrus orchard. Afterwards, the wolf spiders were analyzed and DNA remains of C. capitata were detected in 5% of them, with a peak of 15% coinciding with maximum C. capitata emergence. This study is the first to reveal the potential use of DNA markers to track medfly predation by P. cribata in citrus orchards and provides a new tool to estimate the potential role of this spider in biological-control conservation programs.

  13. Tracking small mountainous river derived terrestrial organic carbon across the active margin marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childress, L. B.; Blair, N. E.; Orpin, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    Active margins are particularly efficient in the burial of organic carbon due to the close proximity of highland sources to marine sediment sinks and high sediment transport rates. Compared with passive margins, active margins are dominated by small mountainous river systems, and play a unique role in marine and global carbon cycles. Small mountainous rivers drain only approximately 20% of land, but deliver approximately 40% of the fluvial sediment to the global ocean. Unlike large passive margin systems where riverine organic carbon is efficiently incinerated on continental shelves, small mountainous river dominated systems are highly effective in the burial and preservation of organic carbon due to the rapid and episodic delivery of organic carbon sourced from vegetation, soil, and rock. To investigate the erosion, transport, and burial of organic carbon in active margin small mountainous river systems we use the Waipaoa River, New Zealand. The Waipaoa River, and adjacent marine depositional environment, is a system of interest due to a large sediment yield (6800 tons km-2 yr-1) and extensive characterization. Previous studies have considered the biogeochemistry of the watershed and tracked the transport of terrestrially derived sediment and organics to the continental shelf and slope by biogeochemical proxies including stable carbon isotopes, lignin phenols, n-alkanes, and n-fatty acids. In this work we expand the spatial extent of investigation to include deep sea sediments of the Hikurangi Trough. Located in approximately 3000 m water depth 120 km from the mouth of the Waipaoa River, the Hikurangi Trough is the southern extension of the Tonga-Kermadec-Hikurangi subduction system. Piston core sediments collected by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA, NZ) in the Hikurangi Trough indicate the presence of terrestrially derived material (lignin phenols), and suggest a continuum of deposition, resuspension, and transport across the margin

  14. Tracking the long-distance dispersal of marine organisms: sensitivity to ocean model resolution.

    PubMed

    Putman, Nathan F; He, Ruoying

    2013-04-01

    Ocean circulation models are widely used to simulate organism transport in the open sea, where challenges of directly tracking organisms across vast spatial and temporal scales are daunting. Many recent studies tout the use of 'high-resolution' models, which are forced with atmospheric data on the scale of several hours and integrated with a time step of several minutes or seconds. However, in many cases, the model's outputs that are used to simulate organism movement have been averaged to considerably coarser resolutions (e.g. monthly mean velocity fields). To examine the sensitivity of tracking results to ocean circulation model output resolution, we took the native model output of one of the most sophisticated ocean circulation models available, the Global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, and averaged it to commonly implemented spatial and temporal resolutions in studies of basin-scale dispersal. Comparisons between simulated particle trajectories and in situ near-surface drifter trajectories indicated that 'over averaging' model output yields predictions inconsistent with observations. Further analyses focused on the dispersal of juvenile sea turtles indicate that very different inferences regarding the pelagic ecology of these animals are obtained depending on the resolution of model output. We conclude that physical processes occurring at the scale of days and tens of kilometres should be preserved in ocean circulation model output to realistically depict the movement marine organisms and the resulting ecological and evolutionary processes.

  15. Predator-labeling effect on byssus production in marine mussels Perna viridis (L.) and Brachidontes variabilis (Krauss).

    PubMed

    Cheung, S G; Luk, K C; Shin, P K S

    2006-07-01

    Mussels Perna viridis and Brachidontes variabilis were exposed to chemical cues from the predatory crab Thalamita danae maintained on different diets, and byssal thread production of the mussels was studied. P. viridis produced the highest number as well as the thickest and longest byssal threads when they were exposed to crabs maintained on a diet of P. viridis as compared with those exposed to crabs maintained on a diet of the top shell Monodonta labio, the rock oyster Saccostrea cucullata, or crabs that were starved. For B. variabilis, results were similar, in that a diet containing B. variabilis elicited the greatest response as compared with other treatments. This indicates that the mussels were able to discriminate chemical cues released from predators maintained on different diets, and respond accordingly to the level of predation risk. By increasing the strength of byssal attachment as a defensive trait, the chance of being dislodged and consumed by crabs is reduced. As energy cost involved in the induction of an antipredatory response is considerable, this defensive trait seems to be an advantage to the mussels in enhancing efficiency. The short response time in byssal thread production allows the mussels to increase resistance against predation by crabs at the time when predation pressure is the highest in a tidal cycle.

  16. Along-track Resolution of CryoSat Data for Marine Gravity Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia, E. M.; Sandwell, D. T.

    2012-12-01

    The CryoSat mission's primary goal is to monitor elevation changes of ice-covered areas, but its excellent altimeter range precision and dense spatial coverage are providing major improvements to the accuracy of the marine gravity field. Development of optimal methods for combining CryoSat measurements with older altimetry data sets first requires an assessment of this new altimeter's spatial resolution capabilities. This is accomplished by performing a cross-spectral analysis of tracks that repeat to within about 1 kilometer apart. The spectral coherence is a measure of the ratio of the common geoid signal to the time varying oceanographic noise, as a function of spatial wavelength. The value of coherence is close to 1 at longer wavelengths where the signal dominates, and is small (< 0.2) where the noise dominates. A conservative estimate of the effective resolution is given by the wavelength at which the coherence level is 0.5. We conducted our analysis on CryoSat data acquired in two of its operating modes: the conventional pulse-limited mode (LRM), and also the novel beam-forming synthetic aperture mode (SAR). The waveform records were retracked using methods optimized for gravity recovery. The 369-day repeat tracks come from adjacent regions in the North Atlantic Ocean. To obtain statistically significant coherence estimates we used the Welch's modified periodogram method on multiple passes. The data were pre-whitened by taking the along-track derivative, resulting in along-track slope. We found that LRM slope acquisitions have a resolution limit of 28 kilometers, while for SAR, this was at 29 kilometers. In comparison, previously published values using a similar analysis in another area of the Atlantic quote a 33-kilometer resolution for Geosat, and 38-kilometer resolution for ERS-1 (Yale et al, 1995). These preliminary results suggest that the spatial resolution of CryoSat-derived gravity will be at least 1.2 times better than previous models. Additional

  17. Accumulation of silver from the diet in two marine benthic predators: The snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) and american plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides)

    SciTech Connect

    Rouleau, C.; Gobeil, C.; Tjaelve, H.

    2000-03-01

    The kinetics and fine-scale tissue distribution of a single dose of {sup 110m}Ag ingested with food were determined in snow crab and American plaice through the techniques of in vivo gamma counting and whole-body autoradiography. Metal that was retained after the first 3 d was distributed in all the soft tissues of snow crab, whereas it concentrated in gut, liver, and gallbladder of the American plaice. In snow crab, the biological half-life of retained Ag, which represented 67--100{degree} of the ingested dose, was greater than 1,000 d. In contrast, in American plaice the retained fraction represented only 4--16% of the ingested dose and the biological half-life ranged from 13 to 102 d. Modeling the trophic accumulation of Ag for snow crab and American plaice living in the St. Lawrence Estuary, assuming realistic values for food ingestion rates and Ag concentration in benthic organisms of lower trophic levels, reveals that continuous feeding on Ag-contaminated prey would result in much higher metal levels in the snow crab than in the American plaice. Measurement of Ag concentrations in snow crab and American plaice from the St. Lawrence Estuary, an environment receiving significant inputs of anthropogenic Ag, confirmed this prediction. The similarity between laboratory-based predictions and field data strongly suggests that predation is the major transfer route of Ag towards these marine benthic predators.

  18. Satellite Tracking of Sympatric Marine Megafauna Can Inform the Biological Basis for Species Co-Management

    PubMed Central

    Gredzens, Christian; Marsh, Helene; Fuentes, Mariana M. P. B.; Limpus, Colin J.; Shimada, Takahiro; Hamann, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Context Systematic conservation planning is increasingly used to identify priority areas for protection in marine systems. However, ecosystem-based approaches typically use density estimates as surrogates for animal presence and spatial modeling to identify areas for protection and may not take into account daily or seasonal movements of animals. Additionally, sympatric and inter-related species are often managed separately, which may not be cost-effective. This study aims to demonstrate an evidence-based method to inform the biological basis for co-management of two sympatric species, dugongs and green sea turtles. This approach can then be used in conservation planning to delineate areas to maximize species protection. Methodology/Results Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. Home-range analysis and bathymetric modeling were used to determine spatial use and compared with existing protection areas using GIS. Dugong and green turtle home-ranges significantly overlapped in both locations. However, both species used different core areas and differences existed between regions in depth zone use and home-range size, especially for dugongs. Both species used existing protection areas in Shoalwater Bay, but only a single tracked dugong used the existing protection area in Torres Strait. Conclusions/Significance: Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry can provide evidence-based information on individual animal movements to delineate relationships between dugongs and green turtles in regions where they co-occur. This information can be used to increase the efficacy of conservation planning and complement more broadly based survey information. These species also use similar habitats, making complimentary co-management possible, but

  19. Ontogeny of head and caudal fin shape of an apex marine predator: The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).

    PubMed

    Fu, Amy L; Hammerschlag, Neil; Lauder, George V; Wilga, Cheryl D; Kuo, Chi-Yun; Irschick, Duncan J

    2016-05-01

    How morphology changes with size can have profound effects on the life history and ecology of an animal. For apex predators that can impact higher level ecosystem processes, such changes may have consequences for other species. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are an apex predator in tropical seas, and, as adults, are highly migratory. However, little is known about ontogenetic changes in their body form, especially in relation to two aspects of shape that influence locomotion (caudal fin) and feeding (head shape). We captured digital images of the heads and caudal fins of live tiger sharks from Southern Florida and the Bahamas ranging in body size (hence age), and quantified shape of each using elliptical Fourier analysis. This revealed changes in the shape of the head and caudal fin of tiger sharks across ontogeny. Smaller juvenile tiger sharks show an asymmetrical tail with the dorsal (upper) lobe being substantially larger than the ventral (lower) lobe, and transition to more symmetrical tail in larger adults, although the upper lobe remains relatively larger in adults. The heads of juvenile tiger sharks are more conical, which transition to relatively broader heads over ontogeny. We interpret these changes as a result of two ecological transitions. First, adult tiger sharks can undertake extensive migrations and a more symmetrical tail could be more efficient for swimming longer distances, although we did not test this possibility. Second, adult tiger sharks expand their diet to consume larger and more diverse prey with age (turtles, mammals, and elasmobranchs), which requires substantially greater bite area and force to process. In contrast, juvenile tiger sharks consume smaller prey, such as fishes, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Our data reveal significant morphological shifts in an apex predator, which could have effects for other species that tiger sharks consume and interact with.

  20. Ontogeny of head and caudal fin shape of an apex marine predator: The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier).

    PubMed

    Fu, Amy L; Hammerschlag, Neil; Lauder, George V; Wilga, Cheryl D; Kuo, Chi-Yun; Irschick, Duncan J

    2016-05-01

    How morphology changes with size can have profound effects on the life history and ecology of an animal. For apex predators that can impact higher level ecosystem processes, such changes may have consequences for other species. Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) are an apex predator in tropical seas, and, as adults, are highly migratory. However, little is known about ontogenetic changes in their body form, especially in relation to two aspects of shape that influence locomotion (caudal fin) and feeding (head shape). We captured digital images of the heads and caudal fins of live tiger sharks from Southern Florida and the Bahamas ranging in body size (hence age), and quantified shape of each using elliptical Fourier analysis. This revealed changes in the shape of the head and caudal fin of tiger sharks across ontogeny. Smaller juvenile tiger sharks show an asymmetrical tail with the dorsal (upper) lobe being substantially larger than the ventral (lower) lobe, and transition to more symmetrical tail in larger adults, although the upper lobe remains relatively larger in adults. The heads of juvenile tiger sharks are more conical, which transition to relatively broader heads over ontogeny. We interpret these changes as a result of two ecological transitions. First, adult tiger sharks can undertake extensive migrations and a more symmetrical tail could be more efficient for swimming longer distances, although we did not test this possibility. Second, adult tiger sharks expand their diet to consume larger and more diverse prey with age (turtles, mammals, and elasmobranchs), which requires substantially greater bite area and force to process. In contrast, juvenile tiger sharks consume smaller prey, such as fishes, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Our data reveal significant morphological shifts in an apex predator, which could have effects for other species that tiger sharks consume and interact with. PMID:26869274

  1. A novel spatio-temporal scale based on ocean currents unravels environmental drivers of reproductive timing in a marine predator.

    PubMed

    Afán, Isabel; Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G; Dann, Peter; Ramírez, Francisco

    2015-07-01

    Life-history strategies have evolved in response to predictable patterns of environmental features. In practice, linking life-history strategies and changes in environmental conditions requires comparable space-time scales between both processes, a difficult match in most marine system studies. We propose a novel spatio-temporal and dynamic scale to explore marine productivity patterns probably driving reproductive timing in the inshore little penguin (Eudyptula minor), based on monthly data on ocean circulation in the Southern Ocean, Australia. In contrast to what occurred when considering any other fixed scales, little penguin's highly variable laying date always occurred within the annual peak of ocean productivity that emerged from our newly defined dynamic scale. Additionally, local sea surface temperature seems to have triggered the onset of reproduction, acting as an environmental cue informing on marine productivity patterns at our dynamic scale. Chlorophyll-a patterns extracted from this scale revealed that environment factors in marine ecosystems affecting breeding decisions are related to a much wider region than foraging areas that are commonly used in current studies investigating the link between animals' life history and their environment. We suggest that marine productivity patterns may be more predictable than previously thought when environmental and biological data are examined at appropriate scales.

  2. A novel spatio-temporal scale based on ocean currents unravels environmental drivers of reproductive timing in a marine predator

    PubMed Central

    Afán, Isabel; Chiaradia, André; Forero, Manuela G.; Dann, Peter; Ramírez, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Life-history strategies have evolved in response to predictable patterns of environmental features. In practice, linking life-history strategies and changes in environmental conditions requires comparable space–time scales between both processes, a difficult match in most marine system studies. We propose a novel spatio-temporal and dynamic scale to explore marine productivity patterns probably driving reproductive timing in the inshore little penguin (Eudyptula minor), based on monthly data on ocean circulation in the Southern Ocean, Australia. In contrast to what occurred when considering any other fixed scales, little penguin's highly variable laying date always occurred within the annual peak of ocean productivity that emerged from our newly defined dynamic scale. Additionally, local sea surface temperature seems to have triggered the onset of reproduction, acting as an environmental cue informing on marine productivity patterns at our dynamic scale. Chlorophyll-a patterns extracted from this scale revealed that environment factors in marine ecosystems affecting breeding decisions are related to a much wider region than foraging areas that are commonly used in current studies investigating the link between animals' life history and their environment. We suggest that marine productivity patterns may be more predictable than previously thought when environmental and biological data are examined at appropriate scales. PMID:26063848

  3. Adaptations for marine habitat and the effect of Triassic and Jurassic predator pressure on development of decompression syndrome in ichthyosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothschild, B. M.; Xiaoting, Z.; Martin, L. D.

    2012-06-01

    Decompression syndrome (caisson disease or the "the bends") resulting in avascular necrosis has been documented in mosasaurs, sauropterygians, ichthyosaurs, and turtles from the Middle Jurassic to Late Cretaceous, but it was unclear that this disease occurred as far back as the Triassic. We have examined a large Triassic sample of ichthyosaurs and compared it with an equally large post-Triassic sample. Avascular necrosis was observed in over 15 % of Late Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous ichthyosaurs with the highest occurrence (18 %) in the Early Cretaceous, but was rare or absent in geologically older specimens. Triassic reptiles that dive were either physiologically protected, or rapid changes of their position in the water column rare and insignificant enough to prevent being recorded in the skeleton. Emergency surfacing due to a threat from an underwater predator may be the most important cause of avascular necrosis for air-breathing divers, with relative frequency of such events documented in the skeleton. Diving in the Triassic appears to have been a "leisurely" behavior until the evolution of large predators in the Late Jurassic that forced sudden depth alterations contributed to a higher occurrence of bends.

  4. Gravitational spectra from the tracking of planetary spacecraft in eccentric orbits. [Pioneer Venus Orbiter and Mariner Mars 9

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, C. A.

    1979-01-01

    Two dimensional gravitational spectra are derived from simple harmonic analysis of range rate tracking data on planetary orbiters. The eccentricity of the orbit is arbitrary and results are shown to vary substantially with the aspect angle of the tracking line of sight with the orbit plane. The development for arbitrary start with stop times (with respect to periapsis) uses modified eccentricity functions evaluated by quadrature. Simulations with a point-masses model of Venus using tracking data on the Pioneer Venus Orbiter show excellent predictions of the average orbiter spectrum over one Venus day. The Venus gravitational signal should be above the tracking noise level for arc lengths longer than 40 deg (in true anomaly) about periapsis and for terms as high as 55th degree. analysis has been made of tracking residuals from a short arc fit to Mariner Mars 9 data over the Hellas Basin (using a complete 6th degree field). Results are most consistent with higher residual gravitational power than predicted from Kaula's rule for Mars.

  5. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mieszkowska, N; Sugden, H; Firth, L B; Hawkins, S J

    2014-09-28

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment.

  6. The role of sustained observations in tracking impacts of environmental change on marine biodiversity and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Mieszkowska, N.; Sugden, H.; Firth, L. B.; Hawkins, S. J.

    2014-01-01

    Marine biodiversity currently faces unprecedented threats from multiple pressures arising from human activities. Global drivers such as climate change and ocean acidification interact with regional eutrophication, exploitation of commercial fish stocks and localized pressures including pollution, coastal development and the extraction of aggregates and fuel, causing alteration and degradation of habitats and communities. Segregating natural from anthropogenically induced change in marine ecosystems requires long-term, sustained observations of marine biota. In this review, we outline the history of biological recording in the coastal and shelf seas of the UK and Ireland and highlight where sustained observations have contributed new understanding of how anthropogenic activities have impacted on marine biodiversity. The contributions of sustained observations, from those collected at observatories, single station platforms and multiple-site programmes to the emergent field of multiple stressor impacts research, are discussed, along with implications for management and sustainable governance of marine resources in an era of unprecedented use of the marine environment. PMID:25157190

  7. Response of rocky reef top predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and around marine protected areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Hackradt, Carlos Werner; García-Charton, José Antonio; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Pérez-Ruzafa, Ángel; Le Diréach, Laurence; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Charbonnel, Eric; Ody, Denis; Reñones, Olga; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Valle, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of three species of grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra, and to understand in which circumstances MPAs are able to export biomass to neighbouring areas. All the studied MPAs, except one where no grouper was observed, were able to maintain high abundance, biomass and mean weight of groupers. Size classes were more evenly distributed inside than outside MPAs. In two reserves, biomass gradients could be detected through the boundaries of the reserve as an indication of spillover. In some cases, habitat structure appeared to exert a great influence on grouper abundance, biomass and mean individual weight, influencing the gradient shape. Because groupers are generally sedentary animals with a small home range, we suggest that biomass gradients could only occur where groupers attain sufficient abundance inside MPA limits, indicating a strongly density-dependent process. PMID:24905331

  8. Response of Rocky Reef Top Predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and Around Marine Protected Areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Hackradt, Carlos Werner; García-Charton, José Antonio; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Pérez-Ruzafa, Ángel; Le Diréach, Laurence; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Charbonnel, Eric; Ody, Denis; Reñones, Olga; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Valle, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of three species of grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra, and to understand in which circumstances MPAs are able to export biomass to neighbouring areas. All the studied MPAs, except one where no grouper was observed, were able to maintain high abundance, biomass and mean weight of groupers. Size classes were more evenly distributed inside than outside MPAs. In two reserves, biomass gradients could be detected through the boundaries of the reserve as an indication of spillover. In some cases, habitat structure appeared to exert a great influence on grouper abundance, biomass and mean individual weight, influencing the gradient shape. Because groupers are generally sedentary animals with a small home range, we suggest that biomass gradients could only occur where groupers attain sufficient abundance inside MPA limits, indicating a strongly density-dependent process. PMID:24905331

  9. Response of rocky reef top predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and around marine protected areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Hackradt, Carlos Werner; García-Charton, José Antonio; Harmelin-Vivien, Mireille; Pérez-Ruzafa, Ángel; Le Diréach, Laurence; Bayle-Sempere, Just; Charbonnel, Eric; Ody, Denis; Reñones, Olga; Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo; Valle, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of three species of grouper, Epinephelus marginatus, Epinephelus costae and Mycteroperca rubra, and to understand in which circumstances MPAs are able to export biomass to neighbouring areas. All the studied MPAs, except one where no grouper was observed, were able to maintain high abundance, biomass and mean weight of groupers. Size classes were more evenly distributed inside than outside MPAs. In two reserves, biomass gradients could be detected through the boundaries of the reserve as an indication of spillover. In some cases, habitat structure appeared to exert a great influence on grouper abundance, biomass and mean individual weight, influencing the gradient shape. Because groupers are generally sedentary animals with a small home range, we suggest that biomass gradients could only occur where groupers attain sufficient abundance inside MPA limits, indicating a strongly density-dependent process.

  10. Stable isotope analyses reveal individual variability in the trophic ecology of a top marine predator, the southern elephant seal.

    PubMed

    Hückstädt, L A; Koch, P L; McDonald, B I; Goebel, M E; Crocker, D E; Costa, D P

    2012-06-01

    Identifying individuals' foraging strategies is critical to understanding the ecology of a species, and can provide the means to predict possible ecological responses to environmental change. Our study combines stable isotope analysis and satellite telemetry to study the variability in individual foraging strategies of adult female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Our hypothesis is that female elephant seals from the Western Antarctica Peninsula (WAP) display individual specialization in their diets. We captured adult female elephant seals (n = 56, 2005-2009) at Livingston Island (Antarctica), and instrumented them with SMRU-CTD satellite tags. We collected blood, fur, and vibrissae samples for δ(13)C and δ(15)N analyses. The mean values for all vibrissae were -21.0 ± 0.7‰ for δ(13)C, and 10.4 ± 0.8‰, for δ(15)N. The individual variability of δ(13)C (60%) was more important than the within-individual variability (40%) in explaining the total variance observed in our data. For δ(15)N, the results showed the opposite trend, with the within-individual variability (64%) contributing more to the total variance than the individual variability (36%), likely associated with the effect that the fasting periods have on δ(15)N values. Most individuals were specialists, as inferred from the low intra-individual variability of δ(13)C values with respect to the population variability, with half the individuals utilizing 31% or less of their available niche. We found eight different foraging strategies for these animals. Female elephant seals from the WAP are a diverse group of predators with individuals utilizing only a small portion of the total available niche, with the consequent potential to expand their foraging habits to exploit other resources or environments in the Southern Ocean.

  11. Leopard predation and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuberbühler, Klaus; Jenny, David

    2002-12-01

    Although predation is an important driving force of natural selection its effects on primate evolution are still not well understood, mainly because little is known about the hunting behaviour of the primates' various predators. Here, we present data on the hunting behaviour of the leopard (Panthera pardus), a major primate predator in the Tai; forest of Ivory Coast and elsewhere. Radio-tracking data showed that forest leopards primarily hunt for monkeys on the ground during the day. Faecal analyses confirmed that primates accounted for a large proportion of the leopards' diet and revealed in detail the predation pressure exerted on the eight different monkey and one chimpanzee species. We related the species-specific predation rates to various morphological, behavioural and demographic traits that are usually considered adaptations to predation (body size, group size, group composition, reproductive behaviour, and use of forest strata). Leopard predation was most reliably associated with density, suggesting that leopards hunt primates according to abundance. Contrary to predictions, leopard predation rates were not negatively, but positively, related to body size, group size and the number of males per group, suggesting that predation by leopards did not drive the evolution of these traits in the predicted way. We discuss these findings in light of some recent experimental data and suggest that the principal effect of leopard predation has been on primates' cognitive evolution.

  12. The JPL Mars gravity field, Mars50c, based upon Viking and Mariner 9 Doppler tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Konopliv, Alexander S.; Sjogren, William L.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes the current JPL efforts of generating a Mars gravity field from Viking 1 and 2 and Mariner 9 Doppler tracking data. The Mars 50c solution is a complete gravity field to degree and order 50 with solutions as well for the gravitational mass of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos. The constants and models used to obtain the solution are given and the method for determining the gravity field is presented. The gravity field is compared to the best current gravity GMM1 of Goddard Space Flight Center.

  13. Spatial Variation in Foraging Behaviour of a Marine Top Predator (Phoca vitulina) Determined by a Large-Scale Satellite Tagging Program

    PubMed Central

    Sharples, Ruth J.; Moss, Simon E.; Patterson, Toby A.; Hammond, Philip S.

    2012-01-01

    The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) is a widespread marine predator in Northern Hemisphere waters. British populations have been subject to rapid declines in recent years. Food supply or inter-specific competition may be implicated but basic ecological data are lacking and there are few studies of harbour seal foraging distribution and habits. In this study, satellite tagging conducted at the major seal haul outs around the British Isles showed both that seal movements were highly variable among individuals and that foraging strategy appears to be specialized within particular regions. We investigated whether these apparent differences could be explained by individual level factors: by modelling measures of trip duration and distance travelled as a function of size, sex and body condition. However, these were not found to be good predictors of foraging trip duration or distance, which instead was best predicted by tagging region, time of year and inter-trip duration. Therefore, we propose that local habitat conditions and the constraints they impose are the major determinants of foraging movements. Specifically the distance to profitable feeding grounds from suitable haul-out locations may dictate foraging strategy and behaviour. Accounting for proximity to productive foraging resources is likely to be an important component of understanding population processes. Despite more extensive offshore movements than expected, there was also marked fidelity to the local haul-out region with limited connectivity between study regions. These empirical observations of regional exchange at short time scales demonstrates the value of large scale electronic tagging programs for robust characterization of at-sea foraging behaviour at a wide spatial scale. PMID:22629370

  14. Determining origin in a migratory marine vertebrate: a novel method to integrate stable isotopes and satellite tracking

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vander Zanden, Hannah B.; Tucker, Anton D.; Hart, Kristen M.; Lamont, Margaret M.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Addison, David S.; Mansfield, Katherine L.; Phillips, Katrina F.; Wunder, Michael B.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bolten, Alan B.; Bjorndal, Karen A.

    2015-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool to track animal movements in both terrestrial and marine environments. These intrinsic markers are assimilated through the diet and may exhibit spatial gradients as a result of biogeochemical processes at the base of the food web. In the marine environment, maps to predict the spatial distribution of stable isotopes are limited, and thus determining geographic origin has been reliant upon integrating satellite telemetry and stable isotope data. Migratory sea turtles regularly move between foraging and reproductive areas. Whereas most nesting populations can be easily accessed and regularly monitored, little is known about the demographic trends in foraging populations. The purpose of the present study was to examine migration patterns of loggerhead nesting aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where sea turtles have been historically understudied. Two methods of geographic assignment using stable isotope values in known-origin samples from satellite telemetry were compared: 1) a nominal approach through discriminant analysis and 2) a novel continuous-surface approach using bivariate carbon and nitrogen isoscapes (isotopic landscapes) developed for this study. Tissue samples for stable isotope analysis were obtained from 60 satellite-tracked individuals at five nesting beaches within the GoM. Both methodological approaches for assignment resulted in high accuracy of foraging area determination, though each has advantages and disadvantages. The nominal approach is more appropriate when defined boundaries are necessary, but up to 42% of the individuals could not be considered in this approach. All individuals can be included in the continuous-surface approach, and individual results can be aggregated to identify geographic hotspots of foraging area use, though the accuracy rate was lower than nominal assignment. The methodological validation provides a foundation for future sea turtle studies in the region to inexpensively

  15. Determining origin in a migratory marine vertebrate: a novel method to integrate stable isotopes and satellite tracking.

