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Sample records for post-dispersal seed predation

  1. Edge effect on post-dispersal artificial seed predation in the southeastern Amazonia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Penido, G; Ribeiro, V; Fortunato, D S

    2015-05-01

    This paper evaluates the post-dispersal artificial seed predation rates in two areas of the southeastern Amazon forest-savanna boundary, central Brazil. We conducted the survey in a disturbance regime controlled research site to verify if exists an edge effect in these rates and if the disturbance (in this case annual fire and no fire) affects seed predation. We placed 800 peanuts seeds in each area at regular distance intervals from the fragment`s edge. Data were analyzed by a likelihood ratio model selection in generalized linear models (GLM). The complete model (with effects from edge distance and site and its interaction) was significative (F3=4.43; p=0.005). Seeds had a larger predation rates in fragment's interior in both areas, but in the controlled area (no disturbance) this effect was less linear. This suggests an edge effect for post-dispersal seed predation, and that disturbances might alter these effects. Even if we exclude the site effect (grouping both areas together) there is still a strong edge effect on seed predation rates (F3=32.679; p>0.001). We did not verify predator's species in this study; however, the presence of several species of ants was extremely common in the seeds. The detection of an edge effect in only a short survey time suggests that there is heterogeneity in predation rates and that this variation might affect plant recruitment in fragmented areas of the Amazon forest. Henceforth, this seed predation should be taken in consideration in reforestation projects, where the main source of plants species is from seed distribution.

  2. A Multi-species Assessment of Post-dispersal Seed Predation in the Central Chilean Andes

    PubMed Central

    MUÑOZ, ALEJANDRO A.; CAVIERES, LOHENGRIN A.

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Post-dispersal seed predation in alpine communities has received little attention despite evidence that seeds removed by granivores can decrease plant recruitment into ecosystems. Moreover, few studies have assessed the effects of removal of seeds of a range of species after dispersal on the seeds remaining in ecosystems. A comparison was made of the magnitude of seed removal by ants and birds of nine different shrubby-, herbaceous- and cushion-plant species in the central Chilean Andes in order to assess the interactions between birds, ants and wind, and the types of seeds. • Methods A total of 324 soil-covered plates, each containing 50 seeds of one species, were placed in the field at an altitude of 2700 m and assigned to one of four treatments: control, exclusion of ants, birds, and both. The design also allowed the effects of wind to be assessed. Seed removal from plates was monitored over 20 d. • Key Results Mean accumulative seed removal by granivores averaged over all nine species combined was 25 %. However, large differences between species were evident, with limited seed removal (3–11 %) in three herbaceous species (Alstroemeria pallida, Sisyrinchium arenarium, Pozoa coriacea), moderate (18–33 %) in five species, including a shrub (Chuquiraga oppositifolia), two herbs (Taraxacum officinale, Rhodophiala rhodolirion), and two cushion-plants (Laretia acaulis, Azorella monantha), and substantial (78 %) in the shrub Anarthrophyllum cumingii. The magnitudes of losses caused by birds compared with ants did not differ for the majority of species, although removal by birds was greater than by ants in A. cumingii, and smaller for C. oppositifolia. • Conclusions Post-dispersal seed removal is shown to be an important cause of decreased potential plant species recruitment into alpine ecosystems. The substantial differences in the magnitude of seed losses to ants and birds demonstrate the need for evaluation of seed removal

  3. Ecological patterns and genetic analysis of post-dispersal seed predation in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) crop-wild hybrids.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Jennifer M; Burger, Jutta C; Burke, John M

    2010-08-01

    Crop-wild hybridization has been documented in many cultivated species, but the ecological and genetic factors that influence the likelihood or rate that cultivar alleles will introgress into wild populations are poorly understood. Seed predation is one factor that could mitigate the spread of otherwise advantageous cultivar alleles into the wild by reducing seedling recruitment of crop-like individuals in hybrid populations. Seed predation has previously been linked to several seed characters that differ between cultivated and wild sunflower, such as seed size and oil content. In this study, seed morphological and nutritional characters were measured in a segregating population of sunflower crop-wild hybrids and wild and cultivated lines. Seed predation rates among lines were then assessed in the field. The relationship between seed predation and seed characters was investigated and quantitative trait loci (QTL) were mapped for all traits. There was no effect of seed type (hybrid vs. parents) on seed predation, although a trend toward more early predation of wild seeds was observed. Within the hybrids, seed predators preferred seeds that contained more oil and energy but were lower in fibre. The relationship between seed predation and oil content was supported by co-localized QTL for these traits on one linkage group. These results suggest that oil content may be a more important determinant of seed predation than seed size and provide molecular genetic evidence for this relationship. The cultivar allele was also found to increase predation at all QTL, indicating that post-dispersal seed predation may mitigate the spread of cultivar alleles into wild populations.

  4. Annual post-dispersal weed seed predation in contrasting field environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Interest in weed seed predation as an ecological weed management tactic has led to a growing number of investigations of agronomic and environmental effects on predation rates. Whereas the measurements in most of these studies have taken place at very short time scales, from days to weeks, measureme...

  5. Adaptive Advantage of Myrmecochory in the Ant-Dispersed Herb Lamium amplexicaule (Lamiaceae): Predation Avoidance through the Deterrence of Post-Dispersal Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Koki; Ogata, Kanako; Mukai, Hiromi; Yamawo, Akira; Tokuda, Makoto

    2015-01-01

    Seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory) is found worldwide, but the benefits that plants obtain from this mutualism remain uncertain. In the present study, we conducted laboratory experiments to demonstrate seed predator avoidance as a benefit of myrmecochory using the annual ant-dispersed herb Lamium amplexicaule, the disperser ant Tetramorium tsushimae, and the seed predatory burrower bug Adomerus rotundus. We compared the predation intensity of Lamium amplexicaule seeds by Adomerus rotundus under the presence or absence of Tetramorium tsushimae. Both the number of seeds sucked by Adomerus rotundus adults and the feeding duration of sucked seeds by nymphs were significantly reduced in the presence of ants. This effect was most likely due to the behavioral alteration of Adomerus rotundus in response to the ant presence, because ants seldom predated Adomerus rotundus during the experiment. Our results demonstrated that the presence of ants decreases post-dispersal seed predation, even when the ants do not bury the seeds. The present study thus suggests that the non-consumptive effects of ants on seed predators benefit myrmecochorous plants.

  6. Spatial variation in post-dispersal seed removal in an Atlantic forest: Effects of habitat, location and guilds of seed predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianini, Alexander V.; Galetti, Mauro

    2007-11-01

    Studies of post-dispersal seed removal in the Neotropics have rarely examined the magnitude of seed removal by different types of granivores. The relative impact of invertebrates, small rodents, and birds on seed removal was investigated in a 2,178 ha Atlantic forest fragment in southeastern Brazil. We used popcorn kernels ( Zea mays—Poaceae) to investigate seed removal in a series of selective exclosure treatments in a replicated, paired design experiment that included forest understory, gaps, and forest edge sites. We recorded the vegetation around the experimental seed stations in detail in order to evaluate the influence of microhabitat traits on seed removal. Vertebrate granivores (rodents and birds) were surveyed to determine whether granivore abundance was correlated with seed removal levels. Seed removal varied spatially and in unpredictable ways at the study site. Seed encounter and seed use varied with treatments, but not with habitat type. However, seed removal by invertebrates was negatively correlated with gap-related traits, which suggested an avoidance of large gaps by granivorous ants. The abundance of small mammals was remarkably low, but granivorous birds (tinamous and doves) were abundant at the study site. Birds were the main seed consumers in open treatments, but there was no correlation between local granivorous bird abundance and seed removal. These results emphasize the stochastic spatial pattern of seed removal, and, contrary to previous studies, highlight the importance of birds as seed predators in forest habitats.

  7. Gut passage and secondary metabolites alter the source of post-dispersal predation for bird-dispersed chili seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Haak, David C; Levey, Douglas J; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2016-07-01

    Plants can influence the source and severity of seed predation through various mechanisms; the use of secondary metabolites for chemical defense, for example, is well documented. Gut passage by frugivores can also reduce mortality of animal-dispersed seeds, although this mechanism has gained far less attention than secondary metabolites. Apart from influencing the severity of seed predation, gut passage may also influence the source of seed predation. In Bolivia, we compared impacts of these two mechanisms, gut passage and secondary metabolites, on the source of seed predation in Capsicum chacoense, a wild chili species that is polymorphic for pungency (individual plants either produce fruits and seeds containing or lacking capsaicinoids). Using physical exclosures, we isolated seed removal by insects, mammals, and birds; seeds in the trials were from either pungent or non-pungent fruits and were either passed or not passed by seed-dispersing birds. Pungency had little influence on total short-term seed removal by animals, although prior work on this species indicates that capsaicin reduces mortality caused by fungi at longer time scales. Gut passage strongly reduced removal by insects, altering the relative impact of the three predator types. The weak impact of pungency on short-term predation contrasts with previous studies, highlighting the context dependence of secondary metabolites. The strong impact of gut passage demonstrates that this mechanism alone can influence which seed predators consume seeds, and that impacts of gut passage can be larger than those of secondary metabolites, which are more commonly acknowledged as a defense mechanism.

  8. Global patterns in post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Peco, Begoña; Laffan, Shawn W; Moles, Angela T

    2014-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that species interactions such as granivory are more intense in the tropics. However, this has rarely been tested. A global dataset of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates for 79 native plant species from semi-natural and natural terrestrial habitats ranging from 55° N to 45° S, was compiled from the global literature to test the hypothesis that post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and vertebrates is more intense at lower latitudes. We also quantified the relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates and by invertebrates to global climatic features including temperature, actual evapotranspiration (AET) and rainfall seasonality. Linear mixed effect models were applied to describe the relationships between seed removal and latitude, hemisphere and climatic variables controlling for the effect of seed mass. Post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates was negatively related to latitude. In contrast, post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates was positively but weakly related to latitude. Mean annual temperature and actual evapotranspiration were positively related to post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates, but not to post-dispersal seed removal by vertebrates, which was only marginally negatively related to rainfall seasonality. The inclusion of seed mass improved the fit of all models, but the term for seed mass was not significant in any model. Although a good climatic model for predicting post-dispersal seed predation by vertebrates at the global level was not found, our results suggest different and opposite latitudinal patterns of post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates vs vertebrates. This is the first time that a negative relationship between post-dispersal seed removal by invertebrates and latitude, and a positive relationship with temperature and AET have been documented at a global-scale. These results have important implications for understanding global patterns in plant

  9. Hydrated mucilage reduces post-dispersal seed removal of a sand desert shrub by ants in a semiarid ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xuejun; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Gao, Ruiru; Yang, Fan; Wei, Lingling; Li, Leilei; He, Hongju; Huang, Zhenying

    2013-12-01

    Post-dispersal seed removal by animals can lead to extensive seed loss and thus is an important factor in structuring plant communities. However, we know much less about post-dispersal seed predation than about other forms of herbivory. Mucilage plays many ecological roles in adaptation of plants to diverse environments; nevertheless, until now the role of mucilage in ant-mediated seed movement remains largely hypothetical. We studied the role of mucilage in seed removal of Artemisia sphaerocephala by ants in Mu Us Sandland in Inner Mongolia, China. Messor aciculatus was the most active seed predator of Artemisia sphaerocephala. Time to first ant collecting (T 1st) of wet intact seeds was longest and significantly different from that for dry intact seeds, wet demucilaged seeds, and dry demucilaged seeds; number of seeds removed to ant nests was lowest for wet intact seeds. After they were collected by ants, 5 % of wet intact seeds were dropped during transport. Our results indicate that seed mucilage of Artemisia sphaerocephala may play a significant role in post-dispersal seed removal by (1) making seeds less attractive to ants, thus resulting in a delay of collection time; (2) forming a strong bond to soil particles, making it difficult for ants to remove seeds; and (3) making seeds more likely to be dropped during transport, thereby allowing them to escape from predation even after collection by ants. This study demonstrates the importance of mucilage in reducing seed removal by ants and thus in anchoring seeds of desert plants in the vicinity of mother plants.

  10. Post-dispersal seed removal by ground-feeding rodents in tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Blackham, Grace V; Corlett, Richard T

    2015-09-15

    Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are being rapidly converted to agriculture or degraded into non-forest vegetation. Although large areas have been abandoned, there is little evidence for subsequent forest recovery. As part of a study of forest degradation and recovery, we used seed removal experiments and rodent surveys to investigate the potential role of post-dispersal seed predation in limiting the regeneration of woody plants. Two 14-day seed removal trials were done in deforested and forested peatland habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seeds of Nephelium lappaceum, Syzygium muelleri, Artocarpus heterophyllus (all animal-dispersed) and Combretocarpus rotundatus (wind-dispersed) were tested. Significantly more seeds (82.8%) were removed in forest than non-forest (38.1%) and Combretocarpus had the lowest removal in both habitats. Most handled seeds were eaten in situ and little caching was observed. Six species of rodents were captured in forest and five in non-forest. The most trapped taxa were three Maxomys spp. in forest (85.5% of individuals) and Rattus tiomanicus in non-forest (74.8%). Camera traps confirmed that rodents were responsible for seed removal. Seed predation in deforested areas, which have a much lower seed rain than forest, may contribute to the low density and diversity of regenerating forest.

  11. Post-dispersal seed removal by ground-feeding rodents in tropical peatlands, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Blackham, Grace V.; Corlett, Richard T.

    2015-01-01

    Forested tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are being rapidly converted to agriculture or degraded into non-forest vegetation. Although large areas have been abandoned, there is little evidence for subsequent forest recovery. As part of a study of forest degradation and recovery, we used seed removal experiments and rodent surveys to investigate the potential role of post-dispersal seed predation in limiting the regeneration of woody plants. Two 14-day seed removal trials were done in deforested and forested peatland habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Seeds of Nephelium lappaceum, Syzygium muelleri, Artocarpus heterophyllus (all animal-dispersed) and Combretocarpus rotundatus (wind-dispersed) were tested. Significantly more seeds (82.8%) were removed in forest than non-forest (38.1%) and Combretocarpus had the lowest removal in both habitats. Most handled seeds were eaten in situ and little caching was observed. Six species of rodents were captured in forest and five in non-forest. The most trapped taxa were three Maxomys spp. in forest (85.5% of individuals) and Rattus tiomanicus in non-forest (74.8%). Camera traps confirmed that rodents were responsible for seed removal. Seed predation in deforested areas, which have a much lower seed rain than forest, may contribute to the low density and diversity of regenerating forest. PMID:26369444

  12. Seed handling by primary frugivores differentially influence post-dispersal seed removal of Chinese yew by ground-dwelling animals.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yang; Bai, Bing; Xiong, Tianshi; Shi, Peijian; Lu, Changhu

    2016-05-01

    Seed handling by primary frugivores can influence secondary dispersal and/or predation of post-dispersal seeds by attracting different guilds of ground-dwelling animals. Many studies have focused on seeds embedded in feces of mammals or birds; however, less is known about how ground-dwelling animals treat seeds regurgitated by birds (without pulp and not embedded in feces). To compare the effect of differential seed handling by primary dispersers on secondary seed removal of Chinese yew (Taxus chinensis var. mairei), we conducted a series of exclosure experiments to determine the relative impact of animals on the removal of defecated seeds (handled by masked palm civet), regurgitated seeds (handled by birds) and intact fruits. All types of yew seeds were consistently removed at a higher rate by rodents than by ants. Regurgitated seeds had the highest removal percentage and were only removed by rodents. These seeds were probably eaten in situ without being secondarily dispersed. Defecated seeds were removed by both rodents and ants; only ants might act as secondary dispersers of defecated seeds, whereas rodents ate most of them. We inferred that seeds regurgitated by birds were subjected to the highest rates of predation, whereas those dispersed in the feces of masked palm civets probably had a higher likelihood of secondary dispersal. Seeds from feces attracted ants, which were likely to transport seeds and potentially provided a means by which the seeds could escape predation by rodents. Our study highlighted that primary dispersal by birds might not always facilitate secondary dispersal and establishment of plant populations.

  13. Empty seeds are not always bad: simultaneous effect of seed emptiness and masting on animal seed predation.

    PubMed

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed.

  14. Empty Seeds Are Not Always Bad: Simultaneous Effect of Seed Emptiness and Masting on Animal Seed Predation

    PubMed Central

    Perea, Ramón; Venturas, Martin; Gil, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seed masting and production of empty seeds have often been considered independently as different strategies to reduce seed predation by animals. Here, we integrate both phenomena within the whole assemblage of seed predators (both pre and post-dispersal) and in two contrasting microsites (open vs. sheltered) to improve our understanding of the factors controlling seed predation in a wind-dispersed tree (Ulmus laevis). In years with larger crop sizes more avian seed predators were attracted with an increase in the proportion of full seeds predated on the ground. However, for abundant crops, the presence of empty seeds decreased the proportion of full seeds predated. Empty seeds remained for a very long period in the tree, making location of full seeds more difficult for pre-dispersal predators and expanding the overall seed drop period at a very low cost (in dry biomass and allocation of C, N and P). Parthenocarpy (non-fertilized seeds) was the main cause of seed emptiness whereas seed abortion was produced in low quantity. These aborted seeds fell prematurely and, thus, could not work as deceptive seeds. A proportion of 50% empty seeds significantly reduced ground seed predation by 26%. However, a high rate of parthenocarpy (beyond 50% empty seeds) did not significantly reduce seed predation in comparison to 50% empty seeds. We also found a high variability and unpredictability in the production of empty seeds, both at tree and population level, making predator deception more effective. Open areas were especially important to facilitate seed survival since rodents (the main post-dispersal predators) consumed seeds mostly under shrub cover. In elm trees parthenocarpy is a common event that might work as an adaptive strategy to reduce seed predation. Masting per se did not apparently reduce the overall proportion of seeds predated in this wind-dispersed tree, but kept great numbers of seeds unconsumed. PMID:23776503

  15. Seed removal in a tropical North American desert: an evaluation of pre- and post-dispersal seed removal in Stenocereus stellatus.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Espino, R; Ríos-Casanova, L; Godínez-Álvarez, H

    2017-05-01

    To determine seed removal influence on seed populations, we need to quantify pre- and post-dispersal seed removal. Several studies have quantified seed removal in temperate American deserts, but few studies have been performed in tropical deserts. These studies have only quantified pre- or post-dispersal seed removal, thus underestimating the influence of seed removal. We evaluated pre- and post-dispersal seed removal in the columnar cactus Stenocereus stellatus in a Mexican tropical desert. We performed selective exclosure experiments to estimate percentage of seeds removed by ants, birds and rodents during the pre- and post-dispersal phases. We also conducted field samplings to estimate abundance of the most common seed removers. Birds (10-28%) removed a higher percentage of seeds than ants (2%) and rodents (1-4%) during pre-dispersal seed removal. Melanerpes hypopolius was probably the main bird removing seeds from fruits. Ants (62-64%) removed a higher percentage of seeds than birds (34-38%) and rodents (16-30%) during post-dispersal seed removal. Pogonomyrmex barbatus was probably the main ant removing seeds from soil. Birds and ants are the main pre- and post-dispersal seed removers in S. stellatus, respectively. Further studies in other S. stellatus populations and plants with different life forms and fruit types will contribute to evaluate seed removal in tropical American deserts.

  16. 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.

  17. Seed dispersal capacity and post-dispersal fate of the invasive Spartina alterniflora in saltmarshes of the Yangtze Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Derong; Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Liquan; Zhu, Zhenchang; Tian, Kun; Gao, Wei

    2016-02-01

    Spartina alterniflora is one of the most serious invasive species in the coastal saltmarshes of China. Seeds are generally considered to be the main method for this species to colonise new habitat, but little is known quantitatively about the seed dispersal capacity and post-dispersal fate (i.e., germination and survival time). We measured the duration of seed flotation, seed persistence and seed germination of S. alterniflora in three intertidal zones [low intertidal zone (LIT), middle intertidal zone (MIT) and high intertidal zone (HIT)] in the Yangtze Estuary on the eastern coast of China. The results showed that (1) the flotation time of S. alterniflora seeds ranged from 3 to 13 days, and the values were higher in HIT and MIT than in LIT; (2) the period of seed germination was from February to June, mainly in March and April, and seed source affected seed germination as the values for seeds from HIT and MIT were much higher than those from LIT, while burial sites had no effect on germination percentages, and (3) the seed persistence was less than a year regardless of seed source, which was characterised by a transient seed bank, with values being higher in HIT and MIT than in LIT. Our results suggested that low marsh plants were far less able to produce successful seeds, or conversely, that the mid-marsh location had plants with the greatest seed production and seed mass, and the high- and mid-marsh plants had good seed floatation ability, germination and survival. Thus, plants in the mid-and high-marsh may contribute disproportionally to an invasion.

  18. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (<3 mm wide) for 1-4 months, and c) made available to all seed predators and secondary dispersers for 1-4 months. Using a model built on this experiment, we estimated that seed predation by small seed predators (most likely ants and termites) destroys between 82.9% and 96.4% of seeds in elephant dung between the time of defecation and the median germination date for D. indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (<3 mm) substantially reduces but does not eliminate the success of elephants as dispersers of D. indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  19. Differential predation of forage seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Molecular approach to describing a seed-based food web: the post-dispersal granivore community of an invasive plant

    PubMed Central

    Lundgren, Jonathan G; Saska, Pavel; Honěk, Alois

    2013-01-01

    Communities of post-dispersal granivores can shape the density and dispersion of exotic plants and invasive weeds, yet plant ecologists have a limited perception of the relative trophic linkages between a seed species and members of its granivore community. Dandelion seeds marked with Rabbit IgG were disseminated into replicated plots in the recipient habitat (South Dakota) and the native range (Czech Republic). Arthropods were collected in pitfall traps, and their guts were searched for the protein marker using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seed dishes were placed in each plot, and dandelion seed removal rates were measured. The entire experiment was repeated five times over the dandelion flowering period. Gut analysis revealed that approximately 22% of specimens tested positive for the seed marker. A more diverse granivore community had trophic linkages to seeds than has been previously realized under field conditions. This community included taxa such as isopods, millipedes, weevils, rove beetles, and caterpillars, in addition to the traditionally recognized ants, crickets, and carabid beetles. Rarefaction and Chao analysis estimated approximately 16 and 27 species in the granivore communities of the Czech Republic and South Dakota, respectively. Synthesis: Generalist granivore communities are diverse and polyphagous, and are clearly important as a form of biotic resistance to invasive and weedy plants. These granivore communities can be managed to limit population growth of these pests. PMID:23789074

  1. Relocation of Croton sonderianus (Euphorbiaceae) seeds by Pheidole fallax Mayr (Formicidae): a case of post-dispersal seed protection by ants?

    PubMed

    Lôbo, D; Tabarelli, M; Leal, I R

    2011-01-01

    Although seed dispersal by ants might reduce seed predation near the parent plants, predation on discarded seeds clustered on nest refuse piles may reduce any initial benefit provided by seed removal. Here we examine the fate of Croton sonderianus seeds that were discarded by Pheidole fallax Mayr ants on their nest refuses in caatinga vegetation of northeast Brazil. We collected all seeds discarded in refuse piles of 20 nests and within a radius of 50 cm from their borders, and examined them for evidence of predation. A total of 3,017 seeds were recorded either located in the P. fallax refuse piles (89.1%) or nest vicinity (10.9%). Predation was three fold higher in nest vicinity as compared to refuse piles. By removing seeds from beneath parent plants and relocating then to refuse piles, P. fallax is possibly providing double protection services for C. sonderianus seeds. Our findings represent the first evidence for predator-avoidance as benefit for plants resulting from ant seed-dispersal in the neotropics.

  2. Effects of microhabitat on palm seed predation in two forest fragments in southeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleury, Marina; Galetti, Mauro

    2004-12-01

    The establishment of plants depends crucially on where seeds are deposited in the environment. Some authors suggest that in forest understory seed predation is lower than in gaps, and higher than at the forest edge. However, most studies have been carried out in large forest patches and very little is known about the effects of microhabitat conditions on seed predation in forest fragments. We evaluated the effects of three microhabitats (gaps, forest edge, and understory) on seed predation of two palm species ( Euterpe edulis and Syagrus romanzoffiana) in two semi-deciduous forest fragments (230 and 2100 ha) in southeast Brazil. Our objective was to test two hypotheses: (1) Low rodent abundance in small fragments as a result of meso-predator action levels leads to lower seed predation in small fragments. (2) Most mammal species in small fragments are generalists with respect to diet and habitat, so that seed predation is similar in different microhabitats (gaps, forest edge and understory) in the small fragment, but not in the larger one. The study community of small fragments is usually composed of generalist species (in diet and habitat aspects), so we expected the same rate of seed predation among microhabitats (gaps, forest edge and understory) in the tested smaller fragment. The experiment was carried out in the dry season (for E. edulis) and in the wet season (for S. romanzoffiana) in 1999. We conclude that post-dispersal seed predation in forest fragments can be directly connected with mammal communities, reflecting their historical and ecological aspects.

  3. Trait-mediated seed predation, dispersal and survival among frugivore-dispersed plants in a fragmented subtropical forest, Southwest China.

    PubMed

    Lai, Xin; Guo, Cong; Xiao, Zhishu

    2014-06-01

    By tracking the fate of individual seeds from 6 frugivore-dispersed plants with contrasting seed traits in a fragmented subtropical forest in Southwest China, we explored how rodent seed predation and hoarding were influenced by seed traits such as seed size, seed coat hardness and seed profitability. Post-dispersal seed fates varied significantly among the 6 seed species and 3 patterns were witnessed: large-seeded species with a hard seed coat (i.e. Choerospoadias axillaries and Diospyros kaki var. silvestris) had more seeds removed, cached and then surviving at caches, and they also had fewer seeds predated but a higher proportion of seeds surviving at the source; medium-sized species with higher profitability and thinner seed coat (i.e. Phoebe zhennan and Padus braohypoda) were first harvested and had the lowest probability of seeds surviving either at the source or at caches due to higher predation before or after removal; and small-seeded species with lower profitability (i.e. Elaeocarpus japonicas and Cornus controversa) had the highest probability of seeds surviving at the source but the lowest probability of seeds surviving at caches due to lower predation at the source and lower hoarding at caches. Our study indicates that patterns of seed predation, dispersal and survival among frugivore-dispersed plants are highly determined by seed traits such as seed size, seed defense and seed profitability due to selective predation and hoarding by seed-eating rodents. Therefore, trait-mediated seed predation, dispersal and survival via seed-eating rodents can largely affect population and community dynamics of frugivore-dispersed plants in fragmented forests.

  4. Reduced germination success of temperate grassland seeds sown in dung: consequences for post-dispersal seed fate.

    PubMed

    Milotić, T; Hoffmann, M

    2016-11-01

    Endozoochory is one of the main drivers shaping temperate grassland communities by maintaining plant populations of its constituents and enabling plants to colonize new habitats. Successful endozoochorous dispersal implies that seeds not only get consumed and survive the digestive tract but are also able to develop into viable seedlings in a dung environment. We experimentally assessed the germination probability and timing of 15 annual and perennial temperate European grassland species in cattle and horse dung and in different climatic conditions (greenhouse and outdoor conditions). Interspecific variation in germinability and germination timing are found, while life strategy had only an effect on germination timing. We found adverse effects of both cattle and horse dung on the germination characteristics of all tested grassland species, but the effects of cattle dung were more pronounced. In comparison with the control treatment, fewer seeds emerged in dung and more time was needed to germinate. Also, germination metrics clearly differed between the artificial greenhouse and outdoor conditions, with generally a lower germinability in outdoor conditions. According to our results, a large cost seems to be associated with endozoochorous dispersal in this stage of the life cycle, as seed dispersal effectiveness strongly depends on the quality of the deposition site with a lowered survival and germination probability when seeds are deposited in dung.

  5. Seed size variation in the palm Euterpe edulis and the effects of seed predators on germination and seedling survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizo, Marco A.; Von Allmen, Christiane; Morellato, L. Patricia C.

    2006-05-01

    Intraspecific variation in seed size is common in wild plant populations and has important consequences for the reproductive success of individual plants. Multiple, often conflicting evolutionary forces mediated by biotic as well as abiotic agents may maintain such a variation. In this paper we assessed seed size variation in a population of the threatened, commercially important palm Euterpe edulis in southeast Brazil. We investigated (i) how this variation affects the probability of attack by vertebrate and invertebrate post-dispersal seed predators, and (ii) if seed size influences the outcome of seeds damaged by beetles in terms of seed germination and early survival of seedlings. Euterpe edulis seeds varied in diameter from 8.3 to 14.1 mm. Neither insects nor rodents selected the seeds they preyed upon based on seed size. Seed germination and total, shoot and root biomasses of one-year seedlings were significantly and positively affected by seed size. Root biomass and seedling survival were negatively affected by seed damage caused by a scolytid beetle ( Coccotrypes palmarum) whose adults bore into seeds to consume part of the endosperm, but do not oviposit on them. Seed size had a marginally significant effect on seedling survival. Therefore, if any advantage is accrued by E. edulis individuals producing large seeds, this is because of greater seed germination success and seedling vigor. If this is so, even a relatively narrow range of variation in seed size as observed in the E. edulis population studied may translate into differential success of individual plants.

  6. Ecological Interactions Shape the Dynamics of Seed Predation in Acrocomia aculeata (Arecaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Anielle C. F.; Fonseca, Francine S. A.; Mota, Gleicielle R.; Fernandes, Ane K. C.; Fagundes, Marcílio; Reis-Júnior, Ronaldo; Faria, Maurício L.

    2014-01-01

    Background The complex network of direct and indirect relationships determines not only the species abundances but also the community characteristics such as diversity and stability. In this context, seed predation is a direct interaction that affects the reproductive success of the plant. For Acrocomia aculeata, the seed predation by Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus revoili in post-dispersal may destroy more than 70% of the propagules and is influenced by the herbivory of the fruits during pre-dispersal. Fruits of plants with a higher level of herbivory during pre-dispersal are less attacked by predators in post-dispersal. We proposed a hypothesis that describes this interaction as an indirect defense mediated by fungi in a multitrophic interaction. As explanations, we proposed the predictions: i) injuries caused by herbivores in the fruits of A. aculeata favor fungal colonization and ii) the colonization of A. acuelata fruit by decomposing fungi reduces the selection of the egg-laying site by predator. Methodology/Principal Findings For prediction (i), differences in the fungal colonization in fruits with an intact or damaged epicarp were evaluated in fruits exposed in the field. For prediction (ii), we performed fruit observations in the field to determine the number of eggs of P. cardo and/or S. revoili per fruit and the amount of fungal colonization in the fruits. In another experiment, in the laboratory, we use P. cardo females in a triple-choice protocol. Each insect to choose one of the three options: healthy fruits, fruits with fungus, or an empty pot. The proposed hypothesis was corroborated. Fruits with injuries in the epicarp had a higher fungal colonization, and fruits colonized by fungi were less attractive for egg-laying by seed predators. Conclusion/Significance This study emphasizes the importance of exploring the networks of interactions between multitrophic systems to understand the dynamics and maintenance of natural populations. PMID:24875386

  7. Molecular approach to describing a seed-based food web: the post-dispersal granivore community of an invasive plant

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We adapted protein-marking techniques and gut content analysis to study the relative granivore communities of the invasive plant, dandelion, in its recipient and native ranges. Dandelion seeds marked with Rabbit IgG were disseminated into plots that had high dandelion populations in recipient habita...

  8. Pre-dispersal predation effect on seed packaging strategies and seed viability.

    PubMed

    DeSoto, Lucía; Tutor, David; Torices, Rubén; Rodríguez-Echeverría, Susana; Nabais, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    An increased understanding of intraspecific seed packaging (i.e. seed size/number strategy) variation across different environments may improve current knowledge of the ecological forces that drive seed evolution in plants. In particular, pre-dispersal seed predation may influence seed packaging strategies, triggering a reduction of the resources allocated to undamaged seeds within the preyed fruits. Assessing plant reactions to pre-dispersal seed predation is crucial to a better understanding of predation effects, but the response of plants to arthropod attacks remains unexplored. We have assessed the effect of cone predation on the size and viability of undamaged seeds in populations of Juniperus thurifera with contrasting seed packaging strategies, namely, North African populations with single-large-seeded cones and South European populations with multi-small-seeded cones. Our results show that the incidence of predation was lower on the single-large-seeded African cones than on the multi-small-seeded European ones. Seeds from non-preyed cones were also larger and had a higher germination success than uneaten seeds from preyed cones, but only in populations with multi-seeded cones and in cones attacked by Trisetacus sp., suggesting a differential plastic response to predation. It is possible that pre-dispersal seed predation has been a strong selective pressure in European populations with high cone predation rates, being a process which maintains multi-small-seeded cones and empty seeds as a strategy to save some seeds from predation. Conversely, pre-dispersal predation might not have a strong effect in the African populations with single-large-seeded cones characterized by seed germination and filling rates higher than those in the European populations. Our results indicate that differences in pre-dispersal seed predators and predation levels may affect both selection on and intraspecific variation in seed packaging.

  9. Assessing ant seed predation in threatened plants: a case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albert, María José; Escudero, Adrián; Iriondo, José María

    2005-11-01

    Erodium paularense is a threatened plant species that is subject to seed predation by the granivorous ant Messor capitatus. In this paper we assessed the intensity and pattern of ant seed predation and looked for possible adaptive strategies at the seed and plant levels to cope with this predation. Seed predation was estimated in 1997 and 1998 at the population level by comparing total seed production and ant consumption, assessed by counting seed hulls in refuse piles. According to this method, ant seed predation ranged between 18% and 28%. A more detailed and direct assessment conducted in 1997 raised this estimate to 43%. In this assessment spatial and temporal patterns of seed predation by ants were studied by mapping all nest entrances in the studied area and marking the mature fruits of 109 reproductive plants with a specific colour code throughout the seed dispersal period. Intact fruit coats were later recovered from the refuse piles, and their mother plants and time of dispersal were identified. Seeds dispersed at the end of the dispersal period had a greater probability of escaping from ant seed predation. Similarly, in plants with late dispersal a greater percentage of seeds escaped from ant predation. Optimum dispersal time coincided with the maximum activity of granivorous ants because, at this time, ants focused their harvest on other plant species of the community. It was also observed that within-individual seed dispersal asynchrony minimised seed predation. From a conservation perspective, results show that the granivorous ant-plant interaction cannot be assessed in isolation and that the intensity of its effects basically depends on the seed dispersal pattern of the other members of the plant community. Furthermore, this threat must be assessed by considering the overall situation of the target population. Thus, in E. paularense, the strong limitation of safe-sites for seedling establishment reduces the importance of seed predation.

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

    PubMed

    Satake, Akiko; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2004-04-01

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

  11. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation.

    SciTech Connect

    J. L . Orrock; B. J. Danielson; M. J. Burns; D. J. Levey

    2003-02-03

    J.L. Orrock, B.J. Danielson, M.J. Burns, and D.J. Levey. 2003. Spatial ecology of predator-prey interactions: corridors and patch shape influence seed predation. Ecology, 84(10):2589-2599. Abstract: Corridors that connect patches of disjunct habitat may be promising tools for mediating the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation, but little is known about how corridors affect ecological interactions. In eight 12-ha experimental landscapes, we examined how corridors affect the impact of invertebrate, rodent, and avian seed predators on pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. Over 13 months in 2000 and 2001, we quantified the effects of patch shape, connectivity, and predator type on the number of seeds germinating in the field (germinants), seed removal, and the viability of remaining seeds. Corridors did not affect the number of P. americana germinants in experimental exclosures or the viability of seeds remaining in exclosures. However, corridors affected the removal of seeds in a predator-specific manner: invertebrates removed more seeds in unconnected patches, whereas rodents removed more seeds in connected patches. Seed removal by birds was similar in connected and unconnected patches. Total seed removal by all seed predators was not affected by corridors, because invertebrates removed more seeds where rodents removed fewer seeds, and vice versa. Overall, seed predation signi®cantly reduced the number and viability of remaining seeds, and reduced the number of germinants in 2000 but not in 2001. The abundance of naturally occurring P. americana plants in our experimental patches in 2000 decreased with increasing seed removal from exclosures but was not related to viability or germinants in 2000, suggesting that seed removal may shape the distribution and abundance of this species. Complementary patterns of seed removal by rodents and invertebrates suggest that corridors alter the effects of these predator taxa by changing the relative amounts of edge and core

  12. Impacts of logging on density-dependent predation of dipterocarp seeds in a South East Asian rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Bagchi, Robert; Philipson, Christopher D.; Slade, Eleanor M.; Hector, Andy; Phillips, Sam; Villanueva, Jerome F.; Lewis, Owen T.; Lyal, Christopher H. C.; Nilus, Reuben; Madran, Adzley; Scholes, Julie D.; Press, Malcolm C.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the forest remaining in South East Asia has been selectively logged. The processes promoting species coexistence may be the key to the recovery and maintenance of diversity in these forests. One such process is the Janzen–Connell mechanism, where specialized natural enemies such as seed predators maintain diversity by inhibiting regeneration near conspecifics. In Neotropical forests, anthropogenic disturbance can disrupt the Janzen–Connell mechanism, but similar data are unavailable for South East Asia. We investigated the effects of conspecific density (two spatial scales) and distance from fruiting trees on seed and seedling survival of the canopy tree Parashorea malaanonan in unlogged and logged forests in Sabah, Malaysia. The production of mature seeds was higher in unlogged forest, perhaps because high adult densities facilitate pollination or satiate pre-dispersal predators. In both forest types, post-dispersal survival was reduced by small-scale (1 m2) conspecific density, but not by proximity to the nearest fruiting tree. Large-scale conspecific density (seeds per fruiting tree) reduced predation, probably by satiating predators. Higher seed production in unlogged forest, in combination with slightly higher survival, meant that recruitment was almost entirely limited to unlogged forest. Thus, while logging might not affect the Janzen–Connell mechanism at this site, it may influence the recruitment of particular species. PMID:22006965

  13. Seed predation and selection exerted by a seed predator influence subalpine tree densities.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-10-01

    Strongly interacting species often have pronounced direct and indirect effects on other species. Here we focus of the effects of pine squirrels (Tamiasciurus spp.), which are a dominant pre-dispersal seed predator of many conifers including limber pines (Pinus flexilis) and whitebark pines (P. albicaulis). Pine squirrels depress seed abundance by harvesting most limber and whitebark pine cones on their territories. Pine squirrels further reduce seed availability for Clark's Nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana), the primary seed disperser of these pines, because selection exerted by pine squirrels has reduced the number of seeds per cone and causes seeds to be less accessible. We predicted that, if fewer seeds were available for dispersal by nutcrackers, pine recruitment should be suppressed in areas with pine squirrels. In support of this prediction, stand densities were about two times greater in areas where pine squirrels are absent than in areas where they are present. Alternative explanations that we considered do not account for these differences; however, precipitation may limit stand densities in the absence of seed limitation by pine squirrels. In sum, pine squirrels apparently depress limber and whitebark pine stand densities, with the potential for ecosystem impacts because these pines are foundation species within Western subalpine ecosystems.

  14. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds

    PubMed Central

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J.

    2016-01-01

    Large “hypercarnivorous” felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km2. Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  15. Hypercarnivorous apex predator could provide ecosystem services by dispersing seeds.

    PubMed

    Sarasola, José Hernán; Zanón-Martínez, Juan Ignacio; Costán, Andrea Silvina; Ripple, William J

    2016-01-21

    Large "hypercarnivorous" felids are recognized for their role as apex predators and hence as key elements in food webs and ecosystem functioning through competition and depredation. Here we show that cougars (Puma concolor), one of the largest and the most widely ranging apex felid predators with a strictly carnivorous diet, could also be effective secondary long distance seed dispersers, potentially establishing direct and non-herbivore mediated interactions with plant species at the bottom of the food web. Cougars accidently ingest and disseminate large amounts of seeds (31,678 seeds in 123 scats) of plant species initially consumed by their main prey, the Eared Dove Zenaida auriculata. The germination potential of seeds for the three plant species most abundantly found in cougar scats (19,570 seeds) was not significantly different from that observed in seeds obtained from dove gizzards, indicating that seed passage through cougar guts did not affect seed germination. Considering the estimated cougar density in our study area, dispersal of seeds by cougars could allow a mean, annual seed spread of ~5,000 seeds per km(2). Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning.