    PubMed

    Zanden, Hannah B Vander; Tucker, Anton D; Hart, Kristen M; Lamont, Margaret M; Fuisaki, Ikuko; Addison, David; Mansfield, Katherine L; Phillips, Katrina F; Wunder, Michael B; Bowen, Gabriel J; Pajuelo, Mariela; Bolten, Alan B; Bjorndal, Karen A

    2015-03-01

    Stable isotope analysis is a useful tool to track animal movements in both terrestrial and marine environments. These intrinsic markers are assimilated through the diet and may exhibit spatial gradients as a result of biogeochemical processes at the base of the food web. In the marine environment, maps to predict the spatial distribution of stable isotopes are limited, and thus determining geographic origin has been reliant upon integrating satellite telemetry and stable isotope data. Migratory sea turtles regularly move between foraging and reproductive areas. Whereas most nesting populations can be easily accessed and regularly monitored, little is known about the demographic trends in foraging populations. The purpose of the present study was to examine migration patterns of loggerhead nesting aggregations in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), where sea turtles have been historically understudied. Two methods of geographic assignment using stable isotope values in known-origin samples from satellite telemetry were compared: (1) a nominal approach through discriminant analysis and (2) a novel continuous-surface approach using bivariate carbon and nitrogen isoscapes (isotopic landscapes) developed for this study. Tissue samples for stable isotope analysis were obtained from 60 satellite-tracked individuals at five nesting beaches within the GoM. Both methodological approaches for assignment resulted in high accuracy of foraging area determination, though each has advantages and disadvantages. The nominal approach is more appropriate when defined boundaries are necessary, but up to 42% of the individuals could not be considered in this approach. All individuals can be included in the continuous-surface approach, and individual results can be aggregated to identify geographic hotspots of foraging area use, though the accuracy rate was lower than nominal assignment. The methodological validation provides a foundation for future sea turtle studies in the region to

  16. Ultrafiltration and Microarray for Detection of Microbial Source Tracking Marker and Pathogen Genes in Riverine and Marine Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Harwood, Valerie J; Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer L

    2016-01-04

    Pathogen identification and microbial source tracking (MST) to identify sources of fecal pollution improve evaluation of water quality. They contribute to improved assessment of human health risks and remediation of pollution sources. An MST microarray was used to simultaneously detect genes for multiple pathogens and indicators of fecal pollution in freshwater, marine water, sewage-contaminated freshwater and marine water, and treated wastewater. Dead-end ultrafiltration (DEUF) was used to concentrate organisms from water samples, yielding a recovery efficiency of >95% for Escherichia coli and human polyomavirus. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) increased gene copies from ultrafiltered samples and increased the sensitivity of the microarray. Viruses (adenovirus, bocavirus, hepatitis A virus, and human polyomaviruses) were detected in sewage-contaminated samples. Pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Shigella flexneri, and Campylobacter fetus were detected along with genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, and tetracycline. Nonmetric dimensional analysis of MST marker genes grouped sewage-spiked freshwater and marine samples with sewage and apart from other fecal sources. The sensitivity (percent true positives) of the microarray probes for gene targets anticipated in sewage was 51 to 57% and was lower than the specificity (percent true negatives; 79 to 81%). A linear relationship between gene copies determined by quantitative PCR and microarray fluorescence was found, indicating the semiquantitative nature of the MST microarray. These results indicate that ultrafiltration coupled with WGA provides sufficient nucleic acids for detection of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and antibiotic resistance genes by the microarray in applications ranging from beach monitoring to risk assessment.

  17. Ultrafiltration and Microarray for Detection of Microbial Source Tracking Marker and Pathogen Genes in Riverine and Marine Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Harwood, Valerie J; Nayak, Bina; Weidhaas, Jennifer L

    2016-03-01

    Pathogen identification and microbial source tracking (MST) to identify sources of fecal pollution improve evaluation of water quality. They contribute to improved assessment of human health risks and remediation of pollution sources. An MST microarray was used to simultaneously detect genes for multiple pathogens and indicators of fecal pollution in freshwater, marine water, sewage-contaminated freshwater and marine water, and treated wastewater. Dead-end ultrafiltration (DEUF) was used to concentrate organisms from water samples, yielding a recovery efficiency of >95% for Escherichia coli and human polyomavirus. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) increased gene copies from ultrafiltered samples and increased the sensitivity of the microarray. Viruses (adenovirus, bocavirus, hepatitis A virus, and human polyomaviruses) were detected in sewage-contaminated samples. Pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Shigella flexneri, and Campylobacter fetus were detected along with genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, and tetracycline. Nonmetric dimensional analysis of MST marker genes grouped sewage-spiked freshwater and marine samples with sewage and apart from other fecal sources. The sensitivity (percent true positives) of the microarray probes for gene targets anticipated in sewage was 51 to 57% and was lower than the specificity (percent true negatives; 79 to 81%). A linear relationship between gene copies determined by quantitative PCR and microarray fluorescence was found, indicating the semiquantitative nature of the MST microarray. These results indicate that ultrafiltration coupled with WGA provides sufficient nucleic acids for detection of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and antibiotic resistance genes by the microarray in applications ranging from beach monitoring to risk assessment. PMID:26729716

  18. Ultrafiltration and Microarray for Detection of Microbial Source Tracking Marker and Pathogen Genes in Riverine and Marine Systems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiang; Harwood, Valerie J.; Nayak, Bina

    2016-01-01

    Pathogen identification and microbial source tracking (MST) to identify sources of fecal pollution improve evaluation of water quality. They contribute to improved assessment of human health risks and remediation of pollution sources. An MST microarray was used to simultaneously detect genes for multiple pathogens and indicators of fecal pollution in freshwater, marine water, sewage-contaminated freshwater and marine water, and treated wastewater. Dead-end ultrafiltration (DEUF) was used to concentrate organisms from water samples, yielding a recovery efficiency of >95% for Escherichia coli and human polyomavirus. Whole-genome amplification (WGA) increased gene copies from ultrafiltered samples and increased the sensitivity of the microarray. Viruses (adenovirus, bocavirus, hepatitis A virus, and human polyomaviruses) were detected in sewage-contaminated samples. Pathogens such as Legionella pneumophila, Shigella flexneri, and Campylobacter fetus were detected along with genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams, and tetracycline. Nonmetric dimensional analysis of MST marker genes grouped sewage-spiked freshwater and marine samples with sewage and apart from other fecal sources. The sensitivity (percent true positives) of the microarray probes for gene targets anticipated in sewage was 51 to 57% and was lower than the specificity (percent true negatives; 79 to 81%). A linear relationship between gene copies determined by quantitative PCR and microarray fluorescence was found, indicating the semiquantitative nature of the MST microarray. These results indicate that ultrafiltration coupled with WGA provides sufficient nucleic acids for detection of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and antibiotic resistance genes by the microarray in applications ranging from beach monitoring to risk assessment. PMID:26729716

  19. The mass of Mars, Phobos, and Deimos, from the analysis of the Mariner 9 and Viking Orbiter tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, D. E.; Lemoine, F. G.; Fricke, S. K.

    1994-01-01

    We have estimated the mass of Phobos, Deimos, and Mars using the Viking Orbiter and Mariner 9 tracking data. We divided the data into 282 arcs and sorted the data by periapse height, by inclination, and by satellite. The data were processed with the GEODYN/SOLVE orbit determination programs, which have previously been used to analyze planetary tracking data. The a priori Mars gravity field applied in this study was the 50th degree and order GMM-1 (Goddard Mars Model-1) model. The subsets of data were carefully edited to remove any arcs with close encounters of less than 500 km with either Phobos or Deimos. Whereas previous investigators have used close flybys (less than 500 km) to estimate the satellite masses, we have attempted to estimate the masses of Phobos and Deimos from multiday arcs which only included more distant encounters. The subsets of data were further edited to eliminate spurious data near solar conjunction (Nov.-Dec. 1976 and January 1979). In addition, the Viking-1 data from Oct. through Dec. 1978 were also excluded because of the low periapse altitude (as low as 232 km) and thus high sensitivity to atmospheric drag.

  20. Combining Remote Temperature Sensing with in-Situ Sensing to Track Marine/Freshwater Mixing Dynamics.

    PubMed

    McCaul, Margaret; Barland, Jack; Cleary, John; Cahalane, Conor; McCarthy, Tim; Diamond, Dermot

    2016-08-31

    The ability to track the dynamics of processes in natural water bodies on a global scale, and at a resolution that enables highly localised behaviour to be visualized, is an ideal scenario for understanding how local events can influence the global environment. While advances in in-situ chem/bio-sensing continue to be reported, costs and reliability issues still inhibit the implementation of large-scale deployments. In contrast, physical parameters like surface temperature can be tracked on a global scale using satellite remote sensing, and locally at high resolution via flyovers and drones using multi-spectral imaging. In this study, we show how a much more complete picture of submarine and intertidal groundwater discharge patterns in Kinvara Bay, Galway can be achieved using a fusion of data collected from the Earth Observation satellite (Landsat 8), small aircraft and in-situ sensors. Over the course of the four-day field campaign, over 65,000 in-situ temperatures, salinity and nutrient measurements were collected in parallel with high-resolution thermal imaging from aircraft flyovers. The processed in-situ data show highly correlated patterns between temperature and salinity at the southern end of the bay where freshwater springs can be identified at low tide. Salinity values range from 1 to 2 ppt at the southern end of the bay to 30 ppt at the mouth of the bay, indicating the presence of a freshwater wedge. The data clearly show that temperature differences can be used to track the dynamics of freshwater and seawater mixing in the inner bay region. This outcome suggests that combining the tremendous spatial density and wide geographical reach of remote temperature sensing (using drones, flyovers and satellites) with ground-truthing via appropriately located in-situ sensors (temperature, salinity, chemical, and biological) can produce a much more complete and accurate picture of the water dynamics than each modality used in isolation.

  1. Combining Remote Temperature Sensing with in-Situ Sensing to Track Marine/Freshwater Mixing Dynamics.

    PubMed

    McCaul, Margaret; Barland, Jack; Cleary, John; Cahalane, Conor; McCarthy, Tim; Diamond, Dermot

    2016-01-01

    The ability to track the dynamics of processes in natural water bodies on a global scale, and at a resolution that enables highly localised behaviour to be visualized, is an ideal scenario for understanding how local events can influence the global environment. While advances in in-situ chem/bio-sensing continue to be reported, costs and reliability issues still inhibit the implementation of large-scale deployments. In contrast, physical parameters like surface temperature can be tracked on a global scale using satellite remote sensing, and locally at high resolution via flyovers and drones using multi-spectral imaging. In this study, we show how a much more complete picture of submarine and intertidal groundwater discharge patterns in Kinvara Bay, Galway can be achieved using a fusion of data collected from the Earth Observation satellite (Landsat 8), small aircraft and in-situ sensors. Over the course of the four-day field campaign, over 65,000 in-situ temperatures, salinity and nutrient measurements were collected in parallel with high-resolution thermal imaging from aircraft flyovers. The processed in-situ data show highly correlated patterns between temperature and salinity at the southern end of the bay where freshwater springs can be identified at low tide. Salinity values range from 1 to 2 ppt at the southern end of the bay to 30 ppt at the mouth of the bay, indicating the presence of a freshwater wedge. The data clearly show that temperature differences can be used to track the dynamics of freshwater and seawater mixing in the inner bay region. This outcome suggests that combining the tremendous spatial density and wide geographical reach of remote temperature sensing (using drones, flyovers and satellites) with ground-truthing via appropriately located in-situ sensors (temperature, salinity, chemical, and biological) can produce a much more complete and accurate picture of the water dynamics than each modality used in isolation. PMID:27589770

  2. Combining Remote Temperature Sensing with in-Situ Sensing to Track Marine/Freshwater Mixing Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    McCaul, Margaret; Barland, Jack; Cleary, John; Cahalane, Conor; McCarthy, Tim; Diamond, Dermot

    2016-01-01

    The ability to track the dynamics of processes in natural water bodies on a global scale, and at a resolution that enables highly localised behaviour to be visualized, is an ideal scenario for understanding how local events can influence the global environment. While advances in in-situ chem/bio-sensing continue to be reported, costs and reliability issues still inhibit the implementation of large-scale deployments. In contrast, physical parameters like surface temperature can be tracked on a global scale using satellite remote sensing, and locally at high resolution via flyovers and drones using multi-spectral imaging. In this study, we show how a much more complete picture of submarine and intertidal groundwater discharge patterns in Kinvara Bay, Galway can be achieved using a fusion of data collected from the Earth Observation satellite (Landsat 8), small aircraft and in-situ sensors. Over the course of the four-day field campaign, over 65,000 in-situ temperatures, salinity and nutrient measurements were collected in parallel with high-resolution thermal imaging from aircraft flyovers. The processed in-situ data show highly correlated patterns between temperature and salinity at the southern end of the bay where freshwater springs can be identified at low tide. Salinity values range from 1 to 2 ppt at the southern end of the bay to 30 ppt at the mouth of the bay, indicating the presence of a freshwater wedge. The data clearly show that temperature differences can be used to track the dynamics of freshwater and seawater mixing in the inner bay region. This outcome suggests that combining the tremendous spatial density and wide geographical reach of remote temperature sensing (using drones, flyovers and satellites) with ground-truthing via appropriately located in-situ sensors (temperature, salinity, chemical, and biological) can produce a much more complete and accurate picture of the water dynamics than each modality used in isolation. PMID:27589770

  3. Site-specific effects on productivity of an upper trophic-level marine predator: Bottom-up, top-down, and mismatch effects on reproduction in a colonial seabird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, R.M.; Irons, D.B.; Brown, E.D.; Jodice, P.G.R.; Roby, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the relative roles of bottom-up and top-down factors in limiting productivity of an upper trophic level marine predator. Our primary working hypothesis was that the reproductive success of black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) a piscivorous, colonial-nesting seabird, was most limited by the abundance, distribution, and species composition of surface-schooling forage fishes. A secondary working hypothesis was that reproductive loss to kittiwake nest predators was greatest during years of reduced prey availability. We report on a broad-scale, integrated study of kittiwakes and their prey in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Our study spanned five breeding seasons (1995-1999) and focused on three colonies that differed in size (ranging from ca. 220 to ca. 7000 breeding pairs) and proximity to each other (50-135 km apart). Kittiwakes in PWS encountered a variety of aquatic habitats, creating a complex foraging environment for breeding birds. We measured kittiwake reproductive success and foraging activities, while simultaneously measuring the abundance of surface schooling forage fishes throughout the foraging range of breeding kittiwakes. The abundance of primary prey species for kittiwakes (Pacific herring Clupea pallasi, Pacific sand lance Ammodytes hexapterus, and capelin Mallotus villosus) varied both annually and regionally, with no one region consistently having the greatest abundance of prey. Likewise, kittiwake reproductive success varied considerably among colonies and years. We found that bottom-up, top-down, timing mismatch, and colony-specific effects were all important to kittiwake productivity. Although bottom-up effects appeared to be strongest, they were not evident in some cases until other effects, such as geographic location (proximity of colony to prey concentrations) and top-down predation, were considered. Important bottom-up effects on kittiwake reproductive success were not only total prey abundance and distribution, but also

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. Tracking the Hercules 265 marine gas well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, Isabel C.; Özgökmen, Tamay; Snyder, Susan; Schwing, Patrick; O'Malley, Bryan J.; Beron-Vera, Francisco J.; Olascoaga, Maria J.; Zhu, Ping; Ryan, Edward; Chen, Shuyi S.; Wetzel, Dana L.; Hollander, David; Murawski, Steven A.

    2016-01-01

    On 23 July 2013, a marine gas rig (Hercules 265) ignited in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The rig burned out of control for 2 days before being extinguished. We conducted a rapid-response sampling campaign near Hercules 265 after the fire to ascertain if sediments and fishes were polluted above earlier baseline levels. A surface drifter study confirmed that surface ocean water flowed to the southeast of the Hercules site, while the atmospheric plume generated by the blowout was in eastward direction. Sediment cores were collected to the SE of the rig at a distance of ˜0.2, 8, and 18 km using a multicorer, and demersal fishes were collected from ˜0.2 to 8 km SE of the rig using a longline (508 hooks). Recently deposited sediments document that only high molecular weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations decreased with increasing distance from the rig suggesting higher pyrogenic inputs associated with the blowout. A similar trend was observed in the foraminifera Haynesina germanica, an indicator species of pollution. In red snapper bile, only HMW PAH metabolites increased in 2013 nearly double those from 2012. Both surface sediments and fish bile analyses suggest that, in the aftermath of the blowout, increased concentration of pyrogenically derived hydrocarbons was transported and deposited in the environment. This study further emphasizes the need for an ocean observing system and coordinated rapid-response efforts from an array of scientific disciplines to effectively assess environmental impacts resulting from accidental releases of oil contaminants.

  7. Identifying and tracking proteins through the marine water column: insights into the inputs and preservation mechanisms of protein in sediments

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Eli K.; Nunn, Brook L.; Goodlett, David R.; Harvey, H. Rodger

    2012-01-01

    Proteins generated during primary production represent an important fraction of marine organic nitrogen and carbon, and have the potential to provide organism-specific information in the environment. The Bering Sea is a highly productive system dominated by seasonal blooms and was used as a model system for algal proteins to be tracked through the water column and incorporated into detrital sedimentary material. Samples of suspended and sinking particles were collected at multiple depths along with surface sediments on the continental shelf and deeper basin of the Bering Sea. Modified standard proteomic preparations were used in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the suite of proteins present and monitor changes in their distribution. In surface waters 207 proteins were identified, decreasing through the water column to 52 proteins identified in post-bloom shelf surface sediments and 24 proteins in deeper (3490 m) basin sediments. The vast majority of identified proteins in all samples were diatom in origin, reflecting their dominant contribution of biomass during the spring bloom. Identified proteins were predominantly from metabolic, binding/structural, and transport-related protein groups. Significant linear correlations were observed between the number of proteins identified and the concentration of total hydrolysable amino acids normalized to carbon and nitrogen. Organelle-bound, transmembrane, photosynthetic, and other proteins involved in light harvesting were preferentially retained during recycling. These findings suggest that organelle and membrane protection represent important mechanisms that enhance the preservation of protein during transport and incorporation into sediments. PMID:22711915

  8. Identifying and tracking proteins through the marine water column: Insights into the inputs and preservation mechanisms of protein in sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Eli K.; Nunn, Brook L.; Goodlett, David R.; Harvey, H. Rodger

    2012-04-01

    Proteins generated during primary production represent an important fraction of marine organic nitrogen and carbon, and have the potential to provide organism-specific information in the environment. The Bering Sea is a highly productive system dominated by seasonal blooms and was used as a model system for algal proteins to be tracked through the water column and incorporated into detrital sedimentary material. Samples of suspended and sinking particles were collected at multiple depths along with surface sediments on the continental shelf and deeper basin of the Bering Sea. Modified standard proteomic preparations were used in conjunction with high pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to identify the suite of proteins present and monitor changes in their distribution. In surface waters 207 proteins were identified, decreasing through the water column to 52 proteins identified in post-bloom shelf surface sediments and 24 proteins in deeper (3490 m) basin sediments. The vast majority of identified proteins in all samples were diatom in origin, reflecting their dominant contribution of biomass during the spring bloom. Identified proteins were predominantly from metabolic, binding/structural, and transport-related protein groups. Significant linear correlations were observed between the number of proteins identified and the concentration of total hydrolysable amino acids normalized to carbon and nitrogen. Organelle-bound, transmembrane, photosynthetic, and other proteins involved in light harvesting were preferentially retained during recycling. These findings suggest that organelle and membrane protection represent important mechanisms that enhance the preservation of protein during transport and incorporation into sediments.

  9. Using satellite tracking to optimize protection of long-lived marine species: olive ridley sea turtle conservation in Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry A; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J; Costa, Daniel P; Witt, Matthew J; Coyne, Michael S

    2011-05-11

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool.

  10. Using Satellite Tracking to Optimize Protection of Long-Lived Marine Species: Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation in Central Africa

    PubMed Central

    Maxwell, Sara M.; Breed, Greg A.; Nickel, Barry A.; Makanga-Bahouna, Junior; Pemo-Makaya, Edgard; Parnell, Richard J.; Formia, Angela; Ngouessono, Solange; Godley, Brendan J.; Costa, Daniel P.; Witt, Matthew J.; Coyne, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Tractable conservation measures for long-lived species require the intersection between protection of biologically relevant life history stages and a socioeconomically feasible setting. To protect breeding adults, we require knowledge of animal movements, how movement relates to political boundaries, and our confidence in spatial analyses of movement. We used satellite tracking and a switching state-space model to determine the internesting movements of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) (n = 18) in Central Africa during two breeding seasons (2007-08, 2008-09). These movements were analyzed in relation to current park boundaries and a proposed transboundary park between Gabon and the Republic of Congo, both created to reduce unintentional bycatch of sea turtles in marine fisheries. We additionally determined confidence intervals surrounding home range calculations. Turtles remained largely within a 30 km radius from the original nesting site before departing for distant foraging grounds. Only 44.6 percent of high-density areas were found within the current park but the proposed transboundary park would incorporate 97.6 percent of high-density areas. Though tagged individuals originated in Gabon, turtles were found in Congolese waters during greater than half of the internesting period (53.7 percent), highlighting the need for international cooperation and offering scientific support for a proposed transboundary park. This is the first comprehensive study on the internesting movements of solitary nesting olive ridley sea turtles, and it suggests the opportunity for tractable conservation measures for female nesting olive ridleys at this and other solitary nesting sites around the world. We draw from our results a framework for cost-effective protection of long-lived species using satellite telemetry as a primary tool. PMID:21589942

  11. Predator arithmetic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Evolution: predator versus parasite.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-05-19

    Both predators and brood parasites can be major threats to the reproduction of many birds. A new study shows that some cuckoo chicks can help deter nest predators, potentially improving host reproductive success when predation risks are high. PMID:24845665

  13. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

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

  14. Impact of small-scale environmental perturbations on local marine food resources: a case study of a predator, the little penguin.

    PubMed

    Ropert-Coudert, Yan; Kato, Akiko; Chiaradia, André

    2009-12-01

    Although the impact of environmental changes on the demographic parameters of top predators is well established, the mechanisms by which populations are affected remain poorly understood. Here, we show that a reduction in the thermal stratification of coastal water masses between 2005 and 2006 was associated with reduced foraging and breeding success of little penguins Eudyptula minor, major bio-indicators of the Bass Strait ecosystem in southern Australia. The foraging patterns of the penguins suggest that their prey disperse widely in poorly stratified waters, leading to reduced foraging efficiency and poor breeding success. Mixed water regimes resulting from storms are currently unusual during the breeding period of these birds, but are expected to become more frequent due to climate change.

  15. Bio-rescue of marine environments: On the track of microbially-based metal/metalloid remediation.

    PubMed

    Marques, Catarina R

    2016-09-15

    The recent awareness of the huge relevance of marine resources and ecological services is driving regulatory demands for their protection from overwhelming contaminants, such as metals/metalloids. These contaminants enter and accumulate in different marine niches, hence deeply compromising their quality and integrity. Bioremediation has been flourishing to counteract metal/metalloid impacts, since it provides cost-effective and sustainable options by relying on ecology-based technologies. The potential of marine microbes for metal/metalloid bioremediation is the core of many studies, due to their high plasticity to overcome successive environmental hurdles. However, any thorough review on the advances of metal/metalloid bioremediation in marine environments was so far unveiled. This review is designed to (i) outline the characteristics and potential of marine microbes for metal/metalloid bioremediation, (ii) describe the underlying pathways of resistance and detoxification, as well as useful methodologies for their characterization, (iii) identify major bottlenecks on metal/metalloid bioremediation with marine microbes, (iv) present alternative strategies based on microbial consortia and engineered microbes for enhanced bioremediation, and (v) propose key research avenues to keep pace with a changing society, science and economy in a sustainable manner.

  16. Post-breeding season migrations of a top predator, the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii), from a marine protected area in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Womble, Jamie N; Gende, Scott M

    2013-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used as a conservation tool for highly mobile marine vertebrates and the focus is typically on protecting breeding areas where individuals are aggregated seasonally. Yet movements during the non-breeding season can overlap with threats that may be equally as important to population dynamics. Thus understanding habitat use and movements of species during the non-breeding periods is critical for conservation. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, is one of the largest marine mammal protected areas in the world and has the only enforceable protection measures for reducing disturbance to harbor seals in the United States. Yet harbor seals have declined by up to 11.5%/year from 1992 to 2009. We used satellite-linked transmitters that were attached to 37 female harbor seals to quantify the post-breeding season migrations of seals and the amount of time that seals spent inside vs. outside of the MPA of Glacier Bay. Harbor seals traveled extensively beyond the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season, encompassing an area (25,325 km(2)) significantly larger than that used by seals during the breeding season (8,125 km(2)). These movements included the longest migration yet recorded for a harbor seal (3,411 km) and extended use (up to 23 days) of pelagic areas by some seals. Although the collective utilization distribution of harbor seals during the post-breeding season was quite expansive, there was a substantial degree of individual variability in the percentage of days that seals spent in the MPA. Nevertheless, harbor seals demonstrated a high degree of inter-annual site fidelity (93%) to Glacier Bay the following breeding season. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the threats that seals may interact with outside of the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay for understanding population dynamics of seals in Glacier Bay.

  17. Post-Breeding Season Migrations of a Top Predator, the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina richardii), from a Marine Protected Area in Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Womble, Jamie N.; Gende, Scott M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used as a conservation tool for highly mobile marine vertebrates and the focus is typically on protecting breeding areas where individuals are aggregated seasonally. Yet movements during the non-breeding season can overlap with threats that may be equally as important to population dynamics. Thus understanding habitat use and movements of species during the non-breeding periods is critical for conservation. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, is one of the largest marine mammal protected areas in the world and has the only enforceable protection measures for reducing disturbance to harbor seals in the United States. Yet harbor seals have declined by up to 11.5%/year from 1992 to 2009. We used satellite-linked transmitters that were attached to 37 female harbor seals to quantify the post-breeding season migrations of seals and the amount of time that seals spent inside vs. outside of the MPA of Glacier Bay. Harbor seals traveled extensively beyond the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay during the post-breeding season, encompassing an area (25,325 km2) significantly larger than that used by seals during the breeding season (8,125 km2). These movements included the longest migration yet recorded for a harbor seal (3,411 km) and extended use (up to 23 days) of pelagic areas by some seals. Although the collective utilization distribution of harbor seals during the post-breeding season was quite expansive, there was a substantial degree of individual variability in the percentage of days that seals spent in the MPA. Nevertheless, harbor seals demonstrated a high degree of inter-annual site fidelity (93%) to Glacier Bay the following breeding season. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the threats that seals may interact with outside of the boundaries of the MPA of Glacier Bay for understanding population dynamics of seals in Glacier Bay. PMID:23457468

  18. Tameness and stress physiology in a predator-naive island species confronted with novel predation threat

    PubMed Central

    Rödl, Thomas; Berger, Silke; Michael Romero, L; Wikelski, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Tame behaviour, i.e. low wariness, in terrestrial island species is often attributed to low predation pressure. However, we know little about its physiological control and its flexibility in the face of predator introductions. Marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) on the Galápagos Islands are a good model to study the physiological correlates of low wariness. They have lived virtually without predation for 5–15 Myr until some populations were first confronted with feral cats and dogs some 150 years ago. We tested whether and to what extent marine iguanas can adjust their behaviour and endocrine stress response to novel predation threats. Here, we show that a corticosterone stress response to experimental chasing is absent in naive animals, but is quickly restored with experience. Initially, low wariness also increases with experience, but remains an order of magnitude too low to allow successful escape from introduced predators. Our data suggest that the ability of marine iguanas to cope with predator introductions is limited by narrow reaction norms for behavioural wariness rather than by constraints in the underlying physiological stress system. In general, we predict that island endemics show flexible physiological stress responses but are restricted by narrow behavioural plasticity. PMID:17476779

  19. Delayed recovery of non-marine tetrapods after the end-Permian mass extinction tracks global carbon cycle

    PubMed Central

    Irmis, Randall B.; Whiteside, Jessica H.

    2012-01-01

    During the end-Permian mass extinction, marine ecosystems suffered a major drop in diversity, which was maintained throughout the Early Triassic until delayed recovery during the Middle Triassic. This depressed diversity in the Early Triassic correlates with multiple major perturbations to the global carbon cycle, interpreted as either intrinsic ecosystem or external palaeoenvironmental effects. In contrast, the terrestrial record of extinction and recovery is less clear; the effects and magnitude of the end-Permian extinction on non-marine vertebrates are particularly controversial. We use specimen-level data from southern Africa and Russia to investigate the palaeodiversity dynamics of non-marine tetrapods across the Permo-Triassic boundary by analysing sample-standardized generic richness, evenness and relative abundance. In addition, we investigate the potential effects of sampling, geological and taxonomic biases on these data. Our analyses demonstrate that non-marine tetrapods were severely affected by the end-Permian mass extinction, and that these assemblages did not begin to recover until the Middle Triassic. These data are congruent with those from land plants and marine invertebrates. Furthermore, they are consistent with the idea that unstable low-diversity post-extinction ecosystems were subject to boom–bust cycles, reflected in multiple Early Triassic perturbations of the carbon cycle. PMID:22031757

  20. Delayed recovery of non-marine tetrapods after the end-Permian mass extinction tracks global carbon cycle.

    PubMed

    Irmis, Randall B; Whiteside, Jessica H

    2012-04-01

    During the end-Permian mass extinction, marine ecosystems suffered a major drop in diversity, which was maintained throughout the Early Triassic until delayed recovery during the Middle Triassic. This depressed diversity in the Early Triassic correlates with multiple major perturbations to the global carbon cycle, interpreted as either intrinsic ecosystem or external palaeoenvironmental effects. In contrast, the terrestrial record of extinction and recovery is less clear; the effects and magnitude of the end-Permian extinction on non-marine vertebrates are particularly controversial. We use specimen-level data from southern Africa and Russia to investigate the palaeodiversity dynamics of non-marine tetrapods across the Permo-Triassic boundary by analysing sample-standardized generic richness, evenness and relative abundance. In addition, we investigate the potential effects of sampling, geological and taxonomic biases on these data. Our analyses demonstrate that non-marine tetrapods were severely affected by the end-Permian mass extinction, and that these assemblages did not begin to recover until the Middle Triassic. These data are congruent with those from land plants and marine invertebrates. Furthermore, they are consistent with the idea that unstable low-diversity post-extinction ecosystems were subject to boom-bust cycles, reflected in multiple Early Triassic perturbations of the carbon cycle. PMID:22031757

  1. Foraging in the Darkness of the Southern Ocean: Influence of Bioluminescence on a Deep Diving Predator

    PubMed Central

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES’s main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments. PMID:22952706

  2. Foraging in the darkness of the Southern Ocean: influence of bioluminescence on a deep diving predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES's main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments.

  3. Foraging in the darkness of the Southern Ocean: influence of bioluminescence on a deep diving predator.

    PubMed

    Vacquié-Garcia, Jade; Royer, François; Dragon, Anne-Cécile; Viviant, Morgane; Bailleul, Frédéric; Guinet, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    How non-echolocating deep diving marine predators locate their prey while foraging remains mostly unknown. Female southern elephant seals (SES) (Mirounga leonina) have vision adapted to low intensity light with a peak sensitivity at 485 nm. This matches the wavelength of bioluminescence produced by a large range of marine organisms including myctophid fish, SES's main prey. In this study, we investigated whether bioluminescence provides an accurate estimate of prey occurrence for SES. To do so, four SES were satellite-tracked during their post-breeding foraging trip and were equipped with Time-Depth-Recorders that also recorded light levels every two seconds. A total of 3386 dives were processed through a light-treatment model that detected light events higher than ambient level, i.e. bioluminescence events. The number of bioluminescence events was related to an index of foraging intensity for SES dives deep enough to avoid the influence of natural ambient light. The occurrence of bioluminescence was found to be negatively related to depth both at night and day. Foraging intensity was also positively related to bioluminescence both during day and night. This result suggests that bioluminescence likely provides SES with valuable indications of prey occurrence and might be a key element in predator-prey interactions in deep-dark marine environments. PMID:22952706

  4. Predation at the Shore.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Time-delay test of general relativity and Earth-Mars ephemeris improvement from analysis of Mariner 9 tracking data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shapiro, I. I.; Reasenberg, R. D.

    1973-01-01

    Because of the large systematic errors that accompany the conversion of spacecraft ranging data to equivalent Earth-Mars time delays, the corresponding determination of gamma does not now allow the predictions of general relativity to be distinguished from those of the Brans-Dicke scalar-tensor theory with the fraction s of scalar field admixture being 0.06. The uncertainty in the determination of (1 plus gamma)/2 at the present stage of the Mariner 9 data analysis is at about the 10% level. The ephemeris of Mars suffers from the same problem: Only with the elimination of a major fraction of the systematic errors affecting the Mariner 9 pseudo observables will a truly substantial improvement be possible in the determination of the orbit.

  6. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Grecian, W James; Witt, Matthew J; Attrill, Martin J; Bearhop, Stuart; Becker, Peter H; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W; Godley, Brendan J; González-Solís, Jacob; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Patrick, Samantha C; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A; Stenhouse, Iain J; Votier, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  7. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Grecian, W James; Witt, Matthew J; Attrill, Martin J; Bearhop, Stuart; Becker, Peter H; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W; Godley, Brendan J; González-Solís, Jacob; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Patrick, Samantha C; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A; Stenhouse, Iain J; Votier, Stephen C

    2016-08-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action.

  8. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Attrill, Martin J.; Becker, Peter H.; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W.; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  9. Interactive effects of ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures alter predation rate and predator selectivity in reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Munday, Philip L; Rummer, Jodie L; McCormick, Mark I; Corkill, Katherine; Watson, Sue-Ann; Allan, Bridie J M; Meekan, Mark G; Chivers, Douglas P

    2015-05-01

    Ocean warming and acidification are serious threats to marine life. While each stressor alone has been studied in detail, their combined effects on the outcome of ecological interactions are poorly understood. We measured predation rates and predator selectivity of two closely related species of damselfish exposed to a predatory dottyback. We found temperature and CO2 interacted synergistically on overall predation rate, but antagonistically on predator selectivity. Notably, elevated CO2 or temperature alone reversed predator selectivity, but the interaction between the two stressors cancelled selectivity. Routine metabolic rates of the two prey showed strong species differences in tolerance to CO2 and not temperature, but these differences did not correlate with recorded mortality. This highlights the difficulty of linking species-level physiological tolerance to resulting ecological outcomes. This study is the first to document both synergistic and antagonistic effects of elevated CO2 and temperature on a crucial ecological process like predator-prey dynamics.

  10. Intraguild predation reduces redundancy of predator species in multiple predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

    1. Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators. 2. Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations. 3. We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations. 4. However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased. 5. Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species.

  11. Intraguild predation reduces redundancy of predator species in multiple predator assemblage.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

    1. Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators. 2. Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations. 3. We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations. 4. However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased. 5. Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species. PMID:17009759

  12. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Simon J; Monaco, Mark E; Friedlander, Alan M; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S; Kendall, Matthew S; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D; Wedding, Lisa M; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness.

  13. Fish with chips: tracking reef fish movements to evaluate size and connectivity of Caribbean marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Pittman, Simon J; Monaco, Mark E; Friedlander, Alan M; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S; Kendall, Matthew S; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D; Wedding, Lisa M; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40-64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  14. Fish with Chips: Tracking Reef Fish Movements to Evaluate Size and Connectivity of Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

    PubMed Central

    Pittman, Simon J.; Monaco, Mark E.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Legare, Bryan; Nemeth, Richard S.; Kendall, Matthew S.; Poti, Matthew; Clark, Randall D.; Wedding, Lisa M.; Caldow, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Coral reefs and associated fish populations have experienced rapid decline in the Caribbean region and marine protected areas (MPAs) have been widely implemented to address this decline. The performance of no-take MPAs (i.e., marine reserves) for protecting and rebuilding fish populations is influenced by the movement of animals within and across their boundaries. Very little is known about Caribbean reef fish movements creating a critical knowledge gap that can impede effective MPA design, performance and evaluation. Using miniature implanted acoustic transmitters and a fixed acoustic receiver array, we address three key questions: How far can reef fish move? Does connectivity exist between adjacent MPAs? Does existing MPA size match the spatial scale of reef fish movements? We show that many reef fishes are capable of traveling far greater distances and in shorter duration than was previously known. Across the Puerto Rican Shelf, more than half of our 163 tagged fish (18 species of 10 families) moved distances greater than 1 km with three fish moving more than 10 km in a single day and a quarter spending time outside of MPAs. We provide direct evidence of ecological connectivity across a network of MPAs, including estimated movements of more than 40 km connecting a nearshore MPA with a shelf-edge spawning aggregation. Most tagged fish showed high fidelity to MPAs, but also spent time outside MPAs, potentially contributing to spillover. Three-quarters of our fish were capable of traveling distances that would take them beyond the protection offered by at least 40–64% of the existing eastern Caribbean MPAs. We recommend that key species movement patterns be used to inform and evaluate MPA functionality and design, particularly size and shape. A re-scaling of our perception of Caribbean reef fish mobility and habitat use is imperative, with important implications for ecology and management effectiveness. PMID:24797815

  15. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Stephen D.; Radford, Andrew N.; Nedelec, Sophie L.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.; Chivers, Douglas P.; McCormick, Mark I.; Meekan, Mark G.

    2016-01-01

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans. PMID:26847493

  16. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Stephen D; Radford, Andrew N; Nedelec, Sophie L; Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P; McCormick, Mark I; Meekan, Mark G

    2016-01-01

    Noise-generating human activities affect hearing, communication and movement in terrestrial and aquatic animals, but direct evidence for impacts on survival is rare. We examined effects of motorboat noise on post-settlement survival and physiology of a prey fish species and its performance when exposed to predators. Both playback of motorboat noise and direct disturbance by motorboats elevated metabolic rate in Ambon damselfish (Pomacentrus amboinensis), which when stressed by motorboat noise responded less often and less rapidly to simulated predatory strikes. Prey were captured more readily by their natural predator (dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) during exposure to motorboat noise compared with ambient conditions, and more than twice as many prey were consumed by the predator in field experiments when motorboats were passing. Our study suggests that a common source of noise in the marine environment has the potential to impact fish demography, highlighting the need to include anthropogenic noise in management plans. PMID:26847493

  17. A comparison of indirect measures of feeding behaviour based on ARGOS tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, P. W.; Tremblay, Y.; Crocker, D. E.; Kappes, M. A.; Kuhn, C. E.; Shaffer, S. A.; Simmons, S. E.; Costa, D. P.

    2007-02-01

    ARGOS tracking data are frequently used to infer feeding locations of marine predators. Most track-based methods rely on the assumption that feeding takes place within regions of area-restricted search (ARS); however, it is unclear whether the spatial accuracy and temporal resolution of ARGOS-quality data are sufficient to extract the location of ARSs at the resolution of individual feeding bouts. Using ARGOS tracking data from northern elephant seals ( Mirounga angustirostris) and Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis), we tested several track-based estimators of feeding locations against independent feeding proxies (dive type or shape and number of landing events). The track-based methods were: turn angle, transit rate, first-passage time, and fractal dimension. None of these methods provided a reliable estimate of putative feeding activity at the species level, as measured by dive-type analysis or landing events. At the individual level, variation in agreement between track-based estimates and feeding proxies highlighted the importance of considering the effect of spatial scale. Biological justification of track-based metrics should be more carefully assessed before assigning particular functions to individual tracks (feeding/foraging/searching/transit) or groups of tracks (biological hotspots).

  18. Top predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology.

    PubMed

    Palacios, Maria M; Killen, Shaun S; Nadler, Lauren E; White, James R; McCormick, Mark I

    2016-07-01

    Predation theory and empirical evidence suggest that top predators benefit the survival of resource prey through the suppression of mesopredators. However, whether such behavioural suppression can also affect the physiology of resource prey has yet to be examined. Using a three-tier reef fish food web and intermittent-flow respirometry, our study examined changes in the metabolic rate of resource prey exposed to combinations of mesopredator and top predator cues. Under experimental conditions, the mesopredator (dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus) continuously foraged and attacked resource prey (juveniles of the damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis) triggering an increase in prey O2 uptake by 38 ± 12·9% (mean ± SE). The visual stimulus of a top predator (coral trout, Plectropomus leopardus) restricted the foraging activity of the mesopredator, indirectly allowing resource prey to minimize stress and maintain routine O2 uptake. Although not as strong as the effect of the top predator, the sight of a large non-predator species (thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus) also reduced the impact of the mesopredator on prey metabolic rate. We conclude that lower trophic-level species can benefit physiologically from the presence of top predators through the behavioural suppression that top predators impose on mesopredators. By minimizing the energy spent on mesopredator avoidance and the associated stress response to mesopredator attacks, prey may be able to invest more energy in foraging and growth, highlighting the importance of the indirect, non-consumptive effects of top predators in marine food webs. PMID:27113316

  19. Tracking and data system support for the Mariner Mars 1971 mission. Prelaunch phase through first trajectory correction maneuver, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laeser, R. P.; Textor, G. P.; Kelly, L. B.; Kelly, M.

    1972-01-01

    The DSN command system provided the capability to enter commands in a computer at the deep space stations for transmission to the spacecraft. The high-rate telemetry system operated at 16,200 bits/sec. This system will permit return to DSS 14 of full-resolution television pictures from the spacecraft tape recorder, plus the other science experiment data, during the two playback periods of each Goldstone pass planned for each corresponding orbit. Other features included 4800 bits/sec modem high-speed data lines from all deep space stations to Space Flight Operations Facility (SFOF) and the Goddard Space Flight Center, as well as 50,000 bits/sec wideband data lines from DSS 14 to the SFOF, thus providing the capability for data flow of two 16,200 bits/sec high-rate telemetry data streams in real time. The TDS performed prelaunch training and testing and provided support for the Mariner Mars 1971/Mission Operations System training and testing. The facilities of the ETR, DSS 71, and stations of the MSFN provided flight support coverage at launch and during the near-earth phase. The DSSs 12, 14, 41, and 51 of the DSN provided the deep space phase support from 30 May 1971 through 4 June 1971.

  20. Tracking the critical offshore conditions leading to marine inundation via active learning of full-process based models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohmer, Jeremy; Idier, Deborah; Bulteau, Thomas; Paris, François

    2016-04-01

    From a risk management perspective, it can be of high interest to identify the critical set of offshore conditions that lead to inundation on key assets for the studied territory (e.g., assembly points, evacuation routes, hospitals, etc.). This inverse approach of risk assessment (Idier et al., NHESS, 2013) can be of primary importance either for the estimation of the coastal flood hazard return period or for constraining the early warning networks based on hydro-meteorological forecast or observations. However, full-process based models for coastal flooding simulation have very large computational time cost (typically of several hours), which often limits the analysis to a few scenarios. Recently, it has been shown that meta-modelling approaches can efficiently handle this difficulty (e.g., Rohmer & Idier, NHESS, 2012). Yet, the full-process based models are expected to present strong non-linearities (non-regularities) or shocks (discontinuities), i.e. dynamics controlled by thresholds. For instance, in case of coastal defense, the dynamics is characterized first by a linear behavior of the waterline position (increase with increasing offshore conditions), as long as there is no overtopping, and then by a very strong increase (as soon as the offshore conditions are energetic enough to lead to wave overtopping, and then overflow). Such behavior might make the training phase of the meta-model very tedious. In the present study, we propose to explore the feasibility of active learning techniques, aka semi-supervised machine learning, to track the set of critical conditions with a reduced number of long-running simulations. The basic idea relies on identifying the simulation scenarios which should both reduce the meta-model error and improve the prediction of the critical contour of interest. To overcome the afore-described difficulty related to non-regularity, we rely on Support Vector Machines, which have shown very high performance for structural reliability

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

    PubMed

    Hollander, Johan; Bourdeau, Paul E

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Ocean Tracks: College Edition - Promoting Data Literacy in Science Education at the Undergraduate Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kochevar, R. E.; Krumhansl, R.; Louie, J.; Aluwihare, L.; Bardar, E. W.; Hirsch, L.; Hoyle, C.; Krumhansl, K.; Madura, J.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Peach, C. L.; Trujillo, A.; Winney, B.; Zetterlind, V.

    2015-12-01

    Ocean Tracks is a Web-based interactive learning experience which allows users to explore the migrations of marine apex predators, and the way their behaviors relate to the physical and chemical environment surrounding them. Ocean Tracks provides access to data from the Tagging of Pelagic Predators (TOPP) program, NOAA's Global Drifter Program, and Earth-orbiting satellites via the Ocean Tracks interactive map interface; customized data analysis tools; multimedia supports; along with laboratory modules customized for undergraduate student use. It is part of a broader portfolio of projects comprising the Oceans of Data Institute, dedicated to transforming education to prepare citizens for a data-intensive world. Although originally developed for use in high school science classrooms, the Ocean Tracks interface and associated curriculum has generated interest among instructors at the undergraduate level, who wanted to engage their students in hands-on work with real scientific datasets. In 2014, EDC and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography received funding from NSF's IUSE program for Ocean Tracks: College Edition, to investigate how a learning model that includes a data interface, set of analysis tools, and curricula can be used to motivate students to learn and do science with real data; bringing opportunities to engage broad student populations, including both in-classroom and remote, on-line participants, in scientific practice. Phase 1, completed in the summer of 2015, was a needs assessment, consisting of a survey and interviews with students in oceanography classes at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Palomar Community College; a document review of course syllabi and primary textbooks used in current college marine science courses across the country; and interviews and a national survey of marine science faculty. We will present the results of this work, and will discuss new curriculum materials that are being classroom tested in the fall of 2015.

  3. Application of human and animal viral microbial source tracking tools in fresh and marine waters from five different geographical areas.

    PubMed

    Rusiñol, Marta; Fernandez-Cassi, Xavier; Hundesa, Ayalkibet; Vieira, Carmen; Kern, Anita; Eriksson, Irene; Ziros, Panos; Kay, David; Miagostovich, Marize; Vargha, Marta; Allard, Annika; Vantarakis, Apostolos; Wyn-Jones, Peter; Bofill-Mas, Sílvia; Girones, Rosina

    2014-08-01

    Integrated river basin management planning to mitigate the impacts of economic, demographic and climate change is an important issue for the future protection of water resources. Identifying sources of microbial contamination via the emerging science of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) plays a key role in risk assessment and the design of remediation strategies. Following an 18-month surveillance program within the EU-FP7-funded VIROCLIME project, specific MST tools were used to assess human markers such as adenoviruses (HAdV) and JC polyomaviruses (JCPyV) and porcine and bovine markers such as porcine adenoviruses (PAdV) and bovine polyomaviruses (BPyV) via quantification with real-time PCR to analyze surface water collected from five sites within different climatic zones: the Negro River (Brazil), Glafkos River (Greece), Tisza River (Hungary), Llobregat River (Spain) and Umeälven River (Sweden). The utility of the viral MST tools and the prevalence and abundance of specific human and animal viruses in the five river catchments and adjacent seawater, which is impacted by riverine contributions from the upstream catchments, were examined. In areas where no sanitation systems have been implemented, sewage can directly enter surface waters, and river water exhibited high viral loads; HAdV and JCPyV could be detected at mean concentrations of 10(5) and 10(4) Genome Copies/Liter (GC/L), respectively. In general, river water samples upstream of urban discharges presented lower human viral loads than downstream sampling sites, and those differences appeared to increase with urban populations but decrease in response to high river flow, as the elevated river water volume dilutes microbial loads. During dry seasons, river water flow decreases dramatically, and secondary effluents can represent the bulk of the riverine discharge. We also observed that ice cover that formed over the river during the winter in the studied areas in North Europe could preserve viral stability

  4. Application of human and animal viral microbial source tracking tools in fresh and marine waters from five different geographical areas.

    PubMed

    Rusiñol, Marta; Fernandez-Cassi, Xavier; Hundesa, Ayalkibet; Vieira, Carmen; Kern, Anita; Eriksson, Irene; Ziros, Panos; Kay, David; Miagostovich, Marize; Vargha, Marta; Allard, Annika; Vantarakis, Apostolos; Wyn-Jones, Peter; Bofill-Mas, Sílvia; Girones, Rosina

    2014-08-01

    Integrated river basin management planning to mitigate the impacts of economic, demographic and climate change is an important issue for the future protection of water resources. Identifying sources of microbial contamination via the emerging science of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) plays a key role in risk assessment and the design of remediation strategies. Following an 18-month surveillance program within the EU-FP7-funded VIROCLIME project, specific MST tools were used to assess human markers such as adenoviruses (HAdV) and JC polyomaviruses (JCPyV) and porcine and bovine markers such as porcine adenoviruses (PAdV) and bovine polyomaviruses (BPyV) via quantification with real-time PCR to analyze surface water collected from five sites within different climatic zones: the Negro River (Brazil), Glafkos River (Greece), Tisza River (Hungary), Llobregat River (Spain) and Umeälven River (Sweden). The utility of the viral MST tools and the prevalence and abundance of specific human and animal viruses in the five river catchments and adjacent seawater, which is impacted by riverine contributions from the upstream catchments, were examined. In areas where no sanitation systems have been implemented, sewage can directly enter surface waters, and river water exhibited high viral loads; HAdV and JCPyV could be detected at mean concentrations of 10(5) and 10(4) Genome Copies/Liter (GC/L), respectively. In general, river water samples upstream of urban discharges presented lower human viral loads than downstream sampling sites, and those differences appeared to increase with urban populations but decrease in response to high river flow, as the elevated river water volume dilutes microbial loads. During dry seasons, river water flow decreases dramatically, and secondary effluents can represent the bulk of the riverine discharge. We also observed that ice cover that formed over the river during the winter in the studied areas in North Europe could preserve viral stability

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:27159553

  8. The Predator-Prey Relationship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

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

  9. The effect of turbidity on recognition and generalization of predators and non-predators in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Chivers, Douglas P; Al-Batati, Fawaz; Brown, Grant E; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-02-01

    Recent anthropogenic activities have caused a considerable change in the turbidity of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Concomitant with such perturbations are changes in community composition. Understanding the mechanisms through which species interactions are influenced by anthropogenic change has come to the forefront of many ecological disciplines. Here, we examine how a change in the availability of visual information influences the behavior of prey fish exposed to potential predators and non-predators. When fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, were conditioned to recognize predators and non-predators in clear water, they showed a highly sophisticated ability to distinguish predators from non-predators. However, when learning occurred under conditions of increased turbidity, the ability of the prey to learn and generalize recognition of predators and non-predators was severely impaired. Our work highlights that changes at the community level associated with anthropogenic perturbations may be mediated through altered trophic interactions, and highlights the need to closely examine behavioral interactions to understand how species interactions change.

  10. The effect of turbidity on recognition and generalization of predators and non-predators in aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Chivers, Douglas P; Al-Batati, Fawaz; Brown, Grant E; Ferrari, Maud C O

    2013-01-01

    Recent anthropogenic activities have caused a considerable change in the turbidity of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Concomitant with such perturbations are changes in community composition. Understanding the mechanisms through which species interactions are influenced by anthropogenic change has come to the forefront of many ecological disciplines. Here, we examine how a change in the availability of visual information influences the behavior of prey fish exposed to potential predators and non-predators. When fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas, were conditioned to recognize predators and non-predators in clear water, they showed a highly sophisticated ability to distinguish predators from non-predators. However, when learning occurred under conditions of increased turbidity, the ability of the prey to learn and generalize recognition of predators and non-predators was severely impaired. Our work highlights that changes at the community level associated with anthropogenic perturbations may be mediated through altered trophic interactions, and highlights the need to closely examine behavioral interactions to understand how species interactions change. PMID:23467451

  11. Viruses manipulate the marine environment.

    PubMed

    Rohwer, Forest; Thurber, Rebecca Vega

    2009-05-14

    Marine viruses affect Bacteria, Archaea and eukaryotic organisms and are major components of the marine food web. Most studies have focused on their role as predators and parasites, but many of the interactions between marine viruses and their hosts are much more complicated. A series of recent studies has shown that viruses have the ability to manipulate the life histories and evolution of their hosts in remarkable ways, challenging our understanding of this almost invisible world.

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

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

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

  13. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K; Myers, Ransom A

    2003-08-19

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20-30 degrees N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts. PMID:12907699

  14. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K; Myers, Ransom A

    2003-08-19

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20-30 degrees N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts.

  15. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean

    PubMed Central

    Worm, Boris; Lotze, Heike K.; Myers, Ransom A.

    2003-01-01

    Concentrations of biodiversity, or hotspots, represent conservation priorities in terrestrial ecosystems but remain largely unexplored in marine habitats. In the open ocean, many large predators such as tunas, sharks, billfishes, and sea turtles are of current conservation concern because of their vulnerability to overfishing and ecosystem role. Here we use scientific-observer records from pelagic longline fisheries in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to show that oceanic predators concentrate in distinct diversity hotspots. Predator diversity consistently peaks at intermediate latitudes (20–30° N and S), where tropical and temperate species ranges overlap. Individual hotspots are found close to prominent habitat features such as reefs, shelf breaks, or seamounts and often coincide with zooplankton and coral reef hotspots. Closed-area models in the northwest Atlantic predict that protection of hotspots outperforms other area closures in safeguarding threatened pelagic predators from ecological extinction. We conclude that the seemingly monotonous landscape of the open ocean shows rich structure in species diversity and that these features should be used to focus future conservation efforts. PMID:12907699

  16. Foraging Behavior of Subantarctic Fur Seals Supports Efficiency of a Marine Reserve's Design.

    PubMed

    Kirkman, Stephen P; Yemane, Dawit G; Lamont, Tarron; Meÿer, Michael A; Pistorius, Pierre A

    2016-01-01

    Foraging behaviour of marine top predators is increasingly being used to identify areas of ecological importance. This is largely enabled by the ability of many such species to forage extensively in search of prey that is often concentrated in oceanographically productive areas. To identify important habitat in the Southern Indian Ocean within and around South Africa's Prince Edward Islands' Marine Protected Area (MPA), satellite transmitters were deployed on 12 lactating Subantarctic fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis at Prince Edward Island (PEI) itself. Switching state space models were employed to correct ARGOS tracks and estimate behavioural states for locations along predicted tracks, namely travelling or area restricted search (ARS). A random forest model showed that distance from the study colony, longitude and distance from the Subantarctic Front were the most important predictors of suitable foraging habitat (inferred from ARS). Model-predicted suitable habitat occurred within the MPA in relatively close access to the colony during summer and autumn, but shifted northwards concurrently with frontal movements in winter and spring. The association of ARS with the MPA during summer-autumn was highly significant, highlighting the effectiveness of the recently declared reserve's design for capturing suitable foraging habitat for this and probably other marine top predator species. PMID:27163373

  17. Foraging Behavior of Subantarctic Fur Seals Supports Efficiency of a Marine Reserve’s Design

    PubMed Central

    Kirkman, Stephen P.; Yemane, Dawit G.; Lamont, Tarron; Meÿer, Michael A.; Pistorius, Pierre A.

    2016-01-01

    Foraging behaviour of marine top predators is increasingly being used to identify areas of ecological importance. This is largely enabled by the ability of many such species to forage extensively in search of prey that is often concentrated in oceanographically productive areas. To identify important habitat in the Southern Indian Ocean within and around South Africa’s Prince Edward Islands’ Marine Protected Area (MPA), satellite transmitters were deployed on 12 lactating Subantarctic fur seals Arctocephalus tropicalis at Prince Edward Island (PEI) itself. Switching state space models were employed to correct ARGOS tracks and estimate behavioural states for locations along predicted tracks, namely travelling or area restricted search (ARS). A random forest model showed that distance from the study colony, longitude and distance from the Subantarctic Front were the most important predictors of suitable foraging habitat (inferred from ARS). Model-predicted suitable habitat occurred within the MPA in relatively close access to the colony during summer and autumn, but shifted northwards concurrently with frontal movements in winter and spring. The association of ARS with the MPA during summer-autumn was highly significant, highlighting the effectiveness of the recently declared reserve’s design for capturing suitable foraging habitat for this and probably other marine top predator species. PMID:27163373

  18. Predator removal and nesting waterbird success at San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meckstroth, A.M.; Miles, A.K.