  16. Seed size variation and predation of seeds produced by wild and crop-wild sunflowers.

    PubMed

    Alexander, H M; Cummings, C L; Kahn, L; Snow, A A

    2001-04-01

    The movement of pollen between crop and wild sunflowers (both Helianthus annuus) has led to concerns about the possible introduction of crop transgenes into wild populations. The persistence of crop traits in wild populations will depend in part on the relative fitness of crop-wild hybrid vs. wild plants. Using seeds from two large experimental field plots, we found that seeds produced by crop-wild plants were twice the size of wild seeds and differed in coloration. Head diameter, date of flowering, identity of mother plant, and levels of predispersal predation explained some variation in mean seed size. We hypothesized that postdispersal vertebrate seed predation would be affected by seed size, with hybrid seeds preferentially eaten. In each of three field trials, significantly more hybrid seeds were eaten (62% of hybrid seed; 42% of wild seed). Within the category of wild seeds, larger seeds were preferentially eaten; however among hybrid seeds, predation was not significantly related to seed size. In this study, differential predation thus reduces hybrid fitness and would presumably slow the spread of transgenes into wild populations.

  17. Seed predation, not seed dispersal, explains the landscape-level abundance of an early-successional plant.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.; Douglas J. Levey; Brent J. Danielson; Ellen I Damschen.

    2006-01-01

    Plants may not occur in a given area if there are no suitable sites for seeds to establish (microsite limitation), if seeds fail to arrive in suitable microsites (dispersal limitation) or if seeds in suitable microsites are destroyed by predators (predator limitation). When dispersal and microsites are not limiting, the role of local seed predators can be important for generating emergent, large-scale patterns of plant abundance across landscapes. Moreover, because predators may generate large-scale patterns that resemble other forms of limitation and predators may target specific species, predator impacts should be more frequently incorporated into experiments on the role of seed limitation and plant community composition.

  18. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  19. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote (Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox (Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass (Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye (Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  20. Parthenocarpy and Seed Predation by Insects in Bursera morelensis

    PubMed Central

    Ramos-Ordoñez, María F.; Márquez-Guzmán, Judith; Del Coro Arizmendi, Ma.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims While parthenocarpy (meaning the production of fruits without seeds) may limit fecundity in many plants, its function is not clear; it has been proposed, however, that it might be associated with a strategy to avoid seed predation. Bursera morelensis is a dioecious endemic plant that produces fruits with and without seeds, and its fruits are parasitized by insects. Its reproductive system is not well described and no published evidence of parthenocarpy exists for the species. The purpose of this work was to describe the breeding system of B. morelensis and its relationship to seed predation by insects. Methods The breeding system was described using pollination experiments, verifying the presence of parthenocarpic fruits and apomictic seeds. Reproductive structures from flower buds to mature fruits were quantified. For fruits, an anatomical and histological characterization was made. The number of fruits in which seeds had been predated by insects was correlated with parthenocarpic fruit production. Key Results The major abortion of reproductive structures occurred during fruit set. The results discard the formation of apomictic seeds. Flowers that were not pollinated formed parthenocarpic fruits and these could be distinguished during early developmental stages. In parthenocarpic fruits in the first stages of development, an unusual spread of internal walls of the ovary occurred invading the locule and preventing ovule development. Unlike fruits with seeds, parthenocarpic fruits do not have calcium oxalate crystals in the ovary wall. Both fruit types can be separated in the field at fruit maturity by the presence of dehiscence, complete in seeded and partial in parthenocarpic fruits. Trees with more parthenocarpic fruits had more parasitized fruits. Conclusions This is the first time the anatomy of parthenocarpic fruits in Burseraceae has been described. Parthenocarpic fruits in B. morelensis might function as a deceit strategy for insect seed

  1. Seed Dispersers, Seed Predators, and Browsers Act Synergistically as Biotic Filters in a Mosaic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Zamora, Regino; Matías, Luis

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we analize the functional influence of animals on the plants they interact with in a mediterranean mountain. We hypothesise that seed dispersers, seed predators, and browsers can act as biotic filters for plant communities. We analyse the combined effects of mutualistic (seed dispersal) and antagonistic (seed predation, herbivory) animal interactions in a mosaic landscape of Mediterranean mountains, basing our results on observational and experimental field. Most of the dispersed seeds came from tree species, whereas the population of saplings was composed predominantly of zoochorous shrub species. Seed predators preferentially consumed seeds from tree species, whereas seeds from the dominant fleshy-fruited shrubs had a higher probability of escaping these predators. The same pattern was repeated among the different landscape units by browsers, since they browsed selectively and far more intensely on tree-species saplings than on the surrounding shrubs. In synthesis, our work identifies the major biotic processes that appear to be favoring a community dominated by shrubs versus trees because seed dispersers, predators, and herbivores together favored shrub dispersal and establishment versus trees. PMID:25233342

  2. Seed predation and climate impacts on reproductive variation in temperate forests of the southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Bell, David M; Clark, James S

    2016-04-01

    Climatic effects on tree recruitment will be determined by the interactive effects of fecundity and seed predation. Evaluating how insect and vertebrate seed predators mediate tree reproductive responses to climate depends on long-term studies of seed production, development, and predation. In this study, our objectives were to (1) assess the effects of interannual climate variation on seed abortion rates, (2) assess the impact of seed density on predation rates, and (3) examine the degree to which density-dependent seed predation would amplify or dampen interannual variation in fecundity associated with seed abortion. We used a 19-year study of seed abortion and pre-dispersal predation rates by insects and vertebrates (birds and rodents) for five temperate tree species across forest plots from the North Carolina Piedmont to the Southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern USA. We found that rates of seed abortion and predation increased reproductive variation for oaks (Quercus species). Probability of seed abortion was greatest during years with cool, dry springs. Responses of seed predation on Quercus species to current year's seed density varied by species, but exhibited positive density-dependence to previous year's seed density consistent with numerical responses of seed predators. Seed abortion and predation rates for two drupe species responded little to variation in climate or seed density, respectively. Given that predation increased interannual variation in seed availability and the negative density-dependence to previous year's seed density, our results indicate that consistent numerical responses of oak seed predators may amplify interannual variation due to climate-mediated processes like seed abortion.

  3. Fluctuation in seed abundance has contrasting effects on the fate of seeds from two rapidly germinating tree species in an Asian tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lin; Guo, Cong; Chen, Jin

    2017-01-01

    The seed predator satiation hypothesis states that high seed abundance can satiate seed predators or seed dispersers, thus promoting seed survival. However, for rapidly germinating seeds in tropical forests, high seed abundance may limit dispersal as the seeds usually remain under parent trees for long periods, which may lead to high mortality due to rodent predation or fungal infestations. By tracking 2 species of rapidly germinating seeds (Pittosporopsis kerrii, family Icacinaceae; Camellia kissi, family Theaceae), which depend on dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents, we investigated the effects of seed abundance at the community level on predation and seed dispersal in the tropical forest of Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Southwest China. We found that high seed abundance at the community level was associated with delayed and reduced seed removal, decreased dispersal distance and increased pre-dispersal seed survival for both plant species. High seed abundance was also associated with reduced seed caching of C. kissi, but it showed little effect on seed caching of P. kerrii. However, post-dispersal seed survival for the 2 plant species followed the reverse pattern. High seed abundance in the community was associated with higher post-dispersal survival of P. kerrii seeds, but with lower post-dispersal survival of C. kissi seeds. Our results suggest that different plant species derive benefit from fluctuations in seed production in different ways.

  4. The functional response of a hoarding seed predator to mast seeding.

    PubMed

    Fletcher, Quinn E; Boutin, Stan; Lane, Jeffrey E; LaMontagne, Jalene M; McAdam, Andrew G; Krebs, Charles J; Humphries, Murray M

    2010-09-01

    Mast seeding involves the episodic and synchronous production of large seed crops by perennial plants. The predator satiation hypothesis proposes that mast seeding maximizes seed escape because seed predators consume a decreasing proportion of available seeds with increasing seed production. However, the seed escape benefits of masting depend not only on whether predators are satiated at high levels of seed production, but also on the shape of their functional response (type II vs. type III), and the actual proportion of available seeds that they consume at different levels of seed production. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) are the primary vertebrate predator of white spruce (Picea glauca) mast seed crops in many boreal regions because they hoard unopened cones in underground locations, preempting the normal sequence of cone opening, seed dispersal, and seed germination. We document the functional response of cone-hoarding by red squirrels across three non-mast years and one mast year by estimating the number of cones present in the territories of individual red squirrels and the proportion of these cones that they hoarded each autumn. Even though red squirrels are not constrained by the ingestive and on-body (fat reserves) energy reserve limitations experienced by animals that consume seeds directly, most squirrels hoarded < 10% of the cones present on their territories under mast conditions. Cone availability during non-mast years also reached levels that satiated the hoarding activity of red squirrels; however, this occurred only on the highest-quality territories. Squirrels switched to mushroom-hoarding when cone production was low and mushrooms were abundant. This resulted in type III functional response whereby the proportional harvest of cones was highest at levels of cone availability that were intermediate within non-mast years. Overall, more cones escaped squirrel cone-hoarding during a mast event than when cone production was low

  5. [Predation and removal of rodents on the seeds with different size and pericarp traits].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Li-biao; Yan, Xing-fu; Wang, Jian-li; Zhou, Yun-feng

    2013-08-01

    A field survey was conducted in the Quercus wutaishanica shrubs in Liupan Mountains of Ningxia, Northwest China to study the predation and removal of rodents on the seeds of Q. wutaishanica, Prunus salicina and Pinus armandii, aimed to explore the effects of seed size and pericarp traits on the predation and removal behaviors of rodents. The in situ seed predation rates of smaller Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. armandii seeds were significantly higher than those of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds and P. salicina seeds. The P. salicina seeds with hard and thick pericarp (endocarp) had the highest predation rate and hoarding rate after the removal by rodents. The movement distance of larger Q. wutaishanica seeds during predation events was the longest (3.10 m), and the seed hoarding distance of this species (6.48 m) was significantly longer than that of the three other types of seeds. Over 80% of sites were used as the predation sites by rodents for the seeds, except that the P. salicina seeds contained only a single seed and the cache sites contained a single seed accounted for over 90% for all types of seeds. Few predation and cache sites containing over two seeds were detected. Higher proportion of P. armandii seeds were predated in microhabitats except at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodent, while the seeds of other three types were predated mainly at the base of shrubs and in the holes after removal by rodents. The seed hoarding patterns after removal by rodents were primarily determined by pericarp traits, and higher proportion of soil burial that the rodents hoarded seeds with hard pericarp (endocarp) was detected.

  6. Masting behaviour in a Mediterranean pine tree alters seed predator selection on reproductive output.

    PubMed

    Moreira, X; Abdala-Roberts, L; Zas, R; Merlo, E; Lombardero, M J; Sampedro, L; Mooney, K A

    2016-11-01

    Context-dependency in species interactions is widespread and can produce concomitant patterns of context-dependent selection. Masting (synchronous production of large seed crops at irregular intervals by a plant population) has been shown to reduce seed predation through satiation (reduction in rates of seed predation with increasing seed cone output) and thus represents an important source of context-dependency in plant-animal interactions. However, the evolutionary consequences of such dynamics are not well understood. Here we describe masting behaviour in a Mediterranean model pine species (Pinus pinaster) and present a test of the effects of masting on selection by seed predators on reproductive output. We predicted that masting, by enhancing seed predator satiation, could in turn strengthen positive selection by seed predators for larger cone output. For this we collected six-year data (spanning one mast year and five non-mast years) on seed cone production and seed cone predation rates in a forest genetic trial composed by 116 P. pinaster genotypes. Following our prediction, we found stronger seed predator satiation during the masting year, which in turn led to stronger seed predator selection for increased cone production relative to non-masting years. These findings provide evidence that masting can alter the evolutionary outcome of plant-seed predator interactions. More broadly, our findings highlight that changes in consumer responses to resource abundance represent a widespread mechanism for predicting and understanding context dependency in plant-consumer evolutionary dynamics.

  7. Effects of frugivore impoverishment and seed predators on the recruitment of a keystone palm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fadini, Rodrigo F.; Fleury, Marina; Donatti, Camila I.; Galetti, Mauro

    2009-03-01

    Many plant species are threatened as a result of extinction of their large-bodied frugivores all over the world. Additionally, introduced herbivores and seed predators may cause severe pressure on early stages of plant recruitment. We studied the seed dispersal and seed predation of the keystone palm Euterpe edulis on a land-bridge island with a highly impoverished frugivore fauna and overabundant seed predators, and in a continuous Atlantic forest in Brazil. While the diversity of avian seed dispersers and predators was higher on the mainland, the abundance of seed dispersers was 4-fold higher on the island. Turdus flavipes was responsible for 72% and 96% of seeds removed in the island and mainland, respectively. However, the higher density of T. flaviceps on the island did not result in higher seed removal. In fact, seed removal rate was 1.7 times lower there than on the mainland, probably due to the aggressive behavior of the major seed disperser who defend palm fruits. Seed predation, on the other hand, was markedly higher on the island, where nearly 100% of seeds were preyed upon, but only 0.3% on the mainland. As a consequence of higher seed predation the population of E. edulis has few numbers of seedlings and saplings on the island. Therefore, management of the seed predator populations on the island is a key priority for recovering the natural population of this keystone palm and the frugivores that depend on its fruits.

  8. Seed Predation by the Shore Crab Carcinus maenas: A Positive Feedback Preventing Eelgrass Recovery?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    There is an increasing interest to restore the ecosystem services that eelgrass provides, after their continuous worldwide decline. Most attempts to restore eelgrass using seeds are challenged by very high seed losses and the reasons for these losses are not all clear. We assess the impact of predation on seed loss and eelgrass establishment, and explore methods to decrease seed loss during restoration in the Swedish northwest coast. In a laboratory study we identified three previously undescribed seed predators, the shore crab Carcinus maenas, the hermit crab Pagurus bernhardus and the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, of which shore crabs consumed 2–7 times more seeds than the other two species. The importance of shore crabs as seed predators was supported in field cage experiments where one enclosed crab caused 73% loss of seeds over a 1-week period on average (~ 21 seeds per day). Seedling establishment was significantly higher (14%) in cages that excluded predators over an 8-month period than in uncaged plots and cages that allowed predators but prevented seed-transport (0.5%), suggesting that seed predation constitutes a major source of seed loss in the study area. Burying the seeds 2 cm below the sediment surface prevented seed predation in the laboratory and decreased predation in the field, constituting a way to decrease seed loss during restoration. Shore crabs may act as a key feedback mechanism that prevent the return of eelgrass both by direct consumption of eelgrass seeds and as a predator of algal mesograzers, allowing algal mats to overgrow eelgrass beds. This shore crab feedback mechanism could become self-generating by promoting the growth of its own nursery habitat (algal mats) and by decreasing the nursery habitat (seagrass meadow) of its dominant predator (cod). This double feedback-loop is supported by a strong increase of shore crab abundance in the last decades and may partly explain the regime shift in vegetation observed

  9. Quinolizidine alkaloids in Ormosia arborea seeds inhibit predation but not hoarding by agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina).

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Paulo Roberto; José, Juliana; Galetti, Mauro; Trigo, José Roberto

    2003-05-01

    Quinolizidine alkaloids (QAs) are secondary compounds found in seeds of many species of plants, possibly protecting them against pathogens and seed predators. QAs were isolated from Ormosia arborea seeds and bioassayed against red-rumped agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina, Rodentia: Caviomorpha) to verify if they inhibit seed predation and food hoarding (seed dispersal). Three treatments were used: (1) seeds of O. arborea, (2) palatable seeds of Mimusops coriacea (Sapotaceae) treated with MeOH, and (3) seeds of M. coriacea treated with QAs dissolved in MeOH in similar concentration to that present in O. arborea. Palatable seeds were significantly more preyed upon than seeds treated with QAs and Ormosia seeds, but QAs did not influence hoarding behavior. QAs in O. arborea may have a strong effect in avoiding seed predation by rodents, without reducing dispersal.

  10. Linking fruit traits to variation in predispersal vertebrate seed predation, insect seed predation, and pathogen attack.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Noelle G; Muller-Landau, Helene C

    2011-11-01

    The importance of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens for plant communities has long been recognized, but their absolute and relative importance in early recruitment of multiple coexisting tropical plant species has not been quantified. Further, little is known about the relationship of fruit traits to seed mortality due to natural enemies in tropical plants. To investigate the influences of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on reproduction of seven canopy plant species varying in fruit traits, we quantified reductions in fruit development and seed germination due to vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungal pathogens through experimental removal of these enemies using canopy exclosures, insecticide, and fungicide, respectively. We also measured morphological fruit traits hypothesized to mediate interactions of plants with natural enemies of seeds. Vertebrates, invertebrates, and fungi differentially affected predispersal seed mortality depending on the plant species. Fruit morphology explained some variation among species; species with larger fruit and less physical protection surrounding seeds exhibited greater negative effects of fungi on fruit development and germination and experienced reduced seed survival integrated over fruit development and germination in response to vertebrates. Within species, variation in seed size also contributed to variation in natural enemy effects on seed viability. Further, seedling growth was higher for seeds that developed in vertebrate exclosures for Anacardium excelsum and under the fungicide treatment for Castilla elastica, suggesting that predispersal effects of natural enemies may carry through to the seedling stage. This is the first experimental test of the relative effects of vertebrates, invertebrates, and pathogens on seed survival in the canopy. This study motivates further investigation to determine the generality of our results for plant communities. If there is strong variation in natural enemy attack

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Impact of seed predators on the herb Baptista lanceolata (Fabales: Fabacae).

    SciTech Connect

    Scott Horn; James L. Hanula.

    2004-09-01

    Leguminous seeds are a concentrated source of nutrition (Brashier 2000). In a nutrient-poor habitat, these seeds are important resources for many of the animal species residing there. Several insect predators are known to feed on Baptisia seeds. One such insect is Apion rostrum Say (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), a weevil that feeds on seeds of several wild indigo species. Females lay eggs in developing seed pods where the larvae eat the seeds.

  13. Taste and Physiological Responses to Glucosinolates: Seed Predator versus Seed Disperser

    PubMed Central

    Samuni-Blank, Michal; Izhaki, Ido; Gerchman, Yoram; Dearing, M. Denise; Karasov, William H.; Trabelcy, Beny; Edwards, Thea M.; Arad, Zeev

    2014-01-01

    In contrast to most other plant tissues, fleshy fruits are meant to be eaten in order to facilitate seed dispersal. Although fleshy fruits attract consumers, they may also contain toxic secondary metabolites. However, studies that link the effect of fruit toxins with seed dispersal and predation are scarce. Glucosinolates (GLSs) are a family of bitter-tasting compounds. The fleshy fruit pulp of Ochradenus baccatus was previously found to harbor high concentrations of GLSs, whereas the myrosinase enzyme, which breaks down GLSs to produce foul tasting chemicals, was found only in the seeds. Here we show the differential behavioral and physiological responses of three rodent species to high dose (80%) Ochradenus’ fruits diets. Acomys russatus, a predator of Ochradenus’ seeds, was the least sensitive to the taste of the fruit and the only rodent to exhibit taste-related physiological adaptations to deal with the fruits’ toxins. In contrast, Acomys cahirinus, an Ochradenus seed disperser, was more sensitive to a diet containing the hydrolyzed products of the GLSs. A third rodent (Mus musculus) was deterred from Ochradenus fruits consumption by the GLSs and their hydrolyzed products. We were able to alter M. musculus avoidance of whole fruit consumption by soaking Ochradenus fruits in a water solution containing 1% adenosine monophosphate, which blocks the bitter taste receptor in mice. The observed differential responses of these three rodent species may be due to evolutionary pressures that have enhanced or reduced their sensitivity to the taste of GLSs. PMID:25383693

  14. Synchrony between fruit maturation and effective dispersers' foraging activity increases seed protection against seed predators.

    PubMed

    Boulay, Raphaël; Carro, Francisco; Soriguer, Ramón C; Cerdá, Xim

    2007-10-22

    The evolution of pollination and seed dispersal mutualisms is conditioned by the spatial and temporal co-occurrence of animals and plants. In the present study we explore the timing of seed release of a myrmecochorous plant (Helleborus foetidus) and ant activity in two populations in southern Spain during 2 consecutive years. The results indicate that fruit dehiscence and seed shedding occur mostly in the morning and correspond to the period of maximum foraging activity of the most effective ant dispersers. By contrast, ant species that do not transport seeds and/or that do not abound near the plants are active either before or after H. foetidus diaspores are released. Experimental analysis of diet preference for three kinds of food shows that effective ant dispersers are mostly scavengers that readily feed on insect corpses and sugars. Artificial seed depots suggest that seeds deposited on the ground out of the natural daily time window of diaspore releasing are not removed by ants and suffer strong predation by nocturnal rodents Apodemus sylvaticus. Nevertheless, important inter-annual variations in rodent populations cast doubts on their real importance as selection agents. We argue that traits allowing synchrony between seed presentation and effective partners may constitute a crucial pre-adaptation for the evolution of plant-animal mutualisms involving numerous animal partners.

  15. Direct effects of tillage on the activity density of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) weed seed predators.

    PubMed

    Shearin, A F; Reberg-Horton, S C; Gallandt, E R

    2007-10-01

    Ground beetles are well known as beneficial organisms in agroecosystems, contributing to the predation of a wide range of animal pests and weed seeds. Tillage has generally been shown to have a negative effect on ground beetles, but it is not known whether this is because of direct mortality or the result of indirect losses resulting from dispersal caused by habitat deterioration. In 2005, field experiments measured direct, tillage-induced mortality, of four carabid weed seed predators, Harpalus rufipes DeGeer, Agonum muelleri Herbst, Anisodactylus merula Germar, and Amara cupreolata Putzeys, and one arthropod predator, Pterostichus melanarius Illiger, common to agroecosystems in the northeastern United States. Three tillage treatments (moldboard plow, chisel plow, and rotary tillage) were compared with undisturbed controls at two sites (Stillwater and Presque Isle) and at two dates (July and August) in Maine. Carabid activity density after disturbance was measured using fenced pitfall traps installed immediately after tillage to remove any effects of dispersal. Rotary tillage and moldboard plowing reduced weed seed predator activity density 52 and 54%, respectively. Carabid activity density after chisel plowing was similar to the undisturbed control. This trend was true for each of the weed seed predator species studied. However, activity density of the arthropod predator P. melanarius was reduced by all tillage types, indicating a greater sensitivity to tillage than the four weed seed predator species. These results confirm the need to consider both direct and indirect effects of management in studies of invertebrate seed predators.

  16. Spatial and temporal effects on seed dispersal and seed predation of Musa acuminata in southern Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Meng, Lingzeng; Gao, Xiuxia; Chen, Jin; Martin, Konrad

    2012-03-01

    Wild bananas are abundant in tropical areas and many ecologists have observed that the succession process is quicker following increased disturbance. This study was conducted to analyze animal-seed interactions and their effects on the seed fate of a wild banana species (Musa acuminata) in tropical southern Yunnan (China) through experiments considering spatial (site and habitat) and temporal (seasons) variation. The largest proportion of fruits (81%) was removed by frugivorous seed dispersers, especially by bats at nighttime. Only 13% of the fruits were removed by climbing seed predators (different species of rats). In the exclosure treatment, rodents accounted for a significantly higher total artificially exposed seed removal number than ants, but with spatial and temporal differences. The highest seed predation rate by rodents (70%) was found in forest with wild banana stands, corresponding with the highest rodent diversity (species numbers and abundance) among the habitat types. In contrast, the seed removal number by ants (57%) was highest in the open land habitats, but there was no close correlation with ant diversity. Seed removal numbers by ants were significantly higher in the dry compared to the rainy season, but rodent activity showed no differences between seasons. The overall results suggest that the largest proportion of seeds produced by wild banana are primarily dispersed by bats. Primary seed dispersal by bats at nighttime is essential for wild banana seeds to escape seed predation.

  17. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Ryan P; Arnold, Paige M; Michaels, Helen J

    2014-06-09

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  18. Effects of pollination limitation and seed predation on female reproductive success of a deceptive orchid

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Ryan P.; Arnold, Paige M.; Michaels, Helen J.

    2014-01-01

    For many species of conservation significance, multiple factors limit reproduction. This research examines the contributions of plant height, number of flowers, number of stems, pollen limitation and seed predation to female reproductive success in the deceit-pollinated orchid, Cypripedium candidum. The deceptive pollination strategy employed by many orchids often results in high levels of pollen limitation. While increased floral display size may attract pollinators, C. candidum's multiple, synchronously flowering stems could promote selfing and also increase attack by weevil seed predators. To understand the joint impacts of mutualists and antagonists, we examined pollen limitation, seed predation and the effects of pollen source over two flowering seasons (2009 and 2011) in Ohio. In 2009, 36 pairs of plants size-matched by flower number, receiving either supplemental hand or open pollination, were scored for fruit maturation, mass of seeds and seed predation. Pollen supplementation increased proportion of flowers maturing into fruit, with 87 % fruit set when hand pollinated compared with 46 % for naturally pollinated flowers. Inflorescence height had a strong effect, as taller inflorescences had higher initial fruit set, while shorter stems had higher predation. Seed predation was seen in 73 % of all fruits. A parallel 2011 experiment that included a self-pollination treatment and excluded seed predators found initial and final fruit set were higher in the self and outcross pollination treatments than in the open-pollinated treatment. However, seed mass was higher in both open pollinated and outcross pollination treatments compared with hand self-pollinated. We found greater female reproductive success for taller flowering stems that simultaneously benefited from increased pollination and reduced seed predation. These studies suggest that this species is under strong reinforcing selection to increase allocation to flowering stem height. Our results may help

  19. Consistency and variation in phenotypic selection exerted by a community of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Smith, Julie W; Maier, Monika; Hansen, Leif; Talluto, Matt V

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic selection that is sustained over time underlies both anagenesis and cladogenesis, but the conditions that lead to such selection and what causes variation in selection are not well known. We measured the selection exerted by three species of predispersal seed predators of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) in the South Hills, Idaho, and found that net selection on different cone and seed traits exerted by red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and cone borer moths (Eucosma recissoriana) over 10 years of seed crops was similar to that measured in another mountain range. We also found that the strength of selection increased as seed predation increased, which provides a mechanism for the correlation between the escalation of seed defenses and the density of seed predators. Red crossbills consume the most seeds and selection they exert accounts for much of the selection experienced by lodgepole pine, providing additional support for a coevolutionary arms race between crossbills and lodgepole pine in the South Hills. The third seed predator, hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), consumed less than one-sixth as many seeds as crossbills. Across the northern Rocky Mountains, woodpecker abundance and therefore selective impact appears limited by the elevated seed defenses of lodgepole pine.

  20. Tree-to-tree variation in seed size and its consequences for seed dispersal versus predation by rodents.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bo; Ives, Anthony R

    2017-03-01

    Individual variation in seed size and seed production is high in many plant species. How does this variation affect seed-dispersing animals and, in turn, the fitness of individual plants? In this study, we first surveyed intraspecific variation in seed mass and production in a population of a Chinese white pine, Pinus armandii. For 134 target trees investigated in 2012, there was very high variation in seed size, with mean seed mass varying among trees almost tenfold, from 0.038 to 0.361 g. Furthermore, 30 of the 134 trees produced seeds 2 years later, and for these individuals there was a correlation in seed mass of 0.59 between years, implying consistent differences among individuals. For a subset of 67 trees, we monitored the foraging preferences of scatter-hoarding rodents on a total of 15,301 seeds: 8380 were ignored, 3184 were eaten in situ, 2651 were eaten after being cached, and 395 were successfully dispersed (cached and left intact). At the scale of individual seeds, seed mass affected almost every decision that rodents made to eat, remove, and cache individual seeds. At the level of individual trees, larger seeds had increased probabilities of both predation and successful dispersal: the effects of mean seed size on costs (predation) and benefits (caching) balanced out. Thus, despite seed size affecting rodent decisions, variation among trees in dispersal success associated with mean seed size was small once seeds were harvested. This might explain, at least in part, the maintenance of high variation in mean seed mass among tree individuals.

  1. Seed traits and taxonomic relationships determine the occurrence of mutualisms versus seed predation in a tropical forest rodent and seed dispersal system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhenyu; Cao, Lin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-06-01

    Although many studies have been carried out on plant-animal mutualistic assemblages, the roles of functional traits and taxonomy in determining both whether interactions involve mutualisms or predation and the structure of such assemblages are unclear. We used semi-natural enclosures to quantitatively assess the interaction strengths between seeds of 8 sympatric tree species and 4 rodent species in a tropical forest in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, Southwest China. We found 2 clusters of species in the seed-rodent network represented by 2 genera in the Fagaceae (Castanopsis, Lithocarpus). Compared to seeds of 3 Castanopsis species, seeds with heavy weight, hard coat or caloric content (including 3 Lithocarpus species) were eaten less and more frequently hoarded by rodents. In turn, hoarded seeds showed less predation and more mutualism with rodents. Our results suggest that seed traits significantly affected the hoarding behavior of rodents, and, consequently, the occurrence of mutualisms and predation as well as assemblage structure in the plant-animal seed dispersal system. Taxonomically-related species with similar seed traits as functional groups belong to the same substructures in the assemblage. Our results indicate that both seed traits and taxonomic relationships may simplify thinking about seed dispersal systems by helping to elucidate whether interactions are likely to be dominated by predation or mutualism.

  2. Temporal variation in seed predation by insects in a population of Syagrus romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) in Santa Catarina Island, SC, Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva, F R; Begnini, R M; Lopes, B C; Castellani, T T

    2012-02-01

    Insect seed predation may vary depending on seed production. The present study considers the hypothesis that the rates of seed predation tend to be smaller in years of higher fruit production. Thus, we monitored the production of fruits and predation of seeds of the palm Syagrus romanzoffiana over 2 years in the Atlantic Forest (Parque Municipal da Lagoa do Peri, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil), between July 2006 and June 2008. Plots of 0.25 m(2) were fitted under 20 mother plants and fruits were monthly collected for assessment of abundance and seed predation. There was variation in fruit production between the 2 years and among reproductive plants. Predation rates were high and occurred in the predispersal phase by the Curculionidae Revena rubiginosa Boheman, Anchylorhynchus aegrotus Fahraeus, and Anchylorhynchus variabilis Gyllenhal. Seed predation by these species of Anchylorhynchus is first registered in the present study. In average, about 60% of the seeds monthly produced in the population tend to escape insect predation in year of high or low production, becoming available for recruitment. The predation rate was not related to the amount of fruits produced per reproductive plant. Also, different than expected, there was a positive relation between the rates of seed predation and the total of fruits produced monthly on the plots. Thus, no evidence for the satiation of insect seed predators was found in this study with S. romanzoffiana.

  3. Seed dispersal and predation of Buchenavia tomentosa Eichler (Combretaceae) in a Cerrado sensu stricto, midwest Brazil.

    PubMed

    Farias, J; Sanchez, M; Abreu, M F; Pedroni, F

    2015-11-01

    The ecology of seed dispersal is critical to understand the patterns of distribution and abundance of plant species. We investigated seed dispersal aspects associated with the high abundance of Buchenavia tomentosa in the Serra Azul State Park (PESA). We estimated fruit production and conducted fruit removal experiments. We carried out diurnal and nocturnal observations on frugivory as well as germination tests. Fruiting occurred in the dry season and totaled 1,365,015 ± 762,670 fruits.ha-1. B. tomentosa fruits were utilized by eight animal species. The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was considered the main seed disperser. Leafcutter ants (Atta laevigata and Atta sexdens) participated in the seed cleaning and occasionally dispersed seeds. The beetle Amblycerus insuturatus, blue-and-yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus) were considered pre-dispersal seed predators. The seeds manually cleaned presented higher germination rate (100%) and speed index (4.2 seeds.d-1) than that of seeds with pulp. Germination of seeds found in tapirs'feces was 40%, while for the seeds without pulp it was 25%. The high abundance of B. tomentosa in the cerrado of PESA may be due to massive fruit production, low rates of seed predation, and efficient seed dispersal by tapirs, occurring before the rains which promote germination and recruitment of this species.

  4. Indirect interactions among tropical tree species through shared rodent seed predators: a novel mechanism of tree species coexistence.

    PubMed

    Garzon-Lopez, Carol X; Ballesteros-Mejia, Liliana; Ordoñez, Alejandro; Bohlman, Stephanie A; Olff, Han; Jansen, Patrick A

    2015-08-01

    The coexistence of numerous tree species in tropical forests is commonly explained by negative dependence of recruitment on the conspecific seed and tree density due to specialist natural enemies that attack seeds and seedlings ('Janzen-Connell' effects). Less known is whether guilds of shared seed predators can induce a negative dependence of recruitment on the density of different species of the same plant functional group. We studied 54 plots in tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, with contrasting mature tree densities of three coexisting large seeded tree species with shared seed predators. Levels of seed predation were far better explained by incorporating seed densities of all three focal species than by conspecific seed density alone. Both positive and negative density dependencies were observed for different species combinations. Thus, indirect interactions via shared seed predators can either promote or reduce the coexistence of different plant functional groups in tropical forest.

  5. The effect of rodent seed predation on four species of California annual grasses.

    PubMed

    Borchert, M I; Jain, S K

    1978-01-01

    The effect of seed predation by Microtus californicus and Mus musculus on plant numbers of four species of California annual grasses was investigated for one year period on a grassland near Davis, California. In winter, mice utilized dead star thistle plants for cover when grasses in open areas were short, but moved into open areas when grass grew tall in spring.Using exclosures and plots sown with known quantities of seed, it was estimated that a mouse population (approximate density 120/acre) consumed 75% of Avena fatua seed, 44% of Hordeum leporinum seed, and 37% of Bromus diandrus seed. Mice showed a strong preference for Avena seed.Plant numbers of Avena and Hordeum were reduced by 62% and 30%, respectively. Hordeum, Lolium, and to a lesser extent, Bromus responded to a competitive release from Avena by increases in plant size and reproductive output. In addition, seed predation markedly increased seed to adult plant survivorship of Avena, Hordeum, and Bromus.Vertebrate seed predation is discussed as a potentially important factor in the yearly patterns of plant population regulation in California annual grasslands.

  6. Advantages of masting in European beech: timing of granivore satiation and benefits of seed caching support the predator dispersal hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Zwolak, Rafał; Bogdziewicz, Michał; Wróbel, Aleksandra; Crone, Elizabeth E

    2016-03-01

    The predator satiation and predator dispersal hypotheses provide alternative explanations for masting. Both assume satiation of seed-eating vertebrates. They differ in whether satiation occurs before or after seed removal and caching by granivores (predator satiation and predator dispersal, respectively). This difference is largely unrecognized, but it is demographically important because cached seeds are dispersed and often have a microsite advantage over nondispersed seeds. We conducted rodent exclosure experiments in two mast and two nonmast years to test predictions of the predator dispersal hypothesis in our study system of yellow-necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica). Specifically, we tested whether the fraction of seeds removed from the forest floor is similar during mast and nonmast years (i.e., lack of satiation before seed caching), whether masting decreases the removal of cached seeds (i.e., satiation after seed storage), and whether seed caching increases the probability of seedling emergence. We found that masting did not result in satiation at the seed removal stage. However, masting decreased the removal of cached seeds, and seed caching dramatically increased the probability of seedling emergence relative to noncached seeds. European beech thus benefits from masting through the satiation of scatterhoarders that occurs only after seeds are removed and cached. Although these findings do not exclude other evolutionary advantages of beech masting, they indicate that fitness benefits of masting extend beyond the most commonly considered advantages of predator satiation and increased pollination efficiency.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  8. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators

    PubMed Central

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N.; Spiesman, Brian J.; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation. PMID:27271673

  9. Contrasting Foraging Patterns: Testing Resource-Concentration and Dilution Effects with Pollinators and Seed Predators.

    PubMed

    Wenninger, Alexandria; Kim, Tania N; Spiesman, Brian J; Gratton, Claudio

    2016-06-03

    Resource concentration effects occur when high resource density patches attract and support more foragers than low density patches. In contrast, resource dilution effects can occur if high density patches support fewer consumers. In this study, we examined the foraging rates of pollinators and seed predators on two perennial plant species (Rudbeckia triloba and Verbena stricta) as functions of resource density. Specifically, we examined whether resource-dense patches (densities of flower and seeds on individual plants) resulted in greater visitation and seed removal rates, respectively. We also examined whether foraging rates were context-dependent by conducting the study in two sites that varied in resource densities. For pollinators, we found negative relationships between the density of flowers per plant and visitation rates, suggesting dilution effects. For seed predators, we found positive relationships consistent with concentration effects. Saturation effects and differences in foraging behaviors might explain the opposite relationships; most of the seed predators were ants (recruitment-based foragers), and pollinators were mostly solitary foragers. We also found that foraging rates were site-dependent, possibly due to site-level differences in resource abundance and consumer densities. These results suggest that these two plant species may benefit from producing as many flowers as possible, given high levels of pollination and low seed predation.

  10. Physical properties of fruit and seeds ingested by primate seed predators with emphasis on sakis and bearded sakis.

    PubMed

    Norconk, Marilyn A; Veres, Michael

    2011-12-01

    Several primate radiations exhibit dental adaptations that enable them to gain access to seeds embedded in well-protected fruit. To a database drawn from published sources in which hardness of fruit and seeds were tested in the field, we added an additional 100+ species of plants used as resources by pitheciin primates (specifically, South American white-faced sakis (Pithecia pithecia) and bearded sakis (Chiropotes spp.). This sample allowed us to compare hardness of fruit and seeds and deduce the relative incisive and masticatory capability of several primate taxa (New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, prosimians and chimpanzees). Pitheciins have very well developed and highly modified anterior dentition that they use in gaining access to mechanically-protected fruit. In addition, their molars bear thin, but decussated enamel that protects the tooth enamel from crack proliferation. The ability of sakis (Chiropotes spp. and Pithecia pithecia) to open fruit orally was comparable to larger-bodied Old World seed predators-Lophocebus and Cercocebus. But, baboons and chimpanzees masticate seeds that are two to three orders of magnitude harder than sakis or mangabeys. In spite of their puncture abilities, ∼40% of foods ingested by pitheciins were in the range of a ripe fruit eater (Ateles paniscus). This raises the possibility that pitheciins exemplify Liem's paradox, that is, "that phenotypic specialization [is] not accompanied by ecological specialization" (Robinson and Wilson, 1998:224). Last, we examined the possibility that seeds may serve as fallback resources for primate seed predators. While pericarp hardness may vary seasonally for some seed predators (e.g., mangabeys), our data on bearded sakis and white-faced sakis suggest that seeds are their primary resources year round and pericarp hardness is unrelated to seasonal variation in rainfall. Pitheciins evolved specialized dentition that affords them access to relatively abundant and high-quality resources, a

  11. Spatial and temporal patterns of carabid activity-density in cereals do not explain levels of predation on weed seeds.

    PubMed

    Saska, P; van der Werf, W; de Vries, E; Westerman, P R

    2008-04-01

    Seed predation is an important component of seed mortality of weeds in agro-ecosystems, but the agronomic use and management of this natural weed suppression is hampered by a lack of insight in the underlying ecological processes. In this paper, we investigate whether and how spatial and temporal variation in activity-density of granivorous ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) results in a corresponding pattern of seed predation. Activity-density of carabids was measured by using pitfall traps in two organic winter wheat fields from March to July 2004. Predation of seeds (Capsella bursa-pastoris, Lamium amplexicaule, Poa annua and Stellaria media) was assessed using seed cards at the same sites and times. As measured by pitfall traps, carabids were the dominant group of insects that had access to the seed cards. In the field, predation of the four different species of seed was in the order: C. bursa-pastoris>P. annua>S. media>L. amplexicaule; and this order of preference was confirmed in the laboratory using the dominant species of carabid. On average, seed predation was higher in the field interior compared to the edge, whereas catches of carabids were highest near the edge. Weeks with elevated seed predation did not concur with high activity-density of carabids. Thus, patterns of spatial and temporal variation in seed predation were not matched by similar patterns in the abundance of granivorous carabid beetles. The lack of correspondence is ascribed to effects of confounding factors, such as weather, the background density of seeds, the composition of the carabid community, and the phenology and physiological state of the beetles. Our results show that differences in seed loss among weed species may be predicted from laboratory trials on preference. However, predator activity-density, as measured in pitfall traps, is an insufficient predictor of seed predation over time and space within a field.

  12. Predation of warm-and cool-season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In field experiments we noted that one of the main predators of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seed was the field cricket (Gryllus sp.). To determine if there might be a seed predation preference among forage grasses a laboratory study was ...