    2005-01-01

    The efficacy of long-term predator removal in urbanized areas is poorly understood. The impact of predation on ground-nesting waterbirds, as well as predator abundance and composition in predator removal versus non-removal or reference sites were examined at South San Francisco Bay. The success of natural nests and predator activity was monitored using track plates, trip cameras, wire haircatchers and simulated nests. Removal sites had higher nest densities, but lower hatching success than reference sites. Predator composition and abundance were not different at the removal and reference sites for any predator other than feral Cat (Felis domesticus). Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) comprised the majority (84%) of predators removed, yet remained the most abundant predators in removal and reference sites. Urban environments provide supplemental food that may influence skunks and other nest predators to immigrate into vacancies created by predator removal. Based on the findings from this study, predator removal should be applied intensively over a larger geographic area in order to be a viable management strategy for some mammalian species in urbanized areas.

  19. Size- and condition-dependent predation: a seabird disproportionately targets substandard individual juvenile salmon.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Strahan; Hipfner, J Mark; Trudel, Marc

    2016-02-01

    Selection of prey that are small and in poor body condition is a widespread phenomenon in terrestrial predator-prey systems and may benefit prey populations by removing substandard individuals. Similar selection is widely assumed to operate in aquatic systems. Indeed, size-selective predation is a longstanding and central tenet of aquatic food web theory. However, it is not known if aquatic predators select prey based on their condition or state, compared to their size. Surprisingly, no comparable information is available for marine systems because it is exceedingly difficult to make direct observations in this realm. Thus the role of body condition in regulating susceptibility to predation remains a black box in the marine environment. Here we have exploited an ideal model system to evaluate selective predation on pelagic marine fish: comparing characteristics (fork length, mass corrected for fork length) of fresh, whole, intact juvenile Pacific salmon delivered by a seabird to its single nestling with salmon collected concurrently in coastal trawl surveys. Three species of juvenile salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are consumed by provisioning Rhinoceros Auklets (Cerorhinca nionocerata); an abundant, colonial, pursuit-diving seabird. Samples were collected from multiple colonies and fisheries surveys in coastal British Columbia in two years. As predicted, Auklets preyed on small individuals in poor condition and consistently selected them at levels higher than their relative availability. This is the first study to provide direct evidence for both size- and condition-selective predation on marine fish in the wild. We anticipate that our results will be a starting point in evaluating how selective predation may structure or influence marine fish populations and bridges a fundamental incongruity between ecological theory and application; although "bigger is better" is considered a fundamental tenet of marine food webs, marine predators are often assumed to consume

  20. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Nicole K; Pu, Zhichao; Jiang, Lin

    2016-09-01

    Predation is among the most important biotic factors influencing natural communities, yet we have a rather rudimentary understanding of its role in modulating metacommunity assembly. We experimentally examined the effects of two different predators (a generalist and a specialist) on metacommunity assembly, using protist microcosm metacommunities that varied in predator identity, dispersal among local communities and the history of species colonization into local communities. Generalist predation resulted in reduced α diversity and increased β diversity irrespective of dispersal, likely due to predation-induced stochastic extinction of different prey species in different local communities. Dispersal, however, induced source-sink dynamics in the presence of specialist predators, resulting in higher α diversity and marginally lower β diversity. These results demonstrate the distinct effects of different predators on prey metacommunity assembly, emphasizing the need to explore the role of predator diet breadth in structuring metacommunities. PMID:27349796

  1. How detectable is predation in stage-structured populations? Insights from a simulation-testing analysis.

    PubMed

    Oken, Kiva L; Essington, Timothy E

    2015-01-01

    The potential of predation to structure marine food webs is widely acknowledged. However, available tools to detect the regulation of prey population dynamics by predation are limited, partly because available population data often aggregate a population's age structure into a single biomass or abundance metric. Additionally, many food webs are relatively complex, with prey species subject to different assemblages of predators throughout their ontogeny. The goal of this study was to evaluate the extent to which stage-structured predation could be reliably detected from time series of total biomass of predators and prey. We simulated age-structured populations of four mid-trophic-level fish species with distinct life-history traits, exposed them to variable predation at different life stages and fit production models to resulting population biomass to determine how reliably the effects of predators could be detected. Predation targeting early life history and juvenile life stages generally led to larger fluctuations in annual production and was therefore more detectable. However, ecologically realistic levels of observation error and environmental stochasticity masked most predator signals. The addition of predation at a second life stage sharply decreased the ability to detect the effect of each predator. We conclude that the absence of detectable species interactions from biomass time series may be partly due to the interactive effects of environmental variability and complex food web linkages and life histories. We also note that predation signals are most robust for predator-prey systems where predators primarily act on mortality of submature life-history stages. Simulation testing can be applied widely to evaluate the statistical power of analyses to detect predation effects.

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

    PubMed Central

    Geraldi, Nathan R.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Production of coleopteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  4. 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.

  5. Speed-accuracy tradeoffs and false alarms in bee responses to cryptic predators.

    PubMed

    Ings, Thomas C; Chittka, Lars

    2008-10-14

    Learning plays a crucial role in predator avoidance [1-3], but little is known about how the type of experience with predators molds future prey behavior. Specifically, is predator-avoidance learning and memory retention disrupted by cryptic coloration of predators, such as crab spiders [4, 5]? How does experience with different predators affect foraging decisions? We evaluated these questions by exposing foraging bumblebees to controlled predation risk from predators (robotic crab spiders) that were either cryptic or highly contrasting, as assessed by a quantitative model of bee color perception [6]. Our results from 3D tracking software reveal a speed-accuracy tradeoff [7]: Bees slow their inspection flights after learning that there is a risk from cryptic spiders. The adjustment of inspection effort results in accurate predator detection, leveling out predation risk at the expense of foraging time. Overnight-retention tests reveal no decline in performance, but bees that had experienced cryptic predators are more prone to "false alarms" (rejection of foraging opportunities on safe flowers) than those that had experienced conspicuous predators. Therefore, bees in the cryptic-spider treatment made a functional decision to trade off reduced foraging efficiency via increased inspection times and false-alarm rates against higher potential fitness loss from being injured or eaten.

  6. Anticancer agents from marine sponges.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jianjun; Zhou, Feng; Al-Kareef, Ammar M Q; Wang, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Marine sponges are currently one of the richest sources of anticancer active compounds found in the marine ecosystems. More than 5300 different known metabolites are from sponges and their associated microorganisms. To survive in the complicated marine environment, most of the sponge species have evolved chemical means to defend against predation. Such chemical adaptation produces many biologically active secondary metabolites including anticancer agents. This review highlights novel secondary metabolites in sponges which inhibited diverse cancer species in the recent 5 years. These natural products of marine sponges are categorized based on various chemical characteristics.

  7. 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.

  8. Sharks modulate their escape behavior in response to predator size, speed and approach orientation.

    PubMed

    Seamone, Scott; Blaine, Tristan; Higham, Timothy E

    2014-12-01

    Escape responses are often critical for surviving predator-prey interactions. Nevertheless, little is known about how predator size, speed and approach orientation impact escape performance, especially in larger prey that are primarily viewed as predators. We used realistic shark models to examine how altering predatory behavior and morphology (size, speed and approach orientation) influences escape behavior and performance in Squalus acanthias, a shark that is preyed upon by apex marine predators. Predator models induced C-start escape responses, and increasing the size and speed of the models triggered a more intense response (increased escape turning rate and acceleration). In addition, increased predator size resulted in greater responsiveness from the sharks. Among the responses, predator approach orientation had the most significant impact on escapes, such that the head-on approach, as compared to the tail-on approach, induced greater reaction distances and increased escape turning rate, speed and acceleration. Thus, the anterior binocular vision in sharks renders them less effective at detecting predators approaching from behind. However, it appears that sharks compensate by performing high-intensity escapes, likely induced by the lateral line system, or by a sudden visual flash of the predator entering their field of view. Our study reveals key aspects of escape behavior in sharks, highlighting the modulation of performance in response to predator approach.

  9. Coral Reef Fish Rapidly Learn to Identify Multiple Unknown Predators upon Recruitment to the Reef

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Organisms often undergo shifts in habitats as their requirements change with ontogeny. Upon entering a new environment, it is vitally important to be able to rapidly assess predation risk. Predation pressure should selectively promote mechanisms that enable the rapid identification of novel predators. Here we tested the ability of a juvenile marine fish to simultaneously learn the identity of multiple previously unknown predators. Individuals were conditioned with a ‘cocktail’ of novel odours (from two predators and two non-predators) paired with either a conspecific alarm cue or a saltwater control and then tested for recognition of the four odours individually and two novel odours (one predator and one non-predator) the following day. Individuals conditioned with the ‘cocktail’ and alarm cue responded to the individual ‘cocktail’ odours with an antipredator response compared to controls. These results demonstrate that individuals acquire recognition of novel odours and that the responses were not due to innate recognition of predators or due to a generalised response to novel odours. Upon entering an unfamiliar environment prey species are able to rapidly assess the risk of predation, enhancing their chances of survival, through the assessment of chemical stimuli. PMID:21249216

  10. Tests of landscape influence: nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tewksbury, Joshua J; Garner, Lindy; Garner, Shannon; Lloyd, John D; Saab, Victoria; Martin, Thomas E

    2006-03-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in > 2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  11. Tests of landscape influence: Nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tewksbury, J.J.; Garner, L.; Garner, S.; Lloyd, J.D.; Saab, V.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in >2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  12. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Predator avoidance in extremophile fish.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Top predators induce the evolutionary diversification of intermediate predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct. PMID:26431773

  16. Top predators induce the evolutionary diversification of intermediate predator species.

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct.

  17. Enhanced susceptibility to predation in corals of compromised condition

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Caitlin M.; Miller, Margaret W.

    2015-01-01

    The marine gastropod, Coralliophila abbreviata, is an obligate corallivore that causes substantial mortality in Caribbean Acropora spp. Considering the imperiled status of Acropora cervicornis and A. palmata, a better understanding of ecological interactions resulting in tissue loss may enable more effective conservation strategies. We examined differences in susceptibility of A. cervicornis to C. abbreviata predation based on coral tissue condition. Coral tissue condition was a strong determinant of snail prey choice, with snails preferring A. cervicornis fragments that were diseased or mechanically damaged over healthy fragments. In addition, snails always chose fragments undergoing active predation by another snail, while showing no preference for a non-feeding snail when compared with an undisturbed prey fragment. These results indicate that the condition of A. cervicornis prey influenced foraging behavior of C. abbreviata, creating a potential feedback that may exacerbate damage from predation in coral populations compromised by other types of disturbance. PMID:26734500

  18. Effects of climate and exurban development on nest predation and predator presence in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA).

    PubMed

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M; Turner, Monica G

    2012-08-01

    In the eastern United States, land-use and climate change have likely contributed to declines in the abundance of Neotropical migrant birds that occupy forest interiors, but the mechanisms are not well understood. We conducted a nest-predation experiment in southern Appalachian Mountain forests (North Carolina, U.S.A.) during the 2009 and 2010 breeding seasons to determine the effects of exurban development and temperature on predator presence and the average number of days until eggs in an artificial nest were disturbed by predators. We baited artificial nests with quail (Excalfactoria chinensi) eggs and monitored them for 18 days. We used clay eggs, track plates, and motion-triggered cameras to detect and identify nest predators. The average number of days a nest was undisturbed decreased as mean temperature increased and, to a lesser extent, as the density of buildings increased. Nests on the ground were more often depredated than those in trees, likely due to increased predation by opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and other carnivores. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), opossums, corvids (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Cyanocitta cristata), chipmunks (Tamias striatus), black bears (Ursus americanus), and domestic cats (Felis catus) were the most commonly detected predators. Presence of these predators did not vary as a function of mean temperature. Domestic cats and corvids were detected more frequently in plots with high rather than low densities of buildings. Forest-interior specialists and Neotropical migrants often nest in cool, high-elevation areas with low housing density. These bird species, especially those that nest on the ground, may be most vulnerable to increased nest predation if temperature and exurban development increase at higher elevations as anticipated. PMID:22624665

  19. Bat Predation by Spiders

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Bat predation by spiders.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  3. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-05-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia.

  4. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids.

    PubMed

    Gorzelak, Przemyslaw; Salamon, Mariusz A; Baumiller, Tomasz K

    2012-05-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia. PMID:22509040

  5. Predator-induced macroevolutionary trends in Mesozoic crinoids

    PubMed Central

    Gorzelak, Przemysław; Salamon, Mariusz A.; Baumiller, Tomasz K.

    2012-01-01

    Sea urchins are a major component of recent marine communities where they exert a key role as grazers and benthic predators. However, their impact on past marine organisms, such as crinoids, is hard to infer in the fossil record. Analysis of bite mark frequencies on crinoid columnals and comprehensive genus-level diversity data provide unique insights into the importance of sea urchin predation through geologic time. These data show that over the Mesozoic, predation intensity on crinoids, as measured by bite mark frequencies on columnals, changed in step with diversity of sea urchins. Moreover, Mesozoic diversity changes in the predatory sea urchins show a positive correlation with diversity of motile crinoids and a negative correlation with diversity of sessile crinoids, consistent with a crinoid motility representing an effective escape strategy. We contend that the Mesozoic diversity history of crinoids likely represents a macroevolutionary response to changes in sea urchin predation pressure and that it may have set the stage for the recent pattern of crinoid diversity in which motile forms greatly predominate and sessile forms are restricted to deep-water refugia. PMID:22509040

  6. Quantitative Analysis of Lysobacter Predation

    PubMed Central

    Seccareccia, Ivana; Kost, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Parasites as prey in aquatic food webs: implications for predator infection and parasite transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thieltges, David W.; Amundsen, Per-Arne; Hechinger, Ryan F.; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Lafferty, Levin D.; Mouritsen, Kim N.; Preston, Daniel L.; Reise, Karsten; Zander, C. Dieter; Poulin, Robert

    2013-01-01

    While the recent inclusion of parasites into food-web studies has highlighted the role of parasites as consumers, there is accumulating evidence that parasites can also serve as prey for predators. Here we investigated empirical patterns of predation on parasites and their relationships with parasite transmission in eight topological food webs representing marine and freshwater ecosystems. Within each food web, we examined links in the typical predator–prey sub web as well as the predator–parasite sub web, i.e. the quadrant of the food web indicating which predators eat parasites. Most predator– parasite links represented ‘concomitant predation’ (consumption and death of a parasite along with the prey/host; 58–72%), followed by ‘trophic transmission’ (predator feeds on infected prey and becomes infected; 8–32%) and predation on free-living parasite life-cycle stages (4–30%). Parasite life-cycle stages had, on average, between 4.2 and 14.2 predators. Among the food webs, as predator richness increased, the number of links exploited by trophically transmitted parasites increased at about the same rate as did the number of links where these stages serve as prey. On the whole, our analyses suggest that predation on parasites has important consequences for both predators and parasites, and food web structure. Because our analysis is solely based on topological webs, determining the strength of these interactions is a promising avenue for future research.

  8. The rate of predation by fishes on hatchlings of the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gyuris, E.

    1994-07-01

    This study addresses the need for empirical data on the survival of sea turtle hatchlings after entry into the sea by (1) developing a method for measuring marine predation; (2) estimating predation rates while crossing the reef; and (3) investigating the effect of environmental variables on predation rates. Predation rates were quantified by following individual hatchlings, tethered by a 10m monofilament nylon line, as they swam from the water's edge towards the reef crest. Predation rates under particular combinations of environmental variables (tide, time of day, and moon phase) were measured in separate trials. Predation rates varied among trials from 0 to 85% with a mean of 31% (SE=2.5%). The simplest logistic regression model that explained variation in predation contained tide and moon phase as predictor variables. The results suggest that noctural emergence from the nest is a behavioral adaptation to minimize exposure to the heat of the day rather than a predator-escape mechanism. For the green turtle populations breeding in eastern Australia, most first year mortality is caused by predation while crossing the reef within the first hour of entering the sea.

  9. Predators help protect carbon stocks in blue carbon ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Connolly, Rod M.; Ritchie, Euan G.; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Hays, Graeme C.; Fourqurean, James W.; Macreadie, Peter I.

    2015-12-01

    Predators continue to be harvested unsustainably throughout most of the Earth's ecosystems. Recent research demonstrates that the functional loss of predators could have far-reaching consequences on carbon cycling and, by implication, our ability to ameliorate climate change impacts. Yet the influence of predators on carbon accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats (that is, salt marshes, seagrass meadows and mangroves) is poorly understood, despite these being some of the Earth's most vulnerable and carbon-rich ecosystems. Here we discuss potential pathways by which trophic downgrading affects carbon capture, accumulation and preservation in vegetated coastal habitats. We identify an urgent need for further research on the influence of predators on carbon cycling in vegetated coastal habitats, and ultimately the role that these systems play in climate change mitigation. There is, however, sufficient evidence to suggest that intact predator populations are critical to maintaining or growing reserves of 'blue carbon' (carbon stored in coastal or marine ecosystems), and policy and management need to be improved to reflect these realities.

  10. Corridors cause differential seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John L.; Damschen, Ellen I.

    2005-06-01

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

  11. The impact of predation on burrow use by arctic ground squirrels in the boreal forest.

    PubMed Central

    Karels, T J; Boonstra, R

    1999-01-01

    In sedentary animals, the choice of a suitable home site is critical to survival and reproductive fitness. However, habitat suitability may vary with predation risk. We compared habitat use of Arctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus parryii plesius) living in the boreal forest under conditions of fluctuating predation pressure. In our study area, predators show ten-year cycles in numbers that track that of their primary prey, the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). In 1993, we compared burrows that continued to be occupied following the period of intense predation during the hare decline of 1990-1992 with those that became vacant, and with random locations. We contrasted these sites to those in a predator exclosure where predation pressure was minimized. Burrows on control sites were located on sloped sites with high visibility. Burrows that remained occupied during the period of intense predation were more likely to be in open areas with fewer fallen trees than burrows that became vacant. We used discriminant functions derived from the control sites and found that 89% of the burrows on the predator exclosure were classified as being similar to the random locations on control sites. We conclude that the distribution of Arctic ground squirrels in the boreal forest is a direct function of predator presence. PMID:10902546

  12. Experimental records of the effect of food patchiness and predation on egg production of Acartia tonsa

    SciTech Connect

    Saiz, E.; Tiselius, P.; Verity, P.; Paffehofer, G.A. ); Jonsson, P.R. )

    1993-03-01

    The effects of predation and spatial patchiness in food distribution on egg production of the marine calanoid copepod Acartia tonsa were investigated in the laboratory. A postexperiment egg production method was developed to override the decline in number of copepods due to predation. The copepods were able to remain in food patches about 41-47% of the time, and consequently egg production rates were higher than expected from the average food concentration. Predation by the calanoid copepod Labidocera aestiva tended to increase egg production rates of A. tonsa. The interaction of patchiness and predation resulted in relatively less time spent by A. tonsa in the food patches, probably as a consequence of conflict between hunger level and predation risk. 40 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  13. California current system - Predators and the preyscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainley, David G.; Adams, Peter B.; Jahncke, Jaime

    2015-06-01

    The preyscape of the California Current System (CCS), one of the most productive marine areas on Earth (Glantz and Thompson, 1981), is highly variable, as evidenced by the papers in this issue, and as such presents a challenge to Ecosystem-based fishery management (EBFM), which attempts to integrate ecosystem considerations as part of fishery management and conservation decisions. Approaches to EBFM for the waters off Washington, Oregon, and California, the CCS, have been initiated (PFMC, 2007, 2013), and are continually being developed. To inform this process, a workshop was held in September 2013 to: i) gather together the existing information on forage fish and predator dynamics in the CCS; ii) consider temporal (seasonal, annual, decadal) and spatial availability of prey complexes and why these patterns of availability occur and change; iii) summarize and present that information for discussion to a large range of experts in oceanography, fish and fisheries management, seabirds, marine mammals, and ecosystem management; and, iv) synthesize this information to be useable by fishery agencies. The papers in this special Journal of Marine Systems issue address these four points. While the full results and recommendations can be found here - "http://www.pointblue.org/uploads/assets/calcurrent/REPORT_Forage_Fish_Workshop_FINAL.pdf"

  14. 76 FR 56167 - Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-12

    ... pinniped predation on listed salmonids, NMFS' past authorizations of lethal removal at Bonneville Dam... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XA681 Marine Mammals; Pinniped Removal Authority... relevant information related to pinniped predation at Bonneville Dam. DATES: Comments and information...

  15. Predation on prokaryotes in the water column and its ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Pernthaler, Jakob

    2005-07-01

    The oxic realms of freshwater and marine environments are zones of high prokaryotic mortality. Lysis by viruses and predation by ciliated and flagellated protists result in the consumption of microbial biomass at approximately the same rate as it is produced. Protist predation can favour or suppress particular bacterial species, and the successful microbial groups in the water column are those that survive this selective grazing pressure. In turn, aquatic bacteria have developed various antipredator strategies that range from simply 'outrunning' protists to the production of highly effective cytotoxins. This ancient predator-prey system can be regarded as an evolutionary precursor of many other interactions between prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

  16. Emerging asymmetric interactions between forage and predator fisheries impose management trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Houle, J E; Andersen, K H; Farnsworth, K D; Reid, D G

    2013-10-01

    A size and trait-based marine community model was used to investigate interactions, with potential implications for yields, when a fishery targeting forage fish species (whose main adult diet is zooplankton) co-occurs with a fishery targeting larger-sized predator species. Predicted effects on the size structure of the fish community, growth and recruitment of fishes, and yield from the fisheries were used to identify management trade-offs among the different fisheries. Results showed that moderate fishing on forage fishes imposed only small effects on predator fisheries, whereas predator fisheries could enhance yield from forage fisheries under some circumstances.

  17. Stability of an intraguild predation system with mutual predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Seascape genetics of a globally distributed, highly mobile marine mammal: the short-beaked common dolphin (genus Delphinus).

    PubMed

    Amaral, Ana R; Beheregaray, Luciano B; Bilgmann, Kerstin; Boutov, Dmitri; Freitas, Luís; Robertson, Kelly M; Sequeira, Marina; Stockin, Karen A; Coelho, M Manuela; Möller, Luciana M

    2012-01-01

    Identifying which factors shape the distribution of intraspecific genetic diversity is central in evolutionary and conservation biology. In the marine realm, the absence of obvious barriers to dispersal can make this task more difficult. Nevertheless, recent studies have provided valuable insights into which factors may be shaping genetic structure in the world's oceans. These studies were, however, generally conducted on marine organisms with larval dispersal. Here, using a seascape genetics approach, we show that marine productivity and sea surface temperature are correlated with genetic structure in a highly mobile, widely distributed marine mammal species, the short-beaked common dolphin. Isolation by distance also appears to influence population divergence over larger geographical scales (i.e. across different ocean basins). We suggest that the relationship between environmental variables and population structure may be caused by prey behaviour, which is believed to determine common dolphins' movement patterns and preferred associations with certain oceanographic conditions. Our study highlights the role of oceanography in shaping genetic structure of a highly mobile and widely distributed top marine predator. Thus, seascape genetic studies can potentially track the biological effects of ongoing climate-change at oceanographic interfaces and also inform marine reserve design in relation to the distribution and genetic connectivity of charismatic and ecologically important megafauna.

  19. Seascape Genetics of a Globally Distributed, Highly Mobile Marine Mammal: The Short-Beaked Common Dolphin (Genus Delphinus)

    PubMed Central

    Amaral, Ana R.; Beheregaray, Luciano B.; Bilgmann, Kerstin; Boutov, Dmitri; Freitas, Luís; Robertson, Kelly M.; Sequeira, Marina; Stockin, Karen A.; Coelho, M. Manuela; Möller, Luciana M.

    2012-01-01

    Identifying which factors shape the distribution of intraspecific genetic diversity is central in evolutionary and conservation biology. In the marine realm, the absence of obvious barriers to dispersal can make this task more difficult. Nevertheless, recent studies have provided valuable insights into which factors may be shaping genetic structure in the world's oceans. These studies were, however, generally conducted on marine organisms with larval dispersal. Here, using a seascape genetics approach, we show that marine productivity and sea surface temperature are correlated with genetic structure in a highly mobile, widely distributed marine mammal species, the short-beaked common dolphin. Isolation by distance also appears to influence population divergence over larger geographical scales (i.e. across different ocean basins). We suggest that the relationship between environmental variables and population structure may be caused by prey behaviour, which is believed to determine common dolphins' movement patterns and preferred associations with certain oceanographic conditions. Our study highlights the role of oceanography in shaping genetic structure of a highly mobile and widely distributed top marine predator. Thus, seascape genetic studies can potentially track the biological effects of ongoing climate-change at oceanographic interfaces and also inform marine reserve design in relation to the distribution and genetic connectivity of charismatic and ecologically important megafauna. PMID:22319634

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Orrock, John L; Fletcher, Robert J

    2014-06-01

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

  2. 2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PREDATED ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. EXTERIOR OF RUSIN HALL, THE ONLY STRUCTURE TO PRE-DATED THE WORLD WAR II EXPANSION THAT LED TO THE DEMOLITION OF THE FIRST WARD OF HOMESTEAD, AN AREA KNOWN AS BELOW THE TRACKS. THE BUILDING WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT AS A FRATERNAL HALL FOR RUTHENIAN IMMIGRANTS BY THE RUSSKY-NARODNY-DOM, INC. - U.S. Steel Homestead Works, Auxiliary Buildings & Shops, Along Monongahela River, Homestead, Allegheny County, PA

  3. Riding the crimson tide: mobile terrestrial consumers track phenological variation in spawning of an anadromous fish.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Daniel E; Armstrong, Jonathan B; Bentley, Kale T; Jankowski, Kathijo; Lisi, Peter J; Payne, Laura X

    2013-06-23

    When resources are spatially and temporally variable, consumers can increase their foraging success by moving to track ephemeral feeding opportunities as these shift across the landscape; the best examples derive from herbivore-plant systems, where grazers migrate to capitalize on the seasonal waves of vegetation growth. We evaluated whether analogous processes occur in watersheds supporting spawning sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), asking whether seasonal activities of predators and scavengers shift spatial distributions to capitalize on asynchronous spawning among populations of salmon. Both glaucous-winged gulls and coastal brown bears showed distinct shifts in their spatial distributions over the course of the summer, reflecting the shifting distribution of spawning sockeye salmon, which was associated with variation in water temperature among spawning sites. By tracking the spatial and temporal variation in the phenology of their principal prey, consumers substantially extended their foraging opportunity on a superabundant, yet locally ephemeral, resource. Ecosystem-based fishery management efforts that seek to balance trade-offs between fisheries and ecosystem processes supported by salmon should, therefore, assess the importance of life-history variation, particularly in phenological traits, for maintaining important ecosystem functions, such as providing marine-derived resources for terrestrial predators and scavengers. PMID:23554279

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. A Mach-Zender digital holographic microscope with sub-micrometer resolution for imaging and tracking of marine micro-organisms.

    PubMed

    Kühn, Jonas; Niraula, Bimochan; Liewer, Kurt; Kent Wallace, J; Serabyn, Eugene; Graff, Emilio; Lindensmith, Christian; Nadeau, Jay L

    2014-12-01

    Digital holographic microscopy is an ideal tool for investigation of microbial motility. However, most designs do not exhibit sufficient spatial resolution for imaging bacteria. In this study we present an off-axis Mach-Zehnder design of a holographic microscope with spatial resolution of better than 800 nm and the ability to resolve bacterial samples at varying densities over a 380 μm × 380 μm × 600 μm three-dimensional field of view. Larger organisms, such as protozoa, can be resolved in detail, including cilia and flagella. The instrument design and performance are presented, including images and tracks of bacterial and protozoal mixed samples and pure cultures of six selected species. Organisms as small as 1 μm (bacterial spores) and as large as 60 μm (Paramecium bursaria) may be resolved and tracked without changes in the instrument configuration. Finally, we present a dilution series investigating the maximum cell density that can be imaged, a type of analysis that has not been presented in previous holographic microscopy studies. PMID:25554278

  7. A Mach-Zender digital holographic microscope with sub-micrometer resolution for imaging and tracking of marine micro-organisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühn, Jonas; Niraula, Bimochan; Liewer, Kurt; Kent Wallace, J.; Serabyn, Eugene; Graff, Emilio; Lindensmith, Christian; Nadeau, Jay L.

    2014-12-01

    Digital holographic microscopy is an ideal tool for investigation of microbial motility. However, most designs do not exhibit sufficient spatial resolution for imaging bacteria. In this study we present an off-axis Mach-Zehnder design of a holographic microscope with spatial resolution of better than 800 nm and the ability to resolve bacterial samples at varying densities over a 380 μm × 380 μm × 600 μm three-dimensional field of view. Larger organisms, such as protozoa, can be resolved in detail, including cilia and flagella. The instrument design and performance are presented, including images and tracks of bacterial and protozoal mixed samples and pure cultures of six selected species. Organisms as small as 1 μm (bacterial spores) and as large as 60 μm (Paramecium bursaria) may be resolved and tracked without changes in the instrument configuration. Finally, we present a dilution series investigating the maximum cell density that can be imaged, a type of analysis that has not been presented in previous holographic microscopy studies.

  8. Sublethal predation and regeneration in two onuphid polychaetes: patterns and implications.

    PubMed

    Berke, Sarah K; Cruz, Veronica; Osman, Richard W

    2009-12-01

    We examined sublethal predation in the polychaete Diopatra cuprea, an important ecosystem engineer of intertidal and shallow subtidal marine sediments in the western Atlantic. D. cuprea commonly loses its antennae and portions of its anterior to predator attacks; these lost body portions are subsequently regenerated. We asked (i) if the intensity of sublethal predation differs for D. cuprea populations in Virginia versus Florida, (ii) if sublethal predation varies temporally in each region, and (iii) if sublethal predation influences activity and tube-building rates. Within Florida, we also drew comparisons between D. cuprea and the closely related onuphid Americonuphis magna. Surprisingly, we found that sublethal predation is more intense in Virginia than in Florida, likely making substantial contributions to secondary productivity. Within Florida, A. magna experienced more antennal loss than D. cuprea and is incapable of anterior regeneration. D. cuprea activity and tube-building rates are strongly influenced by anterior loss, but more subtly influenced by antennal loss. Given the observed rates of sublethal predation and population densities in Virginia versus Florida, sublethal predation is an important factor influencing D. cuprea populations and their associated communities. PMID:20040749

  9. Impact of conservation areas on trophic interactions between apex predators and herbivores on coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Rizzari, Justin R; Bergseth, Brock J; Frisch, Ashley J

    2015-04-01

    Apex predators are declining at alarming rates due to exploitation by humans, but we have yet to fully discern the impacts of apex predator loss on ecosystem function. In a management context, it is critically important to clarify the role apex predators play in structuring populations of lower trophic levels. Thus, we examined the top-down influence of reef sharks (an apex predator on coral reefs) and mesopredators on large-bodied herbivores. We measured the abundance, size structure, and biomass of apex predators, mesopredators, and herbivores across fished, no-take, and no-entry management zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia. Shark abundance and mesopredator size and biomass were higher in no-entry zones than in fished and no-take zones, which indicates the viability of strictly enforced human exclusion areas as tools for the conservation of predator communities. Changes in predator populations due to protection in no-entry zones did not have a discernible influence on the density, size, or biomass of different functional groups of herbivorous fishes. The lack of a relationship between predators and herbivores suggests that top-down forces may not play a strong role in regulating large-bodied herbivorous coral reef fish populations. Given this inconsistency with traditional ecological theories of trophic cascades, trophic structures on coral reefs may need to be reassessed to enable the establishment of appropriate and effective management regimes.

  10. Chemotactic predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Ankush; Kruppa, Tobias; Löwen, Hartmut

    2011-03-01

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

  11. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Ruttenberg, Benjamin I; Hamilton, Scott L; Walsh, Sheila M; Donovan, Mary K; Friedlander, Alan; DeMartini, Edward; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. PMID:21698165

  12. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruttenberg, B.I.; Hamilton, S.L.; Walsh, S.M.; Donovan, M.K.; Friedlander, A.; DeMartini, E.; Sala, E.; Sandin, S.A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ~10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. ?? 2011 Ruttenberg et al.

  13. Predator-Induced Demographic Shifts in Coral Reef Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.; Hamilton, Scott L.; Walsh, Sheila M.; Donovan, Mary K.; Friedlander, Alan; DeMartini, Edward; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, it has become apparent that human impacts have altered community structure in coastal and marine ecosystems worldwide. Of these, fishing is one of the most pervasive, and a growing body of work suggests that fishing can have strong effects on the ecology of target species, especially top predators. However, the effects of removing top predators on lower trophic groups of prey fishes are less clear, particularly in highly diverse and trophically complex coral reef ecosystems. We examined patterns of abundance, size structure, and age-based demography through surveys and collection-based studies of five fish species from a variety of trophic levels at Kiritimati and Palmyra, two nearby atolls in the Northern Line Islands. These islands have similar biogeography and oceanography, and yet Kiritimati has ∼10,000 people with extensive local fishing while Palmyra is a US National Wildlife Refuge with no permanent human population, no fishing, and an intact predator fauna. Surveys indicated that top predators were relatively larger and more abundant at unfished Palmyra, while prey functional groups were relatively smaller but showed no clear trends in abundance as would be expected from classic trophic cascades. Through detailed analyses of focal species, we found that size and longevity of a top predator were lower at fished Kiritimati than at unfished Palmyra. Demographic patterns also shifted dramatically for 4 of 5 fish species in lower trophic groups, opposite in direction to the top predator, including decreases in average size and longevity at Palmyra relative to Kiritimati. Overall, these results suggest that fishing may alter community structure in complex and non-intuitive ways, and that indirect demographic effects should be considered more broadly in ecosystem-based management. PMID:21698165

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Landscape of fear influences the relative importance of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2011-12-01

    Predators can initiate trophic cascades by consuming and/or scaring their prey. Although both forms of predator effect can increase the overall abundance of prey's resources, nonconsumptive effects may be more important to the spatial and temporal distribution of resources because predation risk often determines where and when prey choose to forage. Our experiment characterized temporal and spatial variation in the strength of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects in a rocky intertidal food chain consisting of the predatory green crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus), and barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) as a resource. We tracked the survival of individual barnacles through time to map the strength of predator effects in experimental communities. These maps revealed striking spatiotemporal patterns in Nucella foraging behavior in response to each predator effect. However, only the nonconsumptive effect of green crabs produced strong spatial patterns in barnacle survivorship. Predation risk may play a pivotal role in determining the small-scale distribution patterns of this important rocky intertidal foundation species. We suggest that the effects of predation risk on individual foraging behavior may scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level. PMID:22352165

  16. Landscape of fear influences the relative importance of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Matassa, Catherine M; Trussell, Geoffrey C

    2011-12-01

    Predators can initiate trophic cascades by consuming and/or scaring their prey. Although both forms of predator effect can increase the overall abundance of prey's resources, nonconsumptive effects may be more important to the spatial and temporal distribution of resources because predation risk often determines where and when prey choose to forage. Our experiment characterized temporal and spatial variation in the strength of consumptive and nonconsumptive predator effects in a rocky intertidal food chain consisting of the predatory green crab (Carcinus maenas), an intermediate consumer (the dogwhelk, Nucella lapillus), and barnacles (Semibalanus balanoides) as a resource. We tracked the survival of individual barnacles through time to map the strength of predator effects in experimental communities. These maps revealed striking spatiotemporal patterns in Nucella foraging behavior in response to each predator effect. However, only the nonconsumptive effect of green crabs produced strong spatial patterns in barnacle survivorship. Predation risk may play a pivotal role in determining the small-scale distribution patterns of this important rocky intertidal foundation species. We suggest that the effects of predation risk on individual foraging behavior may scale up to shape community structure and dynamics at a landscape level.

  17. Predators of the Whitetail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    1994-01-01

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

  18. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lea, James S. E.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L.; Mucientes, Gonzalo R.; Humphries, Nicolas E.; Harvey, Guy M.; Sims, David W.; Shivji, Mahmood S.

    2015-01-01

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks. PMID:26057337

  19. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lea, James S E; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L; Mucientes, Gonzalo R; Humphries, Nicolas E; Harvey, Guy M; Sims, David W; Shivji, Mahmood S

    2015-01-01

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks.

  20. Repeated, long-distance migrations by a philopatric predator targeting highly contrasting ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lea, James S. E.; Wetherbee, Bradley M.; Queiroz, Nuno; Burnie, Neil; Aming, Choy; Sousa, Lara L.; Mucientes, Gonzalo R.; Humphries, Nicolas E.; Harvey, Guy M.; Sims, David W.; Shivji, Mahmood S.

    2015-06-01

    Long-distance movements of animals are an important driver of population spatial dynamics and determine the extent of overlap with area-focused human activities, such as fishing. Despite global concerns of declining shark populations, a major limitation in assessments of population trends or spatial management options is the lack of information on their long-term migratory behaviour. For a large marine predator, the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier, we show from individuals satellite-tracked for multiple years (up to 1101 days) that adult males undertake annually repeated, round-trip migrations of over 7,500 km in the northwest Atlantic. Notably, these migrations occurred between the highly disparate ecosystems of Caribbean coral reef regions in winter and high latitude oceanic areas in summer, with strong, repeated philopatry to specific overwintering insular habitat. Partial migration also occurred, with smaller, immature individuals displaying reduced migration propensity. Foraging may be a putative motivation for these oceanic migrations, with summer behaviour showing higher path tortuosity at the oceanic range extremes. The predictable migratory patterns and use of highly divergent ecosystems shown by male tiger sharks appear broadly similar to migrations seen in birds, reptiles and mammals, and highlight opportunities for dynamic spatial management and conservation measures of highly mobile sharks.

  1. Fronts, fish, and predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belkin, Igor M.; Hunt, George L.; Hazen, Elliott L.; Zamon, Jeannette E.; Schick, Robert S.; Prieto, Rui; Brodziak, Jon; Teo, Steven L. H.; Thorne, Lesley; Bailey, Helen; Itoh, Sachihiko; Munk, Peter; Musyl, Michael K.; Willis, Jay K.; Zhang, Wuchang

    2014-09-01

    Ocean fronts play a key role in marine ecosystems. Fronts shape oceanic landscapes and affect every trophic level across a wide range of spatio-temporal scales, from meters to thousands of kilometers, and from days to millions of years. At some fronts, there is an elevated rate of primary production, whereas at others, plankton is aggregated by advection and by the behavior of organisms moving against gradients in temperature, salinity, light irradiance, hydrostatic pressure and other physico-chemical and biological factors. Lower trophic level organisms - phytoplankton and zooplankton - that are aggregated in sufficient densities, attract organisms from higher trophic levels, from planktivorous schooling fish to squid, large piscivorous fish, seabirds and marine mammals. Many species have critical portions of their life stages or behaviors closely associated with fronts, including spawning, feeding, ontogenetic development, migrations, and other activities cued to frontal dynamics. At different life stages, an individual species or population might be linked to different fronts. The nature and strength of associations between fronts and biota depend on numerous factors such as the physical nature and spatio-temporal scales of the front and the species and their life stages in question. In other words, fronts support many different niches and micro/macro-habitats over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.

  2. Simulating realistic predator signatures in quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.

    2015-01-01

    Diet estimation is an important field within quantitative ecology, providing critical insights into many aspects of ecology and community dynamics. Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) is a prominent method of diet estimation, particularly for marine mammal and bird species. Investigators using QFASA commonly use computer simulation to evaluate statistical characteristics of diet estimators for the populations they study. Similar computer simulations have been used to explore and compare the performance of different variations of the original QFASA diet estimator. In both cases, computer simulations involve bootstrap sampling prey signature data to construct pseudo-predator signatures with known properties. However, bootstrap sample sizes have been selected arbitrarily and pseudo-predator signatures therefore may not have realistic properties. I develop an algorithm to objectively establish bootstrap sample sizes that generates pseudo-predator signatures with realistic properties, thereby enhancing the utility of computer simulation for assessing QFASA estimator performance. The algorithm also appears to be computationally efficient, resulting in bootstrap sample sizes that are smaller than those commonly used. I illustrate the algorithm with an example using data from Chukchi Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their marine mammal prey. The concepts underlying the approach may have value in other areas of quantitative ecology in which bootstrap samples are post-processed prior to their use.

  3. Temporal Dynamics of Top Predators Interactions in the Barents Sea

    PubMed Central

    Durant, Joël M.; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V.; Nikolaeva, Natalia G.; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries. PMID:25365430

  4. Temporal dynamics of top predators interactions in the Barents Sea.

    PubMed

    Durant, Joël M; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V; Nikolaeva, Natalia G; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries. PMID:25365430

  5. Tracking millennial-scale climate variability through the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 12 using terrigenous biomarkers in lacustrine sediments from Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, S.; Werne, J. P.; Brown, E. T.; Anderson, R. S.; Fawcett, P. J.

    2012-12-01

    The Quaternary is characterized by cyclic intervals of warm interglacial and cold glacial stages with the MIS 12 highlighted as one of the most severe glacial stages. Recent studies reported abrupt climatic episodes at millennial scale during MIS 12 and the transition to MIS 11 similar to Dansgaard-Oeschger [D/O] and Heinrich events but weaker in amplitude than the dramatic oscillations observed in the last glacial period. The climate variability of MIS 12 is well documented in marine and ice-sheet isotopic records but terrestrial records are scarce and often fragmented. We will present a high-resolution paleoclimate reconstruction through the MIS 12, including MIS 13-12 and MIS 12-11 transitions, from paleo-lake sediments taken in Valles Caldera, New Mexico. Measurements including scanning X-ray fluorescence, pollen, terrigenous biomarkers and bulk and compound-specific stable isotopes that usually serve as paleoclimatic proxies of precipitation and vegetation will be contrasted. Terrigenous lipid biomarkers confirm that vegetation responds rapidly to millennial-scale climate variability and provide knowledge of how these millennial oscillations impacted western North America.

  6. Intense predation cannot always be detected experimentally: A case study of shorebird predation on nereid polychaetes in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalejta, B.

    The effect of predation by curlew sandpipers Calidris ferruginea L. and grey plovers Pluvialis squatarola (L.) on populations of nereid worms Ceratonereis keiskama (Day) and C. erythraeensis (Fauvel) was studied at the Berg River estuary, South Africa, by comparing observations of shorebird-foraging intensity with the results of a population study of two species of nereid worms within and outside bird exclosures. The study was carried out during the four-month period prior to northward migration of shorebirds. Population structure of the two nereid species differed considerably. Ceratonereis keiskama reproduced earlier than C. erythraeensis and only young individuals were present during the study. By contrast, old C. erythraeensis were available to the birds at the start of the experiment and young animals entered the population during the experiment. Despite selective predation on certain size classes of nereids by the birds, no significant changes in the population structure of either nereid were detected by the cage experiment. Numbers and biomass of both Ceratonereis spp. in paired controls and cages tracked each other and did not diverge as predicted. A consistent difference in the depth stratification of the two nereids may, however, have been due to predation pressure. Curlew sandpipers were calculated to remove 3112 nereids per m 2 during the three months, equivalent to 4.4. g (dry weight) per m 2. This represents 58% of the initial numbers and 77% of the initial biomass of nereids. Although predation on nereids by waders was exceptionally high at the Berg River estuary, any depletion in numbers or biomass of nereids caused by these predators was masked by the reproduction of the nereids. The fact that the predators' high energy requirements prior to northward migration coincide with the period of peak production of invertebrate prey makes the Berg River estuary an exceptionally favourable wintering area.

  7. Do seasonal patterns of rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) and black racer (Coluber constrictor) activity predict avian nest predation?

    PubMed

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Ward, Michael P; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2016-04-01

    are diverse and predator identities are not known. Additionally, our results suggest that hand-tracking of snakes provides a reliable indicator of predator activity that may be more indicative of foraging behavior than movement frequency provided by automated telemetry systems.

  8. The role of pre-existing disturbances in the effect of marine reserves on coastal ecosystems: a modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Savina, Marie; Condie, Scott A; Fulton, Elizabeth A

    2013-01-01

    We have used an end-to-end ecosystem model to explore responses over 30 years to coastal no-take reserves covering up to 6% of the fifty thousand square kilometres of continental shelf and slope off the coast of New South Wales (Australia). The model is based on the Atlantis framework, which includes a deterministic, spatially resolved three-dimensional biophysical model that tracks nutrient flows through key biological groups, as well as extraction by a range of fisheries. The model results support previous empirical studies in finding clear benefits of reserves to top predators such as sharks and rays throughout the region, while also showing how many of their major prey groups (including commercial species) experienced significant declines. It was found that the net impact of marine reserves was dependent on the pre-existing levels of disturbance (i.e. fishing pressure), and to a lesser extent on the size of the marine reserves. The high fishing scenario resulted in a strongly perturbed system, where the introduction of marine reserves had clear and mostly direct effects on biomass and functional biodiversity. However, under the lower fishing pressure scenario, the introduction of marine reserves caused both direct positive effects, mainly on shark groups, and indirect negative effects through trophic cascades. Our study illustrates the need to carefully align the design and implementation of marine reserves with policy and management objectives. Trade-offs may exist not only between fisheries and conservation objectives, but also among conservation objectives. PMID:23593432

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

    PubMed

    Albecker, Molly; 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

  10. 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

  11. Shipboard surveys track magnetic sources in marine sediments--geophysical studies of the Stono and North Edisto Inlets near Charleston, South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shah, Anjana K.; Harris, M. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic field data are traditionally used to analyze igneous and metamorphic rocks, but recent efforts have shown that magnetic sources within sediments may be detectable, suggesting new applications for high-resolution magnetic field surveys. Candidates for sedimentary sources include heavy mineral sand concentrations rich in magnetite or hematite, alteration-induced glauconite, or biogenic magnetite. Magnetic field surveys can be used to map the distributions of such sources with much denser and more widespread coverage than possible by sampling. These data can then provide constraints on the composition history of local sediments. Mapping such sediments requires the sensor to be relatively close to the source, and filtering approaches may be needed to distinguish signals from both system noise and deeper basement features. Marine geophysical surveys conducted in July, 2010, over the Stono and North Edisto River inlets and their riverine inputs south of Charleston, South Carolina, showed 10- to 40-m-wide, 1- to 6-nT magnetic anomalies associated with shallow, sand-covered seabed. These anomalies are distinct from system noise but are too narrow to represent basement features. The anomalies are present mostly in shallow areas where river sediments originating from upland areas enter the inlets. Surface grab samples from the North Edisto River contain trace amounts of heavy mineral sediments including hematite, maghemite, ilmenite, and magnetite, as well as garnet, epidote, zircon, and rutile. Previous stream sediment analyses show enhanced titanium over much of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The combined data suggest that the anomalies are generated by titanium- and iron-rich heavy mineral sands ultimately originating from the Piedmont and Blue Ridge provinces, which are then reworked and concentrated by tidal currents.

  12. Identifying when tagged fishes have been consumed by piscivorous predators: application of multivariate mixture models to movement parameters of telemetered fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Romine, Jason G.; Perry, Russell W.; Johnston, Samuel V.; Fitzer, Christopher W.; Pagliughi, Stephen W.; Blake, Aaron R.

    2013-01-01

    Mixture models proved valuable as a means to differentiate between salmonid smolts and predators that consumed salmonid smolts. However, successful application of this method requires that telemetered fishes and their predators exhibit measurable differences in movement behavior. Our approach is flexible, allows inclusion of multiple track statistics and improves upon rule-based manual classification methods.

  13. Direct evidence of hybodont shark predation on Late Jurassic ammonites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vullo, Romain

    2011-06-01

    Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs.

  14. Direct evidence of hybodont shark predation on Late Jurassic ammonites.

    PubMed

    Vullo, Romain

    2011-06-01

    Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs.

  15. Are lemmings prey or predators?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchin, P.; Oksanen, L.; Ekerholm, P.; Oksanen, T.; Henttonen, H.

    2000-06-01

    Large oscillations in the populations of Norwegian lemmings have mystified both professional ecologists and lay public. Ecologists suspect that these oscillations are driven by a trophic mechanism: either an interaction between lemmings and their food supply, or an interaction between lemmings and their predators. If lemming cycles are indeed driven by a trophic interaction, can we tell whether lemmings act as the resource (`prey') or the consumer (`predator')? In trophic interaction models, peaks of resource density generally have a blunt, rounded shape, whereas peaks of consumer density are sharp and angular. Here we have applied several statistical tests to three lemming datasets and contrasted them with comparable data for cyclic voles. We find that vole peaks are blunt, consistent with their cycles being driven by the interaction with predators. In contrast, the shape of lemming peaks is consistent with the hypothesis that lemmings are functional predators, that is, their cycles are driven by their interaction with food plants. Our findings suggest that a single mechanism, such as interaction between rodents and predators, is unlikely to provide the `universal' explanation of all cyclic rodent dynamics.

  16. Culling prey promotes predator recovery--alternative states in a whole-lake experiment.

    PubMed

    Persson, Lennart; Amundsen, Per-Arne; De Roos, André M; Klemetsen, Anders; Knudsen, Rune; Primicerio, Raul

    2007-06-22

    Many top-predator fish stocks in both freshwater and marine systems have collapsed as a result of overharvesting. Consequently, some of these communities have shifted into seemingly irreversible new states. We showed, for predators feeding on prey that exhibit food-dependent growth, that culling of fish prey may promote predator recovery. We removed old stunted individuals of a prey-fish species in a large, low-productive lake, which caused an increase in the availability of small-sized prey and allowed the predator to recover. The shift in community state has been sustained for more than 15 years after the cull ended and represents an experimental demonstration of an alternative stable state in a large-scale field system. Because most animals exhibit food-dependent growth, shifts into alternative stable states resulting from overcompensating prey growth may be common in nature and may require counterintuitive management strategies.

  17. Multi-species generalist predation on the stochastic harvested clam Tivela mactroides (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turra, Alexander; Fernandez, Wellington S.; Bessa, Eduardo; Santos, Flavia B.; Denadai, Márcia R.

    2015-12-01

    Top-down control is an important force modulating the abundance of prey and structuring marine communities. The harvested trigonal clam Tivela mactroides is hypothesized to be part of the diet of a variety of marine organisms, with its stock influencing predator abundance and being influenced by them. Here we analyzed the diet of potential predators of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay, northern coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, to identify the main consumers of this marine resource, and also to address the importance of this clam in the diet of each predator. Samples were taken year-round by trawls; all specimens collected were identified and measured and the food items identified and quantified. Twenty-one species consumed T. mactroides, whose importance in the diet varied greatly in both the volume ingested and the frequency of occurrence (pompano Trachinotus carolinus > blue crab Callinectes danae > starfish Astropecten marginatus). Top-down influence on T. mactroides was also dependent on the abundance of consumers (yellow catfish Cathorops spixii > rake stardrum Stellifer rastrifer > barred grunt Conodon nobilis > A. marginatus). Considering the mean volume ingested, the frequency of occurrence of T. mactroides in the diet, and the relative abundance of consumers, the predators that most influenced T. mactroides were T. carolinus, A. marginatus, and C. danae, in decreasing order. Large numbers of small-sized individuals of T. mactroides (<10 mm) were generally preyed upon by A. marginatus, which may have a stronger effect on clam abundance in comparison to C. danae and T. carolinus, which preyed upon larger clams. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that predators' consumption of T. mactroides in Caraguatatuba Bay can influence its stocks, mainly due to the type and/or abundance of predator species, the volume and number of individuals of T. mactroides preyed upon, and the temporal variations in the abundance of predators.

  18. Analyzing Ocean Tracks: A model for student engagement in authentic scientific practices using data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumhansl, K.; Krumhansl, R.; Brown, C.; DeLisi, J.; Kochevar, R.; Sickler, J.; Busey, A.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Block, B.

    2013-12-01

    The collection of large quantities of scientific data has not only transformed science, but holds the potential to transform teaching and learning by engaging students in authentic scientific work. Furthermore, it has become imperative in a data-rich world that students gain competency in working with and interpreting data. The Next Generation Science Standards reflect both the opportunity and need for greater integration of data in science education, and emphasize that both scientific knowledge and practice are essential elements of science learning. The process of enabling access by novice learners to data collected and used by experts poses significant challenges, however, recent research has demonstrated that barriers to student learning with data can be overcome by the careful design of data access and analysis tools that are specifically tailored to students. A group of educators at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) and scientists at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station are collaborating to develop and test a model for student engagement with scientific data using a web-based platform. This model, called Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean, provides students with the ability to plot and analyze tracks of migrating marine animals collected through the Tagging of Pacific Predators program. The interface and associated curriculum support students in identifying relationships between animal behavior and physical oceanographic variables (e.g. SST, chlorophyll, currents), making linkages between the living world and climate. Students are also supported in investigating possible sources of human impact to important biodiversity hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. The first round of classroom testing revealed that students were able to easily access and display data on the interface, and collect measurements from the animal tracks and oceanographic data layers. They were able to link multiple types of data to draw powerful

  19. A giant cell surface protein in Synechococcus WH8102 inhibits feeding by a dinoflagellate predator.

    PubMed

    Strom, Suzanne L; Brahamsha, Bianca; Fredrickson, Kerri A; Apple, Jude K; Rodríguez, Andres Gutiérrez

    2012-03-01

    Diverse strains of the marine planktonic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. show consistent differences in their susceptibility to predation. We used mutants of Sargasso Sea strain WH8102 (clade III) to test the hypothesis that cell surface proteins play a role in defence against predation by protists. Predation rates by the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina on mutants lacking the giant SwmB protein were always higher (by 1.6 to 3.9×) than those on wild-type WH8102 cells, and equalled predation rates on a clade I strain (CC9311). In contrast, absence of the SwmA protein, which comprises the S-layer (surface layer of the cell envelope that is external to the outer membrane), had no effect on predation by O. marina. Reductions in predation rate were not due to dissolved substances in Synechococcus cultures, and could not be accounted for by variations in cell hydrophobicity. We hypothesize that SwmB defends Synechococcus WH8102 by interfering with attachment of dinoflagellate prey capture organelles or cell surface receptors. Giant proteins are predicted in the genomes of multiple Synechococcus isolates, suggesting that this defence strategy may be more general. Strategies for resisting predation will contribute to the differential competitive success of different Synechococcus groups, and to the diversity of natural picophytoplankton assemblages.

  20. A giant cell surface protein in Synechococcus WH8102 inhibits feeding by a dinoflagellate predator.

    PubMed

    Strom, Suzanne L; Brahamsha, Bianca; Fredrickson, Kerri A; Apple, Jude K; Rodríguez, Andres Gutiérrez

    2012-03-01

    Diverse strains of the marine planktonic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. show consistent differences in their susceptibility to predation. We used mutants of Sargasso Sea strain WH8102 (clade III) to test the hypothesis that cell surface proteins play a role in defence against predation by protists. Predation rates by the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina on mutants lacking the giant SwmB protein were always higher (by 1.6 to 3.9×) than those on wild-type WH8102 cells, and equalled predation rates on a clade I strain (CC9311). In contrast, absence of the SwmA protein, which comprises the S-layer (surface layer of the cell envelope that is external to the outer membrane), had no effect on predation by O. marina. Reductions in predation rate were not due to dissolved substances in Synechococcus cultures, and could not be accounted for by variations in cell hydrophobicity. We hypothesize that SwmB defends Synechococcus WH8102 by interfering with attachment of dinoflagellate prey capture organelles or cell surface receptors. Giant proteins are predicted in the genomes of multiple Synechococcus isolates, suggesting that this defence strategy may be more general. Strategies for resisting predation will contribute to the differential competitive success of different Synechococcus groups, and to the diversity of natural picophytoplankton assemblages. PMID:22103339

  1. Mariner-Venus 1967

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Detailed information on the spacecraft performance, mission operations, and tracking and data acquisition is presented for the Mariner Venus 1967 and Mariner Venus 1967 extension projects. Scientific and engineering results and conclusions are discussed, and include the scientific mission, encounter with Venus, observations near Earth, and cruise phase of the mission. Flight path analysis, spacecraft subsystems, and mission-related hardware and computer program development are covered. The scientific experiments carried by Mariner 5 were ultraviolet photometer, solar plasma probe, helium magnetometer, trapped radiation detector, S-band radio occultation, dual-frequency radio propagation, and celestial mechanics. The engineering experience gained by converting a space Mariner Mars 1964 spacecraft into one flown to Venus is also described.