  13. Evidence of a component Allee effect driven by predispersal seed predation in a plant (Pedicularis rex, Orobanchaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Jing; Sun, ShiGuo; Liu, GuiHua

    2013-01-01

    A small or sparse population may suffer a reduction in fitness owing to Allee effects. Here, we explored effects of plant density on pollination, reproduction and predation in the alpine herb Pedicularis rex over two years. We did not detect a significant difference in the pollination rate or fecundity (fruit set and the initial seed set) before predation between sparse and dense patches in either year, indicating no pollination-driven Allee effect. However, dense patches experienced significantly fewer attacks by predispersal seed predators in both years, resulting in a significantly decreased realized fecundity (final seed set), suggesting a component Allee effect driven by predispersal seed predation. Predation-driven Allee effects have been predicted by many models and demonstrated for a range of animals, but there is scant evidence for such effects in plants. Our study provides strong evidence of a component Allee effect driven by predation in a plant species. PMID:23925832

  14. Carabid larvae as predators of weed seeds: granivory in larvae of Amara eurynota (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Saska, Pavel

    2004-01-01

    Up to date we do not have much information about predation on seeds by larvae of ground beetles. One of the reasons why such knowledge is important is that granivorous larvae contribute to predation of weed seeds. In this study, the food requirements of larvae of autumn breeding carabid species Amara eurynota (Panzer) were investigated in the laboratory and a hypothesis, that they are granivorous was tested. Insect diet (Tenebrio molitor larvae), three seed diets (seeds of Artemisia vulgaris, Tripleurospermum inodorum or Urtica dioica or a mixed diet (T. molitor + A. uulgaris) were used as food. For larvae of A. eurynota, seeds are essential for successful completion of development, because all those fed pure insect diet died before pupation. However, differences in suitability were observed between pure seed diets. Larvae fed seeds of A. vulgaris had the lowest mortality and fastest development of the seed diets. Those fed seeds of T. inodorum had also low mortality, but the development was prolonged in the third instar. In contrast, development of larvae reared on seeds of U. dioica was slowest of the tested diets and could not be completed, as all individuals died before pupation. When insects were included to seed diet of A. vulgaris (mixed diet), the duration of development shortened, but mortality remained the same when compared to seed diet of A. vulgaris. According to the results it was concluded that larvae of A. eurynota are granivorous. A mixed diet and seed diets of A. uulgaris and T. inodorum were suitable and insect diet and seeds of U. dioica were unsuitable diets in this experiment.

  15. Sex-biased seed predation and the maintenance of females in a gynodioecious plant.

    PubMed

    Marshall, M; Ganders, F R

    2001-08-01

    We investigated genetic and ecological factors contributing to the maintenance of females in populations of the gynodioecious plant, Sidalcea hendersonii (Malvaceae). Our crossing experiments indicated that male sterility is controlled by a dominant nuclear allele. Nuclear determination of sex theoretically requires much higher female fitness to account for the high frequency of female plants often observed during surveys of S. hendersonii populations. Females were, in fact, shown to have higher fitness in an experimental population, producing more viable seed and surviving offspring than hermaphrodite plants. In natural populations, however, differences in viable seed production were not evident unless seed predation was considered. Sex-biased seed predation appears to play an important role in the maintenance of gynodioecy in S. hendersonii. In populations with high female frequencies, weevil larvae destroyed significantly more seeds from hermaphrodite plants than females, substantially reducing their seed production. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that sex-biased predation may be responsible for high female frequencies in natural populations of a gynodioecious species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2014-02-01

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

  17. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap catch and seed predation by ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae).

    PubMed

    Fielding, Dennis J; DeFoliart, Linda S; Hagerty, Aaron M

    2013-04-01

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on nontarget organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species and their consumption of weed seeds have not been previously studied in agricultural settings in Alaska. This study examined the effect of grasshopper bran bait on carabid activity-density, as measured by pitfall trap catches, and subsequent predation by invertebrates of seeds of three species of weed. Data were collected in fallow fields in agricultural landscape in the interior of Alaska, near Delta Junction, in 2008 and 2010. Bait applications reduced ground beetle activity-density by over half in each of 2 yr of bait applications. Seed predation was generally low overall (1-10%/wk) and not strongly affected by the bait application, but predation of lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) seed was lower on treated plots in 1 yr (340 seeds recovered versus 317 seeds, on treated versus untreated plots, respectively). Predation of dandelion (Taraxacum officinale G. H. Weber ex Wiggers) seeds was correlated with ground beetle activity-density in 1 yr, and predation of dragonhead mint (Dracocephalum parvifolium Nutt.) seed in the other year. We conclude that applications of carbaryl-bran bait for control of grasshoppers will have only a small, temporary effect on weed seed populations in high-latitude agricultural ecosystems.

  18. Preferential predation of cool season grass seed by the common cricket (Acheta domesticus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To determine if there might be a seed predation preference among forage grasses a laboratory study was conducted using the common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.). Six cool-season grasses were selected and feeding studies were conducted over a three day period. The study was designed as a randomized ...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Effects of carbaryl-bran bait on trap-catch and seed predation by ground beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carbaryl-bran bait is effective against grasshoppers without many impacts on non-target organisms, but ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) may be susceptible to these baits. Carabids are beneficial in agricultural settings as predators of insect pests and weed seeds. Carabid species composition a...

  1. [Predation, removal and seed dispersal in a wetland dominated by palms (Arecaceae)].

    PubMed

    Myers, Ronald L

    2013-09-01

    In the Tortuguero floodplains, Costa Rica, a significant number of trees such as Carapa guianensis, Pentaclethra mnacroloba and the palm Manicaria saccifera have floating seeds adapted to hydrocory, while others, such as the almendro Dipteryx oleifera and the raffia palm Raphia taedigera have heavy seeds that do not float. These species have differential distributions, and while C. guianensis, P macroloba and D. oleifera also grow on slopes away from the flood, the palms M saccifera and R. taedigera hardly occur outside the swamps, where they stand as the dominant species. To understand the differences in the micro-distribution of these tree species in waterlogged environments and differences in their seed adaptations, I did a series of experiments to compare the loss and germination of their seeds in the slope forest and in palm swamps in the region. Overall, seeds in the forest slope have higher removal rates than those in the M. saccifera and R. taedigera swamps. This last one exhibits the lowest seed loss of all three habitats. Also, differences in seed predation/removal were noticed between the two species of palms studied. Thus, seeds of M saccifera disappeared rapidly, regardless of density aggregation and location in the swamp. Removal rates in R. taedigera seeds were low in the raffia dominated swamp, where apparently, seed losses are slightly higher in the mounds of palm clumps than in the swamp floor. These observations suggest that both: flooding and microtopography determine, directly or indirectly, the fate of tree species within these wetlands. Restrictions on seed dispersal and the slow germination confine R. taedigera marshes and flooded places, whereas flooding and predators mediate in the distribution of the other tree species.

  2. When condition trumps location: seed consumption by fruit-eating birds removes pathogens and predator attractants

    PubMed Central

    Fricke, Evan C; Simon, Melissa J; Reagan, Karen M; Levey, Douglas J; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Carlo, Tomás A; Tewksbury, Joshua J

    2013-01-01

    Seed ingestion by frugivorous vertebrates commonly benefits plants by moving seeds to locations with fewer predators and pathogens than under the parent. For plants with high local population densities, however, movement from the parent plant is unlikely to result in ‘escape’ from predators and pathogens. Changes to seed condition caused by gut passage may also provide benefits, yet are rarely evaluated as an alternative. Here, we use a common bird-dispersed chilli pepper (Capsicum chacoense) to conduct the first experimental comparison of escape-related benefits to condition-related benefits of animal-mediated seed dispersal. Within chilli populations, seeds dispersed far from parent plants gained no advantage from escape alone, but seed consumption by birds increased seed survival by 370% – regardless of dispersal distance – due to removal during gut passage of fungal pathogens and chemical attractants to granivores. These results call into question the pre-eminence of escape as the primary advantage of dispersal within populations and document two overlooked mechanisms by which frugivores can benefit fruiting plants. PMID:23786453

  3. Are local filters blind to provenance? Ant seed predation suppresses exotic plants more than natives.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Dean E; Icasatti, Nadia S; Hierro, Jose L; Bird, Benjamin J

    2014-01-01

    The question of whether species' origins influence invasion outcomes has been a point of substantial debate in invasion ecology. Theoretically, colonization outcomes can be predicted based on how species' traits interact with community filters, a process presumably blind to species' origins. Yet, exotic plant introductions commonly result in monospecific plant densities not commonly seen in native assemblages, suggesting that exotic species may respond to community filters differently than natives. Here, we tested whether exotic and native species differed in their responses to a local community filter by examining how ant seed predation affected recruitment of eighteen native and exotic plant species in central Argentina. Ant seed predation proved to be an important local filter that strongly suppressed plant recruitment, but ants suppressed exotic recruitment far more than natives (89% of exotic species vs. 22% of natives). Seed size predicted ant impacts on recruitment independent of origins, with ant preference for smaller seeds resulting in smaller seeded plant species being heavily suppressed. The disproportionate effects of provenance arose because exotics had generally smaller seeds than natives. Exotics also exhibited greater emergence and earlier peak emergence than natives in the absence of ants. However, when ants had access to seeds, these potential advantages of exotics were negated due to the filtering bias against exotics. The differences in traits we observed between exotics and natives suggest that higher-order introduction filters or regional processes preselected for certain exotic traits that then interacted with the local seed predation filter. Our results suggest that the interactions between local filters and species traits can predict invasion outcomes, but understanding the role of provenance will require quantifying filtering processes at multiple hierarchical scales and evaluating interactions between filters.

  4. Genetic variation in flowering phenology and avoidance of seed predation in native populations of Ulex europaeus.

    PubMed

    Atlan, A; Barat, M; Legionnet, A S; Parize, L; Tarayre, M

    2010-02-01

    The genetic variation in flowering phenology may be an important component of a species' capacity to colonize new environments. In native populations of the invasive species Ulex europaeus, flowering phenology has been shown to be bimodal and related to seed predation. The aim of the present study was to determine if this bimodality has a genetic basis, and to investigate whether the polymorphism in flowering phenology is genetically linked to seed predation, pod production and growth patterns. We set up an experiment raising maternal families in a common garden. Based on mixed analyses of variance and correlations among maternal family means, we found genetic differences between the two main flowering types and confirmed that they reduced seed predation in two different ways: escape in time or predator satiation. We suggest that this polymorphism in strategy may facilitate maintain high genetic diversity for flowering phenology and related life-history traits in native populations of this species, hence providing high evolutionary potential for these traits in invaded areas.

  5. Seed harvester ants (Polonomyrmex rugosus) as "pulse" predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed harvesting ants, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, collected grass cicadas at a high rate (>5 min-1 taken into the nest) at one location where cicada emergence exceeded 3m-2. Dry conditions in the winter-spring resulted in no annual plants in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. P. rugosus colonies were inactiv...

  6. Endophyte status of tall fescue (festuca arundinacea) affects seed predation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a preliminary study seed of a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) variety ‘Jesup’ without endophyte were consumed at a slightly higher rate by common cricket (Acheta domesticus L.) in a standard feeding trial than the same fescue variety with the endophyte. Although, the preference for the...

  7. Multiple infestation by seed predators: the effect of loculate fruits on intraspecific insect larval competition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano, José M.; Delgado, Juan A.; López, Francisco; Acosta, Francisco J.; Fungairiño, Sara G.

    2001-06-01

    Many morphological features of fruits are important factors affecting predispersal seed predation by insects. This paper analyses the predispersal seed predation process of a major predator (a Noctuidae lepidopteran larvae) in loculate fruits of a bushy perennial plant, Cistus ladanifer. The main aim of the study is to assess the potential effect of internal valvae (which partition groups of seeds) in the intraspecific competition between larvae in multiple-infested fruits. Our results show that larvae do not reject already infested fruits, but they avoid the proximity of other larvae within the fruit, keeping an average minimum distance of one locule. In multiple-infested fruits, larval mortality increases and the proportion of seeds consumed by each larvae decreases. In those situations in which valvae keep apart larvae within a fruit, these only suffer the cost of exploitation competition with a low acquisition of resources. However, when all valvae between them are pierced by the larvae, competition switches to an interference component and larval mortality increases markedly. The existence of valvae within a fruit allows larvae to diminish the cost of intraspecific competition, obtaining high life expectancies (70%), even in triple-infested fruits.

  8. Beach almond (Terminalia catappa, Combretaceae) seed production and predation by scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides).

    PubMed

    Henn, Jonathan J; McCoy, Michael B; Vaughan, Christopher S

    2014-09-01

    Knowledge of ecological impacts of exotic beach almond (Terminalia catappa) in the central Pacific of Costa Rica are little known, but studies have found this species to be a potentially important food source for endangered scarlet macaws (Ara macao). In this study, reproductive phenology and seed predation by variegated squirrels (Sciurus variegatoides) and scarlet macaws were measured during March and April 2011 on beaches of central Pacific coastal Costa Rica. Seed productivity and predation levels were quantified on a weekly basis for 111 beach almond trees to assess the importance of beach almond as a food source for scarlet macaws and the extent of resource partitioning between seed predators. Seed production of the trees was great (about 194 272 seeds) and approximately 67% of seeds were predated by seed predators. Macaws consumed an estimated 49% of seeds while squirrels consumed 18%. Additionally, evidence of resource partitioning between squirrels and macaws was found. Scarlet macaws preferred to feed on the northern side and edge of the canopy while squirrels preferred to feed on the southern and inside parts of the canopy. Both species ate most seeds on the ocean side of the tree. Despite the status of this tree as an exotic species, the beach almond appears to be an important resource for scarlet macaw population recovery. The resource produced by this tree should be taken into account as reforestation efforts continue in Costa Rica.

  9. Seed predation by mammals and forest dominance by Quercus oleoides, a tropical lowland oak.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Douglas H

    1981-07-01

    Quercus oleoides Cham. and Schlecht is an unusual tree in several respects: it is an oak found in neotropical lowland forests, its distribution is not continuous but ratherdivided into many patches of various sizes, and it is a dominant in all the forests in which it occurs, attaining densities far higher than most species of tropical trees. This density pattern is related to the vulnerability of Q. oleoides acorns to predation by mammals. Observations of agoutis, deer, peccaries, squirrels, pocket mice and other seed consumers in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, showed that these mammals act only as predators, not dispersers, of Q. oleoides acorns. Experiments which involved placing acorns in deciduous forest where Q. oleoides does not occur, demonstrated that, due to high predation rates, the number of acorns produced by an isolated tree is far too low for adults to replace themselves.In oak forest, on the other hand, where the combined acorn crops of many oaks satiate the seed predators, acorn survivorship until germination is high enough to maintain the population. Furthermore, acorn survivorship in oak forest areas is inversely proportional to the apparent mammal density in those areas. Thus the pattern of forest dominance and patchy distribution is related to positively density-dependent acorn survivorship: where Q. oleoides is the forest dominant, it will survive, but if its density falls to the level typical of tropical trees, it will go locally extinct.

  10. Seed Predators, not Herbivores, Exert Natural Selection on Solidago spp. in an Urban Archipelago.

    PubMed

    Bode, R F; Gilbert, A B

    2016-02-01

    The effects of urbanization on biodiversity are well established, as a growing city will reduce the size and diversity of patches of native plants. Recolonization of old patches and discovery of new ones by arthropod herbivores should occur as predicted by island biogeography theory. Although colonization represents an increase in biodiversity, such arrivals may exert new forms of natural selection on plants through herbivory and seed predation. Using a single species of old-field aster (Solidago altissima L.), we found that the level of natural selection by seed predators and herbivores follows patterns of island biogeography, with lower amounts of damage on smaller islands, where there are fewer species, and hypothetically smaller populations of arthropods. We also found that in an urban system, levels of herbivory are far below the tolerance levels of Solidago, and that seed predators are likely to be the only arthropod to cause reduced fitness. The pattern seen also implies that as a patch of Solidago grows through clonal expansion, it will come under higher selective pressure.

  11. Nut predation and dispersal of Harland Tanoak Lithocarpus harlandii by scatter-hoarding rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2006-03-01

    Plants that use the propagule to co-opt animals as dispersal agents must balance the costs of seed predation with the benefits of dispersal. Successful post-dispersal germination is a key metric that reflects these costs and benefits. By tracking individual nuts with coded tin-tags over 3 years (2000-2003), this study quantified nut predation and dispersal of harland tanoak ( Lithocarpus harlandii) by seed-caching rodents in a subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in the Duiangyan Region of Sichuan Province, Southwest China. We found that tanoak seedlings established from rodent-generated caches in the primary stands over a 12-month post-dispersal period. Our results indicate that seed-caching rodents are effective dispersers of tanoak nuts, but dispersal effectiveness varies among years and stands, probably due to mast seeding of harland tanoak or community-level seed availability according to the predator satiation hypothesis. Some nut traits in tanoak species, e.g. large seed size, hard nut husk, lower tannin and mast seeding, are important characteristics for seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents, compared with oak species with higher tannin content.

  12. Fruit production and predispersal seed fall and predation in Rhamnus alaternus (Rhamnaceae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bas, Josep M.; Gómez, Crisanto; Pons, Pere

    2005-03-01

    In the reproductive cycle of fleshy-fruited plants, and before the seeds are dispersed, some fruits fall down or are predated on the branches. Here, we study the predispersal biology of Rhamnus alaternus in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula over a 4-year period. Specifically, we examined fruit production, fructification and the phenology of ripening, together with the causes and the consequences of the predispersal loss in female plants. In addition, we evaluated the influence of the biometric traits and the spatial distribution of plants with regard to these aspects. The total estimated fruit production and fruiting phenology varied between localities and years, and there was no relation either to the plant biometry or to the spatial situation. The ripening period was between April and August, with a mean period of fruit permanence on the branches of 102 days. The maximum presence of ripe fruits was from early June to July, 54 days in average after fruit ripening began. The interaction of animals with the fruits has four important consequences: (a) losses in the initial production due to depredation of seeds, mainly by rodents; (b) direct fall of fruit and seeds under the cover of the female plants due to invertebrate predators of pulp; (c) reduction of the period of fruit availability on the branches; and (d) reduction of the proportion of ripe fruits on branches. In summary, the number of seeds available to be dispersed by frugivorous vertebrates is considerably reduced as a consequence of predispersal effects.

  13. Cascading effects of defaunation on the coexistence of two specialized insect seed predators.

    PubMed

    Peguero, Guille; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Jansen, Patrick A; Wright, S Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Identification of the mechanisms enabling stable coexistence of species with similar resource requirements is a central challenge in ecology. Such coexistence can be facilitated by species at higher trophic levels through complex multi-trophic interactions, a mechanism that could be compromised by ongoing defaunation. We investigated cascading effects of defaunation on Pachymerus cardo and Speciomerus giganteus, the specialized insect seed predators of the Neotropical palm Attalea butyracea, testing the hypothesis that vertebrate frugivores and granivores facilitate their coexistence. Laboratory experiments showed that the two seed parasitoid species differed strongly in their reproductive ecology. Pachymerus produced many small eggs that it deposited exclusively on the fruit exocarp (exterior). Speciomerus produced few large eggs that it deposited exclusively on the endocarp, which is normally exposed only after a vertebrate handles the fruit. When eggs of the two species were deposited on the same fruit, Pachymerus triumphed only when it had a long head start, and the loser always succumbed to intraguild predation. We collected field data on the fates of 6569 Attalea seeds across sites in central Panama with contrasting degrees of defaunation and wide variation in the abundance of vertebrate frugivores and granivores. Speciomerus dominated where vertebrate communities were intact, whereas Pachymerus dominated in defaunated sites. Variation in the relative abundance of Speciomerus across all 84 sampling sites was strongly positively related to the proportion of seeds attacked by rodents, an indicator of local vertebrate abundance.

  14. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine

    PubMed Central

    Tella, José L.; Dénes, Francisco V.; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P.; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved. PMID:27546381

  15. Endangered plant-parrot mutualisms: seed tolerance to predation makes parrots pervasive dispersers of the Parana pine.

    PubMed

    Tella, José L; Dénes, Francisco V; Zulian, Viviane; Prestes, Nêmora P; Martínez, Jaime; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2016-08-22

    Parrots are largely considered plant antagonists as they usually destroy the seeds they feed on. However, there is evidence that parrots may also act as seed dispersers. We evaluated the dual role of parrots as predators and dispersers of the Critically Endangered Parana pine (Araucaria angustifolia). Eight of nine parrot species predated seeds from 48% of 526 Parana pines surveyed. Observations of the commonest parrot indicated that 22.5% of the picked seeds were dispersed by carrying them in their beaks. Another five parrot species dispersed seeds, at an estimated average distance of c. 250 m. Dispersal distances did not differ from those observed in jays, considered the main avian dispersers. Contrary to jays, parrots often dropped partially eaten seeds. Most of these seeds were handled by parrots, and the proportion of partially eaten seeds that germinated was higher than that of undamaged seeds. This may be explained by a predator satiation effect, suggesting that the large seeds of the Parana pine evolved to attract consumers for dispersal. This represents a thus far overlooked key plant-parrot mutualism, in which both components are threatened with extinction. The interaction is becoming locally extinct long before the global extinction of the species involved.

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

    PubMed

    Krushelnycky, Paul D

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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…

  18. Predator satiation and recruitment in a mast fruiting monocarpic forest herb

    PubMed Central

    Tsvuura, Zivanai; Griffiths, Megan E.; Gunton, Richard M.; Lawes, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    Background and Aims Cross-pollination and satiation of seed predators are often invoked to explain synchronous mast reproduction in long-lived plants. However, explanations for the synchronous death of parent plants are elusive. The roles of synchronous seeding and post-reproductive mortality were investigated in a perennial monocarpic herb (Isoglossa woodii) in coastal dune forest in South Africa. Methods Pre-dispersal seed predation and seed production were assessed by measuring fruit and seed set of inflorescences sprayed with insecticide or water and with no spray treatments. Seed predation was measured at different densities of I. woodii plants by monitoring removal rates of seed from the forest floor. The influence of adult plants on establishment of I. woodii seedlings was assessed by monitoring growth and survivorship of seedlings in caged and uncaged 1 × 1 m plots in understorey gaps and thickets. Key Results Fruit and seed set were similar between spray treatments. An I. woodii stem produced 767·8 ± 160·8 seeds (mean ± s.e.) on dune crests and 1359·0 ± 234·4 seeds on the foredune. Seed rain was greater on the foredune than in other topographic locations. Seed predation rates were 32 and 54 % on dune crests and in dune slacks, respectively, and decreased with seed abundance, number of inflorescences per stem and plant height. Seedling recruitment was greater beneath synchronously dying adult plants than in natural understorey gaps (no I. woodii). However, seedling growth rate beneath I. woodii mid-way through its life-cycle was less than in gaps, although survivorship was similar. Conclusions The selective advantage of masting in I. woodii derives from satiation of both pre- and post-dispersal seed predators. In addition, post-seeding mortality of adult plants facilitates seedling establishment. Satiation of seed predators and the benefits of seedling establishment are strong drivers of the evolution of synchronous monocarpy in I. woodii. PMID

  19. Coexistence of annual plants: generalist seed predation weakens the storage effect.

    PubMed

    Kuang, Jessica J; Chesson, Peter

    2009-01-01

    We investigate the effect of seed predation on the coexistence of competing annual plants. We demonstrate a role for predation that is opposite to the conventional wisdom that predation promotes coexistence by reducing the intensity of competition. In the common situation where competitive coexistence involves intraspecific competition exceeding interspecific competition, predation can undermine coexistence by reducing the overall magnitude of competition, replacing competition with "apparent competition" in a way that does not lead to differential intraspecific and interspecific effects. We demonstrate this outcome in the case where coexistence occurs by "the storage effect" in a variable environment. The storage effect arises when the environment interacts with competition to create opportunities for species to increase from low density. Critical to the storage effect is positive covariance between the response of population growth to the environment and its response to competition, when a species is at high density. This outcome prevents species at high density from taking advantage of favorable environmental conditions. A species at low density has lower covariance and can take advantage of favorable environmental conditions, giving it an advantage over a high-density species, fostering its recovery from low density. Hence, species coexistence is promoted. Here we find that density-dependent predation lowers population densities, and so weakens competition, replacing competition with apparent competition, which does not covary with the environment. As a consequence, covariance between environment and competition is weakened, reducing the advantage to a species at low density. The species still strongly interact through the combination of competition and apparent competition, but the reduced low-density advantage reduces their ability to coexist. Although this result is demonstrated specifically for the storage effect with a focus on annual plant communities

  20. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  1. Tracking Seed Fates of Tropical Tree Species: Evidence for Seed Caching in a Tropical Forest in North-East India

    PubMed Central

    Sidhu, Swati; Datta, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    Rodents affect the post-dispersal fate of seeds by acting either as on-site seed predators or as secondary dispersers when they scatter-hoard seeds. The tropical forests of north-east India harbour a high diversity of little-studied terrestrial murid and hystricid rodents. We examined the role played by these rodents in determining the seed fates of tropical evergreen tree species in a forest site in north-east India. We selected ten tree species (3 mammal-dispersed and 7 bird-dispersed) that varied in seed size and followed the fates of 10,777 tagged seeds. We used camera traps to determine the identity of rodent visitors, visitation rates and their seed-handling behavior. Seeds of all tree species were handled by at least one rodent taxon. Overall rates of seed removal (44.5%) were much higher than direct on-site seed predation (9.9%), but seed-handling behavior differed between the terrestrial rodent groups: two species of murid rodents removed and cached seeds, and two species of porcupines were on-site seed predators. In addition, a true cricket, Brachytrupes sp., cached seeds of three species underground. We found 309 caches formed by the rodents and the cricket; most were single-seeded (79%) and seeds were moved up to 19 m. Over 40% of seeds were re-cached from primary cache locations, while about 12% germinated in the primary caches. Seed removal rates varied widely amongst tree species, from 3% in Beilschmiedia assamica to 97% in Actinodaphne obovata. Seed predation was observed in nine species. Chisocheton cumingianus (57%) and Prunus ceylanica (25%) had moderate levels of seed predation while the remaining species had less than 10% seed predation. We hypothesized that seed traits that provide information on resource quantity would influence rodent choice of a seed, while traits that determine resource accessibility would influence whether seeds are removed or eaten. Removal rates significantly decreased (p < 0.001) while predation rates increased (p = 0

  2. Interaction between ungulates and bruchid beetles and its effect on Acacia trees: modeling the costs and benefits of seed dispersal to plant demography.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Wiegand, Kerstin; Ward, David

    2011-09-01

    Integrative studies of plant-animal interactions that incorporate the multiple effects of interactions are important for discerning the importance of each factor within the population dynamics of a plant species. The low regeneration capacity of many Acacia species in arid savannas is a consequence of a combination of reduction in seed dispersal and high seed predation. Here we studied how ungulates (acting as both seed dispersers and herbivores) and bruchid beetles (post-dispersal seed predators) modulate the population dynamics of A. raddiana, a keystone species in the Middle East. We developed two simulation models of plant demography: the first included seed ingestion by ungulates and seed predation by bruchids, whereas the second model additionally incorporated herbivory by ungulates. We also included the interacting effects of seed removal and body mass, because larger ungulates destroy proportionally fewer seeds and enhance seed germination. Simulations showed that the negative effect of seed predation on acacia population size was compensated for by the positive effect of seed ingestion at 50 and 30% seed removal under scenarios with and without herbivory, respectively. Smaller ungulates (e.g., <35 kg) must necessarily remove tenfold more seeds than larger ungulates (e.g., >250 kg) to compensate for the negative effect of seed predation. Seedling proportion increased with seed removal in the model with herbivory. Managing and restoring acacia seed dispersers is key to conserving acacia populations, because low-to-medium seed removal could quickly restore their regeneration capacity.

  3. Past agricultural land use and present-day fire regimes can interact to determine the nature of seed predation.

    PubMed

    Stuhler, John D; Orrock, John L

    2016-06-01

    Historical agriculture and present-day fire regimes can have significant effects on contemporary ecosystems. Although past agricultural land use can lead to long-term changes in plant communities, it remains unclear whether these persistent land-use legacies alter plant-consumer interactions, such as seed predation, and whether contemporary disturbance (e.g., fire) alters the effects of historical agriculture on these interactions. We conducted a study at 27 sites distributed across 80,300 ha in post-agricultural and non-agricultural longleaf pine woodlands with different degrees of fire frequency to test the hypothesis that past and present-day disturbances that alter plant communities can subsequently alter seed predation. We quantified seed removal by arthropods and rodents for Tephrosia virginiana and Vernonia angustifolia, species of conservation interest. We found that the effects of land-use history and fire frequency on seed removal were contingent on granivore guild and microhabitat characteristics. Tephrosia virginiana removal was greater in low fire frequency sites, due to greater seed removal by rodents. Although overall removal of V. angustifolia did not differ among habitats, rodents removed more seeds than arthropods at post-agricultural sites and non-agricultural sites with low fire frequencies, but not at non-agricultural sites with high fire frequencies. Land-use history and fire frequency also affected the relationship between microhabitat characteristics and removal of V. angustifolia. Our results suggest that historical agriculture and present-day fire regimes may alter seed predation by shifting the impact of rodent and arthropod seed predators among habitats, with potential consequences for the establishment of rare plant species consumed by one or both predators.

  4. Yucca brevifolia fruit production, predispersal seed predation, and fruit removal by rodents during two years of contrasting reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Borchert, Mark I.; DeFalco, Lesley

    2016-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The distribution of Yucca brevifolia, a keystone species of the Mojave Desert, may contract with climate change, yet reproduction and dispersal are poorly understood. We tracked reproduction, seed predation, and fruit dispersal for two years and discuss whether Y. brevifolia is a masting species. METHODS: Fruit maturation, seed predation (larval yucca moths), and fruit dispersal (rodents) were monitored on a random sample of panicles during 2013 and 2014, which were years of high and low reproduction, respectively. Fates of fruits placed on the ground and in canopies were also tracked. Rodents were live-trapped to assess abundance and species composition. KEY RESULTS: In 2013, 66% of inflorescences produced fruit of which 53% escaped larval predation; 19.5% of seeds were destroyed in infested fruits. Total seed production was estimated to be >100 times greater in 2013 than 2014. One-third of the fruit crop fell to the ground and was removed by rodents over the course of 120 d. After ground fruits became scarce, rodents exploited canopy fruits. Rodent numbers were low in 2013, so fruits remained in canopies for 370 d. In 2014, fruit production was approximately 20% lower. Larvae infested the majority of fruits, and almost twice the number of seeds were damaged. Fruits were exploited by rodents within 65 d. CONCLUSIONS: High fertilization, prolific seed production, and low predispersal predation in 2013 suggests that pollinator attraction and satiation of seed predators influence masting in Y. brevifolia. Abundant, prolonged fruit availability to seed-dispersing rodents likely extends recruitment opportunities during mast years.

  5. Seed predation by bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Kokolopori, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Georgiev, Alexander V; Thompson, Melissa Emery; Lokasola, Albert Lotana; Wrangham, Richard W

    2011-10-01

    We compared the feeding ecology of the Hali-Hali community of bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Kokolopori, a new field site in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, between two periods 5 months apart. During the first study period (SP1), bonobos relied heavily on the dry seeds of Guibourtia (Caesalpiniaceae), mostly eaten from the ground. The second period (SP2) was characterized by high consumption of ripe tree fruit. Terrestrial herbaceous vegetation (THV) contributed little to the diet in either study period. The low amount of ripe fruit and the high reliance on seeds in the diet during SP1 were associated with high cortisol production and low levels of urinary C-peptide in females, suggesting nutritional stress. However, female gregariousness was not constrained during the fruit-poor period, probably because high seed abundance on the ground ameliorated scramble feeding competition. This is the first description of extensive seed predation by bonobos. It suggests that bonobo feeding ecology may be more similar to that of chimpanzees than previously recognized.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer

    PubMed Central

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  8. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matthew V; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-07-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape.

  9. Remote Cameras Reveal Experimental Artifact in a Study of Seed Predation in a Semi-Arid Shrubland

    PubMed Central

    Deutschman, Douglas H.; Braswell, Jessica; McLaughlin, Dana

    2016-01-01

    Granivorous animals may prefer to predate or cache seed of certain plant species over others. Multiple studies have documented preference for larger, non-native seed by granivores. To accomplish this, researchers have traditionally used indirect inference by relating patterns of seed removal to the species composition of the granivorous animal community. To measure seed removal, researchers present seed to granivorous animals in the field using equipment intended to exclude certain animal taxa while permitting access to others. This approach allows researchers to differentiate patterns of seed removal among various taxa (e.g., birds, small mammals, and insects); however, it is unclear whether the animals of interest are freely using the exclusion devices, which may be a hindrance to discovering the seed dishes. We used video observation to perform a study of seed predation using a custom-built, infrared digital camera and recording system. We presented native and non-native seed mixtures in partitioned Petri dishes both within and outside of exclusion cages. The exclusion cages were intended to allow entrance by rodent taxa while preventing entrance by rabbits and birds. We documented all seed removal visits by granivorous animals, which we identified to the genus level. Genera exhibited varying seed removal patterns based on seed type (native vs. non-native) and dish type (open vs. enclosed). We documented avoidance of the enclosed dishes by all but one rodent taxa, even though these dishes were intended to be used freely by rodents. This suggests that preference for non-native seed occurs differentially among granivorous animals in this system; however, interpretation of these nuanced results would be difficult without the benefit of video observation. When feasible, video observation should accompany studies using in situ equipment to ensure incorrect assumptions do not lead to inappropriate interpretation of results. PMID:27764200

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. Seed predation and fruit damage of Solanum lycocarpum (Solanaceae) by rodents in the cerrado of central Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briani and, Denis C., Jr.; Guimarães, Paulo R.

    2007-01-01

    Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.

  12. Emergence of ratio-dependent and predator-dependent functional responses for pollination mutualism and seed parasitism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Holland, J. Nathaniel

    2006-01-01

    Prey (N) dependence [g(N)], predator (P) dependence [g(P) or g(N,P)], and ratio dependence [f(P/N)] are often seen as contrasting forms of the predator's functional response describing predator consumption rates on prey resources in predator–prey and parasitoid–host interactions. Analogously, prey-, predator-, and ratio-dependent functional responses are apparently alternative functional responses for other types of consumer–resource interactions. These include, for example, the fraction of flowers pollinated or seeds parasitized in pollination (pre-dispersal) seed-parasitism mutualisms, such as those between fig wasps and fig trees or yucca moths and yucca plants. Here we examine the appropriate functional responses for how the fraction of flowers pollinated and seeds parasitized vary with the density of pollinators (predator dependence) or the ratio of pollinator and flower densities (ratio dependence). We show that both types of functional responses can emerge from minor, but biologically important variations on a single model. An individual-based model was first used to describe plant–pollinator interactions. Conditional upon on whether the number of flowers visited by the pollinator was limited by factors other than search time (e.g., by the number of eggs it had to lay, if it was also a seed parasite), and on whether the pollinator could directly find flowers on a plant, or had to search, the simulation results lead to either a predator-dependent or a ratio-dependent functional response. An analytic model was then used to show mathematically how these two cases can arise.

  13. Effects of pollen load, parasitoids and the environment on pre-dispersal seed predation in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-11-01

    Few studies have simultaneously addressed the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on pre-dispersal seed predation (PSP). Plant-seed predator interactions may be influenced by natural enemies and pollinators (the latter through changes in fruit or seed traits), and the activity of pre-dispersal seed predators and their natural enemies may both be affected by the abiotic environment. Additionally, in the case of cleistogamous plants with fruit dimorphism, PSP may be biased towards larger and more seeded chasmogamous (CH) fruits [relative to the smaller cleistogamous (CL) fruits], and the effects of biotic and abiotic factors may be contingent upon this fruit dimorphism. We studied PSP in the cleistogamous Ruellia nudiflora using a split-plot experimental design and asked the following: (1) is PSP biased towards CH fruits and is there an effect of pollen load on PSP? (2) Do parasitoids influence PSP and is their effect influenced by pollen load or fruit type? And (3) do light and water availability modify PSP and parasitoid effects? PSP was higher for CH relative to CL fruits, and under low water availability it was lower for pollen-supplemented CH fruits relative to open-pollinated CH fruits. Parasitoids were not influenced by abiotic conditions, but their negative effect on PSP was stronger for pollen-supplemented CH fruits. Overall, we show that fruit dimorphism, abiotic factors and natural enemies affect PSP, and that these effects can be non-additive.

  14. The Effect of Conservation Tillage and Cover Crop Residue on Beneficial Arthropods and Weed Seed Predation in Acorn Squash.

    PubMed

    Quinn, N F; Brainard, D C; Szendrei, Z

    2016-12-01

    Conservation tillage combined with cover crops or mulching may enhance natural enemy activity in agroecosystems by reducing soil disturbance and increasing habitat structural complexity. In particular, weed seed predation can increase with vegetation cover and reduced tillage, indicating that mulches may improve the quality of the habitat for weed seed foraging. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of tillage and mulching for conservation biological control in cucurbit fields. The effects of mulch and reduced tillage on arthropods and rates of weed seed loss from arenas were examined in field trials on sandy soils in 2014 and 2015. Experimental factors included tillage and cover crop, each with two levels: strip-tillage or full-tillage, and cover crop mulch (rye residue) or no cover crop mulch (unmulched). Arthropod abundance on the crop foliage was not affected by tillage or cover crops. Contrary to expectations, epigeal natural enemies of insects and rates of weed seed removal either did not respond to treatments or were greater in full-tilled plots and plots without mulch. Our study demonstrates the potential importance of weed seed predators in reducing weed seedbanks in vegetable agroecosystems, and suggests that early-season tillage may not be detrimental to epigeal predator assemblages.

  15. The Effect of Conservation Tillage and Cover Crop Residue on Beneficial Arthropods and Weed Seed Predation in Acorn Squash.

    PubMed

    Quinn, N F; Brainard, D C; Szendrei, Z

    2016-10-15

    Conservation tillage combined with cover crops or mulching may enhance natural enemy activity in agroecosystems by reducing soil disturbance and increasing habitat structural complexity. In particular, weed seed predation can increase with vegetation cover and reduced tillage, indicating that mulches may improve the quality of the habitat for weed seed foraging. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of tillage and mulching for conservation biological control in cucurbit fields. The effects of mulch and reduced tillage on arthropods and rates of weed seed loss from arenas were examined in field trials on sandy soils in 2014 and 2015. Experimental factors included tillage and cover crop, each with two levels: strip-tillage or full-tillage, and cover crop mulch (rye residue) or no cover crop mulch (unmulched). Arthropod abundance on the crop foliage was not affected by tillage or cover crops. Contrary to expectations, epigeal natural enemies of insects and rates of weed seed removal either did not respond to treatments or were greater in full-tilled plots and plots without mulch. Our study demonstrates the potential importance of weed seed predators in reducing weed seedbanks in vegetable agroecosystems, and suggests that early-season tillage may not be detrimental to epigeal predator assemblages.

  16. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant–plant mutualism

    PubMed Central

    Pringle, Elizabeth G.

    2014-01-01

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant–plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output. PMID:24807259

  17. Harnessing ant defence at fruits reduces bruchid seed predation in a symbiotic ant-plant mutualism.

    PubMed

    Pringle, Elizabeth G

    2014-06-22

    In horizontally transmitted mutualisms, mutualists disperse separately and reassemble in each generation with partners genetically unrelated to those in the previous generation. Because of this, there should be no selection on either partner to enhance the other's reproductive output directly. In symbiotic ant-plant mutualisms, myrmecophytic plants host defensive ant colonies, and ants defend the plants from herbivores. Plants and ants disperse separately, and, although ant defence can indirectly increase plant reproduction by reducing folivory, it is unclear whether ants can also directly increase plant reproduction by defending seeds. The neotropical tree Cordia alliodora hosts colonies of Azteca pittieri ants. The trees produce domatia where ants nest at stem nodes and also at the node between the peduncle and the rachides of the infloresence. Unlike the stem domatia, these reproductive domatia senesce after the tree fruits each year. In this study, I show that the tree's resident ant colony moves into these ephemeral reproductive domatia, where they tend honeydew-producing scale insects and patrol the nearby developing fruits. The presence of ants significantly reduced pre-dispersal seed predation by Amblycerus bruchid beetles, thereby directly increasing plant reproductive output.

  18. Interspecific and annual variation in pre-dispersal seed predation by a granivorous bird in two East Asian hackberries, Celtis biondii and Celtis sinensis.

    PubMed

    Yoshikawa, T; Masaki, T; Isagi, Y; Kikuzawa, K

    2012-05-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation by granivorous birds has potential to limit fruit removal and subsequent seed dispersal by legitimate avian seed dispersers in bird-dispersed plants, especially when the birds form flocks. We monitored pre-dispersal seed predation by the Japanese grosbeak, Eophona personata, of two bird-dispersed hackberry species (Cannabaceae), Celtis biondii (four trees) and Celtis sinensis (10 trees), for 3 years (2005, 2007 and 2008) in a fragmented forest in temperate Japan. Throughout the 3 years, predation was more intense on C. biondii, which, as a consequence, lost a larger part of its fruit crop. Grosbeaks preferred C. biondii seeds that had a comparatively lower energy content and lower hardness than C. sinensis, suggesting an association between seed hardness and selective foraging by grosbeaks. In C. biondii, intensive predation markedly reduced fruit duration and strongly limited fruit removal by seed dispersers, especially in 2007 and 2008. In C. sinensis, seed dispersers consumed fruits throughout the fruiting seasons in all 3 years. In C. biondii, variation in the timing of grosbeak migration among years was associated with annual variation in this bird's effects on fruit removal. Our results demonstrate that seed predation by flocks of granivorous birds can dramatically disrupt seed dispersal in fleshy-fruited plants and suggest the importance of understanding their flocking behaviour.

  19. Interactions between a pollinating seed predator and its host plant: the role of environmental context within a population

    PubMed Central

    Kula, Abigail A R; Castillo, Dean M; Dudash, Michele R; Fenster, Charles B

    2014-01-01

    Plant–insect interactions often are important for plant reproduction, but the outcome of these interactions may vary with environmental context. Pollinating seed predators have positive and negative effects on host plant reproduction, and the interaction outcome is predicted to vary with density or abundance of the partners. We studied the interaction between Silene stellata, an herbaceous perennial, and Hadena ectypa, its specialized pollinating seed predator. Silene stellata is only facultatively dependent upon H. ectypa for pollination because other nocturnal moth co-pollinators are equally effective at pollen transfer. We hypothesized that for plants without conspecific neighbors, H. ectypa would have higher visitation rates compared to co-pollinators, and the plants would experience lower levels of H. ectypa pollen deposition. We predicted similar oviposition throughout the study site but greater H. ectypa predation in the area without conspecific neighbors compared to plants embedded in a naturally high density area. We found that H. ectypa had consistently higher visitation than moth co-pollinators in all host plant contexts. However, H. ectypa pollinator importance declined in areas with low conspecific density because of reduced pollen deposition, resulting in lower seed set. Conversely, oviposition was similar across the study site independent of host plant density. Greater likelihood of very high fruit predation combined with lower pollination by H. ectypa resulted in reduced S. stellata female reproductive success in areas with low conspecific density. Our results demonstrate local context dependency of the outcomes of pollinating seed predator interactions with conspecific host plant density within a population. PMID:25165527

  20. Phenotypic Selection Exerted by a Seed Predator Is Replicated in Space and Time and among Prey Species.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Mezquida, Eduardo T

    2015-11-01

    Although consistent phenotypic selection arising from biotic interactions is thought to be the primary cause of adaptive diversification, studies documenting such selection are relatively few. Here we analyze 12 episodes of phenotypic selection exerted by a predispersal seed predator, the red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), on five species of pines (Pinus). We find that even though the intensity of selection for some traits increased with the strength of the interaction (i.e., proportion of seeds eaten), the relative strength of selection exerted by crossbills on cone and seed traits is replicated across space and time and among species. Such selection (1) can account for repeated patterns of conifer cone evolution and escalation in seed defenses with time and (2) suggests that variation in selection is less the result of variation intrinsic to pairwise biotic interactions than, for example, variation in relative densities of the interacting species, community context, and abiotic factors.

  1. The impact of specialist and generalist pre-dispersal seed predators on the reproductive output of a common and a rare Euphorbia species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boieiro, Mário; Rego, Carla; Serrano, Artur R. M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2010-03-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predators can have a severe impact on the reproductive output of their hosts, which can translate into negative effects on population dynamics. Here we compared the losses due to specialist and generalist insect seed predators in two Euphorbia species, a rare ( Euphorbia welwitschii) and a common one ( Euphorbia characias). Pre-dispersal losses to specialist seed-wasps ( Eurytoma jaltica) and generalist hemipterans ( Cydnus aterrimus and Dicranocephalus agilis) were on average higher for the rare E. welwitschii than for its widespread congener. In both Euphorbia species, the variation in losses to specialist and generalist seed predators was not related with traits indicative of plant size, fecundity, or isolation. Nevertheless, the temporal variation in losses to seed-wasps seemed to be intimately associated with the magnitude of yearly variation in fruit production. The impact of seed-wasps and hemipterans on the reproductive output of both Euphorbia species was additive, though there was evidence for infochemical-mediated interference at the fruit level. The moderate levels of seed predation in E. welwitschii, together with the results from the comparative analysis with its widespread congener, suggest that insect seed predation is not a causal effect of plant rarity.

  2. Reproduction, pollination and seed predation of Senna multijuga (Fabaceae) in two protected areas in the Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    Wolowski, Marina; Freitas, Leandro

    2011-12-01

    One important subject is to determine the effectiveness of conservation areas, where different management categories are being applied, to maintain effective sexual reproduction in plants and their interactions with animal groups. To evaluate this issue, we compared the phenology, reproductive success, pollination and pre-dispersal seed predation of the legume tree Senna multijuga in two differently managed protected areas in Southeastern Brazil: the Itatiaia National Park and the Environmental Protection Area of Serrinha do Alambari, from December 2007 to December 2008. Vegetative and reproductive phenodinamycs were registered monthly in 80 individuals; other evaluations included 104 observation hours for pollination (March-May 2008) in 51 inflorescences; besides, fruit counts, fecundity and seed predation. Sexual reproduction of S. multijuga depends on the transfer of pollen by large bees (Bombus, Centris, Epicharis and Xylocopa), as the species is self-incompatible. Bruchidae species of the genus Acanthoscelides and Sennius predate seeds. Vegetative and reproductive phenodynamics differed among sites. Our results indicated that ecological interactions were lower at the protected area, but the reproductive processes in S. multijuga were not ruptured or critically degraded. This reinforces the idea that landscape areas with intermediate levels of protection, such as environmental protection areas, are suitable as buffer zones, and thus, relevant to the conservation of ecological processes when associated with more strictly protected areas.

  3. Phylogeography of specialist weevil Trichobaris soror: a seed predator of Datura stramonium.

    PubMed

    De-la-Mora, Marisol; Piñero, Daniel; Núñez-Farfán, Juan

    2015-12-01

    Can the genetic structure of a specialist weevil be explained by the geological history of their distribution zone? We analyze the genetic variation of the weevil Trichobaris soror, a specialist seed predator of Datura stramonium, in order to address this question. For the phylogeographic analysis we used the COI gene, and assessed species identity in weevil populations through geometric morphometric approach. In total, we found 53 haplotypes in 413 samples, whose genetic variation supports the formation of three groups: (1) the Transmexican Volcanic Belt (TVB group), (2) the Sierra Madre Sur (SMS group) and (3) the Balsas Basin (BB group). The morphometric analysis suggests that BB group is probably not T. soror. Our results have two implications: first, the phylogeographic pattern of T. soror is explained by both the formation of the geological provinces where it is currently distributed and the coevolution with its host plant, because the TVB and SMS groups could be separated due to the discontinuity of altitude between the geological provinces, but the recent population expansion of TVB group and the high frequency of only one haplotype can be due to specialization to the host plant. Second, we report a new record of a different species of weevil in BB group parasitizing D. stramonium fruits.

  4. Caterpillar seed predators mediate shifts in selection on flowering phenology in their host plant.

    PubMed

    Valdés, Alicia; Ehrlén, Johan

    2017-01-01

    Variation in selection among populations and years has important implications for evolutionary trajectories of populations. Yet, the agents of selection causing this variation have rarely been identified. Selection on the time of reproduction within a season in plants might differ both among populations and among years, and selection can be mediated by both mutualists and antagonists. We investigated if differences in the direction of phenotypic selection on flowering phenology among 20 populations of Gentiana pneumonanthe during 2 yr were related to the presence of the butterfly seed predator Phengaris alcon, and if butterfly incidence was associated with the abundance of the butterfly's second host, Myrmica ants. In plant populations without the butterfly, phenotypic selection favored earlier flowering. In populations where the butterfly was present, caterpillars preferentially attacked early-flowering individuals, shifting the direction of selection to favoring later flowering. Butterfly incidence in plant populations increased with ant abundance. Our results demonstrate that antagonistic interactions can shift the direction of selection on flowering phenology, and suggest that such shifts might be associated with differences in the community context.

  5. Negative impacts of a vertebrate predator on insect pollinator visitation and seed output in Chuquiraga oppositifolia, a high Andean shrub.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Alejandro A; Arroyo, Mary T K

    2004-01-01

    Studies on plant-pollinator interactions have largely neglected the potential negative effects of the predators of pollinators on seed output, even though anti-predatory behaviour of pollinators may affect visitation patterns, pollen transfer, and therefore potentially, plant reproductive output. We tested the hypothesis that the presence of lizards and insectivorous birds, by reducing pollinator visitation, can have significant negative effects on seed output in the insect-pollinated, genetically self-incompatible lower alpine Andean shrub, Chuquiraga oppositifolia (Asteraceae). The lower alpine belt supports a high density of territorial Liolaemus (Tropiduridae) lizards and low shrubs interspersed among rocks of varying sizes, the latter inhabited by lizards and commonly used by flycatchers Muscisaxicola (Tyrannidae) as perching sites. In a 2x2 factorial predator-exclusion experiment, visitation rates of the most frequent pollinators of C. oppositifolia (the satyrid butterfly Cosmosatyrus chilensis and the syrphid fly Scaeva melanostoma), the duration of pollinator visits, and seed output, were 2-4 times greater when lizards were excluded, while birds had no effect. In a natural experiment, visits by S. melanostoma were 9 times shorter, and pollinator visitation rates of C. chilensis and S. melanostoma, and C. oppositifolia seed output were 2-3 times lower on shrubs growing adjacent to lizard-occupied rocks compared to those growing distant from rocks. Our results, verified for additional Andean sites, suggest that lizard predators can alter the behaviour of pollinators and elicit strong top-down indirect negative effects on seed output. Such effects may be especially important in high alpine plant communities, where pollinator activity can be low and erratic, and pollen limitation has been reported.

  6. Implications of Habitat Loss on Seed Predation and Early Recruitment of a Keystone Palm in Anthropogenic Landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.

    PubMed

    Soares, Leiza Aparecida S S; Faria, Deborah; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Vieira, Emerson M; Talora, Daniela C; Cazetta, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the loss of global biodiversity. Knowledge on this subject, however, is highly concentrated on species richness and composition patterns, with little discussion on the consequences of habitat loss for ecological interactions. Therefore, a systemic approach is necessary to maximize the success of conservation efforts by providing more realistic information about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on natural environmental processes. We investigated the implications of habitat loss for the early recruitment of Euterpe edulis Martius, a keystone palm in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in nine sampling sites located in landscapes with different percentages of forest cover (9%-83%). We conducted a paired experiment using E. Edulis seeds set up in experimental stations composed of a vertebrate exclosure versus an open treatment. We used ANCOVA models with treatments as factors to assess the influence of habitat loss on the number of germinated seeds, predation by vertebrates and invertebrates, infestation by fungi, and number of seedlings established. Habitat loss did not affect the probability of transition from a dispersed to a germinated seed. However, when seeds were protected from vertebrate removal, seedling recruitment showed a positive relationship with the amount of forest cover. Seed infestation by fungi was not significant, and seed predation was the main factor limiting seed recruitment. The loss of forest cover antagonistically affected the patterns of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates; predation by invertebrates was higher in less forested areas, and predation by vertebrates was higher in forested areas. When seeds were exposed to the action of all biotic mortality factors, the number of recruited seedlings was very low and unrelated to habitat loss. This result indicates that the opposite effects of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates mask a differential response of E. edulis recruitment to

  7. Implications of Habitat Loss on Seed Predation and Early Recruitment of a Keystone Palm in Anthropogenic Landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest

    PubMed Central

    Soares, Leiza Aparecida S. S.; Faria, Deborah; Vélez-Garcia, Felipe; Vieira, Emerson M.; Talora, Daniela C.; Cazetta, Eliana

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the loss of global biodiversity. Knowledge on this subject, however, is highly concentrated on species richness and composition patterns, with little discussion on the consequences of habitat loss for ecological interactions. Therefore, a systemic approach is necessary to maximize the success of conservation efforts by providing more realistic information about the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on natural environmental processes. We investigated the implications of habitat loss for the early recruitment of Euterpe edulis Martius, a keystone palm in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, in nine sampling sites located in landscapes with different percentages of forest cover (9%-83%). We conducted a paired experiment using E. Edulis seeds set up in experimental stations composed of a vertebrate exclosure versus an open treatment. We used ANCOVA models with treatments as factors to assess the influence of habitat loss on the number of germinated seeds, predation by vertebrates and invertebrates, infestation by fungi, and number of seedlings established. Habitat loss did not affect the probability of transition from a dispersed to a germinated seed. However, when seeds were protected from vertebrate removal, seedling recruitment showed a positive relationship with the amount of forest cover. Seed infestation by fungi was not significant, and seed predation was the main factor limiting seed recruitment. The loss of forest cover antagonistically affected the patterns of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates; predation by invertebrates was higher in less forested areas, and predation by vertebrates was higher in forested areas. When seeds were exposed to the action of all biotic mortality factors, the number of recruited seedlings was very low and unrelated to habitat loss. This result indicates that the opposite effects of seed predation by vertebrates and invertebrates mask a differential response of E. edulis recruitment to

  8. Impact of the newly arrived seed-predating beetle Specularius impressithorax (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) in Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Medeiros, A.C.; Von Allmen, E.; Fukada, M.; Samuelson, A.; Lau, T.

    2008-01-01

    Prior to 2001, seed predation was virtually absent in the endemic Wiliwili Erythrina sandwicensis (Fabaceae: Degener), dominant tree species of lower-elevation Hawaiian dryland forests. The African bruchine chrysomelid Specularius impressithorax (Pic) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) was first detected in Hawai'i in 2001 and became established on all main islands within the next two years. The mode of entry for this invasive Erythrina seed predator into Hawai'i is unknown, but likely occurred with the importation of trinket jewelry from Africa containing characteristically brightly-colored Erythrina seeds. The initial establishment of this insect likely occurred on a non-native host, the widely cultivated coral tree E. variegata. Within three years of its first record, S. impressithorax accounted for 77.4% mean seed crop loss in 12 populations of Wiliwili on six main Hawaiian islands. Specularius impressithorax, dispersed through international commerce and established via E. variegata, has become a threat to a unique Hawaiian forest type and may threaten other Erythrina, especially New World representatives.

  9. Habitat area and structure affect the impact of seed predators and the potential for coevolutionary arms races.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, Eduardo T; Benkman, Craig W

    2010-03-01

    Both habitat patch size and structure affect the abundance and occurrence of species and thereby can affect the ecology and evolution of species interactions. Here we contrast the level of seed predation and selection exerted by Common Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra complex) and red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) in the extensive mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) forests in the Pyrenees with their level of seed predation in two small, isolated forests. Crossbills consumed 5.1 times more seeds in the Pyrenees than in the isolated forests, and six of seven cone traits under selection by crossbills were enhanced in the Pyrenees. In contrast, red squirrels tend to be uncommon in the open mountain pine forests, consuming relatively few seeds in both regions and having limited impact on both mountain pine and the interaction between crossbills and mountain pine. Resident crossbills in mountain pine forests in the Pyrenees have larger bills than in nearby forests, consistent with local adaptation by crossbills and a coevolutionary arms race between crossbills and mountain pine. The mechanisms leading to variation in the interaction between crossbills and mountain pine should be general to many systems because habitat patch size and structure often vary across the range of a species.

  10. Additive effects of herbivory, nectar robbing and seed predation on male and female fitness estimates of the host plant Ipomopsis aggregata.

    PubMed

    Irwin, Rebecca E; Brody, Alison K

    2011-07-01

    Many antagonistic species attack plants and consume specific plant parts. Understanding how these antagonists affect plant fitness individually and in combination is an important research focus in ecology and evolution. We examined the individual and combined effects of herbivory, nectar robbing, and pre-dispersal seed predation on male and female estimates of fitness in the host plant Ipomopsis aggregata. By examining the effects of antagonists on plant traits, we were able to tease apart the direct consumptive effects of antagonists versus the indirect effects mediated through changes in traits important to pollination. In a three-way factorial field experiment, we manipulated herbivory, nectar robbing, and seed predation. Herbivory and seed predation reduced some male and female fitness estimates, whereas plants tolerated the effects of robbing. The effects of herbivory, robbing, and seed predation were primarily additive, and we found little evidence for non-additive effects of multiple antagonists on plant reproduction. Herbivory affected plant reproduction through both direct consumptive effects and indirectly through changes in traits important to pollination (i.e., nectar and phenological traits). Conversely, seed predators primarily had direct consumptive effects on plants. Our results suggest that the effects of multiple antagonists on estimates of plant fitness can be additive, and investigating which traits respond to damage can provide insight into how antagonists shape plant performance.

  11. Edge-mediated patterns of seed removal in experimentally connected and fragmented landscapes.

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, Michael, T.; Orrock, John, L.; Brudvig, Lars, A.

    2011-09-07

    While biological reserves remain central to biodiversity conservation, the amount of area available for terrestrial reserves may be inadequate for many taxa. Biodiversity spillover - the promotion of diversity in matrix areas surrounding reserves - might help address this shortfall in reserve area. However, the mechanistic underpinning of spillover remains uninvestigated. Two fundamental processes - seed dispersal and establishment - might generate plant biodiversity spillover. Here, we investigate the role of establishment in promoting spillover by assessing post-dispersal seed predation, a key component of establishment, in the matrix of a replicated, large-scale habitat fragmentation experiment, where spillover is relevated around patches connected by landscape corridors. Our results show that matrix seed predation may constrain the distance of this spillover effect by reducing establishment: seed removal was least at the matrix edge and increased further into the matrix. We found some support for matrix seed predation underpinning previously reported landscape-level variation in spillover. Of the three species we investigated, two showed evidence for elevated seed predation in the matrix surrounding the unconnected patches around which the lowest levels of spillover occur. However, seed predation did not explain connectivity-enhanced spillover, suggesting that seed dispersal likely drives this pattern. Management activities that increase seed deposition in the matrix may have beneficial effects via spillover. Our work also illustrates that matrix-mediated gradients in seed predation may be widespread, but likely vary depending upon matrix composition and the ecological system under consideration. In fragmented landscapes, this gradient could impact the distribution, abundance, and spread of plant species.

  12. A field experiment demonstrating plant life-history evolution and its eco-evolutionary feedback to seed predator populations.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Anurag A; Johnson, Marc T J; Hastings, Amy P; Maron, John L

    2013-05-01

    The extent to which evolutionary change occurs in a predictable manner under field conditions and how evolutionary changes feed back to influence ecological dynamics are fundamental, yet unresolved, questions. To address these issues, we established eight replicate populations of native common evening primrose (Oenothera biennis). Each population was planted with 18 genotypes in identical frequency. By tracking genotype frequencies with microsatellite DNA markers over the subsequent three years (up to three generations, ≈5,000 genotyped plants), we show rapid and consistent evolution of two heritable plant life-history traits (shorter life span and later flowering time). This rapid evolution was only partially the result of differential seed production; genotypic variation in seed germination also contributed to the observed evolutionary response. Since evening primrose genotypes exhibited heritable variation for resistance to insect herbivores, which was related to flowering time, we predicted that evolutionary changes in genotype frequencies would feed back to influence populations of a seed predator moth that specializes on O. biennis. By the conclusion of the experiment, variation in the genotypic composition among our eight replicate field populations was highly predictive of moth abundance. These results demonstrate how rapid evolution in field populations of a native plant can influence ecological interactions.

  13. Fruit Size Determines the Role of Three Scatter-Hoarding Rodents as Dispersers or Seed Predators of a Fleshy-Fruited Atacama Desert Shrub

    PubMed Central

    Loayza, Andrea P.; Squeo, Francisco A.

    2016-01-01

    Scatter-hoarding rodents can act as both predators and dispersers for many large-seeded plants because they cache seeds for future use, but occasionally forget them in sites with high survival and establishment probabilities. The most important fruit or seed trait influencing rodent foraging behavior is seed size; rodents prefer large seeds because they have higher nutritional content, but this preference can be counterbalanced by the higher costs of handling larger seeds. We designed a cafeteria experiment to assess whether fruit and seed size of Myrcianthes coquimbensis, an endangered desert shrub, influence the decision-making process during foraging by three species of scatter-hoarding rodents differing in body size: Abrothrix olivaceus, Phyllotis darwini and Octodon degus. We found that the size of fruits and seeds influenced foraging behavior in the three rodent species; the probability of a fruit being harvested and hoarded was higher for larger fruits than for smaller ones. Patterns of fruit size preference were not affected by rodent size; all species were able to hoard fruits within the entire range of sizes offered. Finally, fruit and seed size had no effect on the probability of seed predation, rodents typically ate only the fleshy pulp of the fruits offered and discarded whole, intact seeds. In conclusion, our results reveal that larger M. coquimbensis fruits have higher probabilities of being harvested, and ultimately of its seeds being hoarded and dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents. As this plant has no other dispersers, rodents play an important role in its recruitment dynamics. PMID:27861550

  14. Seed chemistry of Sophora chrysophylla (mamane) in relation to diet of specialist avian seed predator Loxioides bailleui (palila) in Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, P.C.; Cipollini, M.L.; Breton, G.W.; Paulk, E.; Wink, M.; Izhaki, I.

    2002-01-01

    This study describes the chemical ecology of a tritrophic interaction among species endemic to the island of Hawaii, USA: a tree (Sophora chrysophylla: mamane), an endangered bird (Loxioides bailleui; palila), and moth larvae (Cydia spp.). Palila and Cydia both specialize on the seed embryos of mamane but avoid eating the seed coats. Palila actively seek out and feed mamane embryos and Cydia larvae to their nestlings. Because mamane embryos contain potentially toxic levels of alkaloids, including broadly toxic quinolizidine alkaloids, and because insects often sequester alkaloids from their food plants, we focus on the questions of why palila forage upon mamane embryos and why they supplement their diet with Cydia larvae. Our data show that mamane embryos contain high amounts of potentially toxic alkaloids, but are well balanced nutritionally and contain lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, and minerals at levels that are likely to be sufficient for maintenance and breeding. Mamane seed coats contain lower levels of alkaloids and nutrients, somewhat higher levels of phenolics, and much higher levels of nondigestible fiber. Taken together, these results suggest that palila have evolved tolerance to high levels of alkaloids and that they forage upon embryos primarily because of their availability in the habitat and high nutritional reward. Our data also suggest that Cydia are used by palila because they are readily accessible, nontoxic, and nutritious; the larvae apparently do not sequester alkaloids while feeding upon mamane seeds. Our results are interpreted with respect to the likelihood of current and historical coadaptive responses in this ecologically isolated and simplified island setting.

  15. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks

    PubMed Central

    Wandrag, E. M.; Dunham, A. E.; Miller, R. H.; Rogers, H. S.

    2015-01-01

    The accumulation of seeds in the soil (the seedbank) can set the template for the early regeneration of habitats following disturbance. Seed dispersal is an important factor determining the pattern of seed rain, which affects the interactions those seeds experience. For this reason, seed dispersal should play an important role in structuring forest seedbanks, yet we know little about how that happens. Using the functional extirpation of frugivorous vertebrates from the island of Guam, together with two nearby islands (Saipan and Rota) that each support relatively intact disperser assemblages, we aimed to identify the role of vertebrate dispersers in structuring forest seedbanks. We sampled the seedbank on Guam where dispersers are absent, and compared this with the seedbank on Saipan and Rota where they are present. Almost twice as many species found in the seedbank on Guam, when compared with Saipan and Rota, had a conspecific adult within 2 m. This indicates a strong role of vertebrate dispersal in determining the identity of seeds in the seedbank. In addition, on Guam, a greater proportion of samples contained no seeds and overall species richness was lower than on Saipan. Differences in seed abundance and richness between Guam and Rota were less clear, as seedbanks on Rota also contained fewer species than Saipan, possibly due to increased post-dispersal seed predation. Our findings suggest that vertebrate seed dispersers can have a strong influence on the species composition of seedbanks. Regardless of post-dispersal processes, without dispersal, seedbanks no longer serve to increase the species pool of recruits during regeneration. PMID:26578741

  16. Cover crops increase foraging activity of omnivorous predators in seed patches and facilitate weed biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Omnivores are important consumers of both weed seeds and insect pests, and habitat provisions like cover crops are suggested to promote their ecosystem services in agricultural systems. However, few studies establish direct links between cover, food, and pest suppression because they are entangled a...

  17. Determinants of spatial behavior of a tropical forest seed predator: The roles of optimal foraging, dietary diversification, and home range defense.

    PubMed

    Palminteri, Suzanne; Powell, George V N; Peres, Carlos A

    2016-05-01

    Specialized seed predators in tropical forests may avoid seasonal food scarcity and interspecific feeding competition but may need to diversify their daily diet to limit ingestion of any given toxin. Seed predators may, therefore, adopt foraging strategies that favor dietary diversity and resource monitoring, rather than efficient energy intake, as suggested by optimal foraging theory. We tested whether fine-scale space use by a small-group-living seed predator-the bald-faced saki monkey (Pithecia irrorata)-reflected optimization of short-term foraging efficiency, maximization of daily dietary diversity, and/or responses to the threat of territorial encroachment by neighboring groups. Food patches across home ranges of five adjacent saki groups were widely spread, but areas with higher densities of stems or food species were not allocated greater feeding time. Foraging patterns-specifically, relatively long daily travel paths that bypassed available fruiting trees and relatively short feeding bouts in undepleted food patches-suggest a strategy that maximizes dietary diversification, rather than "optimal" foraging. Travel distance was unrelated to the proportion of seeds in the diet. Moreover, while taxonomically diverse, the daily diets of our study groups were no more species-rich than randomly derived diets based on co-occurring available food species. Sakis preferentially used overlapping areas of their HRs, within which adjacent groups shared many food trees, yet the density of food plants or food species in these areas was no greater than in other HR areas. The high likelihood of depletion by neighboring groups of otherwise enduring food sources may encourage monitoring of peripheral food patches in overlap areas, even if at the expense of immediate energy intake, suggesting that between-group competition is a key driver of fine-scale home range use in sakis.

  18. Oviposition choices by a pre-dispersal seed predator (Hylemya sp.) : I. Correspondence with hummingbird pollinators, and the role of plant size, density and floral morphology.

    PubMed

    Brody, Alison K

    1992-08-01

    Although the importance of pollinators has most often been examined in the evolution of floral characters, seed predators may also play a role in shaping floral evolution. In this study, I examined the role of interplant distance, plant size, and flower morphology on Ipomopsis aggregatás (Polemoniaceae) attractiveness to a pre-dispersal seed predator, Hylemya sp. (Anthomyiidae) and to hummingbird pollinators. The attractiveness of I. aggregata individuals to Hylemya was nonlinearly related to interplant distance in experimental arrays. Clumped and highly dispersed plants were preyed upon more frequently than those at intermediate distances. I found no relationship between interplant distance and visitation rates by hummingbird pollinators in these experimental arrays. However, in natural populations studied, clumped plants were more frequently approached by hummingbirds than those growing more widely dispersed. Display size was unrelated to visitation by Hylemya on inflorescences I clipped and maintained as "large", "small" and "control". Display size was also unrelated to the total number of visits by hummingbird pollinators to each of these experimental plants, however "large" display plants were more likely to be visited first in any given visitation sequence. Of various morphological measurements, corolla length showed the strongest positive correlation with Hylemya egg presence. To the extent that plant spacing and morphology is correlated with pollinator visits and ultimate seed set, Hylemya could be choosing flowers optimally, and playing a role in the evolution of floral traits.

  19. The effect of pollen source vs. flower type on progeny performance and seed predation under contrasting light environments in a cleistogamous herb.

    PubMed

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A; Campos-Navarrete, María J; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved.

  20. The Effect of Pollen Source vs. Flower Type on Progeny Performance and Seed Predation under Contrasting Light Environments in a Cleistogamous Herb

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel A.; Campos-Navarrete, María J.; Parra-Tabla, Víctor

    2013-01-01

    Dimorphic cleistogamy is a specialized form of mixed mating system where a single plant produces both open, potentially outcrossed chasmogamous (CH) and closed, obligately self-pollinated cleistogamous (CL) flowers. Typically, CH flowers and seeds are bigger and energetically more costly than those of CL. Although the effects of inbreeding and floral dimorphism are critical to understanding the evolution and maintenance of cleistogamy, these effects have been repeatedly confounded. In an attempt to separate these effects, we compared the performance of progeny derived from the two floral morphs while controlling for the source of pollen. That is, flower type and pollen source effects were assessed by comparing the performance of progeny derived from selfed CH vs. CL and outcrossed CH vs. selfed CH flowers, respectively. The experiment was carried out with the herb Ruellia nudiflora under two contrasting light environments. Outcrossed progeny generally performed better than selfed progeny. However, inbreeding depression ranges from low (1%) to moderate (36%), with the greatest value detected under shaded conditions when cumulative fitness was used. Although flower type generally had less of an effect on progeny performance than pollen source did, the progeny derived from selfed CH flowers largely outperformed the progeny from CL flowers, but only under shaded conditions and when cumulative fitness was taken into account. On the other hand, the source of pollen and flower type influenced seed predation, with selfed CH progeny the most heavily attacked by predators. Therefore, the effects of pollen source and flower type are environment-dependant and seed predators may increase the genetic differences between progeny derived from CH and CL flowers. Inbreeding depression alone cannot account for the maintenance of a mixed mating system in R. nudiflora and other unidentified mechanisms must thus be involved. PMID:24260515

  1. Field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a lowland area of the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Sasakawa, Kôji

    2010-10-01

    Granivory is a specialized food habit in the predominantly carnivorous beetle family Carabidae. Most studies of carabid granivory have been conducted under laboratory conditions; thus, our knowledge of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the field is insufficient. I conducted field observations of climbing behavior and seed predation by adult carabids in a lowland area of eastern Japan, from early October to late November in 2008. This is the first systematic field observation of the feeding ecology of granivorous carabids in the temperate zone. In total, 176 carabid individuals of 11 species were observed, with 108 individuals feeding on plant seeds/flowers. Each carabid species was primarily observed feeding on a particular plant species. Frequently observed combinations were: Amara gigantea Motschulsky on Humulus scandens (Loureiro) Merrill (Moraceae) seed, Amara lucens Baliani on Artemisia indica Willdenow (Asteraceae) flower, and Amara macronota (Solsky) and Harpalus (Pseudoophonus) spp. on Digitaria ciliaris (Retzius) Koeler (Poaceae) seed. In all but one species, the sex ratio of individuals observed feeding was female-biased. In Am. gigantea and Am. macronota, a larger proportion of females than males ate seeds. In the three Amara species, copulations on plants, with the female feeding on its seeds/flowers, were often observed. These observations may indicate that, whereas females climb onto plants to feed on seeds, males climb to seek females for copulation rather than forage. Because granivorous carabids play important roles as weed-control agents in temperate agro-ecosystems, the present results would provide valuable basic information for future studies on this subject.

  2. Does Ferocactus wislizeni (Cactaceae) have a between-year seed bank?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    2000-01-01

    Field and laboratory experiments at Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A., demonstrated that Ferocactus wislizeni, a common perennial cactus in the northern Sonoran Desert, has a between-year seed bank. In laboratory studies, F. wislizeni seeds lost dormancy during storage at room temperature and had a light requirement for germination. Field experiments suggested that as much as 2% of the annual seed crop might escape post-dispersal predation even when unprotected; where suitable safe sites exist, a higher percentage might escape. Germination of seed recovered monthly from above- and below-ground components of an artificial seed bank showed that seeds can survive at least 18 months in and on the soil. Seed banks enable F. wislizeni to take advantage of favorable rains and temperatures throughout the growing season, thus increasing the number of opportunities for germination. Moreover, seed banks enable F. wislizeni to respond hugely when the climate seems especially favorable, thus producing the large cohorts necessary to compensate for high seedling mortality. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

  3. Pollination and seed predation by moths on Silene and allied Caryophyllaceae: evaluating a model system to study the evolution of mutualisms.

    PubMed

    Kephart, Susan; Reynolds, Richard J; Rutter, Matthew T; Fenster, Charles B; Dudash, Michele R

    2006-01-01

    Nursery pollinators, and the plants they use as hosts for offspring development, function as exemplary models of coevolutionary mutualism. The two pre-eminent examples--fig wasps and yucca moths--show little variation in the interaction: the primary pollinator is an obligate mutualist. By contrast, nursery pollination of certain Caryophyllaceae, including Silene spp., by two nocturnal moth genera, Hadena and Perizoma, ranges from antagonistic to potentially mutualistic, offering an opportunity to test hypotheses about the factors that promote or discourage the evolution of mutualism. Here, we review nursery pollination and host-plant interactions in over 30 caryophyllaceous plants, based on published studies and a survey of researchers investigating pollination, seed predation, and moth morphology and behavior. We detected little direct evidence of mutualism in these moth-plant interactions, but found traits and patterns in both that are nonetheless consistent with the evolution of mutualism and merit further attention.

  4. Effects of Fruit Toxins on Intestinal and Microbial β-Glucosidase Activities of Seed-Predating and Seed-Dispersing Rodents (Acomys spp.).

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Samuni-Blank, Michal; Lymberakis, Petros; Kurnath, Patrice; Izhaki, Ido; Arad, Zeev; Karasov, William H; Dearing, M Denise

    2016-01-01

    Plant secondary compounds (PSCs) have profound influence on the ecological interaction between plants and their consumers. Glycosides, a class of PSC, are inert in their intact form and become toxic on activation by either plant β-glucosidase enzymes or endogenous β-glucosidases produced by the intestine of the plant-predator or its microbiota. Many insect herbivores decrease activities of endogenous β-glucosidases to limit toxin exposure. However, such an adaptation has never been investigated in nonmodel mammals. We studied three species of spiny mice (Acomys spp.) that vary in their feeding behavior of the glycoside-rich fruit of Ochradenus baccatus. Two species, the common (Acomys cahirinus) and Crete (Acomys minous) spiny mice, behaviorally avoid activating glycosides, while the golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus) regularly consumes activated glycosides. We fed each species a nontoxic diet of inert glycosides or a toxic diet of activated fruit toxins and investigated the responses of intestinal and microbial β-glucosidase activities. We found that individuals feeding on activated toxins had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity and that the species that behaviorally avoid activating glycosides also had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity regardless of treatment. The microbiota represented a larger source of toxin liberation, and the toxin-adapted species (golden spiny mouse) exhibited almost a fivefold increase in microbial β-glucosidase when fed activated toxins, while other species showed slight decreases. These results are contrary to those in insects, where glycoside-adapted species have lower β-glucosidase activity. The glycoside-adapted golden spiny mouse may have evolved tolerance mechanisms such as enhanced detoxification rather than avoidance mechanisms.

  5. From seed production to seedling establishment: Important steps in an invasive process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreras, Ana Elisa; Galetto, Leonardo

    2010-03-01

    It is widely accepted that exotic invasive species are one of the most important ecological and economic problems. Reproductive and establishment traits are considered key features of a population expansion process, but few works have studied many of these simultaneously. This work examines how large the differences are in reproductive and establishment traits between two Fabaceae, the exotic invasive, Gleditsia triacanthos and the native, Acacia aroma. Gleditsia is a serious leguminous woody invader in various parts of the world and Acacia is a common native tree of Argentina. Both species have similar dispersal mechanisms and their reproductive phenology overlaps. We chose 17 plants of each species in a continuous forest of the Chaco Serrano Forest of Córdoba, Argentina. In each plant we measured fruit production, fruit removal (exclusion experiments), seed predation (pre- and post-dispersal), seed germination, seed bank (on each focal tree, three sampling periods during the year), and density of seedlings (around focal individuals and randomly in the study site). Gleditsia presented some traits that could favour the invasion process, such as a higher number of seeds per plant, percentage of scarified seed germination and density of seedlings around the focal individuals, than Acacia. On the other hand, Gleditsia presented a higher percentage of seed predation. The seed bank was persistent in both species and no differences were observed in fruit removal. This work highlights the importance of simultaneously studying reproductive and establishment variables involved in the spreading of an exotic invasive species. It also gives important insight into the variables to be considered when planning management strategies. The results are discussed from the perspective of some remarkable hypotheses on invasive species and may contribute to rethinking some aspects of the theory on invasive species.

  6. Post-dispersion electrification of droplets in a system with pneumatic atomization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kacprzyk, R.; Lewandowski, M.

    2011-06-01

    The process of electrifying aerosol particles dispersed by a pneumatic sprayer with supersonic air flow is presented. To avoid the electric-field shielding effect, confirmed by investigations of induction charging of aerosol droplets with application of a concentric induction electrode placed in the region of liquid dispersion, the droplet electrification process following the dispersion of liquid was proposed. The supersonic atomizing head was equipped with an external high voltage contact electrode placed concentrically and perpendicularly to the droplets stream and closely to the atomizing head. Experiments were conducted in air, at ambient conditions (T = 18±2 °C, RH = 55±3%), for standard air feeding rate (0.5 m3/min, 0.4 MPa) and regulated dispersed liquid rate (0.1 - 0.55 l/min). Results of the applied electrification process, characterized by a (Q/m) factor measured as a function of liquid feed rate, have shown that the (Q/m) values achieved for post-dispersion electrification are comparable to the values obtained for typical induction electrification with application of a concentric electrode.

  7. The mechanical defence advantage of small seeds.

    PubMed

    Fricke, Evan C; Wright, S Joseph

    2016-08-01

    Seed size and toughness affect seed predators, and size-dependent investment in mechanical defence could affect relationships between seed size and predation. We tested how seed toughness and mechanical defence traits (tissue density and protective tissue content) are related to seed size among tropical forest species. Absolute toughness increased with seed size. However, smaller seeds had higher specific toughness both within and among species, with the smallest seeds requiring over 2000 times more energy per gram to break than the largest seeds. Investment in mechanical defence traits varied widely but independently of the toughness-mass allometry. Instead, a physical scaling relationship confers a toughness advantage on small seeds independent of selection on defence traits and without a direct cost. This scaling relationship may contribute to seed size diversity by decreasing fitness differences among large and small seeds. Allometric scaling of toughness reconciles predictions and conflicting empirical relationships between seed size and predation.

  8. Effect of pre and Post-Dispersion on Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Properties of a Graphene Enhanced Epoxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poutrel, Quentin-Arthur; Wang, Zixin; Wang, Dongyi; Soutis, Constantinos; Gresil, Matthieu

    2016-10-01

    Graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) modified epoxy nanocomposites are becoming attractive to aerospace due to possible improvements in their mechanical, electrical and thermal properties at no weight cost. The process of obtaining reliable material systems provides many challenges, especially at larger scale (a volume effect). This paper reports on the main fabrication stages of GNP-based epoxy composites, namely (i) pre-dispersion, (ii) dispersion, and (iii) post-dispersion. Each stage is developed to show the interest and potential it delivers for property enhancement. Chemical modification of GNP is presented; functionalisation by Triton X-100 shows elastic modulus improvements of the epoxy at low particle content (≤3%). The post-dispersion step as an alignment of GNP into the epoxy by an electrical field is discussed. The electrical conductivity is below the simulated percolation threshold and an improvement of the thermal diffusivity of 220% when compared to non-oriented GNP epoxy sample is achieved. The work demonstrates how the addition of functionalised graphene platelets to an epoxy resin will allow it to act as electrical and thermal conductor rather than as insulator

  9. Effect of pre and Post-Dispersion on Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Properties of a Graphene Enhanced Epoxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poutrel, Quentin-Arthur; Wang, Zixin; Wang, Dongyi; Soutis, Constantinos; Gresil, Matthieu

    2017-04-01

    Graphene nanoplatelet (GNP) modified epoxy nanocomposites are becoming attractive to aerospace due to possible improvements in their mechanical, electrical and thermal properties at no weight cost. The process of obtaining reliable material systems provides many challenges, especially at larger scale (a volume effect). This paper reports on the main fabrication stages of GNP-based epoxy composites, namely (i) pre-dispersion, (ii) dispersion, and (iii) post-dispersion. Each stage is developed to show the interest and potential it delivers for property enhancement. Chemical modification of GNP is presented; functionalisation by Triton X-100 shows elastic modulus improvements of the epoxy at low particle content (≤3%). The post-dispersion step as an alignment of GNP into the epoxy by an electrical field is discussed. The electrical conductivity is below the simulated percolation threshold and an improvement of the thermal diffusivity of 220% when compared to non-oriented GNP epoxy sample is achieved. The work demonstrates how the addition of functionalised graphene platelets to an epoxy resin will allow it to act as electrical and thermal conductor rather than as insulator

  10. Frugivores bias seed-adult tree associations through nonrandom seed dispersal: a phylogenetic approach.

    PubMed

    Razafindratsima, Onja H; Dunham, Amy E

    2016-08-01

    Frugivores are the main seed dispersers in many ecosystems, such that behaviorally driven, nonrandom patterns of seed dispersal are a common process; but patterns are poorly understood. Characterizing these patterns may be essential for understanding spatial organization of fruiting trees and drivers of seed-dispersal limitation in biodiverse forests. To address this, we studied resulting spatial associations between dispersed seeds and adult tree neighbors in a diverse rainforest in Madagascar, using a temporal and phylogenetic approach. Data show that by using fruiting trees as seed-dispersal foci, frugivores bias seed dispersal under conspecific adults and under heterospecific trees that share dispersers and fruiting time with the dispersed species. Frugivore-mediated seed dispersal also resulted in nonrandom phylogenetic associations of dispersed seeds with their nearest adult neighbors, in nine out of the 16 months of our study. However, these nonrandom phylogenetic associations fluctuated unpredictably over time, ranging from clustered to overdispersed. The spatial and phylogenetic template of seed dispersal did not translate to similar patterns of association in adult tree neighborhoods, suggesting the importance of post-dispersal processes in structuring plant communities. Results suggest that frugivore-mediated seed dispersal is important for structuring early stages of plant-plant associations, setting the template for post-dispersal processes that influence ultimate patterns of plant recruitment. Importantly, if biased patterns of dispersal are common in other systems, frugivores may promote tree coexistence in biodiverse forests by limiting the frequency and diversity of heterospecific interactions of seeds they disperse.