  2. Pelagic cephalopods in the western Indian Ocean: New information from diets of top predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ménard, Frédéric; Potier, Michel; Jaquemet, Sébastien; Romanov, Evgeny; Sabatié, Richard; Cherel, Yves

    2013-10-01

    Using a combination of diverse large predatory fishes and one seabird, we collected information on the cephalopod fauna of the western Indian Ocean. We analyzed the stomach contents of 35 fishes representing ten families (Xiphiidae, Istiophoridae, Scombridae, Carangidae, Coryphaenidae, Alepisauridae, Dasyatidae, Carcharhinidae, Alopiidae and Sphyrnidae) and of the sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata of the Mozambique Channel from 2000 to 2010. Both fresh and accumulated beaks were used for identifying cephalopod prey. Cephalopods were important prey for twelve predators; swordfish Xiphias gladius had the highest cephalopod proportion; sooty tern (O. fuscata) and bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) had high proportions too. We recovered 23 cephalopod families and identified 38 species. Ten species from four Teuthida families (Ommastrephidae, Onychoteuthidae, Histioteuthidae and Ancistrocheiridae) and two Octopoda families (Argonautidae and Bolitaenidae) occurred very frequently in the stomach contents, while Sepiida were rare. Ommastrephidae were the most cephalopod food sources: the purpleback flying squid Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis was the most prevalent prey by far, Ornithoteuthis volatilis was important for eleven predators and few but large specimens of the neon flying squid Ommastrephes bartramii were recovered in the stomachs of swordfish in the Indian South Subtropical Gyre province only. Predators' groups were identified based on cephalopod prey composition, on depth in which they forage, and on prey size. Surface predators' diets were characterized by lower cephalopod diversity but greater average numbers of cephalopod prey, whereas the deep-dwelling predators (swordfish and bigeye tuna) preyed on larger specimens than surface predators (O. fuscata or yellowfin tunas Thunnus albacares). Our findings emphasized the usefulness of a community of marine predators to gain valuable information on the biology and the distribution of the cephalopod forage fauna that are

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly's standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males-the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

  4. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly’s standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males—the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Marine reserves can enhance ecological resilience.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Lewis A K; Baskett, Marissa L

    2015-12-01

    The goals of ecosystem-based management (EBM) include protecting ecological resilience, the magnitude of a perturbation that a community can withstand and remain in a given state. As a tool to achieve this goal, no-take marine reserves may enhance resilience by protecting source populations or reduce it by concentrating fishing in harvested areas. Here, we test whether spatial management with marine reserves can increase ecological resilience compared to non-spatial (conventional) management using a dynamic model of a simplified fish community with structured predation and competition that causes alternative stable states. Relative to non-spatial management, reserves increase the resilience of the desired (predator-dominated) equilibrium state in both stochastic and deterministic environments, especially under intensive fishing. As a result, spatial management also increases the feasibility of restoring degraded (competitor-dominated) systems, particularly if combined with culling of competitors or stock enhancement of adult predators.

  7. Chemical ecology of the marine plankton.

    PubMed

    Roy, Jessie S; Poulson-Ellestad, Kelsey L; Drew Sieg, R; Poulin, Remington X; Kubanek, Julia

    2013-10-11

    This review summarizes recent work in the chemical ecology of pelagic marine ecosystems. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field over the period covered, we have organized this review by ecological interaction type beginning with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including mutualism, parasitism, competition, and predation), and finally community- and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  8. Odor tracking in sharks is reduced under future ocean acidification conditions.

    PubMed

    Dixson, Danielle L; Jennings, Ashley R; Atema, Jelle; Munday, Philip L

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies show that ocean acidification impairs sensory functions and alters the behavior of teleost fishes. If sharks and other elasmobranchs are similarly affected, this could have significant consequences for marine ecosystems globally. Here, we show that projected future CO2 levels impair odor tracking behavior of the smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis). Adult M. canis were held for 5 days in a current-day control (405 ± 26 μatm) and mid (741 ± 22 μatm) or high CO2 (1064 ± 17 μatm) treatments consistent with the projections for the year 2100 on a 'business as usual' scenario. Both control and mid CO2 -treated individuals maintained normal odor tracking behavior, whereas high CO2 -treated sharks significantly avoided the odor cues indicative of food. Control sharks spent >60% of their time in the water stream containing the food stimulus, but this value fell below 15% in high CO2 -treated sharks. In addition, sharks treated under mid and high CO2 conditions reduced attack behavior compared to the control individuals. Our findings show that shark feeding could be affected by changes in seawater chemistry projected for the end of this century. Understanding the effects of ocean acidification on critical behaviors, such as prey tracking in large predators, can help determine the potential impacts of future ocean acidification on ecosystem function.

  9. Lake Pend Oreille Predation Research, Annual Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Bassista, Thomas

    2004-02-01

    During August 2002 we conducted a hydroacoustic survey to enumerate pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. The purpose of this survey was to determine a collective lakewide biomass estimate of pelagic bull trout Salvelinus confluentus, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and lake trout S. namaycush and compare it to pelagic prey (kokanee salmon O. nerka) biomass. By developing hydroacoustic techniques to determine the pelagic predator to prey ratio, we can annually monitor their balance. Hydroacoustic surveys were also performed during December 2002 and February 2003 to investigate the effectiveness of autumn and winter surveys for pelagic predators. The inherent problem associated with hydroacoustic sampling is the inability to directly identify fish species. Therefore, we utilized sonic tracking techniques to describe rainbow trout and lake trout habitat use during our winter hydroacoustic survey to help identify fish targets from the hydroacoustic echograms. During August 2002 we estimated there were 39,044 pelagic fish >406 mm in Lake Pend Oreille (1.84 f/ha). Based on temperature and depth utilization, two distinct groups of pelagic fish >406 mm were located during August; one group was located between 10 and 35 m and the other between 40 and 70 m. The biomass for pelagic fish >406 mm during August 2002 was 73 t (metric ton). This would account for a ratio of 1 kg of pelagic predator for every 2.63 kg of kokanee prey, assuming all pelagic fish >406 mm are predators. During our late fall and winter hydroacoustic surveys, pelagic fish >406 mm were observed at lake depths between 20 and 90 m. During late fall and winter, we tracked three rainbow trout (168 habitat observations) and found that they mostly occupied pelagic areas and predominantly stayed within the top 10 m of the water column. During late fall (one lake trout) and winter (four lake trout), we found that lake trout (184 habitat observations) utilized benthic-nearshore areas 65% of the time

  10. Poor transferability of species distribution models for a pelagic predator, the grey petrel, indicates contrasting habitat preferences across ocean basins.

    PubMed

    Torres, Leigh G; Sutton, Philip J H; Thompson, David R; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri; Sagar, Paul M; Sommer, Erica; Dilley, Ben J; Ryan, Peter G; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation), particularly across large spatial scales or pelagic ecosystems. We performed rigorous SDM validation tests on distribution data from three populations of a long-ranging marine predator, the grey petrel Procellaria cinerea, to assess model transferability across the Southern Hemisphere (25-65°S). Oceanographic data were combined with tracks of grey petrels from two remote sub-Antarctic islands (Antipodes and Kerguelen) using boosted regression trees to generate three SDMs: one for each island population, and a combined model. The predictive performance of these models was assessed using withheld tracking data from within the model calibration areas (interpolation), and from a third population, Marion Island (extrapolation). Predictive performance was assessed using k-fold cross validation and point biserial correlation. The two population-specific SDMs included the same predictor variables and suggested birds responded to the same broad-scale oceanographic influences. However, all model validation tests, including of the combined model, determined strong interpolation but weak extrapolation capabilities. These results indicate that habitat use reflects both its availability and bird preferences, such that the realized distribution patterns differ for each population. The spatial predictions by the three SDMs were compared with tracking data and fishing effort to demonstrate the conservation pitfalls of extrapolating SDMs outside calibration regions. This exercise revealed that SDM predictions would have led to an underestimate of overlap with fishing effort and potentially misinformed bycatch mitigation efforts. Although

  11. Poor transferability of species distribution models for a pelagic predator, the grey petrel, indicates contrasting habitat preferences across ocean basins.

    PubMed

    Torres, Leigh G; Sutton, Philip J H; Thompson, David R; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri; Sagar, Paul M; Sommer, Erica; Dilley, Ben J; Ryan, Peter G; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation), particularly across large spatial scales or pelagic ecosystems. We performed rigorous SDM validation tests on distribution data from three populations of a long-ranging marine predator, the grey petrel Procellaria cinerea, to assess model transferability across the Southern Hemisphere (25-65°S). Oceanographic data were combined with tracks of grey petrels from two remote sub-Antarctic islands (Antipodes and Kerguelen) using boosted regression trees to generate three SDMs: one for each island population, and a combined model. The predictive performance of these models was assessed using withheld tracking data from within the model calibration areas (interpolation), and from a third population, Marion Island (extrapolation). Predictive performance was assessed using k-fold cross validation and point biserial correlation. The two population-specific SDMs included the same predictor variables and suggested birds responded to the same broad-scale oceanographic influences. However, all model validation tests, including of the combined model, determined strong interpolation but weak extrapolation capabilities. These results indicate that habitat use reflects both its availability and bird preferences, such that the realized distribution patterns differ for each population. The spatial predictions by the three SDMs were compared with tracking data and fishing effort to demonstrate the conservation pitfalls of extrapolating SDMs outside calibration regions. This exercise revealed that SDM predictions would have led to an underestimate of overlap with fishing effort and potentially misinformed bycatch mitigation efforts. Although

  12. Poor Transferability of Species Distribution Models for a Pelagic Predator, the Grey Petrel, Indicates Contrasting Habitat Preferences across Ocean Basins

    PubMed Central

    Torres, Leigh G.; Sutton, Philip J. H.; Thompson, David R.; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri; Sagar, Paul M.; Sommer, Erica; Dilley, Ben J.; Ryan, Peter G.; Phillips, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation), particularly across large spatial scales or pelagic ecosystems. We performed rigorous SDM validation tests on distribution data from three populations of a long-ranging marine predator, the grey petrel Procellaria cinerea, to assess model transferability across the Southern Hemisphere (25-65°S). Oceanographic data were combined with tracks of grey petrels from two remote sub-Antarctic islands (Antipodes and Kerguelen) using boosted regression trees to generate three SDMs: one for each island population, and a combined model. The predictive performance of these models was assessed using withheld tracking data from within the model calibration areas (interpolation), and from a third population, Marion Island (extrapolation). Predictive performance was assessed using k-fold cross validation and point biserial correlation. The two population-specific SDMs included the same predictor variables and suggested birds responded to the same broad-scale oceanographic influences. However, all model validation tests, including of the combined model, determined strong interpolation but weak extrapolation capabilities. These results indicate that habitat use reflects both its availability and bird preferences, such that the realized distribution patterns differ for each population. The spatial predictions by the three SDMs were compared with tracking data and fishing effort to demonstrate the conservation pitfalls of extrapolating SDMs outside calibration regions. This exercise revealed that SDM predictions would have led to an underestimate of overlap with fishing effort and potentially misinformed bycatch mitigation efforts. Although

  13. Marine Mammals and Climate Change in the Pacific Arctic: Impacts & Resilience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Extreme reductions in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have become a hallmark of climate change, but impacts to the marine ecosystem are poorly understood. As top predators, marine mammals must adapt to biological responses to physical forcing and thereby become sentinels to ecosystem variability and reorganization. Recent sea ice retreats have influenced the ecology of marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic sector. Walruses now often haul out by the thousands along the NW Alaska coast in late summer, and reports of harbor porpoise, humpback, fin and minke whales in the Chukchi Sea demonstrate that these temperate species routinely occur there. In 2010, satellite tagged bowhead whales from Atlantic and Pacific populations met in the Northwest Passage, an overlap thought precluded by sea ice since the Holocene. To forage effectively, baleen whales must target dense patches of zooplankton and small fishes. In the Pacific Arctic, bowhead and gray whales appear to be responding to enhanced prey availability delivered both by new production and advection pathways. Two programs, the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) and the Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR), include tracking of marine mammal and prey species' responses to ecosystem shifts associated with sea ice loss. Both programs provide an integrated-ecosystem baseline in support of the development of a web-based Marine Mammal Health Map, envisioned as a component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). An overarching goal is to identify ecological patterns for marine mammals in the 'new' Arctic, as a foundation for integrative research, local response and adaptive management.

  14. Herbivory, Predation, and Biological Control.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Terence M.; And Others

    1992-01-01

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

  15. Species diversity and predation strategies in a multiple species predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, Rory; Glass, David H.; McCartney, Mark

    2015-08-01

    A single predator, single prey ecological model, in which the behaviour of the populations relies upon two control parameters has been expanded to allow for multiple predators and prey to occupy the ecosystem. The diversity of the ecosystem that develops as the model runs is analysed by assessing how many predator or prey species survive. Predation strategies that dictate how the predators distribute their efforts across the prey are introduced in this multiple species model. The paper analyses various predation strategies and highlights their effect on the survival of the predators and prey species.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Anti-predator adaptations in a great scallop (Pecten maximus) - a palaeontological perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brom, Krzysztof Roman; Szopa, Krzysztof; Krzykawski, Tomasz; Brachaniec, Tomasz; Salamon, Mariusz Andrzej

    2015-12-01

    Shelly fauna was exposed to increased pressure exerted by shell-crushing durophagous predators during the so-called Mesozoic Marine Revolution that was initiated in the Triassic. As a result of evolutionary `arms race', prey animals such as bivalves, developed many adaptations to reduce predation pressure (e.g. they changed lifestyle and shell morphology in order to increase their mechanical strength). For instance, it was suggested that Pectinidae had acquired the ability to actively swim to avoid predator attack during the early Mesozoic. However, pectinids are also know to have a specific shell microstructure that may effectively protect them against predators. For instance, we highlight that the shells of some recent pectinid species (e.g. Pecten maximus) that display cross-lamellar structures in the middle part playing a significant role in the energy dissipation, improve the mechanical strength. In contrast, the outer layers of these bivalves are highly porous, which allow them to swim more efficiently by reducing the shell weight. Pectinids are thus perfect examples of animals optimising their skeletons for several functions. We suggest that such an optimisation of their skeletons for multiple functions likely occurred as a results of increased predation pressure during the so-called Mesozoic Marine Revolution.

  20. Marine Careers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Bernard L.

    The five papers in this publication on marine careers were selected so that science teachers, guidance councilors, and students could benefit from the experience and knowledge of individuals active in marine science. The areas considered are indicated by the titles: Professional Careers in Marine Science with the Federal Government, Marine Science…

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

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Predation risk increases dispersal distance in prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuki, Hatsune; Yano, Shuichi

    2014-06-01

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

  3. Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators

    PubMed Central

    Rota, Jadranka; Wagner, David L.

    2006-01-01

    Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature's most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, Brenthia had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, indicating that Brenthia were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation. PMID:17183674

  4. Beyond Tracking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bates, Percy; And Others

    1992-01-01

    On the surface, educational tracking may seem like a useful tool for allowing students to work at their own pace, and to avoid discouraging competition, but abuses of the tracking idea have arisen through biased placement practices that have denied equal access to education for minority students. The articles in this issue explore a number of…

  5. Derailing Tracking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, Susan

    1993-01-01

    Reviews recent research on student achievement, self-concept, and curriculum and instruction showing the ineffectiveness of tracking and ability grouping. Certain court rulings show that tracking violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Innovative alternatives include cooperative learning, mastery learning, peer tutoring,…

  6. Ecological niche modeling of sympatric krill predators around Marguerite Bay, Western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedlaender, Ari S.; Johnston, David W.; Fraser, William R.; Burns, Jennifer; Halpin, Patrick N.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2011-07-01

    Adélie penguins ( Pygoscelis adeliae), carabeater seals ( Lobodon carcinophagus), humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae), and minke whales ( Balaenoptera bonaernsis) are found in the waters surrounding the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Each species relies primarily on Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) and has physiological constraints and foraging behaviors that dictate their ecological niches. Understanding the degree of ecological overlap between sympatric krill predators is critical to understanding and predicting the impacts on climate-driven changes to the Antarctic marine ecosystem. To explore ecological relationships amongst sympatric krill predators, we developed ecological niche models using a maximum entropy modeling approach (Maxent) that allows the integration of data collected by a variety of means (e.g. satellite-based locations and visual observations). We created spatially explicit probability distributions for the four krill predators in fall 2001 and 2002 in conjunction with a suite of environmental variables. We find areas within Marguerite Bay with high krill predator occurrence rates or biological hot spots. We find the modeled ecological niches for Adélie penguins and crabeater seals may be affected by their physiological needs to haul-out on substrate. Thus, their distributions may be less dictated by proximity to prey and more so by physical features that over time provide adequate access to prey. Humpback and minke whales, being fully marine and having greater energetic demands, occupy ecological niches more directly proximate to prey. We also find evidence to suggest that the amount of overlap between modeled niches is relatively low, even for species with similar energetic requirements. In a rapidly changing and variable environment, our modeling work shows little indication that krill predators maintain similar ecological niches across years around Marguerite Bay. Given the amount of variability in the marine environment around the

  7. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species. PMID:22303845

  8. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species.

  9. Community regulation: the relative importance of recruitment and predation intensity of an intertidal community dominant in a seascape context.

    PubMed

    Rilov, Gil; Schiel, David R

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the strength and context-dependency of species interactions across multiple scales is a core area in ecology. This is especially challenging in the marine environment, where populations of most predators and prey are generally open, because of their pelagic larval phase, and recruitment of both is highly variable. In this study we use a comparative-experimental approach on small and large spatial scales to test the relationship between predation intensity and prey recruitment and their relative importance in shaping populations of a dominant rocky intertidal space occupier, mussels, in the context of seascape (availability of nearby subtidal reef habitat). Predation intensity on transplanted mussels was tested inside and outside cages and recruitment was measured with standard larval settlement collectors. We found that on intertidal rocky benches with contiguous subtidal reefs in New Zealand, mussel larval recruitment is usually low but predation on recruits by subtidal consumers (fish, crabs) is intense during high tide. On nearby intertidal rocky benches with adjacent sandy subtidal habitats, larval recruitment is usually greater but subtidal predators are typically rare and predation is weaker. Multiple regression analysis showed that predation intensity accounts for most of the variability in the abundance of adult mussels compared to recruitment. This seascape-dependent, predation-recruitment relationship could scale up to explain regional community variability. We argue that community ecology models should include seascape context-dependency and its effects on recruitment and species interactions for better predictions of coastal community dynamics and structure. PMID:21887351

  10. Community Regulation: The Relative Importance of Recruitment and Predation Intensity of an Intertidal Community Dominant in a Seascape Context

    PubMed Central

    Rilov, Gil; Schiel, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the strength and context-dependency of species interactions across multiple scales is a core area in ecology. This is especially challenging in the marine environment, where populations of most predators and prey are generally open, because of their pelagic larval phase, and recruitment of both is highly variable. In this study we use a comparative-experimental approach on small and large spatial scales to test the relationship between predation intensity and prey recruitment and their relative importance in shaping populations of a dominant rocky intertidal space occupier, mussels, in the context of seascape (availability of nearby subtidal reef habitat). Predation intensity on transplanted mussels was tested inside and outside cages and recruitment was measured with standard larval settlement collectors. We found that on intertidal rocky benches with contiguous subtidal reefs in New Zealand, mussel larval recruitment is usually low but predation on recruits by subtidal consumers (fish, crabs) is intense during high tide. On nearby intertidal rocky benches with adjacent sandy subtidal habitats, larval recruitment is usually greater but subtidal predators are typically rare and predation is weaker. Multiple regression analysis showed that predation intensity accounts for most of the variability in the abundance of adult mussels compared to recruitment. This seascape-dependent, predation-recruitment relationship could scale up to explain regional community variability. We argue that community ecology models should include seascape context-dependency and its effects on recruitment and species interactions for better predictions of coastal community dynamics and structure. PMID:21887351

  11. Mariner Mars 1971: Press kit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittauer, R. T.

    1971-01-01

    The news release describes the 1971 launches of Mariner 8 and 9 which were to be the first attempt by NASA to orbit another planet, Mars. Described are: (1) mission capsule; (2) planetary missions; (3) aiming zones; (4) the spacecraft; (5) scientific experiments to be performed; (6) Atlas Centaur launch vehicle; (7) launch operations; (8) tracking and data system and mission operations; and (9) Mariner Mars 71 team and subcontractors.

  12. Predator-prey Encounter Rates in Turbulent Environments: Consequences of Inertia Effects and Finite Sizes

    SciTech Connect

    Pecseli, H. L.; Trulsen, J.

    2009-10-08

    Experimental as well as theoretical studies have demonstrated that turbulence can play an important role for the biosphere in marine environments, in particular also by affecting prey-predator encounter rates. Reference models for the encounter rates rely on simplifying assumptions of predators and prey being described as point particles moving passively with the local flow velocity. Based on simple arguments that can be tested experimentally we propose corrections for the standard expression for the encounter rates, where now finite sizes and Stokes drag effects are included.

  13. Prey size diversity hinders biomass trophic transfer and predator size diversity promotes it in planktonic communities

    PubMed Central

    García-Comas, Carmen; Sastri, Akash R.; Ye, Lin; Chang, Chun-Yi; Lin, Fan-Sian; Su, Min-Sian; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Hsieh, Chih-hao

    2016-01-01

    Body size exerts multiple effects on plankton food-web interactions. However, the influence of size structure on trophic transfer remains poorly quantified in the field. Here, we examine how the size diversity of prey (nano-microplankton) and predators (mesozooplankton) influence trophic transfer efficiency (using biomass ratio as a proxy) in natural marine ecosystems. Our results support previous studies on single trophic levels: transfer efficiency decreases with increasing prey size diversity and is enhanced with greater predator size diversity. We further show that communities with low nano-microplankton size diversity and high mesozooplankton size diversity tend to occur in warmer environments with low nutrient concentrations, thus promoting trophic transfer to higher trophic levels in those conditions. Moreover, we reveal an interactive effect of predator and prey size diversities: the positive effect of predator size diversity becomes influential when prey size diversity is high. Mechanistically, the negative effect of prey size diversity on trophic transfer may be explained by unicellular size-based metabolic constraints as well as trade-offs between growth and predation avoidance with size, whereas increasing predator size diversity may enhance diet niche partitioning and thus promote trophic transfer. These findings provide insights into size-based theories of ecosystem functioning, with implications for ecosystem predictive models. PMID:26865298

  14. Prey size diversity hinders biomass trophic transfer and predator size diversity promotes it in planktonic communities.

    PubMed

    García-Comas, Carmen; Sastri, Akash R; Ye, Lin; Chang, Chun-Yi; Lin, Fan-Sian; Su, Min-Sian; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Hsieh, Chih-Hao

    2016-02-10

    Body size exerts multiple effects on plankton food-web interactions. However, the influence of size structure on trophic transfer remains poorly quantified in the field. Here, we examine how the size diversity of prey (nano-microplankton) and predators (mesozooplankton) influence trophic transfer efficiency (using biomass ratio as a proxy) in natural marine ecosystems. Our results support previous studies on single trophic levels: transfer efficiency decreases with increasing prey size diversity and is enhanced with greater predator size diversity. We further show that communities with low nano-microplankton size diversity and high mesozooplankton size diversity tend to occur in warmer environments with low nutrient concentrations, thus promoting trophic transfer to higher trophic levels in those conditions. Moreover, we reveal an interactive effect of predator and prey size diversities: the positive effect of predator size diversity becomes influential when prey size diversity is high. Mechanistically, the negative effect of prey size diversity on trophic transfer may be explained by unicellular size-based metabolic constraints as well as trade-offs between growth and predation avoidance with size, whereas increasing predator size diversity may enhance diet niche partitioning and thus promote trophic transfer. These findings provide insights into size-based theories of ecosystem functioning, with implications for ecosystem predictive models.

  15. Role of egg predation by haddock in the decline of an Atlantic herring population.

    PubMed

    Richardson, David E; Hare, Jonathan A; Fogarty, Michael J; Link, Jason S

    2011-08-16

    Theoretical studies suggest that the abrupt and substantial changes in the productivity of some fisheries species may be explained by predation-driven alternate stable states in their population levels. With this hypothesis, an increase in fishing or a natural perturbation can drive a population from an upper to a lower stable-equilibrium population level. After fishing is reduced or the perturbation ended, this low population level can persist due to the regulatory effect of the predator. Although established in theoretical studies, there is limited empirical support for predation-driven alternate stable states in exploited marine fish populations. We present evidence that egg predation by haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) can cause alternate stable population levels in Georges Bank Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Egg predation by haddock explains a substantial decoupling of herring spawning stock biomass (an index of egg production) from observed larval herring abundance (an index of egg hatching). Estimated egg survival rates ranged from <2-70% from 1971 to 2005. A population model incorporating egg predation and herring fishing explains the major population trends of Georges Bank herring over four decades and predicts that, when the haddock population is high, seemingly conservative levels of fishing can still precipitate a severe decline in the herring population. These findings illustrate how efforts to rebuild fisheries can be undermined by not incorporating ecological interactions into fisheries models and management plans.

  16. Ontogenetic and evolutionary effects of predation and competition on nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) body size.

    PubMed

    Välimäki, Kaisa; Herczeg, Gábor

    2012-07-01

    1. Individual- and population-level variation in body size and growth often correlates with many fitness traits. Predation and food availability are expected to affect body size and growth as important agents of both natural selection and phenotypic plasticity. How differences in predation and food availability affect body size/growth during ontogeny in populations adapted to different predation and competition regimes is rarely studied. 2. Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) populations originating from habitats with varying levels of predation and competition are known to be locally adapted to their respective habitats in terms of body size and growth. Here, we studied how different levels of perceived predation risk and competition during ontogeny affect the reaction norms of body size and growth in (i) marine and pond populations adapted to different levels of predation and competition and (ii) different sexes. We reared nine-spined stickleback in a factorial experiment under two levels of perceived predation risk (present/absent) and competition (high/low food supply). 3. We found divergence in the reaction norms at two levels: (i) predation-adapted marine stickleback had stronger reactions to predatory cues than intraspecific competition-adapted pond stickleback, the latter being more sensitive to available food than the marine fish and (ii) females reacting more strongly to the treatments than males. 4. The repeated, habitat-dependent nature of the differences suggests that natural selection is the agent behind the observed patterns. Our results suggest that genetic adaptation to certain environmental factors also involves an increase in the range of expressible phenotypic plasticity. We found support for this phenomenon at two levels: (i) across populations driven by habitat type and (ii) within populations driven by sex.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:17594424

  20. Influence of predator density on nonindependent effects of multiple predator species.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Williamson, Tucker

    2008-02-01

    Interactions between multiple predator species are frequent in natural communities and can have important implications for shared prey survival. Predator density may be an important component of these interactions between predator species, as the frequency of interactions between species is largely determined by species density. Here we experimentally examine the importance of predator density for interactions between predator species and subsequent impacts on prey. We show that aggressive interactions between the predatory shore crabs Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus increased with predator density, yet did not increase as fast as negative interactions between conspecifics. At low density, interactions between conspecific and heterospecific predators had similar inhibitory impacts on predator function, whereas conspecific interference was greater than interference from heterospecifics at high predator density. Thus the impact of conspecific interference at high predator density was sufficient in itself that interactions with a second predator species had no additional impact on per capita predation. Spatial and temporal variability in predator density is a ubiquitous characteristic of natural systems that should be considered in studies of multiple predator species.