  11. 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…

  12. 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)

  13. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

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

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Does predation contribute to tree diversity?

    PubMed

    Beckage, Brian; Clark, James S

    2005-04-01

    Seed and seedling predation may differentially affect competitively superior tree species to increase the relative recruitment success of poor competitors and contribute to the coexistence of tree species. We examined the effect of seed and seedling predation on the seedling recruitment of three tree species, Acer rubrum (red maple), Liriodendron tulipifera (yellow poplar), and Quercus rubra (northern red oak), over three years by manipulating seed and seedling exposure to predators under contrasting microsite conditions of shrub cover, leaf litter, and overstory canopy. Species rankings of seedling emergence were constant across microsites, regardless of exposure to seed predators, but varied across years. A. rubrum had the highest emergence probabilities across microsites in 1997, but Q. rubra had the highest emergence probabilities in 1999. Predators decreased seedling survival uniformly across species, but did not affect relative growth rates (RGRs). Q. rubra had the highest seedling survivorship across microsites, while L. tulipifera had the highest RGRs. Our results suggest that annual variability in recruitment success contributes more to seedling diversity than differential predation across microsites. We synthesized our results from separate seedling emergence and survival experiments to project seedling bank composition. With equal fecundity assumed across species, Q. rubra dominated the seedling bank, capturing 90% of the regeneration sites on average, followed by A. rubrum (8% of sites) and L. tulipifera (2% of sites). When seed abundance was weighted by species-specific fecundity, seedling bank composition was more diverse; L. tulipifera captured 62% of the regeneration sites, followed by A. rubrum (21% of sites) and Q. rubra (17% of sites). Tradeoffs between seedling performance and fecundity may promote the diversity of seedling regeneration by increasing the probability of inferior competitors capturing regeneration sites.

  17. Vulnerability of black grouse hens to goshawk predation: result of food supply or predation facilitation?

    PubMed

    Tornberg, Risto; Helle, Pekka; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2011-07-01

    The plant cycle hypothesis says that poor-quality food affects both herbivorous voles (Microtinae spp.) and grouse (Tetraonidae spp.) in vole decline years, leading to increased foraging effort in female grouse and thus a higher risk of predation by the goshawk Accipiter gentilis. Poor-quality food (mainly the bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus) for these herbivores is induced by seed masting failure in the previous year, when the bilberry is able to allocate resources for chemical defence (the mast depression hypothesis; MDH). The predation facilitation hypothesis (PFH) in turn states that increased searching activity of vole-eating predators during or after the decline year of voles disturbs incubating and brooding grouse females. The behaviours used by grouse to avoid these terrestrial predators make them more vulnerable to predation by goshawks. We tested the main predictions of the MDH and PFH by collecting long-term (21-year) data from black grouse Tetrao tetrix hens and cocks killed by breeding goshawks supplemented with indices of bilberry crop, vole abundance and small carnivores in the vicinity of Oulu, northern Finland. We did not find obvious support for the prediction of the MDH that there is a negative correlation of bilberry crop in year t with vole abundance and with predation index of black grouse hens in year t + 1. We did find obvious support for the prediction of the PFH that there is a positive correlation between predator abundance and predation index of grouse hens, because the stoat Mustela erminea abundance index was positively related to the predation index of black grouse hens. We suggest that changes in vulnerability of grouse hens may mainly be caused by the guild of vole-eating predators, who shift to alternative prey in the decline phase of the vole cycle, and thus chase grouse hens and chicks to the talons of goshawks and other avian predators.

  18. 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)

  19. The earliest seeds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gillespie, W.H.; Rothwell, G.W.; Scheckler, S.E.

    1981-01-01

    Lagenostomalean-type seeds in bifurcating cupule systems have been discovered in the late Devonian Hampshire Formation of Randolph County, West Virginia, USA (Fig. 1). The associated megaflora, plants from coal balls, and vertebrate and invertebrate faunas demonstrate that the material is Famennian; the microflora indicates a more specific Fa2c age. Consequently, these seeds predate Archaeosperma arnoldii1 from the Fa2d of northeastern Pennsylvania, the oldest previously reported seed. By applying precision fracture, transfer, de??gagement, and thin-section techniques to selected cupules from the more than 100 specimens on hand, we have determined the three-dimensional morphology and histology of the seeds (Fig. 2a-h, k) and cupule systems. A comparison with known late Devonian to early Carboniferous seeds reveals that ours are more primitively organized than all except Genomosperma2,3. ?? 1981 Nature Publishing Group.

  20. Effects of seed abundance on seed scatter-hoarding of Edward's rat (Leopoldamys edwardsi Muridae) at the individual level.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Cheng, Jinrui; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-11-01

    Mast seeding is a common phenomenon, and has important effects on seed dispersal and hoarding by animals. At population level, the predator satiation hypothesis proposes that the satiating effect of a large amount of seeds on a relatively small number of predators benefits seed survival in mast-seeding years. However, the effect of mast seeding on the scatter-hoarding of rodents at the individual level is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of seed abundance (by simulating mast seeding and non-mast seeding) on the removal, consumption and scatter-hoarding of seeds of Camellia oleifera (Theaceae) by Edward's rat Leopoldamys edwardsi (Muridae) in seminatural enclosures in southwest China. We wanted to test the masting-enhanced hoarding hypothesis, which suggests that rodents tend to scatter-hoard more seeds in mast-seeding years in order to occupy more food resources. Our results indicate that L. edwardsi tended to disperse and scatter-hoard more seeds of C. oleifera per night with increasing seed abundance, and to eat less seeds per night when there was a high level of seed abundance in the enclosure experiments. These results support the masting-enhanced hoarding hypothesis. This capacity of rodents may be an evolutionary adaptation to the mast-seeding phenomenon. Our results suggest that mast seeding benefits forest regeneration not only through the predator satiation effect at the population level, but also through increased hoarding by animals at the individual level.

  1. Seasonal Variation in the Fate of Seeds under Contrasting Logging Regimes

    PubMed Central

    Fleury, Marina; Rodrigues, Ricardo R.; do Couto, Hilton T. Z.; Galetti, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Seed predators and dispersers may drive the speed and structure of forest regeneration in natural ecosystems. Rodents and ants prey upon and disperse seeds, yet empirical studies on the magnitude of these effects are lacking. Here, we examined the role of ants and rodents on seed predation in 4 plant species in a successional gradient on a tropical rainforest island. We found that (1) seeds are mostly consumed rather than dispersed; (2) rates of seed predation vary by habitat, season, and species; (3) seed size, shape, and hardness do not affect the probability of being depredated. Rodents were responsible for 70% of seed predation and were negligible (0.14%) seed dispersers, whereas ants were responsible for only 2% of seed predation and for no dispersal. We detected seasonal and habitat effects on seed loss, with higher seed predation occurring during the wet season and in old-growth forests. In the absence of predators regulating seed-consumer populations, the densities of these resilient animals explode to the detriment of natural regeneration and may reduce diversity and carrying capacity for consumers and eventually lead to ecological meltdown. PMID:24614500

  2. Efficiency of pollination and satiation of predators determine reproductive output in Iberian Juniperus thurifera woodlands.

    PubMed

    Mezquida, E T; Rodríguez-García, E; Olano, J M

    2016-01-01

    Fruit production in animal-dispersed plants has a strong influence on fitness because large crops increase the number of seeds dispersed by frugivores. Large crops are costly, and environmental control of plant resources is likely play a role in shaping temporal and spatial variations in seed production, particularly in fluctuating environments such as the Mediterranean. The number of fruits that start to develop and the proportion of viable seeds produced are also linked to the number of flowers formed and the efficiency of pollination in wind-pollinated plants. Finally, large fruit displays also attract seed predators, having a negative effect on seed output. We assessed the relative impact of environmental conditions on fruit production, and their combined effect on seed production, abortion and seed loss through three predispersal predators in Juniperus thurifera L., sampling 14 populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Wetter than average conditions during flowering and early fruit development led to larger crop sizes; this effect was amplified at tree level, with the most productive trees during more favourable years yielding fruits with more viable seeds and less empty and aborted seeds. In addition, large crops satiated the less mobile seed predator. The other two predispersal predators responded to plant traits, the presence of other seed predators and environmental conditions, but did not show a satiation response to the current-year crop. Our large-scale study on a dioecious, wind-pollinated Mediterranean juniper indicates that pollination efficiency and satiation of seed predators, mediated by environmental conditions, are important determinants of reproductive output in this juniper species.

  3. Annual variation in seedfall, postdispersal predation, and recruitment of a neotropical tree

    SciTech Connect

    Schupp, E.W. )

    1990-04-01

    Knowledge of the dynamics of seed production and seedling recruitment of individual tree species is crucial for a complete understanding of tropical forest dynamics, yet multiyear studies on the seed and young seedling stages of tropical trees are virtually nonexistent. In a 4-yr study of the understory tree Faramea occidentalis on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, the author quantified natural levels of viable seedfall, seedling emergence, and seedling establishment, and experimentally estimated postdispersal seed predation. The levels of viable seedfall, seed predation, seedling emergence, early seedling survival, and seedling recruitment all differed significantly among years. The proportion of fallen seeds destroyed by predators before germination was not related to the quantity of F. occidentalis seedfall. Within a year, however, F. occidentalis seed predation appeared to be influenced by community-wide seedfall, with high predation rates during times of low seed abundance and very low predation during the late dry season peak in seedfall by the community. Most of the annual variation in recruitment can be explained by the combination of seedfall and seed predation; in 3 of the 4 yr seedling emergence could be predicted from a knowledge of viable seedfall and the probability of a seed surviving until the peak of germination. The 4th yr, however, demonstrated that environmental conditions provide a sporadic, though important, limitation to recruitment. In comparison to many tree species, early seedling survival was relatively high, as was the ratio of seedlings recruited per seed falling. The highly successful recruitment of F. occidentalis is associated with a high population density of both saplings and adults in the study area.

  4. Differential foraging preferences on seed size by rodents result in higher dispersal success of medium-sized seeds.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lin; Wang, Zhenyu; Yan, Chuan; Chen, Jin; Guo, Cong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-11-01

    Rodent preference for scatter-hoarding large seeds has been widely considered to favor the evolution of large seeds. Previous studies supporting this conclusion were primarily based on observations at earlier stages of seed dispersal, or on a limited sample of successfully established seedlings. Because seed dispersal comprises multiple dispersal stages, we hypothesized that differential foraging preference on seed size by animal dispersers at different dispersal stages would ultimately result in medium-sized seeds having the highest dispersal success rates. In this study, by tracking a large number of seeds for 5 yr, we investigated the effects of seed size on seed fates from seed removal to seedling establishment of a dominant plant Pittosporopsis kerrii (Icacinaceae) dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents in tropical forest in southwest China. We found that small seeds had a lower survival rate at the early dispersal stage where more small seeds were predated at seed stations and after removal; large seeds had a lower survival rate at the late dispersal stage, more large seeds were recovered, predated after being cached, or larder-hoarded. Medium-sized seeds experienced the highest dispersal success. Our study suggests that differential foraging preferences by scatter-hoarding rodents at different stages of seed dispersal could result in conflicting selective pressures on seed size and higher dispersal success of medium-sized seeds.

  5. 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)

  6. Seed feeding beetles (Bruchidae, Curculionidae, Brentidae) from legumes (Dalea ornata, Astragalus filipes) and other forbs needed for restoring rangelands of the Intermountain West

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Larval seed beetles are common seed predators that feed within individual seeds, and legume plants are especially plagued by seed beetles. This can be problematic for seed growers who raise seeds of North American legumes native to the Intermountain Region of the western U.S. for use in the reveget...

  7. [Effects of rodents and litter coverage on the seed fate of wild Prunus divaricata in wild fruit forest of Tianshan Mountain, Northwest China].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yu; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Yong-Heng; Yang, Yun-Fei

    2014-09-01

    The dynamic variation characteristics of seed bank and the main factors influencing the fate of Prunus divaricata seeds under the pressure of rodent predation and litter coverage were investigated with artificial soil seed banks from September, 2010 to April, 2013. It was found that there was about 48.3% of seeds germinated under the rodent predation disturbance conditions, 50% of the seeds was predated in situ or removed, and only about 4% decayed. The artificial seed bank formed a short-term persistent soil seed bank without any rodent predation disturbance, and the seeds could germinate even though they had been stored in the seed bank for three years. Soil burial provided a lower predation pressure and promoted the recruitment of wild P. divaricata seedlings, removal and predation in situ by animals was an important factor affecting the fate of seeds. At the same time, seeds removed and foraged in situ in the control and litter coverage samples were significantly less than that in the bare soil samples. Ground coverage reduced the removal and predation of seeds by rodents, but the effect was not enough to result in more seedlings. Rodent predation and removal were the main factors that could affect the seed fate and dynamics of seed bank.

  8. Reproductive success of individuals with different fruit production patterns. What does it mean for the predator satiation hypothesis?

    PubMed

    Zywiec, Magdalena; Holeksa, Jan; Ledwoń, Mateusz; Seget, Piotr

    2013-06-01

    The predator satiation hypothesis states that synchronous periodic production of seeds is an adaptive strategy evolved to reduce the pressure of seed predators. The seed production pattern is crucial to the predator satiation hypothesis, but there are few studies documenting the success of individuals that are in synchrony and out of synchrony with the whole population. This study is based on long-term data on seed production of Sorbus aucuparia and specialised pre-dispersal seed predation by Argyresthia conjugella, in a subalpine spruce forest in the Western Carpathians (Poland). At the population level, we tested whether functional and numerical responses of predators to the variation of fruit production operate. At the individual level, we tested whether individuals with higher interannual variability in their own seed crops and higher synchrony with the population have higher percentages of uninfested fruits. The intensity of pre-dispersal seed predation was high (average 70 %; range 19-100 %). There were both functional and numerical responses of predators to the variation of fruit production at the population level. We found that individuals that were expected to be preferred under seed predator pressure had higher reproductive success. With increasing synchrony of fruit production between individual trees and the population, the percentage of infested fruits decreased. There was also a negative relationship between the interannual variation in individual fruit production and the percentage of infested fruits. These results confirm selection for individuals with a masting strategy. However, the population does not seem well adapted to strong seed predation pressure and we suggest that this may be a result of prolonged diapause of A. conjugella.

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

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

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

  10. Scatter Hoarding of Seeds Confers Survival Advantages and Disadvantages to Large-Seeded Tropical Plants at Different Life Stages

    PubMed Central

    Kuprewicz, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

  11. Scatter hoarding of seeds confers survival advantages and disadvantages to large-seeded tropical plants at different life stages.

    PubMed

    Kuprewicz, Erin K

    2015-01-01

    Scatter hoarding of seeds by animals contributes significantly to forest-level processes, including plant recruitment and forest community composition. However, the potential positive and negative effects of caching on seed survival, germination success, and seedling survival have rarely been assessed through experimental studies. Here, I tested the hypothesis that seed burial mimicking caches made by scatter hoarding Central American agoutis (Dasyprocta punctate) enhances seed survival, germination, and growth by protecting seeds from seed predators and providing favorable microhabitats for germination. In a series of experiments, I used simulated agouti seed caches to assess how hoarding affects seed predation by ground-dwelling invertebrates and vertebrates for four plant species. I tracked germination and seedling growth of intact and beetle-infested seeds and, using exclosures, monitored the effects of mammals on seedling survival through time. All experiments were conducted over three years in a lowland wet forest in Costa Rica. The majority of hoarded palm seeds escaped predation by both invertebrates and vertebrates while exposed seeds suffered high levels of infestation and removal. Hoarding had no effect on infestation rates of D. panamensis, but burial negatively affected germination success by preventing endocarp dehiscence. Non-infested palm seeds had higher germination success and produced larger seedlings than infested seeds. Seedlings of A. alatum and I. deltoidea suffered high mortality by seed-eating mammals. Hoarding protected most seeds from predators and enhanced germination success (except for D. panamensis) and seedling growth, although mammals killed many seedlings of two plant species; all seedling deaths were due to seed removal from the plant base. Using experimental caches, this study shows that scatter hoarding is beneficial to most seeds and may positively affect plant propagation in tropical forests, although tradeoffs in seed

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. How optimally foraging predators promote prey coexistence in a variable environment.

    PubMed

    Stump, Simon Maccracken; Chesson, Peter

    2017-04-01

    Optimal foraging is one of the major predictive theories of predator foraging behavior. However, how an optimally foraging predator affects the coexistence of competing prey is not well understood either in a constant or variable environment, especially for multiple prey species. We study the impact of optimal foraging on prey coexistence using an annual plant model, with and without annual variation in seed germination. Seed predators are modeled using Charnov's model of adaptive diet choice. Our results reveal that multiple prey species can coexist because of this type of predator, and that their effect is not greatly modified by environmental variation. However, in diverse communities, the requirements for coexistence by optimal foraging alone are very restrictive. Optimally foraging predators can have a strong equalizing effect on their prey by creating a competition-predation trade-off. Thus, their main role in promoting diversity may be to reduce species-average fitness differences, making it easier for other mechanisms, such as the storage effect, to allow multiple species to coexist. Like previous models, our model showed that when germination rates vary, the storage effect from competition promotes coexistence. Our results also show that optimally foraging predators can generate a negative storage effect from predation, undermining coexistence, but that this effect will be minor whenever predators commonly differentiate their prey.

  14. Contrasting patterns of short-term indirect seed-seed interactions mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-09-01

    It is well known that direct effects of seed predators or dispersers can have strong effects on seedling establishment. However, we have limited knowledge about the indirect species interactions between seeds of different species that are mediated by shared seed predators and/or dispersers and their consequences for plant demography and diversity. Because scatter-hoarding rodents as seed dispersers may leave some hoarded seeds uneaten, scatter hoarding may serve to increase seed survival and dispersal. Consequently, the presence of heterospecific seeds could alter whether the indirect interactions mediated by scatter-hoarding rodents have a net positive effect, creating apparent mutualism between seed species, or a net negative effect, creating apparent competition between seed species. We present a testable framework to measure short-term indirect effects between co-occurring plant species mediated by seed scatter-hoarding rodents. We tested this framework in a subtropical forest in south-west China using a replacement design and tracked the fate of individually tagged seeds in experimental patches. We manipulated the benefits to rodents by using low-tannin dormant chestnuts as palatable food and high-tannin non-dormant acorns as unpalatable food. We found that seed palatability changed the amount of scatter hoarding that occurred when seeds co-occurred either among or within patches. Consistent with our predictions, scatter-hoarding rodents created apparent mutualism through increasing seed removal and seed caching, and enhancing survival, of both plant species in mixed patches compared with monospecific patches. However, if we ignore scatter hoarding and treat all seed harvest as seed predation (and not dispersal), then apparent competition between palatable chestnuts and unpalatable acorns was also observed. This study is the first to demonstrate that foraging decisions by scatter-hoarding animals to scatter hoard seeds for later consumption (or loss) or

  15. A strong conditional mutualism limits and enhances seed dispersal and germination of a tropical palm.

    PubMed

    Klinger, Rob; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2010-04-01

    Seed predation and seed dispersal can have strong effects on early life history stages of plants. These processes have often been studied as individual effects, but the degree to which their relative importance co-varies with seed predator abundance and how this influences seed germination rates is poorly understood. Therefore, we used a combination of observations and field experiments to determine the degree to which germination rates of the palm Astrocaryum mexicanum varied with abundance of a small mammal seed predator/disperser, Heteromys desmarestianus, in a lowland tropical forest. Patterns of abundance of the two species were strongly related; density of H. desmarestianus was low in sites with low density of A. mexicanum and vice versa. Rates of predation and dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds depended on abundance of H. desmarestianus; sites with high densities of H. desmarestianus had the highest rates of seed predation and lowest rates of seed germination, but a greater total number of seeds were dispersed and there was greater density of seedlings, saplings, and adults of A. mexicanum in these sites. When abundance of H. desmarestianus was experimentally reduced, rates of seed predation decreased, but so did dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds. Critically, rates of germination of dispersed seeds were 5 times greater than undispersed seeds. The results suggest that the relationship between A. mexicanum and H. desmarestianus is a conditional mutualism that results in a strong local effect on the abundance of each species. However, the magnitude and direction of these effects are determined by the relative strength of opposing, but related, mechanisms. A. mexicanum nuts provide H. desmarestianus with a critical food resource, and while seed predation on A. mexicanum nuts by H. desmarestianus is very intense, A. mexicanum ultimately benefits because of the relatively high germination rates of its seeds that are dispersed by H. desmarestianus.

  16. A strong conditional mutualism limits and enhances seed dispersal and germination of a tropical palm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klinger, R.; Rejmanek, M.

    2010-01-01

    Seed predation and seed dispersal can have strong effects on early life history stages of plants. These processes have often been studied as individual effects, but the degree to which their relative importance co-varies with seed predator abundance and how this influences seed germination rates is poorly understood. Therefore, we used a combination of observations and field experiments to determine the degree to which germination rates of the palm Astrocaryum mexicanum varied with abundance of a small mammal seed predator/disperser, Heteromysdesmarestianus, in a lowland tropical forest. Patterns of abundance of the two species were strongly related; density of H. desmarestianus was low in sites with low density of A. mexicanum and vice versa. Rates of predation and dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds depended on abundance of H. desmarestianus; sites with high densities of H. desmarestianus had the highest rates of seed predation and lowest rates of seed germination, but a greater total number of seeds were dispersed and there was greater density of seedlings, saplings, and adults of A. mexicanum in these sites. When abundance of H. desmarestianus was experimentally reduced, rates of seed predation decreased, but so did dispersal of A. mexicanum seeds. Critically, rates of germination of dispersed seeds were 5 times greater than undispersed seeds. The results suggest that the relationship between A. mexicanum and H. desmarestianus is a conditional mutualism that results in a strong local effect on the abundance of each species. However, the magnitude and direction of these effects are determined by the relative strength of opposing, but related, mechanisms. A. mexicanum nuts provide H. desmarestianus with a critical food resource, and while seed predation on A. mexicanum nuts by H. desmarestianus is very intense, A. mexicanum ultimately benefits because of the relatively high germination rates of its seeds that are dispersed by H. desmarestianus. ?? The Author(s) 2010.

  17. A new hypothesis for the importance of seed dispersal in time.

    PubMed

    Guzmán, Adriana; Stevenson, Pablo R

    2011-12-01

    Most studies on seed dispersal in time have focused on seed dormancy and the physiological triggers for germination. However, seed dispersed by animals with low metabolic and moving rates, and long gut-passage times such as terrestrial turtles, could be considered another type of dispersal in time. This study tests the hypothesis that seeds dispersed in time may lower predation rates. We predicted that seeds deposited below parent trees after fruiting fall has finished is advantageous to minimize seed predators and should show higher survival rates. Four Amazonian plant species, Dicranostyles ampla, Oenocarpus bataua, Guatteria atabapensis and Ocotea floribunda, were tested for seed survival probabilities in two periods: during fruiting and 10-21 days after fruiting. Experiments were carried out in two biological stations located in the Colombian Amazon (Caparú and Zafire Biological Stations). Seed predation was high and mainly caused by non-vertebrates. Out of the four plant species tested, only Guatteria atabapensis supported the time escape hypothesis. For this species, seed predation by vertebrates after the fruiting period increased (from 4.1% to 9.2%) while seed predation by non-vertebrates decreased (from 54.0% to 40.2%). In contrast, seed predation by vertebrates and by non-vertebrates after the fruiting period in D. ampla increased (from 7.9% to 22.8% and from 40.4% to 50.6%, respectively), suggesting predator satiation. Results suggest that for some species dispersal in time could be advantageous to avoid some type of seed predators. Escape in time could be an additional dimension in which seeds may reach adequate sites for recruitment. Thus, future studies should be address to better understand the survival advantages given by an endozoochory time-dispersal process.

  18. 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...

  19. Production of heteropteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Ecological meltdown in predator-free forest fragments.

    PubMed

    Terborgh, J; Lopez, L; Nuñez, P; Rao, M; Shahabuddin, G; Orihuela, G; Riveros, M; Ascanio, R; Adler, G H; Lambert, T D; Balbas, L

    2001-11-30

    The manner in which terrestrial ecosystems are regulated is controversial. The "top-down" school holds that predators limit herbivores and thereby prevent them from overexploiting vegetation. "Bottom-up" proponents stress the role of plant chemical defenses in limiting plant depredation by herbivores. A set of predator-free islands created by a hydroelectric impoundment in Venezuela allows a test of these competing world views. Limited area restricts the fauna of small (0.25 to 0.9 hectare) islands to predators of invertebrates (birds, lizards, anurans, and spiders), seed predators (rodents), and herbivores (howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants). Predators of vertebrates are absent, and densities of rodents, howler monkeys, iguanas, and leaf-cutter ants are 10 to 100 times greater than on the nearby mainland, suggesting that predators normally limit their populations. The densities of seedlings and saplings of canopy trees are severely reduced on herbivore-affected islands, providing evidence of a trophic cascade unleashed in the absence of top-down regulation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-07

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

  2. Dispersal of mimetic seeds of three species of Ormosia (Leguminosae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foster, M.S.; DeLay, L.S.

    1998-01-01

    Seeds with 'imitation arils' appear wholly or partially covered by pulp or aril but actually carry no fleshy material. The mimetic seed hypothesis to explain this phenomenon proposes a parasitic relationship in which birds are deceived into dispersing seeds that resemble bird-dispersed fruits, without receiving a nutrient reward. The hard-seed for grit hypothesis proposes a mutualistic relationship in which large, terrestrial birds swallow the exceptionally hard 'mimetic' seeds as grit for grinding the softer seeds on which they feed. They defecate, dispersing the seeds, and abrade the seed surface, enhancing germination. Any fruit mimicry is incidental. Fruiting trees of Ormosia spp. (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae) were observed to ascertain mechanisms of seed dispersal and the role of seemingly mimetic characteristics of the seeds in that dispersal. Seed predation and seed germination were also examined. Ormosia isthamensis and O. macrocalyx (but not O. bopiensis) deceived arboreally-foraging frugivorous birds into taking their mimetic seeds, although rates of seed dispersal were low. These results are consistent with the mimetic seed hypothesis. On the other hand, the rates of disappearance of seeds from the ground under the Ormosia trees, hardness of the seeds, and enhancement of germination with the abrasion of the seed coat are all consistent with the hard-seed for grit hypothesis.

  3. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences.

    SciTech Connect

    Kwit, Charles; Levey, Douglas, J.; Greenberg, Cathyrn, H.

    2004-05-03

    Kwit, Charles, D.J. Levey and Cathryn H. Greenberg. 2004. Contagious seed dispersal beneath heterospecific fruiting trees and its consequences. Oikos. 107:303-308 A n hypothesized advantage of seed dispersal is avoidance of high per capita mortality (i.e. density-dependent mortality) associated with dense populations of seeds and seedlings beneath parent trees. This hypothesis, inherent in nearly all seed dispersal studies, assumes that density effects are species-specific. Yet because many tree species exhibit overlapping fruiting phenologies and share dispersers, seeds may be deposited preferentially under synchronously fruiting heterospecific trees, another location where they may be particularly vulnerable to mortality, in this case by generalist seed predators. We demonstrate that frugivores disperse higher densities of Cornus florida seeds under fruiting (female) I lex opaca trees than under non-fruiting (male) I lex trees in temperate hardwood forest settings in South Carolina, U SA . To determine if density of Cornus and/or I lex seeds influences survivorship of dispersed Cornus seeds, we followed the fates of experimentally dispersed Cornus seeds in neighborhoods of differing, manipulated background densities of Cornus and I lex seeds. We found that the probability of predation on dispersed Cornus seeds was a function of both Cornus and I lex background seed densities. H igher densities of I lex seeds negatively affected Cornus seed survivorship, and this was particularly evident as background densities of dispersed Cornus seeds increased. These results illustrate the importance of viewing seed dispersal and predation in a community context, as the pattern and intensity of density-dependent mortality may not be solely a function of conspecific densities.

  4. 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.

  5. Investment in seed physical defence is associated with species' light requirement for regeneration and seed persistence: evidence from Macaranga species in Borneo

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The life stage from seed dispersal to seedling emergence is often critical in determining the regeneration success of plants. During this period seeds must survive an array of seed predators and pathogens and germinate under conditions favorable for seedling establishment. To maximise recruitment s...

  6. Seed Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Initiation of seed germination is a critical decision for plants. It is important for seed populations under natural conditions to spread the timing of germination of individual seeds to maximize the probability of species survival. Therefore, seeds have evolved the multiple layers of mechanisms tha...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Ecological consequences of primary and secondary seed dispersal on seed and seedling fate of Dipteryx oleifera (Fabaceae).

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Javier; Boucher, Douglas H; Chaves, Luis F; Ingram-Flóres, Cherryl; Guillén, Delvis; Tórrez, René; Martínez, Oscar

    2010-09-01

    The relative contributions of primary and secondary seed dispersal to plant demography have received little investigation. Evidence on these seed dispersal types, on seed fate and seedling recruitment of the tropical rain forest tree Dipteryx oleifera, is presented. The study was conducted in a 6.37ha permanent plot where seeds and seedlings were located and tagged for the 2007 cohort. A total of 2 814 seeds were threaded and their fate was followed one year after germination. Primary seed dispersal by bats protected seeds from insect larval predation below the adult tree. Bats congregated seeds in bat seed piles located at a mean distance of 40.94 +/- 1.48m from the nearest adult individual of D. oleifera. Terrestrial vertebrates congregated seeds in caches located 41.90 +/- 2.43m from the nearest adult individual of D. oleifera. The results of the fitted proportional hazard model suggested that primary seed dispersal decreased seed hazard probability by 1.12% for each meter from the adult conspecific (p<0.001) and that secondary seed dispersal decreased it by 23.97% (p<0.001). Besides, the odds ratio regression models results showed that the overall effect of unviable seeds was a reduction in viable seed predation rate. For each unviable seed deposited by bats into the seed piles, the rate of seed predation by terrestrial vertebrates decreased 6% (p<0.001). For each damaged seed by terrestrial vertebrates in the seed piles, the rate of germination decreased 4% (p<0.001). For each germinated seed in the seed piles, the rate of recruitment increased 16% (p=0.001). Seedling survival of seeds that emerged after secondary seed dispersal events, showed no statistically significant difference in arthropod herbivory, in relation to seedlings that came from seeds that were dispersed only primarily by bats (F=0.153, p=0.697, df=1.98). Thus both primary and secondary dispersal contributed to higher seedling survival away from the nearest adult D. oleifera (r2=0.713, n=578

  10. Frugivory and seed dispersal by tapirs: an insight on their ecological role.

    PubMed

    O'Farrill, Georgina; Galetti, Mauro; Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa

    2013-03-01

    Tapirs are one of the last extant megafauna species that survived the Pleistocene extinctions. Given their size and digestive system characteristics, tapirs might be the last potential seed disperser of plant species that were previously dispersed by other large mammal species that are now extinct. We compiled evidence from 39 published scientific studies showing that tapirs have a key role as seed dispersers and seed predators. Tapirs play an important role either through seed predation or by facilitating the recruitment of seeds over long distances, therefore influencing the diversity of plant species in the ecosystem. Neotropical tapirs might have a unique role as long-distance seed dispersers of large seeds (<20 mm) because they are capable of depositing viable large seeds in favorable places for germination that even large-bodied primates cannot disperse. Given the high diversity of seed species found in tapir diet, more information is needed on the identification of seed traits that allow the survival of seeds in the tapir's gut. Moreover, further studies are necessary on the role of tapirs as seed dispersers and predators; in particular considering spatial patterns of dispersed seeds, seed viability, effect of dung, and seed density in tapir latrines, and the effect of deposition sites on germination and seedling survival. Because all tapir species are highly threatened, it is paramount to identify gaps in our knowledge on the ecological role of tapirs and, in particular, on critical and endangered plant-tapir interactions to avoid possible trophic cascading effects on ecosystem function.

  11. The effect of burial depth on removal of seeds of Phytolacca americana.

    SciTech Connect

    Orrock, John, L.: Damschen, Ellen, I.

    2007-04-01

    Abstract - Although burial is known to have important effects on seed predation in a variety of habitats, the role of burial depth in affecting the removal of seeds in early successional systems is poorly known. Phytolacca American (pokeweed) is a model species to examine the role of burial depth in affecting seed removal because it is common in early-successional habitats, studies suggest that seed removal is indicative of seed predation, and seed predation is related to the recruitment of mature plants. To determine how burial depth affects P. americana seed removal, 20 seeds of P. americana were buried at depths of 0, 1, or 3 cm in early-successional habitats at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina for over 6 weeks. The frequency with which seeds were encountered (as measured by the removal of at least one seed) and the proportion of seeds removed was significantly greater when seeds were on the soil surface (0 cm depth) compared to seeds that were buried 1 cm or 3 cm; there was no difference in encounter or removal between seeds at 1 cm or 3 cm. Our findings suggest that burial may have important consequences for P. americana population dynamics, because seed survival depends upon whether or not the seed is buried, and relatively shallow burial can yield large increases in seed survival. Because seed limitation is known to be an important determinant of plant community composition in early successional systems, our work suggests that burial may play an unappreciated role in the dynamics of these communities by reducing predator-mediated seed limitation.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  17. Seed rain, soil seed bank, seed loss and regeneration of Castanopsis fargesii (Fagaceae) in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Du, X.; Guo, Q.; Gao, X.; Ma, K.

    2007-01-01

    Understanding the seed rain and seed loss dynamics in the natural condition has important significance for revealing the natural regeneration mechanisms. We conducted a 3-year field observation on seed rain, seed loss and natural regeneration of Castanopsis fargesii Franch., a dominant tree species in evergreen broad-leaved forests in Dujiangyan, southwestern China. The results showed that: (1) there were marked differences in (mature) seed production between mast (733,700 seeds in 2001) and regular (51,200 and 195,600 seeds in 2002 and 2003, respectively) years for C. fargesii. (2) Most seeds were dispersed in leaf litter, humus and 0-2 cm depth soil in seed bank. (3) Frequency distributions of both DBH and height indicated that C. fargesii had a relatively stable population. (4) Seed rain, seed ground density, seed loss, and leaf fall were highly dynamic and certain quantity of seeds were preserved on the ground for a prolonged time due to predator satiation in both the mast and regular years so that the continuous presence of seed bank and seedling recruitments in situ became possible. Both longer time observations and manipulative experiments should be carried out to better understand the roles of seed dispersal and regeneration process in the ecosystem performance. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. Shrub encroachment is linked to extirpation of an apex predator.

    PubMed

    Gordon, Christopher E; Eldridge, David J; Ripple, William J; Crowther, Mathew S; Moore, Ben D; Letnic, Mike

    2017-01-01

    The abundance of shrubs has increased throughout Earth's arid lands. This 'shrub encroachment' has been linked to livestock grazing, fire-suppression and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations facilitating shrub recruitment. Apex predators initiate trophic cascades which can influence the abundance of many species across multiple trophic levels within ecosystems. Extirpation of apex predators is linked inextricably to pastoralism, but has not been considered as a factor contributing to shrub encroachment. Here, we ask if trophic cascades triggered by the extirpation of Australia's largest terrestrial predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), could be a driver of shrub encroachment in the Strzelecki Desert, Australia. We use aerial photographs spanning a 51-year period to compare shrub cover between areas where dingoes are historically rare and common. We then quantify contemporary patterns of shrub, shrub seedling and mammal abundances, and use structural equation modelling to compare competing trophic cascade hypotheses to explain how dingoes could influence shrub recruitment. Finally, we track the fate of seedlings of an encroaching shrub, hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa angustissima), during a period optimal for seedling recruitment, and quantify removal rates of hopbush seeds by rodents from enriched seed patches. Shrub cover was 26-48% greater in areas where dingoes were rare than common. Our structural equation modelling supported the hypothesis that dingo removal facilitates shrub encroachment by triggering a four level trophic cascade. According to this model, increased mesopredator abundance in the absence of dingoes results in suppressed abundance of consumers of shrub seeds and seedlings, rodents and rabbits respectively. In turn, suppressed abundances of rodents and rabbits in the absence of dingoes relaxed a recruitment bottleneck for shrubs. The results of our SEM were supported by results showing that rates of hopbush seedling survival and seed removal were 1

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Frugivore loss limits recruitment of large-seeded trees

    PubMed Central

    Wotton, Debra M.; Kelly, Dave

    2011-01-01

    Although global declines in frugivores may disrupt seed dispersal mutualisms and inhibit plant recruitment, quantifying the likely reduction in plant regeneration has been difficult and rarely attempted. We use a manipulative factorial experiment to quantify dependence of recruitment on dispersal (i.e. fruit pulp removal and movement of seed away from parental area) in two large-seeded New Zealand tree species. Complete dispersal failure would cause a 66 to 81 per cent reduction in recruitment to the 2-year-old seedling stage, and synergistic interactions with introduced mammalian seed and seedling predators increase the reduction to 92 to 94 per cent. Dispersal failure reduced regeneration through effects on seed predation, germination and (especially) seedling survival, including distance- and density-dependent (Janzen–Connell) effects. Dispersal of both species is currently largely dependent on a single frugivore, and many fruits today remain uneaten. Present-day levels of frugivore loss and mammal seed and seedling predators result in 57 to 84 per cent fewer seedlings after 2 years. Our study demonstrates the importance of seed dispersal for local plant population persistence, and validates concerns about the community consequences of frugivore declines. PMID:21450732

  6. Adaptation of prey and predators between patches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2009-06-21

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

  7. 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.

  8. Behavioral refuges and predator-prey coexistence.

    PubMed

    Křivan, Vlastimil

    2013-12-21

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

  9. Geometric optimization for prey-predator strategies.

    PubMed

    Alshamary, Bader; Calin, Ovidiu

    2011-11-01

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

  10. Hunting cooperation and Allee effects in predators.

    PubMed

    Teixeira Alves, Mickaël; Hilker, Frank M

    2017-04-21

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

  11. Environmental Factors That Influence a Mutualism Between the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. and the Annual Weed Ambrosia trifida L.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The earthworm Lumbricus terrestris L. can improve Ambrosia trifida L. seed survival and seedling recruitment in agroecosystems with high risks of post-dispersal seed predation. In a previous 1-yr survey of no-till agricultural fields in the eastern U.S. Corn Belt, both L. terrestris and A. trifida w...

  12. Seed consumption and dispersal of ant-dispersed plants by slugs.

    PubMed

    Türke, Manfred; Heinze, Eric; Andreas, Kerstin; Svendsen, Sarah M; Gossner, Martin M; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2010-07-01

    In beech-dominated forests in Central Europe, many spring geophytes show adaptations to seed dispersal by ants (myrmecochory). Ants, however, can be rare in such moist forests. Motivated by observations of slug feeding on seeds we investigated the seed consumption of two plant species, Anemone nemorosa and Asarum europaeum, by slugs, in a series of experiments. In a seed predation experiment in a beech forest, we found that seed removal was strongly reduced when gastropods were excluded from the seed depots. The contribution of insects, including ants, and rodents to seed removal was relatively less but differed between May and July. In the laboratory, slug species, in particular Arion sp., consumed seeds of both plant species. Slugs either consumed the elaiosomes of seeds or swallowed seeds intact. Swallowed seeds were defecated undamaged and germinated as well as control seeds when buried overwinter, indicating the potential for seed dispersal by slugs. We also recovered seeds of myrmecochores in the faeces of several slugs caught in forests. In a slug release experiment in the forest, slugs moved up to 14.6 m (mean 4.4 m) in 15 h, which is the median gut passage time of seeds based on measurements made in the laboratory. We also found that when slug-defecated seeds were offered to rodents, these were less attractive than control seeds, suggesting that passage through the slug gut reduces seed predation risk. Our results demonstrate that slugs are significant consumers of elaiosomes or entire seeds of ant-dispersed plants and that they can function as seed dispersers of these plants.