  1. Predators indirectly reduce the prevalence of an insect-vectored plant pathogen independent of predator diversity.

    PubMed

    Long, Elizabeth Y; Finke, Deborah L

    2015-04-01

    A widely cited benefit of predator diversity is greater suppression of insect herbivores, with corresponding increases in plant biomass. In the context of a vector-borne pathogen system, predator species richness may also influence plant disease risk via the direct effects of predators on the abundance and behavior of herbivores that also act as pathogen vectors. Using an assemblage of generalist insect predators, we examined the relationship between predator species richness and the prevalence of the aphid-vectored cereal yellow dwarf virus in wheat. We found that increasing predator richness enhanced suppression of the vector population and that pathogen prevalence was reduced when predators were present, but the reduction in prevalence was independent of predator species richness. To determine the mechanism(s) by which predator species richness contributes to vector suppression, but not pathogen prevalence, we evaluated vector movement and host plant occupancy in response to predator treatments. We found that pathogen prevalence was unrelated to vector suppression because host plant occupancy by vectors did not vary as a function of vector abundance. However, the presence of predators reduced pathogen prevalence because predators stimulated greater plant-to-plant movement by vectors, which likely diminished vector feeding time and reduced the transmission efficiency of this persistent pathogen. We conclude that community structure (i.e., the presence of predators), but not predator diversity, is a potential factor influencing local plant infection by this insect-vectored pathogen. PMID:25561170

  2. Storm tracks near marginal stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambaum, Maarten; Novak, Lenka

    2015-04-01

    The variance of atmospheric storm tracks is characterised by intermittent bursts of activity interspersed with relatively quiescent periods. Most of the poleward heat transport by storm tracks is due to a limited number of strong heat flux events, which occur in a quasi-periodic fashion. This behaviour is in contradiction with the usual conceptual model of the storm tracks, which relies on high growth rate background flows which then spawn weather systems that grow in an exponential or non-normal fashion. Here we present a different conceptual model of the atmospheric storm tracks which is built on the observation that, when including diabatic and other dissipative effects, the storm track region is in fact most of the time marginally stable. The ensuing model is a nonlinear oscillator, very similar to Volterra-Lotka predator-prey models. We demonstrate the extensions of this model to a stochastically driven nonlinear oscillator. The model produces quasi-periodic behaviour dominated by intermittent heat flux events. Perhaps most surprisingly, we will show strong evidence from re-analysis data for our conceptual model: the re-analysis data produces a phase-space plot that is very similar indeed to the phase-space plot for our nonlinear oscillator model.

  3. Genetic and historic evidence for climate-driven population fragmentation in a top cetacean predator: the harbour porpoises in European water.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Michaël C; Tolley, Krystal A; Michaux, Johan R; Birkun, Alexei; Ferreira, Marisa; Jauniaux, Thierry; Llavona, Angela; Oztürk, Bayram; Oztürk, Ayaka A; Ridoux, Vincent; Rogan, Emer; Sequeira, Marina; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie; Baird, Stuart J E

    2010-09-22

    Recent climate change has triggered profound reorganization in northeast Atlantic ecosystems, with substantial impact on the distribution of marine assemblages from plankton to fishes. However, assessing the repercussions on apex marine predators remains a challenging issue, especially for pelagic species. In this study, we use Bayesian coalescent modelling of microsatellite variation to track the population demographic history of one of the smallest temperate cetaceans, the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in European waters. Combining genetic inferences with palaeo-oceanographic and historical records provides strong evidence that populations of harbour porpoises have responded markedly to the recent climate-driven reorganization in the eastern North Atlantic food web. This response includes the isolation of porpoises in Iberian waters from those further north only approximately 300 years ago with a predominant northward migration, contemporaneous with the warming trend underway since the 'Little Ice Age' period and with the ongoing retreat of cold-water fishes from the Bay of Biscay. The extinction or exodus of harbour porpoises from the Mediterranean Sea (leaving an isolated relict population in the Black Sea) has lacked a coherent explanation. The present results suggest that the fragmentation of harbour distribution range in the Mediterranean Sea was triggered during the warm 'Mid-Holocene Optimum' period (approx. 5000 years ago), by the end of the post-glacial nutrient-rich 'Sapropel' conditions that prevailed before that time. PMID:20444724

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. Identifying Marine Phytoplankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hargraves, Paul E.

    Until recently, anyone who needed to accurately identify marine phytoplankton had one of four choices: use the outdated Englishlanguage volumes by E. E. Cupp and N. I. Hendey plus the more recent book by J. Dodge, acquire a working knowledge of German and use the old volumes by Schiller and Hustedt, spend huge amounts of time in an exceedingly well-equipped marine science library trying in vain to keep up with the rapidly evolving field of phytoplankton systematics and taxonomy, or track down one of the rarest of endangered species—a phytoplankton taxonomist—and beg for help.To these unfortunate choices is added one considerably more hopeful: Identifying Marine Phytoplankton. This volume, which has seven contributing authors, contains most of the taxonomic groups that make up the planktonic autotrophs and some heterotrophs of the seas, coasts, and estuaries of the world (missing are cyanobacteria and some of the picoplankton groups).

  6. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species. PMID:26564847

  7. Climate change and marine vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sydeman, William J; Poloczanska, Elvira; Reed, Thomas E; Thompson, Sarah Ann

    2015-11-13

    Climate change impacts on vertebrates have consequences for marine ecosystem structures and services. We review marine fish, mammal, turtle, and seabird responses to climate change and discuss their potential for adaptation. Direct and indirect responses are demonstrated from every ocean. Because of variation in research foci, observed responses differ among taxonomic groups (redistributions for fish, phenology for seabirds). Mechanisms of change are (i) direct physiological responses and (ii) climate-mediated predator-prey interactions. Regional-scale variation in climate-demographic functions makes range-wide population dynamics challenging to predict. The nexus of metabolism relative to ecosystem productivity and food webs appears key to predicting future effects on marine vertebrates. Integration of climate, oceanographic, ecosystem, and population models that incorporate evolutionary processes is needed to prioritize the climate-related conservation needs for these species.

  8. The Macroevolutionary Interplay Between Planktic Larvae and Benthic Predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, K. J.

    2004-12-01

    Many marine invertebrates have a complex life cycle whereby the egg, rather than developing directly to the juvenile stage, develops instead into a intermediate larval form which may spend weeks to months feeding in the plankton before it becomes competent to undergo metamorphosis into the benthic juvenile. Because the selective advantages provided to the animal by having a planktotrophic larval stage are largely unknown, the reasons behind their origin and subsequent maintenance over geological time are not well understood. Using both a molecular clock and the fossil record, I show that four primitively non-feeding larval forms evolved sometime between the late Ediacaran and Early Cambrian, and feeding larvae appear to have evolved from non-feeding ancestors sometime between the Late Cambrian and Middle Ordovician in at least five, if not eight, of eight different clades analyzed. Thus, the initial exploitation of the predator-free pelagos by larvae was achieved independently multiple times by the end of the Early Cambrian, most likely driven by benthic predation pressures upon developing eggs and embryos. Then, because the evolution of larval planktotrophy from lecithotrophic ancestors correlates with the dramatic rise in the generic number of benthic suspension feeders in the Early Ordovician, it seems likely that benthic suspension feeding selected for fecundity, and thus indirectly for planktotrophy, in multiple lineages of marine invertebrates by the end of the Middle Ordovician.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:25691975

  12. The importance of oceanographic fronts to marine birds and mammals of the southern oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, C. A.; Cotté, C.; Bailleul, F.; Cherel, Y.; Charrassin, J. B.; Guinet, C.; Ainley, D. G.; Weimerskirch, H.

    2009-10-01

    During the last 30 years, at-sea studies of seabirds and marine mammals in the oceans south of the Subtropical Front have described an association with major frontal areas. More recently, the advancement in microtechnology has allowed the tracking of individuals and investigations into how these marine predators actually use the frontal zones. In this review, we examine 1) the relative importance to apex predators of the different frontal zones in terms of spatial distribution and carbon flux; 2) the processes that determine their preferential use; and 3) how the mesoscale dynamics of frontal structures drive at-sea foraging strategies of these predators. We review published results from southern waters and place them in a broader context with respect to what has been learned about the importance of fronts in oceans farther north. Some fronts constitute important boundaries for seabird communities in southern waters. At a mesoscale the maximum values of seabird diversity and abundance correspond to the location of the main fronts. At-sea surveys show a strong curvilinear correlation between seabird abundance and sea surface temperatures. High mean species richness and diversity for whales and seabirds are consistently associated with the southern water mass boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Subtropical Front and the Subantarctic Front; in the case of the Polar Front mean seabird densities are more variable. At small-scales, variation in seabird occurrence has been directly related to the processes at fronts in a limited number of cases. A significant positive relation was found between some plankton feeding species and frontal temperature gradient-phytoplankton variables. Telemetric studies have revealed that several apex predators (penguins, albatrosses, seals) perform long, directed foraging trips either to the Subtropical front or Polar Front, depending on locality. Seabirds with low flight costs, such as albatrosses, are able to reach fronts at

  13. Optimal control of native predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Automatic electronic fish tracking system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Osborne, P. W.; Hoffman, E.; Merriner, J. V.; Richards, C. E.; Lovelady, R. W.

    1976-01-01

    A newly developed electronic fish tracking system to automatically monitor the movements and migratory habits of fish is reported. The system is aimed particularly at studies of effects on fish life of industrial facilities which use rivers or lakes to dump their effluents. Location of fish is acquired by means of acoustic links from the fish to underwater Listening Stations, and by radio links which relay tracking information to a shore-based Data Base. Fish over 4 inches long may be tracked over a 5 x 5 mile area. The electronic fish tracking system provides the marine scientist with electronics which permit studies that were not practical in the past and which are cost-effective compared to manual methods.

  15. Rover tracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Tracks made by the Sojourner rover are visible in this image, taken by one of the cameras aboard Sojourner on Sol 3. The tracks represent the rover maneuvering towards the rock dubbed 'Barnacle Bill.' The rover, having exited the lander via the rear ramp, first traveled towards the right portion of the image, and then moved forward towards the left where Barnacle Bill sits. The fact that the rover was making defined tracks indicates that the soil is made up of particles on a micron scale.

    Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  16. Excess digestive capacity in predators reflects a life of feast and famine.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Jonathan B; Schindler, Daniel E

    2011-08-01

    A central challenge for predators is achieving positive energy balance when prey are spatially and temporally heterogeneous. Ecological heterogeneity produces evolutionary trade-offs in the physiological design of predators; this is because the ability to capitalize on pulses of food abundance requires high capacity for food-processing, yet maintaining such capacity imposes energetic costs that are taxing during periods of food scarcity. Recent advances in physiology show that when variation in foraging opportunities is predictable, animals may adjust energetic trade-offs by rapidly modulating their digestive system to track variation in foraging opportunities. However, it is increasingly recognized that foraging opportunities for animals are unpredictable, which should favour animals that maintain a capacity for food-processing that exceeds average levels of consumption (loads). Despite this basic principle of quantitative evolutionary design, estimates of digestive load:capacity ratios in wild animals are virtually non-existent. Here we provide an extensive assessment of load:capacity ratios for the digestive systems of predators in the wild, compiling 639 estimates across 38 species of fish. We found that piscine predators typically maintain the physiological capacity to feed at daily rates 2-3 times higher than what they experience on average. A numerical simulation of the trade-off between food-processing capacity and metabolic cost suggests that the observed level of physiological opportunism is profitable only if predator-prey encounters, and thus predator energy budgets, are far more variable in nature than currently assumed. PMID:21734659

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  19. Coevolution can reverse predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-05-20

    A hallmark of Lotka-Volterra models, and other ecological models of predator-prey interactions, is that in predator-prey cycles, peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. Such models typically assume that species life history traits are fixed over ecologically relevant time scales. However, the coevolution of predator and prey traits has been shown to alter the community dynamics of natural systems, leading to novel dynamics including antiphase and cryptic cycles. Here, using an eco-coevolutionary model, we show that predator-prey coevolution can also drive population cycles where the opposite of canonical Lotka-Volterra oscillations occurs: predator peaks precede prey peaks. These reversed cycles arise when selection favors extreme phenotypes, predator offense is costly, and prey defense is effective against low-offense predators. We present multiple datasets from phage-cholera, mink-muskrat, and gyrfalcon-rock ptarmigan systems that exhibit reversed-peak ordering. Our results suggest that such cycles are a potential signature of predator-prey coevolution and reveal unique ways in which predator-prey coevolution can shape, and possibly reverse, community dynamics.

  20. Coevolution can reverse predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-05-20

    A hallmark of Lotka-Volterra models, and other ecological models of predator-prey interactions, is that in predator-prey cycles, peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. Such models typically assume that species life history traits are fixed over ecologically relevant time scales. However, the coevolution of predator and prey traits has been shown to alter the community dynamics of natural systems, leading to novel dynamics including antiphase and cryptic cycles. Here, using an eco-coevolutionary model, we show that predator-prey coevolution can also drive population cycles where the opposite of canonical Lotka-Volterra oscillations occurs: predator peaks precede prey peaks. These reversed cycles arise when selection favors extreme phenotypes, predator offense is costly, and prey defense is effective against low-offense predators. We present multiple datasets from phage-cholera, mink-muskrat, and gyrfalcon-rock ptarmigan systems that exhibit reversed-peak ordering. Our results suggest that such cycles are a potential signature of predator-prey coevolution and reveal unique ways in which predator-prey coevolution can shape, and possibly reverse, community dynamics. PMID:24799689

  1. Shark predation on migrating adult American eels (Anguilla rostrata) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    PubMed

    Béguer-Pon, Mélanie; Benchetrit, José; Castonguay, Martin; Aarestrup, Kim; Campana, Steven E; Stokesbury, Michael J W; Dodson, Julian J

    2012-01-01

    In an attempt to document the migratory pathways and the environmental conditions encountered by American eels during their oceanic migration to the Sargasso Sea, we tagged eight silver eels with miniature satellite pop-up tags during their migration from the St. Lawrence River in Québec, Canada. Surprisingly, of the seven tags that successfully transmitted archived data, six were ingested by warm-gutted predators, as observed by a sudden increase in water temperature. Gut temperatures were in the range of 20 to 25°C-too cold for marine mammals but within the range of endothermic fish. In order to identify the eel predators, we compared their vertical migratory behavior with those of satellite-tagged porbeagle shark and bluefin tuna, the only endothermic fishes occurring non-marginally in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We accurately distinguished between tuna and shark by using the behavioral criteria generated by comparing the diving behavior of these two species with those of our unknown predators. Depth profile characteristics of most eel predators more closely resembled those of sharks than those of tuna. During the first days following tagging, all eels remained in surface waters and did not exhibit diel vertical migrations. Three eels were eaten at this time. Two eels exhibited inverse diel vertical migrations (at surface during the day) during several days prior to predation. Four eels were eaten during daytime, whereas the two night-predation events occurred at full moon. Although tagging itself may contribute to increasing the eel's susceptibility to predation, we discuss evidence suggesting that predation of silver-stage American eels by porbeagle sharks may represent a significant source of mortality inside the Gulf of St. Lawrence and raises the possibility that eels may represent a reliable, predictable food resource for porbeagle sharks.

  2. Shark predation on migrating adult American eels (Anguilla rostrata) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

    PubMed

    Béguer-Pon, Mélanie; Benchetrit, José; Castonguay, Martin; Aarestrup, Kim; Campana, Steven E; Stokesbury, Michael J W; Dodson, Julian J

    2012-01-01

    In an attempt to document the migratory pathways and the environmental conditions encountered by American eels during their oceanic migration to the Sargasso Sea, we tagged eight silver eels with miniature satellite pop-up tags during their migration from the St. Lawrence River in Québec, Canada. Surprisingly, of the seven tags that successfully transmitted archived data, six were ingested by warm-gutted predators, as observed by a sudden increase in water temperature. Gut temperatures were in the range of 20 to 25°C-too cold for marine mammals but within the range of endothermic fish. In order to identify the eel predators, we compared their vertical migratory behavior with those of satellite-tagged porbeagle shark and bluefin tuna, the only endothermic fishes occurring non-marginally in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We accurately distinguished between tuna and shark by using the behavioral criteria generated by comparing the diving behavior of these two species with those of our unknown predators. Depth profile characteristics of most eel predators more closely resembled those of sharks than those of tuna. During the first days following tagging, all eels remained in surface waters and did not exhibit diel vertical migrations. Three eels were eaten at this time. Two eels exhibited inverse diel vertical migrations (at surface during the day) during several days prior to predation. Four eels were eaten during daytime, whereas the two night-predation events occurred at full moon. Although tagging itself may contribute to increasing the eel's susceptibility to predation, we discuss evidence suggesting that predation of silver-stage American eels by porbeagle sharks may represent a significant source of mortality inside the Gulf of St. Lawrence and raises the possibility that eels may represent a reliable, predictable food resource for porbeagle sharks. PMID:23082131

  3. Predators alter community organization of coral reef cryptofauna and reduce abundance of coral mutualists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stier, A. C.; Leray, M.

    2014-03-01

    Coral reefs are the most diverse marine systems in the world, yet our understanding of the processes that maintain such extraordinary diversity remains limited and taxonomically biased toward the most conspicuous species. Cryptofauna that live deeply embedded within the interstitial spaces of coral reefs make up the majority of reef diversity, and many of these species provide important protective services to their coral hosts. However, we know very little about the processes governing the diversity and composition of these less conspicuous but functionally important species. Here, we experimentally quantify the role of predation in driving the community organization of small fishes and decapods that live embedded within Pocillopora eydouxi, a structurally complex, reef-building coral found widely across the Indo-Pacific. We use surveys to describe the natural distribution of predators, and then, factorially manipulate two focal predator species to quantify the independent and combined effects of predator density and identity on P. eydouxi-dwelling cryptofauna. Predators reduced abundance (34 %), species richness (20 %), and modified species composition. Rarefaction revealed that observed reductions in species richness were primarily driven by changes in abundance. Additionally, the two predator species uniquely affected the beta diversity and composition of the prey assemblage. Predators reduced the abundance and modified the composition of a number of mutualist fishes and decapods, whose benefit to the coral is known to be both diversity- and density-dependent. We predict that the density and identity of predators present within P. eydouxi may substantially alter coral performance in the face of an increased frequency and intensity of natural and anthropogenic stressors.

  4. Kinematics from footprints: Analysis of a possible dinosaur predation event in the Cretaceous Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2008-10-01

    Motivation is enhanced by challenging students with interesting and open-ended questions. In this talk, a methodology for studying the locomotion of extinct animals based on their footprint trackways is developed and applied to a possible predation event recorded in a Cretaceous Era deposit.ootnotetextJ.O. Farlow, ``Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Tracks, Paluxy River Valley, Texas,'' South Central Geological Society of America, Baylor University, 1987. Students usually love learning about dinosaurs, an unexpected treat in a physics class. This example can be used in the classroom to help build critical thinking skills as the students decide whether the evidence supports a predation scenario or not.

  5. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics.

  6. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics. PMID:27075257

  7. Foraging movements of Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) in the Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean: A preliminary satellite-tracking study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christel, Isadora; Navarro, Joan; del Castillo, Marcos; Cama, Albert; Ferrer, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    A knowledge of the foraging strategies of marine predators is essential to understand the intrinsic factors controlling their distribution, abundance and their ecological function within the marine ecosystem. Here, we investigated for the first time the foraging movements and activity patterns of Audouin's gull Larus audouinii by using satellite-tracking data from eight breeding adults in the main colony of the species worldwide (Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean). Tagged gulls foraged in the marine area close to the breeding colony (62% of foraging locations) and in the terrestrial area of the Ebro Delta (mainly rice fields; 38% of foraging locations). The foraging activity patterns changed significantly throughout the day; lower from dusk through the first half of the night (19-1 h; 32% of active locations) and higher during the rest of the day (1-19 h; 75.5 ± 4.3% of active locations). These results confirm the foraging plasticity of this seabird and, based on previous information about the dietary habits of this species, we hypothesize how its time-dependent activity patterns and habitat use could be associated with variations in the availability of marine food resources (e.g. diel vertical migrations of pelagic fish) and the exploitation of terrestrial resources (e.g. American crayfish Procambarus clarkii).

  8. Larval and female footprints as feeding deterrent cues for immature stages of two congeneric ladybird predators (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    PubMed

    Kumar, B; Mishra, G; Omkar

    2014-10-01

    In the present study predation parameters, i.e. consumption rate, conversion efficiency and growth rate, and total developmental duration of immature stages of two congeneric ladybirds, Coccinella septempunctata (L.) and Coccinella transversalis F., have been evaluated in presence of conspecific and heterospecific fourth instar larval and adult female tracks. We hypothesized that the semiochemicals within larval/adult female tracks might act as foraging/feeding deterrent pheromones (FDPs) and would reduce the predation parameters; and would prolong total developmental duration of ladybird predators. Results of the study positively affirmed our hypothesis. The deterrence in prey consumption and reduction in conversion efficiency and growth rate was density dependent with species-specific variations. Consumption rate, conversion efficiency, and growth rate of larval instars decreased and the total developmental duration of immature stages increased when exposed to an increasing density of zero, two, three, and four conspecific/heterospecific larval/adult female tracks. Between ladybird species, C. septempunctata had higher consumption rate, growth rate, and total developmental durations, whereas conversion efficiency was higher in C. transversalis. Despite the presence of semiochemical tracks as foraging barriers, early instars showed higher conversion efficiencies and growth rates, whereas fourth instars had highest consumption rate in all experimental treatments. The present study, therefore, suggests that semiochemical tracks significantly reduce the predation potential and prolong developmental duration of conspecifics and heterospecifics. They, thus behave as FDP. PMID:24963549

  9. Larval and female footprints as feeding deterrent cues for immature stages of two congeneric ladybird predators (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

    PubMed

    Kumar, B; Mishra, G; Omkar

    2014-10-01

    In the present study predation parameters, i.e. consumption rate, conversion efficiency and growth rate, and total developmental duration of immature stages of two congeneric ladybirds, Coccinella septempunctata (L.) and Coccinella transversalis F., have been evaluated in presence of conspecific and heterospecific fourth instar larval and adult female tracks. We hypothesized that the semiochemicals within larval/adult female tracks might act as foraging/feeding deterrent pheromones (FDPs) and would reduce the predation parameters; and would prolong total developmental duration of ladybird predators. Results of the study positively affirmed our hypothesis. The deterrence in prey consumption and reduction in conversion efficiency and growth rate was density dependent with species-specific variations. Consumption rate, conversion efficiency, and growth rate of larval instars decreased and the total developmental duration of immature stages increased when exposed to an increasing density of zero, two, three, and four conspecific/heterospecific larval/adult female tracks. Between ladybird species, C. septempunctata had higher consumption rate, growth rate, and total developmental durations, whereas conversion efficiency was higher in C. transversalis. Despite the presence of semiochemical tracks as foraging barriers, early instars showed higher conversion efficiencies and growth rates, whereas fourth instars had highest consumption rate in all experimental treatments. The present study, therefore, suggests that semiochemical tracks significantly reduce the predation potential and prolong developmental duration of conspecifics and heterospecifics. They, thus behave as FDP.

  10. Predator Recognition in Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Oulton, Lois Jane; Haviland, Vivian; Brown, Culum

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to olfactory cues during embryonic development can have long term impacts on birds and amphibians behaviour. Despite the vast literature on predator recognition and responses in fishes, few researchers have determined how fish embryos respond to predator cues. Here we exposed four-day-old rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi) embryos to cues emanating from a novel predator, a native predator and injured conspecifics. Their response was assessed by monitoring heart rate and hatch time. Results showed that embryos have an innate capacity to differentiate between cues as illustrated by faster heart rates relative to controls. The greatest increase in heart rate occurred in response to native predator odour. While we found no significant change in the time taken for eggs to hatch, all treatments experienced slight delays as expected if embryos are attempting to reduce exposure to larval predators. PMID:24146817

  11. Individual variation in ontogenetic niche shifts in habitat use and movement patterns of a large estuarine predator (Carcharhinus leucas).

    PubMed

    Matich, Philip; Heithaus, Michael R

    2015-06-01

    Ontogenetic niche shifts are common among animals, yet most studies only investigate niche shifts at the population level, which may overlook considerable differences among individuals in the timing and dynamics of these shifts. Such divergent behaviors within size-/age-classes have important implications for the roles a population-and specific age-classes-play in their respective ecosystem(s). Using acoustic telemetry, we tracked the movements of juvenile bull sharks in the Shark River Estuary of Everglades National Park, Florida, and found that sharks increased their use of marine microhabitats with age to take advantage of more abundant resources, but continued to use freshwater and estuarine microhabitats as refuges from marine predators. Within this population-level ontogenetic niche shift, however, movement patterns varied among individual sharks, with 47 % of sharks exhibiting condition-dependent habitat use and 53 % appearing risk-averse regardless of body condition. Among sharks older than age 0, fifty percent made regular movements between adjacent regions of the estuary, while the other half made less predictable movements that often featured long-term residence in specific regions. Individual differences were apparently shaped by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including individual responses to food-risk trade-offs and body condition. These differences appear to develop early in the lives of bull sharks, and persist throughout their residencies in nursery habitats. The widespread occurrence of intraspecific variation in behavior among mobile taxa suggests it is important in shaping population dynamics of at least some species, and elucidating the contexts and timing in which it develops and persists is important for understanding its role within communities. PMID:25669454

  12. Individual variation in ontogenetic niche shifts in habitat use and movement patterns of a large estuarine predator (Carcharhinus leucas).

    PubMed

    Matich, Philip; Heithaus, Michael R

    2015-06-01

    Ontogenetic niche shifts are common among animals, yet most studies only investigate niche shifts at the population level, which may overlook considerable differences among individuals in the timing and dynamics of these shifts. Such divergent behaviors within size-/age-classes have important implications for the roles a population-and specific age-classes-play in their respective ecosystem(s). Using acoustic telemetry, we tracked the movements of juvenile bull sharks in the Shark River Estuary of Everglades National Park, Florida, and found that sharks increased their use of marine microhabitats with age to take advantage of more abundant resources, but continued to use freshwater and estuarine microhabitats as refuges from marine predators. Within this population-level ontogenetic niche shift, however, movement patterns varied among individual sharks, with 47 % of sharks exhibiting condition-dependent habitat use and 53 % appearing risk-averse regardless of body condition. Among sharks older than age 0, fifty percent made regular movements between adjacent regions of the estuary, while the other half made less predictable movements that often featured long-term residence in specific regions. Individual differences were apparently shaped by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including individual responses to food-risk trade-offs and body condition. These differences appear to develop early in the lives of bull sharks, and persist throughout their residencies in nursery habitats. The widespread occurrence of intraspecific variation in behavior among mobile taxa suggests it is important in shaping population dynamics of at least some species, and elucidating the contexts and timing in which it develops and persists is important for understanding its role within communities.

  13. Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

    PubMed

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

    1994-07-01

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

  14. Cooperation in defence against a predator.

    PubMed

    Garay, József

    2009-03-01

    The origin and the evolutionary stability of cooperation between unrelated individuals is one of the key problems of evolutionary biology. In this paper, a cooperative defence game against a predator is introduced which is based on Hamilton's selfish herd theory and Eshel's survival game models. Cooperation is altruistic in the sense that the individual, which is not the target of the predator, helps the members of the group attacked by the predator and during defensive action the helper individual may also die in any attack. In order to decrease the long term predation risk, this individual has to carry out a high risk action. Here I show that this kind of cooperative behaviour can evolve in small groups. The reason for the emergence of cooperation is that if the predator does not kill a mate of a cooperative individual, then the survival probability of the cooperative individual will increase in two cases. If the mate is non-cooperative, then-according to the dilution effect, the predator confusion effect and the higher predator vigilance-the survival probability of the cooperative individual increases. The second case is when the mate is cooperative, because a cooperative individual has a further gain, the active help in defence during further predator attacks. Thus, if an individual can increase the survival rate of its mates (no matter whether the mate is cooperative or not), then its own predation risk will decrease.

  15. Distribution and abundance of predators that affect duck production--prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Greenwood, R.J.; Sovada, M.A.; Shaffer, T.L.