  13. 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.

  14. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Prey selection is a key factor shaping animal populations and evolutionary dynamics. An optimal forager should target prey that offers the highest benefits in terms of energy content at the lowest costs. Predators are therefore expected to select for prey of optimal size. Stalking predators do not pursue their prey long, which may lead to a more random choice of prey individuals. Due to difficulties in assessing the composition of available prey populations, data on prey selection of stalking carnivores are still scarce. We show how the stalking predator Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) selects prey individuals based on species identity, age, sex and individual behaviour. To address the difficulties in assessing prey population structure, we confirm inferred selection patterns by using two independent data sets: (1) data of 387 documented kills of radio-collared lynx were compared to the prey population structure retrieved from systematic camera trapping using Manly’s standardized selection ratio alpha and (2) data on 120 radio-collared roe deer were analysed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Among the larger red deer prey, lynx selected against adult males—the largest and potentially most dangerous prey individuals. In roe deer lynx preyed selectively on males and did not select for a specific age class. Activity during high risk periods reduced the risk of falling victim to a lynx attack. Our results suggest that the stalking predator lynx actively selects for size, while prey behaviour induces selection by encounter and stalking success rates. PMID:27548478

  15. Predators and the public trust.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  16. An indigenous gut bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis (Lactobacillales: Enterococcaceae), increases seed consumption by Harpalus pensylvanicus (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Harpalus pensylvanicus is a beneficial beetle contributing to insect control and seed predation in North American cropland. The bacterial endosymbiont Enterococcus faecalis is found in the intestinal tract of H. pensylvanicus and is thought to contribute to the digestion of the insect's seed diet. W...

  17. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Interaction between juniper Juniperus communis L. and its fruit pest insects: Pest abundance, fruit characteristics and seed viability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García, Daniel

    1998-12-01

    The relationships between the fruit features of Juniperus communis and the presence of fruit pests were studied in Sierra Nevada, SE Spain. The abundance of two insect species — a pulp-sucking scale and a seed-predator wasp — was surveyed with respect both to fruit characteristics and to viability of seeds contained therein. Seed-predator pressure was not significantly related to any fruit characteristics; however, pulp suckers tended to be more abundant in plants with low pulp: seed ratios and high fruit-water content. In addition, fruits with high levels of pulp-sucker attack tended to have higher water content. A multi-factor ANOVA, considering the identity of the plant and the attack of the different pests as factors, showed that plant identity accounts for most of the variation in fruit characteristics. The viability of seeds tended to be lower in plants strongly attacked by both pests. Fruits attacked by seed predators showed significantly lower proportions of viable and unviable seeds than did unattacked fruits. Seed viability was also lower in those fruits heavily attacked by pulp suckers, but this pattern is strongly mediated by plant identity. Pest activity proved to be clearly associated with a direct decrease in juniper reproductive capacity. This loss involved a reduction of the viable-seed number, mainly related to the seed predator, as well as a reduction of fruit attractiveness to frugivorous dispersers, related to the pulp sucker.

  19. 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…

  20. OVIGENY IN SELECTED GENERALIST PREDATORS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. Endocarp thickness affects seed removal speed by small rodents in a warm-temperate broad-leafed deciduous forest, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongmao; Zhang, Zhibin

    2008-11-01

    Seed traits are important factors affecting seed predation by rodents and thereby the success of recruitment. Seeds of many tree species have hard hulls. These are thought to confer mechanical protection, but the effect of endocarp thickness on seed predation by rodents has not been well investigated. Wild apricot ( Prunus armeniaca), wild peach ( Amygdalus davidiana), cultivated walnut ( Juglans regia), wild walnut ( Juglans mandshurica Maxim) and Liaodong oak ( Quercus liaotungensis) are very common tree species in northwestern Beijing city, China. Their seeds vary greatly in size, endocarp thickness, caloric value and tannin content. This paper aims to study the effects of seed traits on seed removal speed of these five tree species by small rodents in a temperate deciduous forest, with emphasis on the effect of endocarp thickness. The results indicated that speed of removal of seeds released at stations in the field decreased significantly with increasing endocarp thickness. We found no significant correlations between seed removal speed and other seed traits such as seed size, caloric value and tannin content. In seed selection experiments in small cages, Père David's rock squirrel ( Sciurotamias davidianus), a large-bodied, strong-jawed rodent, selected all of the five seed species, and the selection order among the five seed species was determined by endocarp thickness and the ratio of endocarp mass/seed mass. In contrast, the Korean field mouse ( Apodemus peninsulae) and Chinese white-bellied rat ( Niviventer confucianus), with relatively small bodies and weak jaws, preferred to select small seeds like acorns of Q. liaotungensis and seeds of P. armeniaca, indicating that rodent body size is also an important factor affecting food selection based on seed size. These results suggest endocarp thickness significantly reduces seed removal speed by rodents and then negatively affects dispersal fitness of seeds before seed removal of tree species in the study

  2. Predispersal predation of an understory rainforest herb Aphelandra aurantiaca (Acanthaceae) in gaps and mature forest.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Irabién, L M; Islas-Luna, A

    1999-08-01

    The opening of a canopy gap at Los Tuxtlas rainforest has an impact on populations of the understory herb Aphelandra aurantiaca: the ratio of recruited seedlings per reproductive individual is 1:17 in mature forest vs. gaps. Predation occurring before seed dispersal seems a plausible explanation for this observed difference. In a field experiment, in which insecticide was applied to plants growing in gaps and mature forest, we evaluated the extent to which herbivore damage to flowers, fruits, and seeds reduces the number of seeds available for seedling establishment. Under natural conditions, ∼30% of the flowers and >70% of the capsules of A. aurantiaca showed herbivore damage, but its impact changed depending on the type of forest habitat. Flower and fruit herbivores caused more damage in closed forest than in gaps, and this difference was even bigger under the insecticide treatment. Insecticide effectiveness varied depending on the type of forest patch. The highest herbivore impact on seeds was found in the mature forest without insecticide treatment, where most seeds were destroyed. The percentages of seed damage reported here show that predispersal predation is limiting seedling recruitment, especially in mature forest. Other possible explanations might be differences in insect composition, densities, and behavior between gaps and mature forest.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Seed dispersal, plant recruitment and spatial distribution of Bactris acanthocarpa Martius (Arecaceae) in a remnant of Atlantic forest in northeast Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Maria G.; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2001-12-01

    Seed dispersal ecology of Bactris acanthocarpa Mart. (Arecaceae), an Atlantic forest understory palm, was investigated during two years as an attempt to test the following predictions: (i) seeds of Bactris are dispersed by mammals and large-gaped birds; (ii) Bactris benefits from seed dispersal in terms of seed predation avoidance, improvement of seed germination and seedling survival; and (iii) spatial distribution of adults is related to patterns of seed dispersal. The study was conducted at Dois Irmãos Reserve, a 387.4-ha reserve of Atlantic forest in northeastern Brazil (8º S-35º W). Black-rumped agoutis ( Dasyprocta prymnolopha) and Guianan squirrels ( Sciurus aestuans) were identified as the seed dispersers/predators, moving seeds short distances (< 4 m from parents) and at low rates (0.04-0.05 diaspore/palm/day). Pyrene burial prevented seed predation by vertebrates and reduced by half seed infestation by Scolytidae beetles. Only buried pyrenes germinated. Pyrene predation was not correlated with distance from conspecific adults. In contrast, early seedling mortality was higher near conspecific adults. Most adults (64%) had their nearest conspecific adult neighbour > 4 m away in contrast to 96% of seedlings that occurred concentrated within 4 m from adults (77% under the palm crowns). Here, we present evidence that spatial distribution of B. acanthocarpa is partly due to low rates of seed removal, short-distance seed dispersal by agoutis and squirrels, and early seedling mortality associated with presence of seedlings under palm crowns.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Takizawa, Tadashi; Snyder, William E

    2011-02-01

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

  8. The role of rodents in the seed fate of a thorny shrub in an ancient wood pasture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheper, Jeroen; Smit, Christian

    2011-03-01

    Thorny shrubs play a crucial role for the diversity and dynamics in wood pastures: they protect non-defended plants from large herbivores and thus facilitate tree establishment in the landscape through associational resistance. How thorny shrubs themselves establish in wood pastures - the main bottleneck for a dynamic shifting of grassland - shrub - woodland mosaics - is an essential unanswered question. We studied post-primary dispersal seed fate - i.e. removal, predation, secondary dispersal and survival of seeds after primary dispersal - of the thorny shrub blackthorn ( Prunus spinosa) in an ancient wood pasture in the Netherlands. Blackthorn seeds are primarily dispersed by frugivorous birds and may secondarily be dispersed by scatter-hoarding rodents. We performed two cafeteria-style experiments with blackthorn seeds placed on dishes in the dominant vegetation types. In the first we monitored seed removal in grassland, swards or blackthorn shrubs and determined rodent species abundance by live-trapping. In the second we followed tagged blackthorn seeds under shrubs and in swards to determine seed removal, predation, survival and secondary dispersal patterns. Tagged seeds were retrieved using a metal detector and by visual means. We recorded dispersal direction and distance, vegetation type, seed handling (burial, consumption) and rodent species responsible via bite marks. Seed removal and number of live-trapped rodents differed between vegetation types, with higher removal and rodent captures under shrubs than in swards and grassland. All retrieved seeds were depredated, predominantly by the wood mouse ( Apodemus sylvaticus). Disproportionally high seed numbers were retrieved in the vegetation type where originally placed (shrubs or swards). Our study suggests that rodents play an important role for blackthorn in wood pastures, predominantly as seed predators rather than secondary seed dispersers. Predation is particularly high under blackthorn shrubs

  9. Regulation of forest defoliating insects through small mammal predation: reconsidering the mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Kollberg, Ida; Bylund, Helena; Huitu, Otso; Björkman, Christer

    2014-12-01

    Population densities of forest defoliating insects may be regulated by small mammal predation on the pupae. When outbreaks do occur, they often coincide with warm, dry weather and at barren forest sites. A proposed reason for this is that weather and habitat affect small mammal population density (numerical response) and hence pupal predation. We propose an alternative explanation: weather and habitat affect small mammal feeding behaviour (functional response) and hence the outbreak risks of forest pest insects. We report results from laboratory and field-enclosure experiments estimating rates of pupal predation by bank voles (Myodes glareolus) on an outbreak insect, the European pine sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer), at different temperatures (15 and 20 °C), in different microhabitats (sheltered and non-sheltered), and with or without access to alternative food (sunflower seeds). We found that the probability of a single pupa being eaten at 20 °C was lower than at 15 °C (0.49 and 0.72, respectively). Pupal predation was higher in the sheltered microhabitat than in the open one, and the behaviour of the voles differed between microhabitats. More pupae were eaten in situ in the sheltered microhabitat whereas in the open area more pupae were removed and eaten elsewhere. Access to alternative food did not affect pupal predation. The results suggest that predation rates on pine sawfly pupae by voles are influenced by temperature- and habitat-induced variation in the physiology and behaviour of the predator, and not necessarily solely through effects on predator densities as previously proposed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Project SEED.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1986

    1986-01-01

    Reports on Project SEED (Summer Educational Experience for the Disadvantaged) a project in which high school students from low-income families work in summer jobs in a variety of academic, industrial, and government research labs. The program introduces the students to career possibilities in chemistry and to the advantages of higher education.…

  17. Optimal control of native predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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. Evolutionary optimization of material properties of a tropical seed

    PubMed Central

    Lucas, Peter W.; Gaskins, John T.; Lowrey, Timothy K.; Harrison, Mark E.; Morrogh-Bernard, Helen C.; Cheyne, Susan M.; Begley, Matthew R.

    2012-01-01

    Here, we show how the mechanical properties of a thick-shelled tropical seed are adapted to permit them to germinate while preventing their predation. The seed has evolved a complex heterogeneous microstructure resulting in hardness, stiffness and fracture toughness values that place the structure at the intersection of these competing selective constraints. Analyses of different damage mechanisms inflicted by beetles, squirrels and orangutans illustrate that cellular shapes and orientations ensure damage resistance to predation forces imposed across a broad range of length scales. This resistance is shown to be around the upper limit that allows cracking the shell via internal turgor pressure (i.e. germination). Thus, the seed appears to strike an exquisitely delicate adaptive balance between multiple selection pressures. PMID:21613287

  1. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey.

    PubMed

    Schartel, Tyler E; Schauber, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference.

  2. Relative Preference and Localized Food Affect Predator Space Use and Consumption of Incidental Prey

    PubMed Central

    Schartel, Tyler E.; Schauber, Eric M.

    2016-01-01

    Abundant, localized foods can concentrate predators and their foraging efforts, thus altering both the spatial distribution of predation risk and predator preferences for prey that are encountered incidentally. However, few investigations have quantified the spatial scale over which localized foods affect predator foraging behavior and consumption of incidental prey. In spring 2010, we experimentally tested how point-source foods altered how generalist predators (white-footed mice, Peromyscus leucopus) utilized space and depredated two incidental prey items: almonds (Prunus dulcis; highly profitable) and maple seeds (Acer saccharum; less profitable). We estimated mouse population densities with trapping webs, quantified mouse consumption rates of these incidental prey items, and measured local mouse activity with track plates. We predicted that 1) mouse activity would be elevated near full feeders, but depressed at intermediate distances from the feeder, 2) consumption of both incidental prey would be high near feeders providing less-preferred food and, 3) consumption of incidental prey would be contingent on predator preference for prey relative to feeders providing more-preferred food. Mouse densities increased significantly from pre- to post-experiment. Mean mouse activity was unexpectedly greatest in control treatments, particularly <15 m from the control (empty) feeder. Feeders with highly preferred food (sunflower seeds) created localized refuges for incidental prey at intermediate distances (15 to 25m) from the feeder. Feeders with less-preferred food (corn) generated localized high risk for highly preferred almonds <10 m of the feeder. Our findings highlight the contingent but predictable effects of locally abundant food on risk experienced by incidental prey, which can be positive or negative depending on both spatial proximity and relative preference. PMID:26978659

  3. Effects of habitat and season on removal and hoarding of seeds of wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) by small rodents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji-Qi, Lu; Zhi-Bin, Zhang

    2004-12-01

    The wild apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is widely distributed in the Donglingshan Mountains of Mentougou District of Beijing, China, where its seeds may be an important food resource for rodents. Predation, removal and hoarding of seeds by rodents will inevitably affect the spatio-temporal pattern of seed fate of wild apricot in this area. By marking and releasing tagged seeds of wild apricot, we investigated seeds survival, scatter-hoarding, cache size and seedling establishment, and the preference of micro-habitats used by rodents to store seeds. The results showed that: (1) rodents in this area hoarded food intensively in autumn, as well as in spring and summer. (2) There were significant effects of habitat and season on removal rate of tagged seeds at releasing plots. In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, tagged seeds were removed most rapidly by rodents in autumn, at intermediate rates in spring and least rapidly in summer. (3) During three seasons, mean dispersal distance of scatter-hoarded seeds in Low shrub habitat was greater than that in High shrub. Most removed seeds were buried within 21.0 m of the releasing plots. (4) In both two types of habitats, Low and High shrub, rodents tended to carry seeds to US (Under shrub) and SE (Shrub edge) microhabitats for scatter-hoarding or predation. (5) Among the caches made by rodents, most caches contained only one seed, but up to three seeds were observed; caches of 2-3 seeds were common in autumn. (6) By comparing dental marks, we determined that large field mice (Apodemus peninsulae) and David's rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) contributed to removal and predation of released tagged seeds. However, only the large field mice exerted a pivotal and positive role on the burial of dispersed seeds. (7) Establishment of three seedlings originated from seeds buried by rodents was documented in High shrub habitat.

  4. Differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species on seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera) in Southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Gang; Zhang, Zhibin

    2011-05-01

    Seed hoarding is an important behavioral adaptation to food shortages for many rodent species. Sympatric rodents may affect the natural regeneration of large-seeded trees differently as seed dispersers or seed predators. Using seeds of oil tea ( Camellia oleifera), we investigated differences in hoarding behaviors among six sympatric rodent species in semi-natural enclosures in a subtropical forest in southwest of China. We found that all these six species ate seeds of C. oleifera, but only Edward's long-tailed rats ( Leopoldamys edwardsi) were predominantly scatter hoarders; chestnut rats ( Niviventer fulvescens) and white-bellied rats ( Niviventer confucianus) scatter hoarded and larder hoarded few seeds, but were seed predators; South China field mice ( Apodemus draco) exhibited little larder-hoarding behavior; and Chevrier's field mice ( A. chevrieri) as well as Himalayan rats ( Rattus nitidusa) did not hoard seeds at all. The rodents that engaged in scatter hoarding often formed single-seed caches and tended to cache seeds under grass or shrubs. Our findings indicate that sympatric rodents consuming seeds of the same species of plant can have different hoarding strategies, affecting seed dispersal and plant regeneration differently. We conclude by discussing the role of these species in hoarding seeds of C. oleifera and highlight the essential role of Edward's long-tailed rats as predominantly potential dispersers of this plant species.

  5. The role of dung beetles as a secondary seed disperser after dispersal by frugivore mammals in a temperate deciduous forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koike, Shinsuke; Morimoto, Hideto; Kozakai, Chinatsu; Arimoto, Isao; Soga, Masashi; Yamazaki, Koji; Koganezawa, Masaaki

    2012-05-01

    We studied the effects of dung beetles on the fates of endozoochorous seeds of five species (Prunus jamasakura, Prunus verecunda, Prunus grayana, Swida controversa, and Vitis coignetiae) in a temperate deciduous forest in Japan during 2004-2006. In field experiments using dung of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), we investigated the depths that dung beetles (Onthophagus atripennis, Onthophagus lenzii, and Phelotrupes auratus) buried seeds (4.8-6.8 mm diameter) and plastic markers (2 or 5 mm diameter), the levels of predation on buried and unburied seeds, and germination rates of seeds buried to different depths. All three species buried the 2-mm markers, but only P. auratus buried the seeds and 5-mm markers. There were seasonal differences in mean seed burial rates (range, 27-51%) and depths (range, 1-27 mm). Significantly more seeds were buried in June, July, and September than in August or October, and the mean burial depth was significantly deeper in June and July. Most seeds and markers were buried to a 3-6 cm depth. Germination of seeds that were positioned at depths of 1-4 cm was significantly greater than that of seeds left on the surface or buried at greater depths. Buried seeds were less likely to disappear than seeds at the surface, which may reflect differential predation. These results suggested that dung beetles, especially P. auratus, acted as a secondary seed disperser that affected the survival and distribution of seeds dispersed by a frugivore.

  6. Dense understory dwarf bamboo alters the retention of canopy tree seeds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Feng; Zhang, Tengda; Guo, Qinxue; Tao, Jianping

    2016-05-01

    Tree seed retention is thought to be an important factor in the process of forest community regeneration. Although dense understory dwarf bamboo has been considered to have serious negative effects on the regeneration of forest community species, little attention has been paid to the relationship between dwarf bamboo and seed retention. In a field experiment we manipulated the density of Fargesia decurvata, a common understory dwarf bamboo, to investigate the retention of seeds from five canopy tree species in an evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Jinfoshan National Nature Reserve, SW China. We found that the median survival time and retention ratio of seeds increased with the increase in bamboo density. Fauna discriminately altered seed retention in bamboo groves of different densities. Arthropods reduced seed survival the most, and seeds removed decreased with increasing bamboo density. Birds removed or ate more seeds in groves of medium bamboo density and consumed fewer seeds in dense or sparse bamboo habitats. Rodents removed a greater number of large and highly profitable seeds in dense bamboo groves but more small and thin-husked seeds in sparse bamboo groves. Seed characteristics, including seed size, seed mass and seed profitability, were important factors affecting seed retention. The results suggested that dense understory dwarf bamboo not only increased seeds concealment and reduced the probability and speed of seed removal but also influenced the trade-off between predation and risk of animal predatory strategies, thereby impacting the quantity and composition of surviving seeds. Our results also indicated that dense understory dwarf bamboo and various seed characteristics can provide good opportunities for seed storage and seed germination and has a potential positive effect on canopy tree regeneration.

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

    PubMed

    Ford, John R; Swearer, Stephen E

    2013-06-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kang, Yun; Wedekin, Lauren

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Bird and ant synergy increases the seed dispersal effectiveness of an ornithochoric shrub.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Paulo H S A; Martins, Milene M; Feitosa, Rodrigo M; Christianini, Alexander V

    2016-06-01

    Seed dispersal may involve different vectors of dispersal in two or more sequential phases (i.e., diplochory). However, contributions of each phase to the overall seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) are poorly understood and hard to evaluate due to post-dispersal processes that affect seed and seedling survival. We investigated the simultaneous bird (phase 1, in plant canopy) and ant (phase 2, on the floor) contributions to SDE with the ornithochoric shrub Erythroxylum ambiguum in a Brazilian Atlantic forest. Twelve species of birds fed on fruit and dispersed approximately 26 % of the seed crop. The remaining seed crop, 90 % of which contained viable seeds, fell to the ground beneath the parental plant. Ants either cleaned seeds in fruits or carried fallen fruit and seeds from bird feces to their nests. Although E. ambiguum has no adaptation for ant dispersal, ants were as quantitatively important as birds. Birds and ants equally increased germination rates compared to controls. However, birds deposited seeds farther from the parent, where seedling survival was higher (78 %) than it was beneath the parent (44 %), whereas ants carried seeds to their nests, where seedling survival was higher (83 %) than in controls away from their nests (63 %). Diplochory allowed a 42 % increase in SDE compared to dispersal in phase 1 alone. High lipid content in the fruit pulp of E. ambiguum may facilitate the inclusion of ants in a second step of dispersal after diaspores reach the floor. Ants can also buffer the dispersal of diplochorous plants against decreases in phase 1 dispersers.

  12. Phase transitions in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Seido; Maeda, Yusuke

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Detection of seed DNA in regurgitates of granivorous carabid beetles.

    PubMed

    Wallinger, C; Sint, D; Baier, F; Schmid, C; Mayer, R; Traugott, M

    2015-12-01

    Granivory can play a pivotal role in influencing regeneration, colonization as well as abundance and distribution of plants. Due to their high abundance, nutrient content and longevity, seeds are an important food source for many animals. Among insects, carabid beetles consume substantial numbers of seeds and are thought to be responsible for a significant amount of seed loss. However, the processes that govern which seeds are eaten and are therefore prevented from entering the seedbank are poorly understood. Here, we assess if DNA-based diet analysis allows tracking the consumption of seeds by carabids. Adult individuals of Harpalus rufipes were fed with seeds of Taraxacum officinale and Lolium perenne allowing them to digest for up to 3 days. Regurgitates were tested for the DNA of ingested seeds at eight different time points post-feeding using general and species-specific plant primers. The detection of seed DNA decreased with digestion time for both seed species, albeit in a species-specific manner. Significant differences in overall DNA detection rates were found with the general plant primers but not with the species-specific primers. This can have implications for the interpretation of trophic data derived from next-generation sequencing, which is based on the application of general primers. Our findings demonstrate that seed predation by carabids can be tracked, molecularly, on a species-specific level, providing a new way to unravel the mechanisms underlying in-field diet choice in granivores.

  14. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-07-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally.

  15. Pollination and seed dispersal are the most threatened processes of plant regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Neuschulz, Eike Lena; Mueller, Thomas; Schleuning, Matthias; Böhning-Gaese, Katrin

    2016-01-01

    Plant regeneration is essential for maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, which are globally threatened by human disturbance. Here we present the first integrative meta-analysis on how forest disturbance affects multiple ecological processes of plant regeneration including pollination, seed dispersal, seed predation, recruitment and herbivory. We analysed 408 pairwise comparisons of these processes between near-natural and disturbed forests. Human impacts overall reduced plant regeneration. Importantly, only processes early in the regeneration cycle that often depend on plant-animal interactions, i.e. pollination and seed dispersal, were negatively affected. Later processes, i.e. seed predation, recruitment and herbivory, showed overall no significant response to human disturbance. Conserving pollination and seed dispersal, including the animals that provide these services to plants, should become a priority in forest conservation efforts globally. PMID:27435026

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

    PubMed

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Berec, Ludek

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Skylarks trade size and energy content in weed seeds to maximize total ingested lipid biomass.

    PubMed

    Gaba, Sabrina; Collas, Claire; Powolny, Thibaut; Bretagnolle, François; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2014-10-01

    The trade-off between forage quality and quantity has been particularly studied in herbivore organisms, but much less for seed eating animals, in particular seed-eating birds which constitute the bulk of wintering passerines in European farmlands. The skylark is one of the commonest farmland birds in winter, mainly feeding on seeds. We focus on weed seeds for conservation and management purposes. Weed seeds form the bulk of the diet of skylarks during winter period, and although this is still a matter for discussion, weed seed predation by granivorous has been suggested as an alternative to herbicides used to regulate weed populations in arable crops. Our objectives were to identify whether weed seed traits govern foraging decisions of skylarks, and to characterize key seed traits with respect to size, which is related to searching and handling time, and lipid content, which is essential for migratory birds. We combined a single-offer experiment and a multiple-offer one to test for feeding preferences of the birds by estimating seed intake on weed seed species differing in their seed size and seed lipid content. Our results showed (1) a selective preference for smaller seeds above a threshold of seed size or seed size difference in the pair and, (2) a significant effect of seed lipid biomass suggesting a trade-off between foraging for smaller seeds and selecting seeds rich in lipids. Skylarks foraging decision thus seems to be mainly based on seed size, that is presumably a 'proxy' for weed seed energy content. However, there are clearly many possible combinations of morphological and physiological traits that must play crucial role in the plant-bird interaction such as toxic compound or seed coat.

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

    PubMed Central

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingxin; Wu, Qiang

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-07

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. Seed Treatment. Bulletin 760.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lowery, Harvey C.

    This manual gives a definition of seed treatment, the types of seeds normally treated, diseases and insects commonly associated with seeds, fungicides and insecticides used, types of equipment used for seed treatment, and information on labeling and coloring of treated seed, pesticide carriers, binders, stickers, and safety precautions. (BB)

  11. Seed Treatment. Manual 92.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri Univ., Columbia. Agricultural Experiment Station.

    This training manual provides information needed to meet minimum EPA standards for certification as a commercial applicator of pesticides in the seed treatment category. The text discusses pests commonly associated with seeds; seed treatment pesticides; labels; chemicals and seed treatment equipment; requirements of federal and state seed laws;…

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-07

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

  15. Tri-trophic interactions affect density dependence of seed fate in a tropical forest palm.

    PubMed

    Visser, Marco D; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Wright, S Joseph; Rutten, Gemma; Jansen, Patrick A

    2011-11-01

    Natural enemies, especially host-specific enemies, are hypothesised to facilitate the coexistence of plant species by disproportionately inflicting more damage at increasing host abundance. However, few studies have assessed such Janzen-Connell mechanisms on a scale relevant for coexistence and no study has evaluated potential top-down influences on the specialized pests. We quantified seed predation by specialist invertebrates and generalist vertebrates, as well as larval predation on these invertebrates, for the Neotropical palm Attalea butyracea across ten 4-ha plots spanning 20-fold variation in palm density. As palm density increased, seed attack by bruchid beetles increased, whereas seed predation by rodents held constant. But because rodent predation on bruchid larvae increased disproportionately with increasing palm density, bruchid emergence rates and total seed predation by rodents and bruchids combined were both density-independent. Our results demonstrate that top-down effects can limit the potential of host-specific insects to induce negative-density dependence in plant populations.

  16. A multiple phenotype predator-prey model with mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Antagonistic and synergistic interactions among predators.

    PubMed

    Huxel, Gary R

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Low-Reynolds-number predator.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  20. Low-Reynolds-number predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Fruitful factors: what limits seed production of flowering plants in the alpine?

    PubMed

    Straka, Jason R; Starzomski, Brian M

    2015-05-01

    Predicting demographic consequences of climate change for plant communities requires understanding which factors influence seed set, and how climate change may alter those factors. To determine the effects of pollen availability, temperature, and pollinators on seed production in the alpine, we combined pollen-manipulation experiments with measurements of variation in temperature, and abundance and diversity of potential pollinators along a 400-m elevation gradient. We did this for seven dominant species of flowering plants in the Coast Range Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The number of viable seeds set by plants was influenced by pollen limitation (quantity of pollen received), mate limitation (quality of pollen), temperature, abundance of potential pollinators, seed predation, and combinations of these factors. Early flowering species (n = 3) had higher seed set at high elevation and late-flowering species (n = 4) had higher seed set at low elevation. Degree-days >15 °C were good predictors of seed set, particularly in bee-pollinated species, but had inconsistent effects among species. Seed production in one species, Arnica latifolia, was negatively affected by seed-predators (Tephritidae) at mid elevation, where there were fewer frost-hours during the flowering season. Anemone occidentalis, a fly-pollinated, self-compatible species had high seed set at all elevations, likely due to abundant potential pollinators. Simultaneously measuring multiple factors affecting reproductive success of flowering plants helped identify which factors were most important, providing focus for future studies. Our work suggests that responses of plant communities to climate change may be mediated by flowering time, pollination syndrome, and susceptibility to seed predators.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-07

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of 'risky' food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey.

  6. Predator olfactory cues generate a foraging–predation trade-off through prey apprehension

    PubMed Central

    Siepielski, Adam M.; Fallon, Eric; Boersma, Kate

    2016-01-01

    Most animals are faced with the challenge of securing food under the risk of predation. This frequently generates a trade-off whereby animals respond to predator cues with reduced movement to avoid predation at the direct cost of reduced foraging success. However, predators may also cause prey to be apprehensive in their foraging activities, which would generate an indirect ‘apprehension cost’. Apprehension arises when a forager redirects attention from foraging tasks to predator detection and incurs a cost from such multi-tasking, because the forager ends up making more mistakes in its foraging tasks as a result. Here, we test this apprehension cost hypothesis and show that damselflies miss a greater proportion of their prey during foraging bouts in response to both olfactory cues produced by conspecifics that have only viewed a fish predator and olfactory cues produced directly by fish. This reduced feeding efficiency is in addition to the stereotypical anti-predator response of reduced activity, which we also observed. These results show that costs associated with anti-predator responses not only arise through behavioural alterations that reduce the risk of predation, but also from the indirect costs of apprehension and multi-tasking that can reduce feeding efficiency under the threat of predation. PMID:26998324

  7. Predation on Rose Galls: Parasitoids and Predators Determine Gall Size through Directional Selection

    PubMed Central

    László, Zoltán; Sólyom, Katalin; Prázsmári, Hunor; Barta, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2014-01-01

    Both predators and parasitoids can have significant effects on species’ life history traits, such as longevity or clutch size. In the case of gall inducers, sporadically there is evidence to suggest that both vertebrate predation and insect parasitoid attack may shape the optimal gall size. While the effects of parasitoids have been studied in detail, the influence of vertebrate predation is less well-investigated. To better understand this aspect of gall size evolution, we studied vertebrate predation on galls of Diplolepis rosae on rose (Rosa canina) shrubs. We measured predation frequency, predation incidence, and predation rate in a large-scale observational field study, as well as an experimental field study. Our combined results suggest that, similarly to parasitoids, vertebrate predation makes a considerable contribution to mortality of gall inducer larvae. On the other hand, its influence on gall size is in direct contrast to the effect of parasitoids, as frequency of vertebrate predation increases with gall size. This suggests that the balance between predation and parasitoid attack shapes the optimal size of D. rosae galls. PMID:24918448

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Predators can impact their prey via consumptive effects that occur through direct killing, and via non-consumptive effects that arise when the behaviour and phenotypes of prey shift in response to the risk of predation. Although predators' consumptive effects can have cascading population-level effects on species at lower trophic levels there is less evidence that predators' non-consumptive effects propagate through ecosystems. Here we provide evidence that suppression of abundance and activity of a mesopredator (the feral cat) by an apex predator (the dingo) has positive effects on both abundance and foraging efficiency of a desert rodent. Then by manipulating predators' access to food patches we further the idea that apex predators provide small prey with refuge from predation by showing that rodents increased their habitat breadth and use of ‘risky′ food patches where an apex predator was common but mesopredators rare. Our study suggests that apex predators' suppressive effects on mesopredators extend to alleviate both mesopredators' consumptive and non-consumptive effects on prey. PMID:25652837

  9. Predation on rose galls: parasitoids and predators determine gall size through directional selection.

    PubMed

    László, Zoltán; Sólyom, Katalin; Prázsmári, Hunor; Barta, Zoltán; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2014-01-01

    Both predators and parasitoids can have significant effects on species' life history traits, such as longevity or clutch size. In the case of gall inducers, sporadically there is evidence to suggest that both vertebrate predation and insect parasitoid attack may shape the optimal gall size. While the effects of parasitoids have been studied in detail, the influence of vertebrate predation is less well-investigated. To better understand this aspect of gall size evolution, we studied vertebrate predation on galls of Diplolepis rosae on rose (Rosa canina) shrubs. We measured predation frequency, predation incidence, and predation rate in a large-scale observational field study, as well as an experimental field study. Our combined results suggest that, similarly to parasitoids, vertebrate predation makes a considerable contribution to mortality of gall inducer larvae. On the other hand, its influence on gall size is in direct contrast to the effect of parasitoids, as frequency of vertebrate predation increases with gall size. This suggests that the balance between predation and parasitoid attack shapes the optimal size of D. rosae galls.

  10. The Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model with foraging-predation risk trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Krivan, Vlastimil

    2007-11-01

    This article studies the effects of adaptive changes in predator and/or prey activities on the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey population dynamics. The model assumes the classical foraging-predation risk trade-offs: increased activity increases population growth rate, but it also increases mortality rate. The model considers three scenarios: prey only are adaptive, predators only are adaptive, and both species are adaptive. Under all these scenarios, the neutral stability of the classical Lotka-Volterra model is partially lost because the amplitude of maximum oscillation in species numbers is bounded, and the bound is independent of the initial population numbers. Moreover, if both prey and predators behave adaptively, the neutral stability can be completely lost, and a globally stable equilibrium would appear. This is because prey and/or predator switching leads to a piecewise constant prey (predator) isocline with a vertical (horizontal) part that limits the amplitude of oscillations in prey and predator numbers, exactly as suggested by Rosenzweig and MacArthur in their seminal work on graphical stability analysis of predator-prey systems. Prey and predator activities in a long-term run are calculated explicitly. This article shows that predictions based on short-term behavioral experiments may not correspond to long-term predictions when population dynamics are considered.

  11. Predator olfactory cues generate a foraging-predation trade-off through prey apprehension.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Fallon, Eric; Boersma, Kate

    2016-02-01

    Most animals are faced with the challenge of securing food under the risk of predation. This frequently generates a trade-off whereby animals respond to predator cues with reduced movement to avoid predation at the direct cost of reduced foraging success. However, predators may also cause prey to be apprehensive in their foraging activities, which would generate an indirect 'apprehension cost'. Apprehension arises when a forager redirects attention from foraging tasks to predator detection and incurs a cost from such multi-tasking, because the forager ends up making more mistakes in its foraging tasks as a result. Here, we test this apprehension cost hypothesis and show that damselflies miss a greater proportion of their prey during foraging bouts in response to both olfactory cues produced by conspecifics that have only viewed a fish predator and olfactory cues produced directly by fish. This reduced feeding efficiency is in addition to the stereotypical anti-predator response of reduced activity, which we also observed. These results show that costs associated with anti-predator responses not only arise through behavioural alterations that reduce the risk of predation, but also from the indirect costs of apprehension and multi-tasking that can reduce feeding efficiency under the threat of predation.

  12. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, Stephen; McCarthy, Kyle P.; Laskowski, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Common Loon (Gavia immer) must defend against many potential egg predators during incubation, including corvids, Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), fisher (Martes pennanti), and mink (Neovison vison) (McIntyre 1988, Evers 2004, McCann et al. 2005). Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have been documented as predators of both adult Common Loons and their chicks (Vliestra and Paruk 1997, Paruk et al. 1999, Erlandson et al. 2007, Piper et al. 2008). In Wisconsin, where nesting Bald Eagles are abundant (>1200 nesting pairs, >1 young/pair/year), field biologists observed four instances of eagle predation of eggs in loon nests during the period 2002–2004 (M. Meyer pers. comm.). In addition, four cases of eagle predation of incubating adult loons were inferred from evidence found at the loon nest (dozens of plucked adult loon feathers, no carcass remains) and/or loon leg, neck, and skull bones beneath two active eagle nests, including leg bones containing the bands of the nearby (<25 m) incubating adult loon. However, although loon egg predation has been associated with Bald Eagles, predation events have yet to be described in peer-reviewed literature. Here we describe a photographic observation of predation on a Common Loon egg by an immature Bald Eagle as captured by a nest surveillance video camera on Lake Umbagog, a large lake (32 km2) at Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge (UNWR) in Maine.

  14. Exploiting interspecific olfactory communication to monitor predators.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  15. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

    Van Bael, Sunshine A; Philpott, Stacy M; Greenberg, Russell; Bichier, Peter; Barber, Nicholas A; Mooney, Kailen A; Gruner, Daniel S

    2008-04-01

    Insectivorous birds reduce arthropod abundances and their damage to plants in some, but not all, studies where predation by birds has been assessed. The variation in bird effects may be due to characteristics such as plant productivity or quality, habitat complexity, and/or species diversity of predator and prey assemblages. Since agroforestry systems vary in such characteristics, these systems provide a good starting point for understanding when and where we can expect predation by birds to be important. We analyze data from bird exclosure studies in forests and agroforestry systems to ask whether birds consistently reduce their arthropod prey base and whether bird predation differs between forests and agroforestry systems. Further, we focus on agroforestry systems to ask whether the magnitude of bird predation (1) differs between canopy trees and understory plants, (2) differs when migratory birds are present or absent, and (3) correlates with bird abundance and diversity. We found that, across all studies, birds reduce all arthropods, herbivores, carnivores, and plant damage. We observed no difference in the magnitude of bird effects between agroforestry systems and forests despite simplified habitat structure and plant diversity in agroforests. Within agroforestry systems, bird reduction of arthropods was greater in the canopy than the crop layer. Top-down effects of bird predation were especially strong during censuses when migratory birds were present in agroforestry systems. Importantly, the diversity of the predator assemblage correlated with the magnitude of predator effects; where the diversity of birds, especially migratory birds, was greater, birds reduced arthropod densities to a greater extent. We outline potential mechanisms for relationships between bird predator, insect prey, and habitat characteristics, and we suggest future studies using tropical agroforests as a model system to further test these areas of ecological theory.

  16. Nutrient-Specific Foraging in Invertebrate Predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayntz, David; Raubenheimer, David; Salomon, Mor; Toft, Søren; Simpson, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    Many herbivores and omnivores adjust their food selection behavior to regulate the intake of multiple nutrients. Carnivores, however, are generally assumed to optimize the rate of prey capture rather than select prey according to nutrient composition. We showed experimentally that invertebrate predators can forage selectively for protein and lipids to redress specific nutritional imbalances. This selection can take place at different stages of prey handling: The predator may select among foods of different nutritional composition, eat more of a prey if it is rich in nutrients that the predator is deficient in, or extract specific nutrients from a single prey item.

  17. Predators induce cloning in echinoderm larvae.

    PubMed

    Vaughn, Dawn; Strathmann, Richard R

    2008-03-14

    Asexual propagation (cloning) is a widespread reproductive strategy of plants and animals. Although larval cloning is well documented in echinoderms, identified stimuli for cloning are limited to those associated with conditions favorable for growth and reproduction. Our research shows that larvae of the sand dollar Dendraster excentricus also clone in response to cues from predators. Predator-induced clones were smaller than uncloned larvae, suggesting an advantage against visual predators. Our results offer another ecological context for asexual reproduction: rapid size reduction as a defense.

  18. a Numerical Study on Predator Prey Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laham, Mohamed Faris; Krishnarajah, Isthrinayagy; Jumaat, Abdul Kadir

    Stochastic spatial models are becoming a popular tool for understand the ecological and evolution of ecosystem problems. We consider the predator prey interactions in term of stochastic representation of this Lotka-Volterra model and explore the use of stochastic processes to extinction behavior of the interacting populations. Here, we present simulation of stochastic processes of continuous time Lotka-Volterra model. Euler method has been used to solve the predator prey system. The trajectory spiral graph has been plotted based on obtained solution to show the population cycle of predator as a function of time.

  19. Imbalance of predator and prey armament: geographic clines in phenotypic interface and natural selection.

    PubMed

    Toju, Hirokazu; Sota, Teiji

    2006-01-01

    The escalation of defensive/offensive arms is ubiquitous in prey-predator evolutionary interactions. However, there may be a geographically varying imbalance in the armaments of participating species that affects the outcome of local interactions. In a system involving the Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) and its obligate seed predator, the camellia weevil (Curculio camelliae), we investigated the geographic variation in physical defensive/offensive traits and that in natural selection on the plant's defense among 17 populations over a 700-km-wide area in Japan. The sizes of the plant defensive apparatus (pericarp thickness) and the weevil offensive apparatus (rostrum length) clearly correlated with each other across populations. Nevertheless, the balance in armaments between the two species was geographically structured. In the populations for which the balance was relatively advantageous for the plant's defense, natural selection on the trait was stronger because in the other populations, most plant individuals were too vulnerable to resist the attacks of the weevil, and their seeds were infested independent of pericarp thickness. We also found that the imbalance between the defensive/offensive armaments and the intensity of natural selection showed clear latitudinal clines. Overall, our results suggest that the imbalance of armament between sympatric prey and predator could determine the strength of local selection and that climatic conditions could affect the local and overall trajectory of coevolutionary arms races.

  20. On the relative contributions of wind vs. animals to seed dispersal of four Sierra Nevada pines.

    PubMed

    Vander Wall, Stephen B

    2008-07-01

    Selective pressures that influence the form of seed dispersal syndromes are poorly understood. Morphology of plant propagules is often used to infer the means of dispersal, but morphology can be misleading. Several species of pines, for example, have winged seeds adapted for wind dispersal but owe much of their establishment to scatter-hoarding animals. Here the relative importance of wind vs. animal dispersal is assessed for four species of pines of the eastern Sierra Nevada that have winged seeds but differed in seed size: lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta murrayana, 8 mg); ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa ponderosa, 56 mg); Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi, 160 mg); and sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana, 231 mg). Pre-dispersal seed mortality eliminated much of the ponderosa pine seed crop (66%), but had much less effect on Jeffrey pine (32% of seeds destroyed), lodgepole pine (29%), and sugar pine (7%). When cones opened most filled seeds were dispersed by wind. Animals removed > 99% of wind-dispersed Jeffrey and sugar pine seeds from the ground within 60 days, but animals gathered only 93% of lodgepole pine seeds and 38% of ponderosa pine seeds during the same period. Animals gathered and scatter hoarded radioactively labeled ponderosa, Jeffrey, and sugar pine seeds, making a total of 2103 caches over three years of study. Only three lodgepole pine caches were found. Caches typically contained 1-4 seeds buried 5-20 mm deep, depths suitable for seedling emergence. Although Jeffrey and sugar pine seeds are initially wind dispersed, nearly all seedlings arise from animal caches. Lodgepole pine is almost exclusively wind dispersed, with animals acting as seed predators. Animals treated ponderosa pine in an intermediate fashion. Two-phased dispersal of large, winged pine seeds appears adaptive; initial wind dispersal helps to minimize pre-dispersal seed mortality whereas scatter hoarding by animals places seeds in sites with a higher probability of seedling establishment.

  1. The Use of Protein Markers to Pinpoint Predation Events

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Identifying the feeding choices and amount of prey consumed by generalist predators is difficult. Often the only evidence of arthropod predation is in the stomach contents of predators. Currently, the state-of-the-art predator stomach content assays include prey-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent...

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  3. Dynamics of additional food provided predator-prey system with mutually interfering predators.

    PubMed

    Prasad, B S R V; Banerjee, Malay; Srinivasu, P D N

    2013-11-01

    Use of additional/alternative food source to predators is one of the widely recognised practices in the field of biological control. Both theoretical and experimental works point out that quality and quantity of additional food play a vital role in the controllability of the pest. Theoretical studies carried out previously in this direction indicate that incorporating mutual interference between predators can stabilise the system. Experimental evidence also point out that mutual interference between predators can affect the outcome of the biological control programs. In this article dynamics of additional food provided predator-prey system in the presence of mutual interference between predators has been studied. The mutual interference between predators is modelled using Beddington-DeAngelis type functional response. The system analysis highlights the role of mutual interference on the success of biological control programs when predators are provided with additional food. The model results indicate the possibility of stable coexistence of predators with low prey population levels. This is in contrast to classical predator-prey models wherein this stable co-existence at low prey population levels is not possible. This study classifies the characteristics of biological control agents and additional food (of suitable quality and quantity), permitting the eco-managers to enhance the success rate of biological control programs.

  4. Predator-Free New Zealand: Conservation Country

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Predator cognition permits imperfect coral snake mimicry.

    PubMed

    Kikuchi, David W; Pfennig, David W

    2010-12-01

    Batesian mimicry is often imprecise. An underexplored explanation for imperfect mimicry is that predators might not be able to use all dimensions of prey phenotype to distinguish mimics from models and thus permit imperfect mimicry to persist. We conducted a field experiment to test whether or not predators can distinguish deadly coral snakes (Micrurus fulvius) from nonvenomous scarlet kingsnakes (Lampropeltis elapsoides). Although the two species closely resemble one another, the order of colored rings that encircle their bodies differs. Despite this imprecise mimicry, we found that L. elapsoides that match coral snakes in other respects are not under selection to match the ring order of their model. We suggest that L. elapsoides have evolved only those signals necessary to deceive predators. Generally, imperfect mimicry might suffice if it exploits limitations in predator cognitive abilities.

  6. Predator-dependent species-area relationships.

    PubMed

    Ryberg, Wade A; Chase, Jonathan M

    2007-10-01

    In addition to having a positive effect on species richness (species-area relationships [SARs]), habitat area can influence the presence of predators, which can indirectly influence prey richness. While these direct and indirect effects of area on richness occur simultaneously, no research has examined how predation might contribute to SAR variation. We extend MacArthur and Wilson's equilibrium theory of island biogeography by including predation-induced shifts in prey extinction and predict that predators will reduce slopes of prey SARs. We provide support for this with data from two insular ecosystems: orthopteran richness in Ozark glades (rocky herbaceous communities within a forested matrix) with and without insectivorous lizards and zooplankton richness in freshwater ponds with and without zooplanktivorous fishes. Our results emphasize that anthropogenic activities yield simultaneous changes in processes altering diversity and that it is critical that we understand how these components of anthropogenic change interact to impact diversity.

  7. Seed dispersal and spatial distribution of Attalea geraensis (Arecaceae) in two remnants of Cerrado in Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonjorne de Almeida, Lilian; Galetti, Mauro

    2007-09-01

    The seed dispersal system of Attalea geraensis (Arecaceae), an acaulescent palm, was investigated during one year in two Cerrado fragments in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. A. geraensis had inflorescences and infrutescences throughout the year. Two scatter-hoarding rodents (the spiny rat, Clyomys bishopi and agoutis, Dasyprocta azarae) were identified as seed predators/dispersers, able to move seeds up to 30 m from the palms, although most of the fruits (57.5%) were dispersed less than 2 m. The removal rates were high and after 20 days, 97.2% of the fruits were removed. Fruit fate was not related to fruit mass, length and diameter. The application of Morisita's index showed a more clumped distribution of adults in the smaller fragment, probably because of the absence of agoutis. Higher seed removal by rodents in the large Cerrado remnant may decrease seed predation by beetles.

  8. Selective signalling by cuttlefish to predators.

    PubMed

    Langridge, Keri V; Broom, Mark; Osorio, Daniel

    2007-12-18

    Rather than simply escaping, prey animals often attempt to deter an attack by signalling to an approaching predator, but this is a risky strategy if it allows time for the predator to draw closer (especially when the signal is a bluff). Because prey are vulnerable to multiple predators, the hunting techniques of which vary widely, it could well be beneficial for a prey animal to discriminate predators and to signal only to those that are likely to be deterred. Higher vertebrates make alarm calls that can identify the type of predator to the signaller's conspecifics, and a recent study shows that squirrels direct an infrared deterrent signal specifically at infrared-sensitive pit-vipers and not at other snakes. We show here that naïve juvenile cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis L.) use a visual signal selectively during encounters with different predatory species. We analysed sequences of defensive behaviours produced by cuttlefish, to control for effects of relative threat level (or 'response urgency'). This showed that a high contrast 'eyespot' signal, known as the deimatic display, was used before flight against visually oriented teleost fish, but not crabs and dogfish, which are chemosensory predators.

  9. Techniques for identifying predators of goose nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R. Michael; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Miller, David A.

    2006-01-01

    We used cameras and artificial eggs to identify nest predators of dusky Canada goose Branta canadensis occidentalis nests during 1997-2000. Cameras were set up at 195 occupied goose nests and 60 artificial nests. We placed wooden eggs and domestic goose eggs that were emptied and then filled with wax or foam in an additional 263 natural goose nests to identify predators from marks in the artificial eggs. All techniques had limitations, but each correctly identified predators and estimated their relative importance. Nests with cameras had higher rates of abandonment than natural nests, especially during laying. Abandonment rates were reduced by deploying artificial eggs late in laying and reducing time at nests. Predation rates for nests with cameras were slightly lower than for nests without cameras. Wax-filled artificial eggs caused mortality of embryos in natural nests, but were better for identifying predator marks at artificial nests. Use of foam-filled artificial eggs in natural nests was the most cost effective means of monitoring nest predation. ?? Wildlife Biology (2006).

  10. Ancestral polyploidy in seed plants and angiosperms.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Yuannian; Wickett, Norman J; Ayyampalayam, Saravanaraj; Chanderbali, André S; Landherr, Lena; Ralph, Paula E; Tomsho, Lynn P; Hu, Yi; Liang, Haiying; Soltis, Pamela S; Soltis, Douglas E; Clifton, Sandra W; Schlarbaum, Scott E; Schuster, Stephan C; Ma, Hong; Leebens-Mack, Jim; dePamphilis, Claude W

    2011-05-05

    Whole-genome duplication (WGD), or polyploidy, followed by gene loss and diploidization has long been recognized as an important evolutionary force in animals, fungi and other organisms, especially plants. The success of angiosperms has been attributed, in part, to innovations associated with gene or whole-genome duplications, but evidence for proposed ancient genome duplications pre-dating the divergence of monocots and eudicots remains equivocal in analyses of conserved gene order. Here we use comprehensive phylogenomic analyses of sequenced plant genomes and more than 12.6 million new expressed-sequence-tag sequences from phylogenetically pivotal lineages to elucidate two groups of ancient gene duplications-one in the common ancestor of extant seed plants and the other in the common ancestor of extant angiosperms. Gene duplication events were intensely concentrated around 319 and 192 million years ago, implicating two WGDs in ancestral lineages shortly before the diversification of extant seed plants and extant angiosperms, respectively. Significantly, these ancestral WGDs resulted in the diversification of regulatory genes important to seed and flower development, suggesting that they were involved in major innovations that ultimately contributed to the rise and eventual dominance of seed plants and angiosperms.

  11. It's a predator-eat-parasite world: how characteristics of predator, parasite and environment affect consumption.

    PubMed

    Orlofske, Sarah A; Jadin, Robert C; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the effects of predation on disease dynamics is increasingly important in light of the role ecological communities can play in host-parasite interactions. Surprisingly, however, few studies have characterized direct predation of parasites. Here we used an experimental approach to show that consumption of free-living parasite stages is highly context dependent, with significant influences of parasite size, predator size and foraging mode, as well as environmental condition. Among the four species of larval trematodes and two types of predators (fish and larval damselflies) studied here, parasites with larger infective stages (size >1,000 μm) were most vulnerable to predation by fish, while small-bodied fish and damselflies (size <10 mm) consumed the most infectious stages. Small parasite species (size approx. 500 μm) were less frequently consumed by both fish and larval damselflies. However, these results depended strongly on light availability; trials conducted in the dark led to significantly fewer parasites consumed overall, especially those with a size of <1,000 μm, emphasizing the importance of circadian shedding times of parasite free-living stages for predation risk. Intriguingly, active predation functioned to help limit fishes' infection by directly penetrating parasite species. Our results are consistent with established theory developed for predation on zooplankton that emphasizes the roles of body size, visibility and predation modes and further suggest that consumer-resource theory may provide a predictive framework for when predators should significantly influence parasite transmission. These results contribute to our understanding of transmission in natural systems, the role of predator-parasite links in food webs and the evolution of parasite morphology and behavior.

  12. Limited spatial response to direct predation risk by African herbivores following predator reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew B; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H; Asner, Gregory P

    2016-08-01

    Predators affect ecosystems not only through direct mortality of prey, but also through risk effects on prey behavior, which can exert strong influences on ecosystem function and prey fitness. However, how functionally different prey species respond to predation risk and how prey strategies vary across ecosystems and in response to predator reintroduction are poorly understood. We investigated the spatial distributions of six African herbivores varying in foraging strategy and body size in response to environmental factors and direct predation risk by recently reintroduced lions in the thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, using camera trap surveys, GPS telemetry, kill site locations and Light Detection and Ranging. Spatial distributions of all species, apart from buffalo, were driven primarily by environmental factors, with limited responses to direct predation risk. Responses to predation risk were instead indirect, with species distributions driven by environmental factors, and diel patterns being particularly pronounced. Grazers were more responsive to the measured variables than browsers, with more observations in open areas. Terrain ruggedness was a stronger predictor of browser distributions than was vegetation density. Buffalo was the only species to respond to predator encounter risk, avoiding areas with higher lion utilization. Buffalo therefore behaved in similar ways to when lions were absent from the study area. Our results suggest that direct predation risk effects are relatively weak when predator densities are low and the time since reintroduction is short and emphasize the need for robust, long-term monitoring of predator reintroductions to place such events in the broader context of predation risk effects.

  13. Investment in seed physical defence is associated with species' light requirement for regeneration and seed persistence: evidence from Macaranga species in Borneo.

    PubMed

    Tiansawat, Pimonrat; Davis, Adam S; Berhow, Mark A; Zalamea, Paul-Camilo; Dalling, James W

    2014-01-01

    The seed stage is often critical in determining the regeneration success of plants. Seeds must survive an array of seed predators and pathogens and germinate under conditions favourable for seedling establishment. To maximise recruitment success plants protect seeds using a diverse set of chemical and physical defences. However, the relationship between these defence classes, and their association with other life history traits, is not well understood. Data on seed coat thickness and fracture resistance, and the abundance and diversity of potential defensive compounds were collected for 10 tree species of Macaranga from Borneo. The data were used to test whether there is a trade-off in physical versus chemical defence investment, and to determine how investment varies with seed mass, and light requirement for regeneration. Across species there was no correlation between seed coat thickness and abundance of potential defensive compounds, indicating the absence of a direct trade-off between defence classes. While chemical defences were not correlated to other traits, physical defences were positively correlated with light requirement for regeneration. For a subset of five Macaranga species we evaluated the relative investment in chemical and physical defence to seed persistence in the soil, measured as the time to half initial seed viability (seed half-life). Half-life was negatively related to the ratio of potential defensive compound abundance to seed coat thickness, suggesting that species with long persistence invested in physical defence more than stored chemical defences. These results indicate that investment in seed defences are associated with species' light requirements for regeneration, rather than scaling positively with seed mass. Furthermore, chemical defences, although highly variable among species, do not appear to be critical to long term persistence of Macaranga seeds, and may be important in defending seeds from natural enemies distinct from those

  14. Investment in Seed Physical Defence Is Associated with Species' Light Requirement for Regeneration and Seed Persistence: Evidence from Macaranga Species in Borneo

    PubMed Central

    Tiansawat, Pimonrat; Davis, Adam S.; Berhow, Mark A.; Zalamea, Paul-Camilo; Dalling, James W.

    2014-01-01

    The seed stage is often critical in determining the regeneration success of plants. Seeds must survive an array of seed predators and pathogens and germinate under conditions favourable for seedling establishment. To maximise recruitment success plants protect seeds using a diverse set of chemical and physical defences. However, the relationship between these defence classes, and their association with other life history traits, is not well understood. Data on seed coat thickness and fracture resistance, and the abundance and diversity of potential defensive compounds were collected for 10 tree species of Macaranga from Borneo. The data were used to test whether there is a trade-off in physical versus chemical defence investment, and to determine how investment varies with seed mass, and light requirement for regeneration. Across species there was no correlation between seed coat thickness and abundance of potential defensive compounds, indicating the absence of a direct trade-off between defence classes. While chemical defences were not correlated to other traits, physical defences were positively correlated with light requirement for regeneration. For a subset of five Macaranga species we evaluated the relative investment in chemical and physical defence to seed persistence in the soil, measured as the time to half initial seed viability (seed half-life). Half-life was negatively related to the ratio of potential defensive compound abundance to seed coat thickness, suggesting that species with long persistence invested in physical defence more than stored chemical defences. These results indicate that investment in seed defences are associated with species' light requirements for regeneration, rather than scaling positively with seed mass. Furthermore, chemical defences, although highly variable among species, do not appear to be critical to long term persistence of Macaranga seeds, and may be important in defending seeds from natural enemies distinct from those

  15. Evidence of intraguild predation on a key member of the cotton predator complex

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding trophic level interactions of arthropods is vital for identifying the biological control services provided by the predator complex. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed to examine the gut contents of the cotton predator community for the presence of the DNA of green l...

  16. Testing the threat-sensitive predator avoidance hypothesis: physiological responses and predator pressure in wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Monclús, Raquel; Palomares, Francisco; Tablado, Zulima; Martínez-Fontúrbel, Ana; Palme, Rupert

    2009-01-01

    Predation is a strong selective force with both direct and indirect effects on an animal's fitness. In order to increase the chances of survival, animals have developed different antipredator strategies. However, these strategies have associated costs, so animals should assess their actual risk of predation and shape their antipredator effort accordingly. Under a stressful situation, such as the presence of predators, animals display a physiological stress response that might be proportional to the risk perceived. We tested this hypothesis in wild European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), subjected to different predator pressures, in Doñana National Park (Spain). We measured the concentrations of fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) in 20 rabbit populations. By means of track censuses we obtained indexes of mammalian predator presence for each rabbit population. Other factors that could modify the physiological stress response, such as breeding status, food availability and rabbit density, were also considered. Model selection based on information theory showed that predator pressure was the main factor triggering the glucocorticoid release and that the physiological stress response was positively correlated with the indexes of the presence of mammalian carnivore predators. Other factors, such as food availability and density of rabbits, were considerably less important. We conclude that rabbits are able to assess their actual risk of predation and show a threat-sensitive physiological response.

  17. Interactions of bullfrog tadpole predators and an insecticide: Predation release and facilitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2003-01-01

    The effect of a contaminant on a community may not be easily predicted, given that complex changes in food resources and predator-prey dynamics may result. The objectives of our study were to determine the interactive effects of the insecticide carbaryl and predators on body size, development, survival, and activity of tadpoles of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). We conducted the study in cattle tank mesocosm ponds exposed to 0, 3.5, or 7.0 mg/l carbaryl, and no predators or two red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), or crayfish (Orconectes sp.). Carbaryl negatively affected predator survival by eliminating crayfish from all ponds, and by eliminating bluegill sunfish from ponds exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl; carbaryl exposure did not effect survival of red-spotted newts. Because crayfish were eliminated by carbaryl, bullfrogs were released from predation and survival was near that of predator controls at low concentrations of carbaryl exposure. High concentrations of carbaryl reduced tadpole survival regardless of whether predators survived carbaryl exposure or not. Presence of crayfish and newts reduced tadpole survival, while bluegill sunfish appeared to facilitate bullfrog tadpole survival. Presence of carbaryl stimulated bullfrog tadpole mass and development. Our study demonstrates that the presence of a contaminant stress can alter community regulation by releasing prey from predators that are vulnerable to contaminants in some exposure scenarios.

  18. Predator interference effects on biological control: The "paradox" of the generalist predator revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parshad, Rana D.; Bhowmick, Suman; Quansah, Emmanuel; Basheer, Aladeen; Upadhyay, Ranjit Kumar

    2016-10-01

    An interesting conundrum in biological control questions the efficiency of generalist predators as biological control agents. Theory suggests, generalist predators are poor agents for biological control, primarily due to mutual interference. However field evidence shows they are actually quite effective in regulating pest densities. In this work we provide a plausible answer to this paradox. We analyze a three species model, where a generalist top predator is introduced into an ecosystem as a biological control, to check the population of a middle predator, that in turn is depredating on a prey species. We show that the inclusion of predator interference alone, can cause the solution of the top predator equation to blow-up in finite time, while there is global existence in the no interference case. This result shows that interference could actually cause a population explosion of the top predator, enabling it to control the target species, thus corroborating recent field evidence. Our results might also partially explain the population explosion of certain species, introduced originally for biological control purposes, such as the cane toad (Bufo marinus) in Australia, which now functions as a generalist top predator. We also show both Turing instability and spatio-temporal chaos in the model. Lastly we investigate time delay effects.

  19. A predator-prey model with diseases in both prey and predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Xubin; Pan, Qiuhui; He, Mingfeng; Kang, Yibin

    2013-12-01

    In this paper, we present and analyze a predator-prey model, in which both predator and prey can be infected. Each of the predator and prey is divided into two categories, susceptible and infected. The epidemics cannot be transmitted between prey and predator by predation. The predation ability of susceptible predators is stronger than infected ones. Likewise, it is more difficult to catch a susceptible prey than an infected one. And the diseases cannot be hereditary in both of the predator and prey populations. Based on the assumptions above, we find that there are six equilibrium points in this model. Using the base reproduction number, we discuss the stability of the equilibrium points qualitatively. Then both of the local and global stabilities of the equilibrium points are analyzed quantitatively by mathematical methods. We provide numerical results to discuss some interesting biological cases that our model exhibits. Lastly, we discuss how the infectious rates affect the stability, and how the other parameters work in the five possible cases within this model.

  20. Predator personality structures prey communities and trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

    Intraspecific variation is central to our understanding of evolution and population ecology, yet its consequences for community ecology are poorly understood. Animal personality - consistent individual differences in suites of behaviours - may be particularly important for trophic dynamics, where predator personality can determine activity rates and patterns of attack. We used mesocosms with aquatic food webs in which the top predator (dragonfly nymphs) varied in activity and subsequent attack rates on zooplankton, and tested the effects of predator personality. We found support for four hypotheses: (1) active predators disproportionately reduce the abundance of prey, (2) active predators select for predator-resistant prey species, (3) active predators strengthen trophic cascades (increase phytoplankton abundance) and (4) active predators are more likely to cannibalise one another, weakening all other trends when at high densities. These results suggest that intraspecific variation in predator personality is an important determinant of prey abundance, community composition and trophic cascades.

  1. Predators target rare prey in coral reef fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Almany, Glenn R; Peacock, Lisa F; Syms, Craig; McCormick, Mark I; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2007-07-01

    Predation can result in differing patterns of local prey diversity depending on whether predators are selective and, if so, how they select prey. A recent study comparing the diversity of juvenile fish assemblages among coral reefs with and without predators concluded that decreased prey diversity in the presence of predators was most likely caused by predators actively selecting rare prey species. We used several related laboratory experiments to explore this hypothesis by testing: (1) whether predators prefer particular prey species, (2) whether individual predators consistently select the same prey species, (3) whether predators target rare prey, and (4) whether rare prey are more vulnerable to predation because they differ in appearance/colouration from common prey. Rare prey suffered greater predation than expected and were not more vulnerable to predators because their appearance/colouration differed from common prey. Individual predators did not consistently select the same prey species through time, suggesting that prey selection behaviour was flexible and context dependent rather than fixed. Thus, selection of rare prey was unlikely to be explained by simple preferences for particular prey species. We hypothesize that when faced with multiple prey species predators may initially focus on rare, conspicuous species to overcome the sensory confusion experienced when attacking aggregated prey, thereby minimizing the time required to capture prey. This hypothesis represents a community-level manifestation of two well-documented and related phenomena, the "confusion effect" and the "oddity effect", and may be an important, and often overlooked, mechanism by which predators influence local species diversity.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-06-08

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

  3. Importance of the predator's ecological neighborhood in modeling predation on migrating prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Petersen, James H.

    2001-01-01

    Most mathematical descriptions of predator-prey interactions fail to take into account the spatio-temporal structures of the populations, which can lead to errors or misinterpretations. For example, a compact pulse of prey migrating through a field of quasi-stationary predators may not be well described by standard predator-prey models, because the predators and prey are unlikely to be well mixed; that is, the prey may be exposed to only a fraction of the predator population at a time. This underscores the importance of properly accounting for the ecological neighborhood, or effective feeding range, of predators in models. We illustrate this situation with a series of models of salmon smolts migrating through a reservoir arrayed with predators. The reservoir is divided into a number of longitudinal compartments or spatial cells, the length of each cell representing the upstream-downstream range over which predators can forage. In this series of models a 100-km-long reservoir is divided, successively into 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, and 400 cells, with respective cell lengths of 50, 20, 10, 4, 2, 1, 0.5, and 0.25 km. We used a detailed individual-based simulation model at first, but to ensure robustness of results we supplemented this with a simple analytic model. Both models showed sharp differences in the predicted mortality to a compact pulse of smolt prey moving through the reservoir, depending on the number of spatial cells in the model. In particular, models with fewer than about 10 cells vastly overpredicted the amount of mortality due to predators with activity ranges of not more than a few kilometers. These results corroborate recent theoretical and simulation studies on the importance of spatial scale and behavior in modeling predator-prey dynamics.

  4. Predator-driven elemental cycling: the impact of predation and risk effects on ecosystem stoichiometry.

    PubMed

    Leroux, Shawn J; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-11-01

    Empirical evidence is beginning to show that predators can be important drivers of elemental cycling within ecosystems by propagating indirect effects that determine the distribution of elements among trophic levels as well as determine the chemical content of organic matter that becomes decomposed by microbes. These indirect effects can be propagated by predator consumptive effects on prey, nonconsumptive (risk) effects, or a combination of both. Currently, there is insufficient theory to predict how such predator effects should propagate throughout ecosystems. We present here a theoretical framework for exploring predator effects on ecosystem elemental cycling to encourage further empirical quantification. We use a classic ecosystem trophic compartment model as a basis for our analyses but infuse principles from ecological stoichiometry into the analyses of elemental cycling. Using a combined analytical-numerical approach, we compare how predators affect cycling through consumptive effects in which they control the flux of nutrients up trophic chains; through risk effects in which they change the homeostatic elemental balance of herbivore prey which accordingly changes the element ratio herbivores select from plants; and through a combination of both effects. Our analysis reveals that predators can have quantitatively important effects on elemental cycling, relative to a model formalism that excludes predator effects. Furthermore, the feedbacks due to predator nonconsumptive effects often have the quantitatively strongest impact on whole ecosystem elemental stocks, production and efficiency rates, and recycling fluxes by changing the stoichiometric balance of all trophic levels. Our modeling framework predictably shows how bottom-up control by microbes and top-down control by predators on ecosystems become interdependent when top predator effects permeate ecosystems.

  5. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Darcy; Conklin, Eric; Papastamatiou, Yannis P.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Pollock, Kydd; Pollock, Amanda; Kendall, Bruce E.; Gaines, Steven D.; Caselle, Jennifer E.

    2017-01-01

    What did coral reef ecosystems look like before human impacts became pervasive? Early efforts to reconstruct baselines resulted in the controversial suggestion that pristine coral reefs have inverted trophic pyramids, with disproportionally large top predator biomass. The validity of the coral reef inverted trophic pyramid has been questioned, but until now, was not resolved empirically. We use data from an eight-year tag-recapture program with spatially explicit, capture-recapture models to re-examine the population size and density of a key top predator at Palmyra atoll, the same location that inspired the idea of inverted trophic biomass pyramids in coral reef ecosystems. Given that animal movement is suspected to have significantly biased early biomass estimates of highly mobile top predators, we focused our reassessment on the most mobile and most abundant predator at Palmyra, the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos). We estimated a density of 21.3 (95% CI 17.8, 24.7) grey reef sharks/km2, which is an order of magnitude lower than the estimates that suggested an inverted trophic pyramid. Our results indicate that the trophic structure of an unexploited reef fish community is not inverted, and that even healthy top predator populations may be considerably smaller, and more precarious, than previously thought. PMID:28220895

  6. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Darcy; Conklin, Eric; Papastamatiou, Yannis P; McCauley, Douglas J; Pollock, Kydd; Pollock, Amanda; Kendall, Bruce E; Gaines, Steven D; Caselle, Jennifer E

    2017-02-21

    What did coral reef ecosystems look like before human impacts became pervasive? Early efforts to reconstruct baselines resulted in the controversial suggestion that pristine coral reefs have inverted trophic pyramids, with disproportionally large top predator biomass. The validity of the coral reef inverted trophic pyramid has been questioned, but until now, was not resolved empirically. We use data from an eight-year tag-recapture program with spatially explicit, capture-recapture models to re-examine the population size and density of a key top predator at Palmyra atoll, the same location that inspired the idea of inverted trophic biomass pyramids in coral reef ecosystems. Given that animal movement is suspected to have significantly biased early biomass estimates of highly mobile top predators, we focused our reassessment on the most mobile and most abundant predator at Palmyra, the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos). We estimated a density of 21.3 (95% CI 17.8, 24.7) grey reef sharks/km(2), which is an order of magnitude lower than the estimates that suggested an inverted trophic pyramid. Our results indicate that the trophic structure of an unexploited reef fish community is not inverted, and that even healthy top predator populations may be considerably smaller, and more precarious, than previously thought.

  7. Inducible defenses in prey intensify predator cannibalism.

    PubMed

    Kishida, Osamu; Trussell, Geoffrey C; Nishimura, Kinya; Ohgushi, Takayuki

    2009-11-01

    Trophic cascades are often a potent force in ecological communities, but abiotic and biotic heterogeneity can diffuse their influence. For example, inducible defenses in many species create variation in prey edibility, and size-structured interactions, such as cannibalism, can shift predator diets away from heterospecific prey. Although both factors diffuse cascade strength by adding heterogeneity to trophic interactions, the consequences of their interactioh remain poorly understood. We show that inducible defenses in tadpole prey greatly intensify cannibalism in predatory larval salamanders. The likelihood of cannibalism was also strongly influenced by asymmetries in salamander size that appear to be most important in the presence of defended prey. Hence, variation in prey edibility and the size structure of the predator may synergistically affect predator-prey population dynamics by reducing prey mortality and increasing predator mortality via cannibalism. We also suggest that the indirect effects of prey defenses may shape the evolution of predator traits that determine diet breadth and how trophic dynamics unfold in natural systems.

  8. Stability of a Prey-Predator Model with Behavior Changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wendi

    2010-04-01

    A prey-predator system with hawk and dove behavior changes is studied, which allows the same time scale for population growth and individual behavior changes. Through stability analysis, we find that the four patterns in dynamical behaviors persist when the restriction is removed that the time scale of the behavior changes is much faster than that of population growth. The patterns include the bistability of an eqUilibrium of predator survival and an equilibrium of predator extinction, the coexistence of two stable equilibria of predator survival, a monostable equilibrium that describes the coexistence of prey and predators, and the extinction of predators for all positive initial values.

  9. Evidence of leopard predation on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

    PubMed

    D'Amour, Danielle E; Hohmann, Gottfried; Fruth, Barbara

    2006-01-01

    Current models of social organization assume that predation is one of the major forces that promotes group living in diurnal primates. As large body size renders some protection against predators, gregariousness of great apes and other large primate species is usually related to other parameters. The low frequency of observed cases of nonhuman predation on great apes seems to support this assumption. However, recent efforts to study potential predator species have increasingly accumulated direct and indirect evidence of predation by leopards (Panthera pardus) on chimpanzees and gorillas. The following report provides the first evidence of predation by a leopard on bonobos (Pan paniscus).

  10. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds). 201.18 Section... SERVICE (Standards, Inspections, Marketing Practices), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (CONTINUED) FEDERAL SEED ACT FEDERAL SEED ACT REGULATIONS Labeling Agricultural Seeds § 201.18 Other agricultural seeds...

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Terrestrial top-predators are expected to regulate and stabilise food webs through their consumptive and non-consumptive effects on sympatric mesopredators and prey. The lethal control of top-predators has therefore been predicted to inhibit top-predator function, generate the release of mesopredators and indirectly harm native fauna through trophic cascade effects. Understanding the outcomes of lethal control on interactions within terrestrial predator guilds is important for zoologists, conservation biologists and wildlife managers. However, few studies have the capacity to test these predictions experimentally, and no such studies have previously been conducted on the eclectic suite of native and exotic, mammalian and reptilian taxa we simultaneously assess. We conducted a series of landscape-scale, multi-year, manipulative experiments at nine sites spanning five ecosystem types across the Australian continental rangelands to investigate the responses of mesopredators (red foxes, feral cats and goannas) to contemporary poison-baiting programs intended to control top-predators (dingoes) for livestock protection. Result Short-term behavioural releases of mesopredators were not apparent, and in almost all cases, the three mesopredators we assessed were in similar or greater abundance in unbaited areas relative to baited areas, with mesopredator abundance trends typically either uncorrelated or positively correlated with top-predator abundance trends over time. The exotic mammals and native reptile we assessed responded similarly (poorly) to top-predator population manipulation. This is because poison baits were taken by multiple target and non-target predators and top-predator populations quickly recovered to pre-control levels, thus reducing the overall impact of baiting on top-predators and averting a trophic cascade. Conclusions These results are in accord with other predator manipulation experiments conducted worldwide, and suggest that Australian

  12. Seed Treatment. Sale Publication 4076.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wamsley, Mary Ann, Ed.; Vermeire, Donna M., Ed.

    This guide gives information about types of seeds that may require chemical protection against pests, seed treatment pesticide formulations, seed treatment methods, labeling treated seed, and safety and environmental precautions. (Author/BB)

  13. Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  14. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-05

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

  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. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, Sara M; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Halpern, Benjamin S; Breed, Greg A; Nickel, Barry; Teutschel, Nicole M; Crowder, Larry B; Benson, Scott; Dutton, Peter H; Bailey, Helen; Kappes, Michelle A; Kuhn, Carey E; Weise, Michael J; Mate, Bruce; Shaffer, Scott A; Hassrick, Jason L; Henry, Robert W; Irvine, Ladd; McDonald, Birgitte I; Robinson, Patrick W; Block, Barbara A; Costa, Daniel P

    2013-01-01

    Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact (CUI) on marine predators by combining electronic tracking data of eight protected predator species (n=685 individuals) in the California Current Ecosystem with data on 24 anthropogenic stressors. We show significant variation in CUI with some of the highest impacts within US National Marine Sanctuaries. High variation in underlying species and cumulative impact distributions means that neither alone is sufficient for effective spatial management. Instead, comprehensive management approaches accounting for both cumulative human impacts and trade-offs among multiple stressors must be applied in planning the use of marine resources.

  17. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R. Michael; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Manly, B.F.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting success of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) has declined greatly since a major earthquake affected southern Alaska in 1964. To identify nest predators, we collected predation data at goose nests and photographs of predators at natural nests containing artificial eggs in 1997-2000. To document feeding behavior by nest predators, we compiled the evidence from destroyed nests with known predators on our study site and from previous studies. We constructed a profile for each predator group and compared the evidence from 895 nests with unknown predators to our predator profiles using mixture-model analysis. This analysis indicated that 72% of destroyed nests were depredated by Bald Eagles and 13% by brown bears, and also yielded the probability that each nest was correctly assigned to a predator group based on model fit. Model testing using simulations indicated that the proportion estimated for eagle predation was unbiased and the proportion for bear predation was slightly overestimated. This approach may have application whenever there are adequate data on nests destroyed by known predators and predators exhibit different feeding behavior at nests.

  18. Preservation of recalcitrant seeds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recalcitrant and intermediate seeds are not included in seed banks because of misperceptions that these efforts would be futile. Between 20 and 25% of the Earth’s angiosperm species are estimated to produce recalcitrant or intermediate seeds. These species are more prevalent in the tropics and sub...

  19. Seed Development and Germination

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed is the fertilized and matured ovule of angiosperms and gymnosperms and represents a crucial stage in the life cycle of plants. Seeds of diverse plant species may display differences in size, shape and color. Despite apparent morphological variations, most mature seeds consist of three major com...

  20. Seed Proteomics"

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteomic analysis of seeds encounters some specific problems that do not impinge on analyses of other plant cells, tissues, or organs. There are anatomic considerations. Seeds comprise the seed coat, the storage organ(s), and the embryonic axis. Are these to be studied individually or as a compo...

  1. Going to Seed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Richard R.

    1984-01-01

    Describes a unit on seeds designed to introduce students to their scientific and nutritional uses. Unit activities are easily done, employ a variety of process skills, and can be used at various grade levels. Suggests field trips to gather seeds, seed sprouting, and making cookies out of various whole grains. (JM)

  2. Needs of Seeds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2011-01-01

    The "Needs of Seeds" formative assessment probe can be used to find out whether students recognize that seeds have needs both similar to and different from plants and other living organisms (Keeley, Eberle, and Tugel 2007). The probe reveals whether students overgeneralize the needs of seeds by assuming they have the same needs as the adult plants…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Tadpoles balance foraging and predator avoidance: Effects of predation, pond drying, and hunger

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms are predicted to make trade-offs when foraging and predator avoidance behaviors present conflicting demands. Balancing conflicting demands is important to larval amphibians because adult fitness can be strongly influenced by size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. Larvae in temporary ponds must maximize growth within a short time period to achieve metamorphosis before ponds dry, while simultaneously avoiding predators. To determine whether tadpoles trade off between conflicting demands, I examined tadpole (Pseudacris triseriata) activity and microhabitat use in the presence of red-spotted newts (Notopthalmus viridescens) under varying conditions of pond drying and hunger. Tadpoles significantly decreased activity and increased refuge use when predators were present. The proportion of active time tadpoles spent feeding was significantly greater in predator treatments, suggesting tadpoles adaptively balance the conflicting demands of foraging and predator avoidance without making apparent trade-offs. Tadpoles responded to simulated drying conditions by accelerating development. Pond drying did not modify microhabitat use or activity in the presence of predators, suggesting tadpoles perceived predation and hunger as greater immediate threats than desiccation, and did not take more risks.

  6. The impact of parasite manipulation and predator foraging behavior on predator-prey communities.

    PubMed

    Fenton, A; Rands, S A

    2006-11-01

    Parasites are known to directly affect their hosts at both the individual and population level. However, little is known about their more subtle, indirect effects and how these may affect population and community dynamics. In particular, trophically transmitted parasites may manipulate the behavior of intermediate hosts, fundamentally altering the pattern of contact between these individuals and their predators. Here, we develop a suite of population dynamic models to explore the impact of such behavioral modifications on the dynamics and structure of the predator-prey community. We show that, although such manipulations do not directly affect the persistence of the predator and prey populations, they can greatly alter the quantitative dynamics of the community, potentially resulting in high amplitude oscillations in abundance. We show that the precise impact of host manipulation depends greatly on the predator's functional response, which describes the predator's foraging efficiency under changing prey availabilities. Even if the parasite is rarely observed within the prey population, such manipulations extend beyond the direct impact on the intermediate host to affect the foraging success of the predator, with profound implications for the structure and stability of the predator-prey community.

  7. Predator-prey models with component Allee effect for predator reproduction.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2015-12-01

    We present four predator-prey models with component Allee effect for predator reproduction. Using numerical simulation results for our models, we describe how the customary definitions of component and demographic Allee effects, which work well for single species models, can be extended to predators in predator-prey models by assuming that the prey population is held fixed. We also find that when the prey population is not held fixed, then these customary definitions may lead to conceptual problems. After this discussion of definitions, we explore our four models, analytically and numerically. Each of our models has a fixed point that represents predator extinction, which is always locally stable. We prove that the predator will always die out either if the initial predator population is sufficiently small or if the initial prey population is sufficiently small. Through numerical simulations, we explore co-existence fixed points. In addition, we demonstrate, by simulation, the existence of a stable limit cycle in one of our models. Finally, we derive analytical conditions for a co-existence trapping region in three of our models, and show that the fourth model cannot possess a particular kind of co-existence trapping region. We punctuate our results with comments on their real-world implications; in particular, we mention the possibility of prey resurgence from mortality events, and the possibility of failure in a biological pest control program.