    1993-01-01

    During 1983-88, the relative abundance of 18 species and species-groups of mammalian and avian predators affecting duck production in the prairie pothole region was determined in 33 widely scattered study areas ranging in size from 23-26 km2. Accounts of each studied species and species-group include habitat and history, population structure and reported densities, and information on distribution and abundance from the present study. Index values of undetected, scarce, uncommon, common, or numerous were used to rate abundance of nearly all species in each study area. Principal survey methods were livetrapping of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii), systematic searches for carnivore tracks in quarter sections (0.65 km2), daily records of sightings of individual predator species, and systematic searches for occupied nests of tree-nesting avian predators. Abundances of predators in individual areas were studied 1-3 years.The distribution and abundance of predator species throughout the prairie pothole region have undergone continual change since settlement of the region by Europeans in the late 1800's. Predator populations in areas we studied differed markedly from those of pristine times. The changes occurred from habitat alterations, human-inflicted mortality of predators, and interspecific relations among predator species. Indices from surveys of tracks revealed a decline in the abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and an albeit less consistent decline in the abundance of raccoons (Procyon lotor) with an increase in the abundance of coyotes (Canis latrans). Records of locations of occupied nests revealed great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) tended to nest 0.5 km apart, and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) tended to avoid nesting 0.5 km of nests of red-tailed hawks. Excluding large gulls, for which no measurements of abundance were obtained, the number of

  16. The rise of pathogens: predation as a factor driving the evolution of human pathogens in the environment.

    PubMed

    Erken, Martina; Lutz, Carla; McDougald, Diane

    2013-05-01

    Bacteria in the environment must survive predation from bacteriophage, heterotrophic protists, and predatory bacteria. This selective pressure has resulted in the evolution of a variety of defense mechanisms, which can also function as virulence factors. Here we discuss the potential dual function of some of the mechanisms, which protect against heterotrophic protists, and how predation pressure leads to the evolution of pathogenicity. This is in accordance with the coincidental evolution hypothesis, which suggests that virulence factors arose as a response to other selective pressures, for example, predation rather than for virulence per se. In this review we discuss some of those environmental factors that may be associated with the rise of pathogens in the marine environment. In particular, we will discuss the role of heterotrophic protists in the evolution of virulence factors in marine bacteria. Finally, we will discuss the implications for expansion of current pathogens and emergence of new pathogens.

  17. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    A first step to evaluate potential negative effects of intraguild predation (IGP) when using multiple predators against a pest species is the determination of the predation behavior of the predators and the nutritional value of intraguild (IG) prey in terms of development and oviposition. Here, we investigated the predation preference of the female predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani and Phytoseius plumifer, when having choice between larvae of the two other predatory mite species (IG prey) with and without extraguild prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae (EG prey). Additionally, we evaluated the juvenile development and oviposition of the three predator species when provided with larvae from each other species. Irrespective of EG prey, IG prey species affected neither the first attack nor attack times of the three female IG predator species. The IG predation rates of the predator females, however, were influenced by prey species in the absence of EG prey. Neoseiulus californicus females killed more P. plumifer than T. bagdasarjani larvae, whereas T. bagdasarjani and P. plumifer females killed more N. californicus than P. plumifer and T. bagdasarjani larvae, respectively. All IG predator species consumed significantly more EG than IG prey. IG prey species did not influence juvenile and adult survival probabilities of the IG predators. We conclude that IGP is a weak force among the three predators and the potential consequences of IGP should not result in the elimination of one by another tested predatory mite species at least in the presence of spider mites. PMID:26462926

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Thermally contingent plasticity: temperature alters expression of predator-induced colour and morphology in a Neotropical treefrog tadpole.

    PubMed

    Touchon, Justin Charles; Warkentin, Karen Michelle

    2011-01-01

    1. Behavioural, morphological and coloration plasticity are common responses of prey to predation risk. Theory predicts that prey should respond to the relative magnitude of risk, rather than a single level of response to any risk level. In addition to conspecific and predator densities, prey growth and differentiation rates affect the duration of vulnerability to size- and stage-limited predators and therefore the relative value of defences. 2. We reared tadpoles of the Neotropical treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus with or without cues from a predator (Belostoma sp.) in ecologically relevant warm or cool temperatures. To track phenotypic changes, we measured morphology, tail coloration and developmental stage at three points during the larval period. 3. Cues from predators interacted with growth conditions causing tadpoles to alter their phenotype, changing only tail colour in response to predators in warm water, but both morphology and colour in cool growth conditions. Tadpoles with predators in warm water altered coloration early but converged on the morphology of predator-free controls. Water temperature alone had no effect on tadpole phenotype. 4. We demonstrate that seemingly small variation in abiotic environmental conditions can alter the expression of phenotypic plasticity, consistent with predictions about how growth rate affects risk. Predator-induced tadpole phenotypes depended on temperature, with strong expression only in temperatures that slow development. Thermal modulation of plastic responses to predators may be broadly relevant to poikilotherm development. It is important to include a range of realistic growth conditions in experiments to more fully understand the ecological and evolutionary significance of plasticity. PMID:20964684

  4. Predator effects on a detritus-based food web are primarily mediated by non-trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Majdi, Nabil; Boiché, Anatole; Traunspurger, Walter; Lecerf, Antoine

    2014-07-01

    Predator effects on ecosystems can extend far beyond their prey and are often not solely lethally transmitted. Change in prey traits in response to predation risk can have important repercussions on community assembly and key ecosystem processes (i.e. trait-mediated indirect effects). In addition, some predators themselves alter habitat structure or nutrient cycling through ecological engineering effects. Tracking these non-trophic pathways is thus an important, yet challenging task to gain a better grasp of the functional role of predators. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that, in detritus-based food webs, non-trophic interactions may prevail over purely trophic interactions in determining predator effects on plant litter decomposition. This hypothesis was tested in a headwater stream by modulating the density of a flatworm predator (Polycelis felina) in enclosures containing oak (Quercus robur) leaf litter exposed to natural colonization by small invertebrates and microbial decomposers. Causal path modelling was used to infer how predator effects propagated through the food web. Flatworms accelerated litter decomposition through positive effects on microbial decomposers. The biomass of prey and non-prey invertebrates was not negatively affected by flatworms, suggesting that net predator effect on litter decomposition was primarily determined by non-trophic interactions. Flatworms enhanced the deposition and retention of fine sediments on leaf surface, thereby improving leaf colonization by invertebrates - most of which having strong affinities with interstitial habitats. This predator-induced improvement of habitat availability was attributed to the sticky nature of the mucus that flatworms secrete in copious amount while foraging. Results of path analyses further indicated that this bottom-up ecological engineering effect was as powerful as the top-down effect on invertebrate prey. Our findings suggest that predators have the potential to affect substantially

  5. Encounters with aphid predators or their residues impede searching and oviposition by the aphid parasitoid Aphidius ervi (Hymenoptera: Aphidiinae).

    PubMed

    Almohamad, Raki; Hance, Thierry

    2014-04-01

    Intraguild predation (IGP) can be an important factor influencing the effectiveness of aphid natural enemies in biological control. In particular, aphid parasitoid foraging could be influenced by the presence of predators. This study investigated the effect of larvae of the predatory hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus DeGeer (Diptera: Syrphidae) and the multicolored Asian ladybird Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on the foraging behavior of the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius ervi Haliday (Hymenoptera: Aphidiidae) in choice experiments using a leaf disc bioassay. Wasp response to chemical tracks left by those predator larvae was also tested. Parasitoid behavior was recorded using the Observer (Noldus Information Technology, version 5.0, Wageningen, the Netherlands). The experiments were conducted under controlled environmental conditions using leaves of the broad bean plant, Vicia faba L. (Fabaceae) with Myzus persicae Sulzer (Homoptera: Aphididae) as the host complex. A. ervi females avoided aphid patches when larvae of either predator were present. A similar avoidance response was shown by A. ervi to aphid patches with E. balteatus larval tracks, whereas no significant response was observed to tracks left by H. axyridis larvae. It was concluded that IG predator avoidance shown by the aphid parasitoid A. ervi may be a factor affecting their distribution among host patches. PMID:23955963

  6. Induced defenses in response to an invading crab predator: An explanation of historical and geographic phenotypic change

    PubMed Central

    Trussell, Geoffrey C.; Smith, L. David

    2000-01-01

    The expression of defensive morphologies in prey often is correlated with predator abundance or diversity over a range of temporal and spatial scales. These patterns are assumed to reflect natural selection via differential predation on genetically determined, fixed phenotypes. Phenotypic variation, however, also can reflect within-generation developmental responses to environmental cues (phenotypic plasticity). For example, water-borne effluents from predators can induce the production of defensive morphologies in many prey taxa. This phenomenon, however, has been examined only on narrow scales. Here, we demonstrate adaptive phenotypic plasticity in prey from geographically separated populations that were reared in the presence of an introduced predator. Marine snails exposed to predatory crab effluent in the field increased shell thickness rapidly compared with controls. Induced changes were comparable to (i) historical transitions in thickness previously attributed to selection by the invading predator and (ii) present-day clinal variation predicted from water temperature differences. Thus, predator-induced phenotypic plasticity may explain broad-scale geographic and temporal phenotypic variation. If inducible defenses are heritable, then selection on the reaction norm may influence coevolution between predator and prey. Trade-offs may explain why inducible rather than constitutive defenses have evolved in several gastropod species. PMID:10681425

  7. Marine disease impacts, diagnosis, forecasting, management and policy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Hofmann, Eileen E.

    2016-01-01

    As Australians were spending millions of dollars in 2014 to remove the coral-eating crown of thorns sea star from the Great Barrier Reef, sea stars started washing up dead for free along North America's Pacific Coast. Because North American sea stars are important and iconic predators in marine communities, locals and marine scientists alike were alarmed by what proved to be the world's most widespread marine mass mortality in geographical extent and species affected, especially given its mysterious cause. Investigative research using modern diagnostic techniques implicated a never-before-seen virus [1]. The virus inspired international attention to marine diseases, including this theme issue.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Predator harvesting in stage dependent predation models: insights from a threshold management policy.

    PubMed

    Costa, Michel Iskin da Silveira

    2008-11-01

    Stage dependent predation may give rise to the hydra effect--the increase of predator density at equilibrium as its mortality rate is raised. Management strategies that adjust predator harvest rates or quotas based on responses of populations to past changes in capture rates may eventually lead to a catastrophic collapse of predator species. A proposed threshold management policy avoids the hydra effect and its subsequent danger of predator extinction. Suggestions to extend the application of threshold policies in areas such as intermediate disturbance hypothesis, density-trait mediated interactions and non-optimal anti-predatory behavior are put forward.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Liujuan; Chen, Fengde; Wang, Yiqin

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Predation risk assessment by larval reef fishes during settlement-site selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixson, D. L.

    2012-03-01

    Predation rates of marine species are often highest during the transition from the pelagic to the benthic life stage. Consequently, the ability to assess predation risk when selecting a settlement site can be critical to survival. In this study, pairwise choice trials were used to determine whether larvae of three species of anemonefish ( Amphiprion melanopus, A. percula and Premnas biaculeatus) are able to (1) assess the predation risk of potential anemone settlement sites through olfactory cues alone and (2) alter their settlement choices depending on the options available (host or non-host anemone). When predation risk was assessed with host and non-host anemone species independently, all species of anemonefish significantly chose the odor associated with the low-risk settlement option over the high-risk site. Most importantly, all species of anemonefish selected water with olfactory cues from their host anemone regardless of predation risk when paired against non-host anemone odor. These results demonstrate that larval reef fishes can use olfactory cues for complex risk assessment during settlement-site selection; however, locating the correct habitat is the most important factor when selecting a settlement site.

  16. Chemical ecology of marine plankton.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Emily R; Poulin, Remington X; Mojib, Nazia; Kubanek, Julia

    2016-07-28

    Covering: January 2013 to online publication December 2014This review summarizes recent research in the chemical ecology of marine pelagic ecosystems, and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the field in the time period covered. In order to highlight the role of chemical cues and toxins in plankton ecology this review has been organized by ecological interaction types starting with intraspecific interactions, then interspecific interactions (including facilitation and mutualism, host-parasite, allelopathy, and predator-prey), and finally community and ecosystem-wide interactions.

  17. Exhausting Attentional Tracking Resources with a Single Fast-Moving Object

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holcombe, Alex O.; Chen, Wei-Ying

    2012-01-01

    Driving on a busy road, eluding a group of predators, or playing a team sport involves keeping track of multiple moving objects. In typical laboratory tasks, the number of visual targets that humans can track is about four. Three types of theories have been advanced to explain this limit. The fixed-limit theory posits a set number of attentional…

  18. Pinpointing Predation Events: A different molecular approach.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  20. The Functional Response of a Generalist Predator

    PubMed Central

    Smout, Sophie; Asseburg, Christian; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Fernández, Carmen; Redpath, Stephen; Harwood, John

    2010-01-01

    Background Predators can have profound impacts on the dynamics of their prey that depend on how predator consumption is affected by prey density (the predator's functional response). Consumption by a generalist predator is expected to depend on the densities of all its major prey species (its multispecies functional response, or MSFR), but most studies of generalists have focussed on their functional response to only one prey species. Methodology and principal findings Using Bayesian methods, we fit an MSFR to field data from an avian predator (the hen harrier Circus cyaneus) feeding on three different prey species. We use a simple graphical approach to show that ignoring the effects of alternative prey can give a misleading impression of the predator's effect on the prey of interest. For example, in our system, a “predator pit” for one prey species only occurs when the availability of other prey species is low. Conclusions and significance The Bayesian approach is effective in fitting the MSFR model to field data. It allows flexibility in modelling over-dispersion, incorporates additional biological information into the parameter priors, and generates estimates of uncertainty in the model's predictions. These features of robustness and data efficiency make our approach ideal for the study of long-lived predators, for which data may be sparse and management/conservation priorities pressing. PMID:20523722

  1. Top predators and habitat complexity alter an intraguild predation module in pond communities.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-03-01

    Predator diversity and habitat complexity frequently influence species interactions at lower trophic levels, yet their joint investigation has been performed infrequently despite the demonstrated importance of each individual factor. We investigated how different top predators and varying habitat complexity influence the function of an intraguild predation module consisting of two larval salamanders, intraguild predator Ambystoma annulatum and intraguild prey A. maculatum. We manipulated predator food webs and habitat complexity in outdoor mesocosms. Top predators significantly influenced body condition and survival of A. annulatum, but habitat complexity had minimal effects on either response. A three-way interaction among the covariates top predator identity, habitat complexity and A. annulatum survival influenced body condition and survival of A. maculatum via a density-mediated indirect effect. Different top predator combinations had variable effects in different habitat complexity treatments on intraguild predator (A. annulatum) survival that subsequently influenced intraguild prey (A. maculatum) body condition and survival. Future work should consider how different top predators influence other food web components, which should vary due to predator attributes and the physical environments in which they co-occur. PMID:26476095

  2. Diterpenes of marine brown algae of the family Dictyotaceae: their possible role as defense compounds and their use in chemotaxonomy.

    PubMed

    Kelecom, A; Teixeira, V L

    1986-12-15

    Marine brown algae of the family Dictyotaceae are protected against predation. Their survival strategy is, at least in part, based on the production of chemical defenses. These compounds are diterpenes that seem to establish a specific predator-prey relationship, and which are found as food-chain markers. The use of Dictyotaceae diterpenes in chemotaxonomy is briefly discussed.

  3. Exploitation and recovery of a sea urchin predator has implications for the resilience of southern California kelp forests.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Scott L; Caselle, Jennifer E

    2015-01-22

    Size-structured predator-prey interactions can be altered by the history of exploitation, if that exploitation is itself size-selective. For example, selective harvesting of larger sized predators can release prey populations in cases where only large individuals are capable of consuming a particular prey species. In this study, we examined how the history of exploitation and recovery (inside marine reserves and due to fisheries management) of California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) has affected size-structured interactions with sea urchin prey in southern California. We show that fishing changes size structure by reducing sizes and alters life histories of sheephead, while management measures that lessen or remove fishing impacts (e.g. marine reserves, effort restrictions) reverse these effects and result in increases in density, size and biomass. We show that predation on sea urchins is size-dependent, such that the diet of larger sheephead is composed of more and larger sized urchins than the diet of smaller fish. These results have implications for kelp forest resilience, because urchins can overgraze kelp in the absence of top-down control. From surveys in a network of marine reserves, we report negative relationships between the abundance of sheephead and urchins and the abundance of urchins and fleshy macroalgae (including giant kelp), indicating the potential for cascading indirect positive effects of top predators on the abundance of primary producers. Management measures such as increased minimum size limits and marine reserves may serve to restore historical trophic roles of key predators and thereby enhance the resilience of marine ecosystems.

  4. Do predators influence the behaviour of bats?

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L; O'Keefe, Joy M

    2013-08-01

    Many aspects of animal behaviour are affected by real-time changes in the risk of predation. This conclusion holds for virtually all taxa and ecological systems studied, but does it hold for bats? Bats are poorly represented in the literature on anti-predator behaviour, which may reflect a lack of nocturnal predators specialized on bats. If bats actually experience a world with minimal anti-predator concerns, then they will provide a unique contrast within the realm of vertebrate ecology. Alternatively, such predator-driven behaviour in bats may not yet be fully understood, given the difficulties in working with these highly mobile and nocturnal animals. We provide a wide-ranging exploration of these issues in bat behaviour. We first cover the basic predator-prey information available on bats, both on potential predators and the ways in which bats might perceive predators and respond to attacks. We then cover work relevant to key aspects of bat behaviour, such as choice of daytime roosts, the nature of sleep and torpor, evening roost departures, moonlight avoidance, landscape-related movement patterns, and habitat selection. Overall, the evidence in favour of a strong influence of predators on bat behaviour is equivocal, with the picture clouded by contradictory results and a lack of information on potential predators and the perception of risk by bats. It seems clear that day-active bats run a considerable risk of being killed by diurnal raptors, which are able to capture bats with relative ease. Thus, bats taking advantage of a pulse of insects just prior to sunset are likely taking risks to gain much-needed energy. Further, the choice of daytime roosts by bats is probably strongly influenced by roost safety. Few studies, however, have directly addressed either of these topics. As a group, insectivorous temperate-zone bats show no clear tendency to avoid apparently risky situations, such as activity on moonlit nights. However, some observations are consistent

  5. Can generalist predators be effective biocontrol agents?

    PubMed

    Symondson, W O C; Sunderland, K D; Greenstone, M H

    2002-01-01

    Theoretical developments are helping us to comprehend the basic parameters governing the dynamics of the interactions between generalist predators and their many pest and nonpest prey. In practice, however, inter- and intraspecific interactions between generalist predators, and between the predators and their prey, within multispecies systems under the influence of rapidly changing biotic and abiotic variables are difficult to predict. We discuss trade-offs between the relative merits of specialists and generalists that allow both to be effective, and often complementary, under different circumstances. A review of manipulative field studies showed that in approximately 75% of cases, generalist predators, whether single species or species assemblages, reduced pest numbers significantly. Techniques for manipulating predator numbers to enhance pest control at different scales are discussed. We now need to find ways of disentangling the factors influencing positive and negative interactions within natural enemy communities in order to optimize beneficial synergies leading to pest control.

  6. Modelling predation by transient leopard seals for an ecosystem-based management of Southern Ocean fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forcada, J.; Malone, D.; Royle, J. Andrew; Staniland, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Correctly quantifying the impacts of rare apex marine predators is essential to ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, where harvesting must be sustainable for targeted species and their dependent predators. This requires modelling the uncertainty in such processes as predator life history, seasonal abundance and movement, size-based predation, energetic requirements, and prey vulnerability. We combined these uncertainties to evaluate the predatory impact of transient leopard seals on a community of mesopredators (seals and penguins) and their prey at South Georgia, and assess the implications for an ecosystem-based management. The mesopredators are highly dependent on Antarctic krill and icefish, which are targeted by regional fisheries. We used a state-space formulation to combine (1) a mark-recapture open-population model and individual identification data to assess seasonally variable leopard seal arrival and departure dates, numbers, and residency times; (2) a size-based bioenergetic model; and (3) a size-based prey choice model from a diet analysis. Our models indicated that prey choice and consumption reflected seasonal changes in leopard seal population size and structure, size-selective predation and prey vulnerability. A population of 104 (90-125) leopard seals, of which 64% were juveniles, consumed less than 2% of the Antarctic fur seal pup production of the area (50% of total ingested energy, IE), but ca. 12-16% of the local gentoo penguin population (20% IE). Antarctic krill (28% IE) were the only observed food of leopard seal pups and supplemented the diet of older individuals. Direct impacts on krill and fish were negligible, but the "escapement" due to leopard seal predation on fur seal pups and penguins could be significant for the mackerel icefish fishery at South Georgia. These results suggest that: (1) rare apex predators like leopard seals may control, and may depend on, populations of mesopredators dependent on prey species

  7. Modelling predation by transient leopard seals for an ecosystem-based management of Southern Ocean fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forcada, J.; Royle, J. Andrew; Staniland, I.J.

    2009-01-01

    Correctly quantifying the impacts of rare apex marine predators is essential to ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management, where harvesting must be sustainable for targeted species and their dependent predators. This requires modelling the uncertainty in such processes as predator life history, seasonal abundance and movement, size-based predation, energetic requirements, and prey vulnerability. We combined these uncertainties to evaluate the predatory impact of transient leopard seals on a community of mesopredators (seals and penguins) and their prey at South Georgia, and assess the implications for an ecosystem-based management. The mesopredators are highly dependent on Antarctic krill and icefish, which are targeted by regional fisheries. We used a state-space formulation to combine (1) a mark-recapture open-population model and individual identification data to assess seasonally variable leopard seal arrival and departure dates, numbers, and residency times; (2) a size-based bioenergetic model; and (3) a size-based prey choice model from a diet analysis. Our models indicated that prey choice and consumption reflected seasonal changes in leopard seal population size and structure, size-selective predation and prey vulnerability. A population of 104 (90?125) leopard seals, of which 64% were juveniles, consumed less than 2% of the Antarctic fur seal pup production of the area (50% of total ingested energy, IE), but ca. 12?16% of the local gentoo penguin population (20% IE). Antarctic krill (28% IE) were the only observed food of leopard seal pups and supplemented the diet of older individuals. Direct impacts on krill and fish were negligible, but the ?escapement? due to leopard seal predation on fur seal pups and penguins could be significant for the mackerel icefish fishery at South Georgia. These results suggest that: (1) rare apex predators like leopard seals may control, and may depend on, populations of mesopredators dependent on prey species

  8. Instream cover and shade mediate avian predation on trout in semi-natural streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Dunham, Jason B.; Noakes, David L. G.

    2015-01-01

    Piscivory by birds can be significant, particularly on fish in small streams and during seasonal low flow when available cover from predators can be limited. Yet, how varying amounts of cover may change the extent of predation mortality from avian predators on fish is not clear. We evaluated size-selective survival of coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) in replicated semi-natural stream sections. These sections provided high (0.01 m2 of cover per m2 of stream) or low (0.002 m2 of cover per m2 of stream) levels of instream cover available to trout and were closed to emigration. Each fish was individually tagged, allowing us to track retention of individuals during the course of the 36-day experiment, which we attributed to survival from predators, because fish had no other way to leave the streams. Although other avian predators may have been active in our system and not detected, the only predator observed was the belted kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon, which is known to prey heavily on fish. In both treatments, trout >20.4 cm were not preyed upon indicating an increased ability to prey upon on smaller individuals. Increased availability of cover improved survival of trout by 12% in high relative to low cover stream sections. Trout also survived better in stream sections with greater shade, a factor we could not control in our system. Collectively, these findings indicate that instream cover and shade from avian predators can play an important role in driving survival of fish in small streams or during periods of low flow.

  9. Predator biomass, prey density, and species composition effects on group size in recruit coral reef fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeMartini, Edward E.; Anderson, Todd W.; Friedlander, Alan M.; Beets, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Group incidence and size are described for recruit parrotfishes, wrasses, and damselfishes on Hawaiian reefs over 3 years (2006–2008) at sites spanning the archipelago (20–28°N, 155–177°W). Coral-poor and coral-rich areas were surveyed at sites with both low (Hawaii Island) and high (Midway Atoll) predator densities, facilitating examination of relations among predator and recruit densities, habitat, and group metrics. Predator and recruit densities varied spatially and temporally, with a sixfold range in total recruit densities among years. Group (≥2 recruits) metrics varied with time and tracked predator and recruit densities and the proportion of schooling species. Groups often included heterospecifics whose proportion increased with group size. A non-saturating relationship between group size and recruit density suggests that the anti-predator benefits of aggregation exceeded competitive costs. Grouping behavior may have overarching importance for recruit survival—even at high recruit densities—and merits further study on Hawaiian reefs and elsewhere.

  10. Spatially Explicit Estimates of Prey Consumption Reveal a New Krill Predator in the Southern Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Walters, Andrea; Lea, Mary-Anne; van den Hoff, John; Field, Iain C.; Virtue, Patti; Sokolov, Sergei; Pinkerton, Matt H.; Hindell, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    Development in foraging behaviour and dietary intake of many vertebrates are age-structured. Differences in feeding ecology may correlate with ontogenetic shifts in dispersal patterns, and therefore affect foraging habitat and resource utilization. Such life-history traits have important implications in interpreting tropho-dynamic linkages. Stable isotope ratios in the whiskers of sub-yearling southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina; n = 12) were used, in conjunction with satellite telemetry and environmental data, to examine their foraging habitat and diet during their first foraging migration. The trophic position of seals from Macquarie Island (54°30′S, 158°57′E) was estimated using stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) ratios along the length of the whisker, which provided a temporal record of prey intake. Satellite-relayed data loggers provided details on seal movement patterns, which were related to isotopic concentrations along the whisker. Animals fed in waters south of the Polar Front (>60°S) or within Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) Statistical Subareas 88.1 and 88.2, as indicated by both their depleted δ13C (<−20‰) values, and tracking data. They predominantly exploited varying proportions of mesopelagic fish and squid, and crustaceans, such as euphausiids, which have not been reported as a prey item for this species. Comparison of isotopic data between sub-yearlings, and 1, 2 and 3 yr olds indicated that sub-yearlings, limited by their size, dive capabilities and prey capture skills to feeding higher in the water column, fed at a lower trophic level than older seals. This is consistent with the consumption of euphausiids and most probably, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), which constitute an abundant, easily accessible source of prey in water masses used by this age class of seals. Isotopic assessment and concurrent tracking of seals are successfully used here to identify

  11. Spatially explicit estimates of prey consumption reveal a new krill predator in the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Walters, Andrea; Lea, Mary-Anne; van den Hoff, John; Field, Iain C; Virtue, Patti; Sokolov, Sergei; Pinkerton, Matt H; Hindell, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    Development in foraging behaviour and dietary intake of many vertebrates are age-structured. Differences in feeding ecology may correlate with ontogenetic shifts in dispersal patterns, and therefore affect foraging habitat and resource utilization. Such life-history traits have important implications in interpreting tropho-dynamic linkages. Stable isotope ratios in the whiskers of sub-yearling southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina; n = 12) were used, in conjunction with satellite telemetry and environmental data, to examine their foraging habitat and diet during their first foraging migration. The trophic position of seals from Macquarie Island (54°30'S, 158°57'E) was estimated using stable carbon (δ(1) (3)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) ratios along the length of the whisker, which provided a temporal record of prey intake. Satellite-relayed data loggers provided details on seal movement patterns, which were related to isotopic concentrations along the whisker. Animals fed in waters south of the Polar Front (>60°S) or within Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) Statistical Subareas 88.1 and 88.2, as indicated by both their depleted δ(1) (3)C (<-20‰) values, and tracking data. They predominantly exploited varying proportions of mesopelagic fish and squid, and crustaceans, such as euphausiids, which have not been reported as a prey item for this species. Comparison of isotopic data between sub-yearlings, and 1, 2 and 3 yr olds indicated that sub-yearlings, limited by their size, dive capabilities and prey capture skills to feeding higher in the water column, fed at a lower trophic level than older seals. This is consistent with the consumption of euphausiids and most probably, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), which constitute an abundant, easily accessible source of prey in water masses used by this age class of seals. Isotopic assessment and concurrent tracking of seals are successfully used here to identify

  12. Low-Reynolds-number predator.