  8. Unidirectional prey-predator facilitation: apparent prey enhance predators' foraging success on cryptic prey.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yixin; Richardson, John S

    2007-06-22

    Food availability can strongly affect predator-prey dynamics. When change in habitat condition reduces the availability of one prey type, predators often search for other prey, perhaps in a different habitat. Interactions between behavioural and morphological traits of different prey may influence foraging success of visual predators through trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs), such as prey activity and body coloration. We tested the hypothesis that foraging success of stream-dwelling cutthroat trout (Onchorhyncus clarki) on cryptically coloured, less-active benthic prey (larval mayfly; Paraleptophebia sp.) can be enhanced by the presence of distinctly coloured, active prey (larval stonefly shredder; Despaxia augusta). Cutthroat trout preyed on benthic insects when drifting invertebrates were unavailable. When stonefly larvae were present, the trout ate most of the stoneflies and also consumed a higher proportion of mayflies than under mayfly only treatment. The putative mechanism is that active stonefly larvae supplied visual cues to the predator that alerted trout to the mayfly larvae. Foraging success of visual predators on cryptic prey can be enhanced by distinctly coloured, active benthic taxa through unidirectional facilitation to the predators, which is a functional change of interspecific interaction caused by a third species. This study suggests that prey-predator facilitation through TMIIs can modify species interactions, affecting community dynamics.

  9. Parametric analysis of a predator-prey system stabilized by a top predator.

    PubMed

    Morozov, Andrew Y; Li, Bai-Lian

    2006-08-01

    We present a complete parametric analysis of a predator-prey system influenced by a top predator. We study ecosystems with abundant nutrient supply for the prey where the prey multiplication can be considered as proportional to its density. The main questions we examine are the following: (1) Can the top predator stabilize such a system at low densities of prey? (2) What possible dynamic behaviors can occur? (3) Under which conditions can the top predation result in the system stabilization? We use a system of two nonlinear ordinary differential equations with the density of the top predator as a parameter. The model is investigated with methods of qualitative theory of ODEs and the theory of bifurcations. The existence of 12 qualitatively different types of dynamics and complex structure of the parametric space are demonstrated. Our studies of phase portraits and parametric diagrams show that a top predator can be an important factor leading to stabilization of the predator-prey system with abundant nutrient supply. Although the model here is applied to the plankton communities with fish (or carnivorous zooplankton) as the top trophic level, the general form of the equations allows applications of our results to other ecological systems.

  10. Warming increases chlorpyrifos effects on predator but not anti-predator behaviours.

    PubMed

    Dinh Van, Khuong; Janssens, Lizanne; Debecker, Sara; Stoks, Robby

    2014-07-01

    Recent insights indicate that negative effects of pesticides on aquatic biota occur at concentrations that current legislation considers environmentally protective. We here address two, potentially interacting, mechanisms that may contribute to the underestimation of the impact of sublethal pesticide effects in single species tests at room temperature: the impairment of predator and antipredator behaviours and the stronger impact of organophosphate pesticides at higher temperatures. To address these issues we assessed the effects of chlorpyrifos on the predator and antipredator behaviours of larvae of the damselfly Ischnura elegans, important intermediate predators in aquatic food webs, in a common-garden warming experiment with replicated low- and high-latitude populations along the latitudinal gradient of this species in Europe. Chlorpyrifos reduced the levels of predator behavioural endpoints, and this reduction was stronger at the higher temperature for head orientations and feeding strikes. Chlorpyrifos also impaired two key antipredator behavioural endpoints, activity reductions in response to predator cues were smaller in the presence of chlorpyrifos, and chlorpyrifos caused a lower escape swimming speed; these effects were independent of temperature. This suggests chlorpyrifos may impact food web interactions by changing predator-prey interactions both with higher (predators) and lower trophic levels (food). Given that only the interaction with the lower trophic level was more impaired at higher temperatures, the overall pesticide-induced changes in food web dynamics may be strongly temperature-dependent. These findings were consistent in damselflies from low- and high-latitude populations, illustrating that thermal adaptation will not mitigate the increased toxicity of pesticides at higher temperatures. Our study not only underscores the relevance of including temperature and prey-predator interactions in ecological risk assessment but also their potential

  11. Cultivated walnut trees showed earlier but not final advantage over its wild relatives in competing for seed dispersers.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongmao; Chu, Wei; Zhang, Zhibin

    2017-01-01

    Little is known about seeding regeneration of cultivated trees compared to wild relatives in areas where seed dispersers are shared. Here, we investigated the differences in seed fates of cultivated walnut (Juglans regia) and wild Manchurian walnut (Juglans mandshurica) trees under rodent predation and dispersal. J. regia seeds have higher nutritional value (large size, mass and kernel mass) and lower mechanical defensiveness (thin endocarp) than J. mandshurica seeds. We tracked seeds of J. regia and J. mandshurica under both enclosure and field conditions to assess differences in competing for seed dispersers of the two co-occurring tree species of the same genus. We found that rodents preferred to harvest, eat and scatter-hoard seeds of J. regia as compared to those of J. mandshurica. Seeds of J. regia were removed and scatter-hoarded faster than those of J. mandshurica. Caches of J. regia were more likely to be rediscovered by rodents than those of J. mandshurica. These results suggest that J. regia showed earlier dispersal fitness but not the ultimate dispersal fitness over J. mandshurica in seeding regeneration under rodent mediation, implying that J. regia has little effect on seeding regeneration of J. mandshurica in the field. The effects of seed traits on seed dispersal fitness may vary at different dispersal stages under animal mediation.

  12. Fate of native and introduced seeds consumed by captive white-lipped and collared peccaries (Tayassu pecari, Link 1795 and Pecari tajacu, Linnaeus 1758) in the Atlantic rainforest, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lazure, L; Bachand, M; Ansseau, C; Almeida-Cortez, J S

    2010-02-01

    We studied the role of white-lipped and collared peccaries (Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu) as seed predators and dispersers in the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil. The Atlantic rainforest ecosystem is highly threatened and has experienced dramatic declines in its populations of large mammals. Local extinctions can disrupt essential plant-animal interactions such as seed dispersion and seed predation. We tracked seeds from time of consumption to germination to assess the direct impact peccaries have on seed survival. We offered fruits of 20 species found in the Atlantic rainforest to the peccaries. Seeds were categorised as intact, scarified, ingested or defecated, and germination tests were performed. The overall impact by both peccary species was similar. Seeds were sometime scarified by mastication, always with fatal consequences. Most seeds that were consumed were destroyed during ingestion and digestion. Only small seeds (<10 mm) were found in the feces and germination tests suggest a positive effect from the passage through the guts. Peccaries clearly have a double role as both seed predators and as small seeds dispersers, which is a specialised role within the granivore/frugivore community of the Atlantic rainforest.

  13. A Switch in Keystone Seed-Dispersing Ant Genera between Two Elevations for a Myrmecochorous Plant, Acacia terminalis.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Fiona J; Auld, Tony D; Ramp, Daniel; Kingsford, Richard T

    2016-01-01

    The dispersal capacity of plant species that rely on animals to disperse their seeds (biotic dispersal) can alter with changes to the populations of their keystone dispersal vectors. Knowledge on how biotic dispersal systems vary across landscapes allows better understanding of factors driving plant persistence. Myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, is a common method of biotic dispersal for many plant species throughout the world. We tested if the seed dispersal system of Acacia terminalis (Fabaceae), a known myrmecochore, differed between two elevations in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, in southeastern Australia. We compared ant assemblages, seed removal rates of ants and other vertebrates (bird and mammal) and the dominant seed-dispersing ant genera. At low elevations (c. 200 m a.s.l) seed removal was predominantly by ants, however, at high elevation sites (c. 700 m a.s.l) vertebrate seed dispersers or seed predators were present, removing over 60% of seeds from experimental depots when ants were excluded. We found a switch in the keystone seed-dispersing ant genera from Rhytidoponera at low elevations sites to Aphaenogaster at high elevation sites. This resulted in more seeds being removed faster at low elevation sites compared to high elevation sites, however long-term seed removal rates were equal between elevations. Differences in the keystone seed removalist, and the addition of an alternate dispersal vector or seed predator at high elevations, will result in different dispersal and establishment patterns for A. terminalis at different elevations. These differences in dispersal concur with other global studies that report myrmecochorous dispersal systems alter with elevation.

  14. A Switch in Keystone Seed-Dispersing Ant Genera between Two Elevations for a Myrmecochorous Plant, Acacia terminalis

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Fiona J.; Auld, Tony D.; Ramp, Daniel; Kingsford, Richard T.

    2016-01-01

    The dispersal capacity of plant species that rely on animals to disperse their seeds (biotic dispersal) can alter with changes to the populations of their keystone dispersal vectors. Knowledge on how biotic dispersal systems vary across landscapes allows better understanding of factors driving plant persistence. Myrmecochory, seed dispersal by ants, is a common method of biotic dispersal for many plant species throughout the world. We tested if the seed dispersal system of Acacia terminalis (Fabaceae), a known myrmecochore, differed between two elevations in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, in southeastern Australia. We compared ant assemblages, seed removal rates of ants and other vertebrates (bird and mammal) and the dominant seed-dispersing ant genera. At low elevations (c. 200 m a.s.l) seed removal was predominantly by ants, however, at high elevation sites (c. 700 m a.s.l) vertebrate seed dispersers or seed predators were present, removing over 60% of seeds from experimental depots when ants were excluded. We found a switch in the keystone seed-dispersing ant genera from Rhytidoponera at low elevations sites to Aphaenogaster at high elevation sites. This resulted in more seeds being removed faster at low elevation sites compared to high elevation sites, however long-term seed removal rates were equal between elevations. Differences in the keystone seed removalist, and the addition of an alternate dispersal vector or seed predator at high elevations, will result in different dispersal and establishment patterns for A. terminalis at different elevations. These differences in dispersal concur with other global studies that report myrmecochorous dispersal systems alter with elevation. PMID:27310262

  15. Prey-predator communication: for your sensors only.

    PubMed

    Page, Rachel A

    2007-11-20

    Prey have evolved myriad strategies to escape predation. Ground squirrels tailor their defensive signals to the predator at hand and use infrared warning signals in response to heat-sensitive rattlesnakes.

  16. Effects of spatial grouping on the functional response of predators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cosner, C.; DeAngelis, D.L.; Ault, J.S.; Olson, D.B.

    1999-01-01

    A unified mechanistic approach is given for the derivation of various forms of functional response in predator-prey models. The derivation is based on the principle-of-mass action but with the crucial refinement that the nature of the spatial distribution of predators and/or opportunities for predation are taken into account in an implicit way. If the predators are assumed to have a homogeneous spatial distribution, then the derived functional response is prey-dependent. If the predators are assumed to form a dense colony or school in a single (possibly moving) location, or if the region where predators can encounter prey is assumed to be of limited size, then the functional response depends on both predator and prey densities in a manner that reflects feeding interference between predators. Depending on the specific assumptions, the resulting functional response may be of Beddington-DeAngelis type, of Hassell-Varley type, or ratio-dependent.

  17. The seed nuclear proteome.

    PubMed

    Repetto, Ombretta; Rogniaux, Hélène; Larré, Colette; Thompson, Richard; Gallardo, Karine

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the regulatory networks coordinating seed development will help to manipulate seed traits, such as protein content and seed weight, in order to increase yield and seed nutritional value of important food crops, such as legumes. Because of the cardinal role of the nucleus in gene expression, sub-proteome analyses of nuclei from developing seeds were conducted, taking advantage of the sequences available for model species. In this review, we discuss the strategies used to separate and identify the nuclear proteins at a stage when the seed is preparing for reserve accumulation. We present how these data provide an insight into the complexity and distinctive features of the seed nuclear proteome. We discuss the presence of chromatin-modifying enzymes and proteins that have roles in RNA-directed DNA methylation and which may be involved in modifying genome architecture in preparation for seed filling. Specific features of the seed nuclei at the transition between the stage of cell divisions and that of cell expansion and reserve deposition are described here which may help to manipulate seed quality traits, such as seed weight.

  18. Role of predation by zooplankton in transport and fate of protozoan (oo)cysts in granular activated carbon filtration.

    PubMed

    Bichai, Françoise; Barbeau, Benoit; Dullemont, Yolanda; Hijnen, Wim

    2010-02-01

    The significance of zooplankton in the transport and fate of pathogenic organisms in drinking water is poorly understood, although many hints of the role of predation in the persistence of microorganisms through water treatment processes can be found in literature. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of predation by natural zooplankton on the transport and fate of protozoan (oo)cysts in granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration process. UV-irradiated unlabelled Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia (oo)cysts were seeded into two pilot-scale GAC filtration columns operated under full-scale conditions. In a two-week period after seeding, a reduction of free (oo)cysts retained in the filter bed was observed. Zooplankton was isolated from the filter bed and effluent water on a 30 microm net before and during the two-week period after seeding; it was enumerated and identified. Rotifers, which are potential predators of (oo)cysts, accounted for the major part of the isolated zooplankton. Analytical methods were developed to detect (oo)cysts internalized in natural zooplankton isolated from the filter bed and effluent water. Sample sonication was optimized to disrupt zooplankton organisms and release internalized microorganisms. (Oo)cysts released from zooplankton after sonication were isolated by IMS and stained (EasyStain) for microscopic counting. Both Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts were detected in association with zooplankton in the filter bed samples as well as in the effluent of GAC filters. The results of this study suggest that predation by zooplankton can play a role in the remobilization of persistent pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cysts retained in GAC filter beds, and consequently in the transmission of these pathogens in drinking water.

  19. Notes on spider (Theridiidae, Salticidae) predation of the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), and a possible parasitoid fly (Chloropidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, W.H. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow ); Blom, P.E. )

    1992-12-01

    Spiders are known predators of ants. Pressure exerted by consistent spider predation can alter the behavior of ant colonies (MacKay 1982) and may be a selective pressure contributing to the seed-harvesting behavior of Pogonomyrmex (MacKay and MacKay 1984). The authors observed the spider Euryopis formosa Banks (Araneae: Theridiidae) capture and transport workers of the harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex salinus Olsen [Hymenoptera: Formicidae, Myrmicinae]) in southeastern Idaho. Additional observations revealed a crab spider of the genus Xysticus preying on P. salinus and the presence of a chloropid fly (Incertella) that may have been parasitizing the moribund prey subdued by the spider.

  20. Local and landscape drivers of predation services in urban gardens.

    PubMed

    Philpott, Stacy M; Bichier, Peter

    2017-01-13

    In agroecosystems, local and landscape features, as well as natural enemy abundance and richness, are significant predictors of predation services that may result in biological control of pests. Despite the increasing importance of urban gardening for provisioning of food to urban populations, most urban gardeners suffer from high pest problems, and have little knowledge about how to manage their plots to increase biological control services. We examined the influence of local, garden scale (i.e., herbaceous and arboreal vegetation abundance and diversity, ground cover) and landscape (i.e., landscape diversity and surrounding land use types) characteristics on predation services provided by naturally occurring predators in 19 urban gardens in the California central coast. We introduced sentinel pests (moth eggs and larvae and pea aphids) onto greenhouse-raised plants taken to gardens and assigned to open or bagged (predator exclosure) treatments. We found high predation rates with between 40% and 90% of prey items removed in open treatments. Predation services varied with local and landscape factors, but significant predictors differed by prey species. Predation of eggs and aphids increased with vegetation complexity in gardens, but larvae predation declined with vegetation complexity. Smaller gardens experienced higher predation services, likely due to increases in predator abundance in smaller gardens. Several ground cover features influenced predation services. In contrast to patterns in rural agricultural landscapes, predation on aphids declined with increases in landscape diversity. In sum, we report the relationships between several local management factors, as well as landscape surroundings, and implications for garden management.

  1. Episodic disturbance events modify predator prey interactions in soft sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, S. P.; Wennhage, H.; Norkko, J.; Norkko, A.

    2005-08-01

    Physical disturbance events are common in shallow soft-sediment habitats and can have significant effects on predator-prey interactions. While several studies have reported on predator aggregations following disturbance events, few studies have investigated the mechanisms and interactive effects of predation and physical disturbance on prey survival in shallow soft-sediment habitats. In this study the interactive effects of sediment resuspension and predation by two contrasting epibenthic predator species were tested on the survival of the amphipod Corophium volutator in a laboratory experiment. The shrimp Crangon crangon and juvenile plaice Pleuronectes platessa were used as predators, both numerical dominants in shallow soft sediments on the Swedish west coast. In addition we quantified epibenthic predator aggregation in the field following small-scale disturbances. In the laboratory, synergistic negative effects of predation and non-lethal disturbance on Corophium survival were found with both predator species, and rapid aggregation of several mobile epibenthic predator species following disturbance was demonstrated in the field. Abundances of C. crangon, the numerically dominant predator in the field, were doubled in disturbed patches within 2 min following disturbance. Our study emphasises the importance of considering episodic small-scale disturbances when interpreting predation effects and trophic interactions in shallow soft-sediment systems.

  2. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chia-Chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-17

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions.

  3. Predator personality and prey behavioural predictability jointly determine foraging performance

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chia-chen; Teo, Huey Yee; Norma-Rashid, Y.; Li, Daiqin

    2017-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions play important roles in ecological communities. Personality, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, of predators, prey or both are known to influence inter-specific interactions. An individual may also behave differently under the same situation and the level of such variability may differ between individuals. Such intra-individual variability (IIV) or predictability may be a trait on which selection can also act. A few studies have revealed the joint effect of personality types of both predators and prey on predator foraging performance. However, how personality type and IIV of both predators and prey jointly influence predator foraging performance remains untested empirically. Here, we addressed this using a specialized spider-eating jumping spider, Portia labiata (Salticidae), as the predator, and a jumping spider, Cosmophasis umbratica, as the prey. We examined personality types and IIVs of both P. labiata and C. umbratica and used their inter- and intra-individual behavioural variation as predictors of foraging performance (i.e., number of attempts to capture prey). Personality type and predictability had a joint effect on predator foraging performance. Aggressive predators performed better in capturing unpredictable (high IIV) prey than predictable (low IIV) prey, while docile predators demonstrated better performance when encountering predictable prey. This study highlights the importance of the joint effect of both predator and prey personality types and IIVs on predator-prey interactions. PMID:28094288

  4. Seed Detection and Discrimination by Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Are Associated with Olfactory Cues.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Sharavari S; Dosdall, Lloyd M; Spence, John R; Willenborg, Christian J

    2017-01-01

    Olfactory ability is an element of fitness in many animals, guiding choices among alternatives such as mating partners or food. Ground beetles (Coleoptera; Carabidae), exhibit preferences for prey, and some species are well-known weed seed predators. We used olfactometer-based bioassays to determine if olfactory stimuli are associated with detection of Brassica napus L., Sinapis arvensis L., and Thlaspi arvense L. seeds by ground beetles characteristic of agroecosystems, and whether behavioural responses to seed odors depended on seed physiological state (imbibed or unimbibed). Imbibed B.napus seeds were preferred over other weed species by two of the three carabid species tested. Only A. littoralis responded significantly to unimbibed seeds of B. napus. Sensitivity to olfactory cues appeared to be highly specific as all carabid species discriminated between the olfactory cues of imbibed brassicaceous weed seeds, but did not discriminate between weed seeds that were unimbibed. Overall, our data suggest that depending on seed physiological state, odours can play an important role in the ability of carabids to find and recognize seeds of particular weed species.

  5. Seed Detection and Discrimination by Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Are Associated with Olfactory Cues

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Olfactory ability is an element of fitness in many animals, guiding choices among alternatives such as mating partners or food. Ground beetles (Coleoptera; Carabidae), exhibit preferences for prey, and some species are well-known weed seed predators. We used olfactometer-based bioassays to determine if olfactory stimuli are associated with detection of Brassica napus L., Sinapis arvensis L., and Thlaspi arvense L. seeds by ground beetles characteristic of agroecosystems, and whether behavioural responses to seed odors depended on seed physiological state (imbibed or unimbibed). Imbibed B.napus seeds were preferred over other weed species by two of the three carabid species tested. Only A. littoralis responded significantly to unimbibed seeds of B. napus. Sensitivity to olfactory cues appeared to be highly specific as all carabid species discriminated between the olfactory cues of imbibed brassicaceous weed seeds, but did not discriminate between weed seeds that were unimbibed. Overall, our data suggest that depending on seed physiological state, odours can play an important role in the ability of carabids to find and recognize seeds of particular weed species. PMID:28107464

  6. Turing instabilities in prey-predator systems with dormancy of predators.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we study the stationary and oscillatory Turing instabilities of a homogeneous equilibrium in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems with dormant phase of predators. We propose a simple criterion which is useful in classifying these Turing instabilities. Moreover, numerical simulations reveal transient spatio-temporal complex patterns which are a mixture of spatially periodic steady states and traveling/standing waves. In this mixture, the steady part is the stable Turing pattern bifurcated primarily from the homogeneous equilibrium, while wave parts are unstable oscillatory solutions bifurcated secondarily from the same homogeneous equilibrium. Although our criterion does not exclude the occurrence of oscillatory Turing instability, we have not yet found stable traveling/standing waves due to oscillatory Turing instability in our simulations. These results suggest that dormancy of predators is not a generator but an enhancer of spatio-temporal Turing patterns in prey-predator reaction-diffusion systems.

  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. Predators, prey, and natural disasters attract ecologists.

    PubMed

    Mlot, C

    1993-08-27

    Some 2200 ecologists turned out for the 78th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA), held in Madison, Wisconsin, 31 July to 4 August. Among the offerings: reports on the effect of dams and levees on large river ecology, predator-prey interactions, how parasites might control evolution, and the impact of clearcutting on soil organisms.

  9. 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.

  10. The sensory ecology of nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

    Weissburg, Marc; Smee, Delbert L; Ferner, Matthew C

    2014-08-01

    Nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) have been shown to occur in numerous systems and are regarded as important mechanisms by which predation structures natural communities. Sensory ecology-that is, the processes governing the production, propagation, and masking of cues by ambient noise-provides insights into the strength of NCEs as functions of the environment and modes of information transfer. We discuss how properties of predators are used by prey to encode threat, how the environment affects cue propagation, and the role of single sensory processes versus multimodal sensory processes. We discuss why the present body of literature documents the potential for strong NCEs but does not allow us to easily determine how this potential is expressed in nature or what factors or environments produce strong versus weak NCEs. Many of these difficulties stem from a body of literature in which certain sensory environments and modalities may be disproportionately represented and in which experimental methodologies are designed to show the existence of NCEs. We present a general framework for examining NCEs to identify the factors controlling the number of prey that respond to predator cues and discuss how the properties of predators, prey, and the environment may determine prey perceptive range and the duration and frequency of cue production. We suggest how understanding these relationships provides a schema for determining where, when, why, and how NCEs are important in producing direct and cascading effects in natural communities.

  11. Sexually Violent Predators and Civil Commitment Laws

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beyer Kendall, Wanda D.; Cheung, Monit

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes the civil commitment models for treating sexually violent predators (SVPs) and analyzes recent civil commitment laws. SVPs are commonly defined as sex offenders who are particularly predatory and repetitive in their sexually violent behavior. Data from policy literature, a survey to all states, and a review of law review…

  12. Interclonal proteomic responses to predator exposure in Daphnia magna may depend on predator composition of habitats.

    PubMed

    Otte, Kathrin A; Schrank, Isabella; Fröhlich, Thomas; Arnold, Georg J; Laforsch, Christian

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of one genotype to express different phenotypes in response to changing environmental conditions, is one of the most common phenomena characterizing the living world and is not only relevant for the ecology but also for the evolution of species. Daphnia, the water flea, is a textbook example for predator-induced phenotypic plastic defences; however, the analysis of molecular mechanisms underlying these inducible defences is still in its early stages. We exposed Daphnia magna to chemical cues of the predator Triops cancriformis to identify key processes underlying plastic defensive trait formation. To get a more comprehensive idea of this phenomenon, we studied four genotypes with five biological replicates each, originating from habitats characterized by different predator composition, ranging from predator-free habitats to habitats containing T. cancriformis. We analysed the morphologies as well as proteomes of predator-exposed and control animals. Three genotypes showed morphological changes when the predator was present. Using a high-throughput proteomics approach, we found 294 proteins which were significantly altered in their abundance after predator exposure in a general or genotype-dependent manner. Proteins connected to genotype-dependent responses were related to the cuticle, protein synthesis and calcium binding, whereas the yolk protein vitellogenin increased in abundance in all genotypes, indicating their involvement in a more general response. Furthermore, genotype-dependent responses at the proteome level were most distinct for the only genotype that shares its habitat with Triops. Altogether, our study provides new insights concerning genotype-dependent and general molecular processes involved in predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in D. magna.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Seasonal shifts in predator body size diversity and trophic interactions in size-structured predator-prey systems.

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W

    2012-05-01

    1. Theory suggests that the relationship between predator diversity and prey suppression should depend on variation in predator traits such as body size, which strongly influences the type and strength of species interactions. Prey species often face a range of different sized predators, and the composition of body sizes of predators can vary between communities and within communities across seasons. 2. Here, I test how variation in size structure of predator communities influences prey survival using seasonal changes in the size structure of a cannibalistic population as a model system. Laboratory and field experiments showed that although the per-capita consumption rates increased at higher predator-prey size ratios, mortality rates did not consistently increase with average size of cannibalistic predators. Instead, prey mortality peaked at the highest level of predator body size diversity. 3. Furthermore, observed prey mortality was significantly higher than predictions from the null model that assumed no indirect interactions between predator size classes, indicating that different sized predators were not substitutable but had more than additive effects. Higher predator body size diversity therefore increased prey mortality, despite the increased potential for behavioural interference and predation among predators demonstrated in additional laboratory experiments. 4. Thus, seasonal changes in the distribution of predator body sizes altered the strength of prey suppression not only through changes in mean predator size but also through changes in the size distribution of predators. In general, this indicates that variation (i.e. diversity) within a single trait, body size, can influence the strength of trophic interactions and emphasizes the importance of seasonal shifts in size structure of natural food webs for community dynamics.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  17. Predation of Alouatta puruensis by Boa constrictor.

    PubMed

    Quintino, Erika Patrícia; Bicca-Marques, Júlio César

    2013-10-01

    Reports of successful predator attacks on primates are rare. Primates from all major radiations are particularly susceptible to raptors, carnivores, and snakes. Among New World primates, reports of snake predation are limited to medium- and small-bodied species. Here, we report the first documented case of successful predation of an atelid by a snake-an adult female Purús red howler monkey, Alouatta puruensis, that was subdued by a ca. 2-m-long Boa constrictor in an arboreal setting at a height of 7.5 m above the ground. The victim belonged to a group composed of six individuals (one adult male, two adult females, two juveniles, and one infant) that inhabited a ca. 2.5-ha forest fragment in the State of Rondônia, western Brazilian Amazon. The boa applied the species' typical hunting behavior of striking and immediately coiling around its prey and then killing it through constriction (probably in less than 5 min), but the entire restraint period lasted 38 min. The attack occurred around noon. The howler was swallowed head-first in 76 min. The only group member to respond to the distress vocalization emitted by the victim was the other adult female, which was closest to the location where the attack occurred. This female ran toward the snake, also vocalizing, and hit it with her hands several times, but the snake did not react and she moved off to a nearby tree from where she watched most of the interaction. The remaining group members stayed resting at a height approximately 15 m above the victim in a nearby tree without showing any overt signs of stress, except for a single whimper vocalization. This event indicates that even large-bodied atelids are vulnerable to predation by large snakes and suggests that B. constrictor may be a more common predator of primates.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. A multi-stage anti-predator response increases information on predation risk.

    PubMed

    Hemmi, Jan M; Pfeil, Andreas

    2010-05-01

    Optimal escape theory generally assumes that animals have accurate information about predator distance and direction of approach. To what degree such information is available depends not only on the prey's sensory capabilities but also on its behaviour. The structure of behaviour can strongly constrain or support the gathering of information. The ability of animals to collect and process information is therefore an important factor shaping predator avoidance strategies. Fiddler crabs, like many prey animals, escape predators in a multi-step sequence. In their initial response, they do not have accurate information about a predator's distance and approach trajectory and are forced to base their response decision on incomplete information that is not strictly correlated with risk. We show here that fiddler crabs gather qualitatively different visual information during successive stages of their escape sequence. This suggests that multi-stage anti-predator behaviours serve not only to successively reduce risk but also to increase the quality of information with regards to the actual risk. There are countless reasons why prey animals are not able to accurately assess risk. By concentrating on sensory limitations, we can quantify such information deficits and investigate how improving risk assessment helps prey optimise the balance between predation risk and escape costs.

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

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-22

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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yuan; Abaid, Nicole

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Predator dispersal determines the effect of connectivity on prey diversity.

    PubMed

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  6. Cues of intraguild predators affect the distribution of intraguild prey.

    PubMed

    Choh, Yasuyuki; van der Hammen, Tessa; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2010-06-01

    Theory on intraguild (IG) predation predicts that coexistence of IG-predators and IG-prey is only possible for a limited set of parameter values, suggesting that IG-predation would not be common in nature. This is in conflict with the observation that IG-predation occurs in many natural systems. One possible explanation for this difference might be antipredator behaviour of the IG-prey, resulting in decreased strength of IG-predation. We studied the distribution of an IG-prey, the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae), in response to cues of its IG-predator, the predatory mite Iphiseius degenerans. Shortly after release, the majority of IG-prey was found on the patch without cues of IG-predators, suggesting that they can rapidly assess predation risk. IG-prey also avoided patches where conspecific juveniles had been killed by IG-predators. Because it is well known that antipredator behaviour in prey is affected by the diet of the predator, we also tested whether IG-prey change their distribution in response to the food of the IG-predators (pollen or conspecific juveniles), but found no evidence for this. The IG-prey laid fewer eggs on patches with cues of IG-predators than on patches without cues. Hence, IG-prey changed their distribution and oviposition in response to cues of IG-predators. This might weaken the strength of IG-predation, possibly providing more opportunities for IG-prey and IG-predators to co-exist.

  7. Predator Dispersal Determines the Effect of Connectivity on Prey Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A.

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  8. Testing hypotheses for excess flower production and low fruit-to-flower ratios in a pollinating seed-consuming mutualism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holland, J. Nathaniel; Bronstein, Judith L.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2004-01-01

    Pollinator attraction, pollen limitation, resource limitation, pollen donation and selective fruit abortion have all been proposed as processes explaining why hermaphroditic plants commonly produce many more flowers than mature fruit. We conducted a series of experiments in Arizona to investigate low fruit-to-flower ratios in senita cacti, which rely exclusively on pollinating seed-consumers. Selective abortion of fruit based on seed predators is of particular interest in this case because plants relying on pollinating seed-consumers are predicted to have such a mechanism to minimize seed loss. Pollinator attraction and pollen dispersal increased with flower number, but fruit set did not, refuting the hypothesis that excess flowers increase fruit set by attracting more pollinators. Fruit set of natural- and hand-pollinated flowers were not different, supporting the resource, rather than pollen, limitation hypothesis. Senita did abort fruit, but not selectively based on pollen quantity, pollen donors, or seed predators. Collectively, these results are consistent with sex allocation theory in that resource allocation to excess flower production can increase pollen dispersal and the male fitness function of flowers, but consequently results in reduced resources available for fruit set. Inconsistent with sex allocation theory, however, fruit production and the female fitness function of flowers may actually increase with flower production. This is because excess flower production lowers pollinator-to-flower ratios and results in fruit abortion, both of which limit the abundance and hence oviposition rates, of pre-dispersal seed predators.

  9. Incorporating insect infestation into rodent seed dispersal: better if the larva is still inside.

    PubMed

    Perea, Ramón; López, David; San Miguel, Alfonso; Gil, Luis

    2012-11-01

    Many nutritious seeds are commonly attacked by insects which feed on the seed reserves. However, studies have not fully explored the ecological implications of insect infestation in animal seed dispersal and subsequent plant regeneration. Our question is whether the fact that an infested seed still contains the larva or not might increase/decrease the probability of being successfully dispersed by animals. This study examines the effects of weevil-infested seeds on the natural regeneration of a rodent-dispersed oak species. Rodents showed a high ability to discriminate between sound and infested seeds, even when the larva was still inside. As a result, rodents caused differential seed dispersal for sound and infested seeds by modifying multiple aspects of the dispersal process. We found that, for the same seed weight, infested acorns with a larva still inside can contribute to natural regeneration (0.7 % of seedlings in next summer), although in comparison to sound acorns they suffered higher predation rates by rodents (both partial and complete), were removed later from the ground (less preferred), cached less frequently, and dispersed to shorter distances, which reduced their potential to colonize new environments. However, infested seeds with exit holes are notably less preferred by rodents and, when dispersed, they are mostly deposited on the litter (uncached) with shorter dispersal distances and lower emergence success. Thus, the probability that larval-holed acorns will produce viable seedlings is extremely low (null in this study). Whether infested seeds still contain a larva or not clearly determines the probability of being successfully dispersed. Premature seed drop prolongs the presence of the larva inside the acorn after seed drop, and could be a possible mechanism to allow dispersal of infested seeds.

  10. Optimal Control In Predation Of Models And Mimics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoularis, A.

    2007-09-01

    This paper examines optimal predation by a predator preying upon two types of prey, modes and mimics. Models are unpalatable prey and mimics are palatable prey resembling the models so as to derive some protection from predation. This biological phenomenon is known in Ecology as Batesian mimicry. An optimal control problem in continuous time is formulated with the sole objective to maximize the net energetic benefit to the predator from predation in the presence of evolving prey populations. The constrained optimal control is bang-bang with the scalar control taken as the probability of attacking prey. Conditions for the existence of singular controls are obtained.

  11. A non-autonomous stochastic predator-prey model.

    PubMed

    Buonocore, Aniello; Caputo, Luigia; Pirozzi, Enrica; Nobile, Amelia G

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to consider a non-autonomous predator-prey-like system, with a Gompertz growth law for the prey. By introducing random variations in both prey birth and predator death rates, a stochastic model for the predator-prey-like system in a random environment is proposed and investigated. The corresponding Fokker-Planck equation is solved to obtain the joint probability density for the prey and predator populations and the marginal probability densities. The asymptotic behavior of the predator-prey stochastic model is also analyzed.

  12. Testing ecological and behavioral correlates of nest predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martel, M.; Markland, H.M.; Niklison, Alina M.; Decker, Karie L.; Martin, T.E.

    2007-01-01

    Variation in nest predation rates among bird species are assumed to reflect differences in risk that are specific to particular nest sites. Theoretical and empirical studies suggest that parental care behaviors can evolve in response to nest predation risk and thereby differ among ecological conditions that vary in inherent risk. However, parental care also can influence predation risk. Separating the effects of nest predation risk inherent to a nest site from the risk imposed by parental strategies is needed to understand the evolution of parental care. Here we identify correlations between risks inherent to nest sites, and risk associated with parental care behaviors, and use an artificial nest experiment to assess site-specific differences in nest predation risk across nesting guilds and between habitats that differed in nest predator abundance. We found a strong correlation between parental care behaviors and inherent differences in nest predation risk, but despite the absence of parental care at artificial nests, patterns of nest predation risk were similar for real and artificial nests both across nesting guilds and between predator treatments. Thus, we show for the first time that inherent risk of nest predation varies with nesting guild and predator abundance independent of parental care. ?? Oikos.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  14. Effects of uniform rotational flow on predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2012-12-01

    Rotational flow is often observed in lotic ecosystems, such as streams and rivers. For example, when an obstacle interrupts water flowing in a stream, energy dissipation and momentum transfer can result in the formation of rotational flow, or a vortex. In this study, I examined how rotational flow affects a predator-prey system by constructing a spatially explicit lattice model consisting of predators, prey, and plants. A predation relationship existed between the species. The species densities in the model were given as S (for predator), P (for prey), and G (for plant). A predator (prey) had a probability of giving birth to an offspring when it ate prey (plant). When a predator or prey was first introduced, or born, its health state was assigned an initial value of 20 that subsequently decreased by one with every time step. The predator (prey) was removed from the system when the health state decreased to less than zero. The degree of flow rotation was characterized by the variable, R. A higher R indicates a higher tendency that predators and prey move along circular paths. Plants were not affected by the flow because they were assumed to be attached to the streambed. Results showed that R positively affected both predator and prey survival, while its effect on plants was negligible. Flow rotation facilitated disturbances in individuals’ movements, which consequently strengthens the predator and prey relationship and prevents death from starvation. An increase in S accelerated the extinction of predators and prey.

  15. The Roles of Dispersal, Fecundity, and Predation in the Population Persistence of an Oak (Quercus engelmannii) under Global Change

    PubMed Central

    Conlisk, Erin; Lawson, Dawn; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Franklin, Janet; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan; Regan, Helen M.

    2012-01-01

    A species’ response to climate change depends on the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors that define future habitat suitability and species’ ability to migrate or adapt. The interactive effects of processes such as fire, dispersal, and predation have not been thoroughly addressed in the climate change literature. Our objective was to examine how life history traits, short-term global change perturbations, and long-term climate change interact to affect the likely persistence of an oak species - Quercus engelmannii (Engelmann oak). Specifically, we combined dynamic species distribution models, which predict suitable habitat, with stochastic, stage-based metapopulation models, which project population trajectories, to evaluate the effects of three global change factors – climate change, land use change, and altered fire frequency – emphasizing the roles of dispersal and seed predation. Our model predicted dramatic reduction in Q. engelmannii abundance, especially under drier climates and increased fire frequency. When masting lowers seed predation rates, decreased masting frequency leads to large abundance decreases. Current rates of dispersal are not likely to prevent these effects, although increased dispersal could mitigate population declines. The results suggest that habitat suitability predictions by themselves may under-estimate the impact of climate change for other species and locations. PMID:22623955

  16. The roles of dispersal, fecundity, and predation in the population persistence of an oak (Quercus engelmannii) under global change.

    PubMed

    Conlisk, Erin; Lawson, Dawn; Syphard, Alexandra D; Franklin, Janet; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan; Regan, Helen M

    2012-01-01

    A species' response to climate change depends on the interaction of biotic and abiotic factors that define future habitat suitability and species' ability to migrate or adapt. The interactive effects of processes such as fire, dispersal, and predation have not been thoroughly addressed in the climate change literature. Our objective was to examine how life history traits, short-term global change perturbations, and long-term climate change interact to affect the likely persistence of an oak species--Quercus engelmannii (Engelmann oak). Specifically, we combined dynamic species distribution models, which predict suitable habitat, with stochastic, stage-based metapopulation models, which project population trajectories, to evaluate the effects of three global change factors--climate change, land use change, and altered fire frequency--emphasizing the roles of dispersal and seed predation. Our model predicted dramatic reduction in Q. engelmannii abundance, especially under drier climates and increased fire frequency. When masting lowers seed predation rates, decreased masting frequency leads to large abundance decreases. Current rates of dispersal are not likely to prevent these effects, although increased dispersal could mitigate population declines. The results suggest that habitat suitability predictions by themselves may under-estimate the impact of climate change for other species and locations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. The effect of hydroperiod and predation on the diversity of temporary pond zooplankton communities

    PubMed Central

    Zokan, Marcus; Drake, John M

    2015-01-01

    In temporary pond ecosystems, it is hypothesized that the two dominant structuring forces on zooplankton communities are predation and demographic constraints due to wetland drying. Both of these forces are deterministic processes that act most strongly at opposing ends of a hydroperiod gradient. Our objective was to test how these two processes affect α- and β-diversity of zooplankton communities derived from a diverse temporary pond system. We hypothesized that decreased hydroperiod length and the presence of salamander larvae as predators would decrease β-diversity and that intermediate hydroperiod communities would have the greatest species richness. Our 1-year mesocosm experiment (n = 36) consisted of two predation treatments (present/absent) and three hydroperiod treatments (short/medium/long) fully crossed, seeded from the resting egg bank of multiple temporary ponds. In total, we collected 37 species of microcrustacean zooplankton from our mesocosms. A reduction in hydroperiod length resulted in lower α-diversity, with short-hydroperiod treatments affected most strongly. Endpoint community dissimilarity (β-diversity) was greatest in the medium-hydroperiod treatment with regard to species presence/absence, but was greatest in the long-hydroperiod treatment when abundances were included. Predation by salamander larvae led to reduced β-diversity with respect to species presence/absence, but not among abundant species, and had no effect on α-diversity. Our results suggest that environmental changes that reduce hydroperiod length would result in reduced α-diversity; however, intermediate hydroperiod length appear to enhance β-diversity within a group of wetlands. PMID:26357537

  20. Biocontrol in an impulsive predator-prey model.

    PubMed

    Terry, Alan J

    2014-10-01

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

  1. A role for seed storage proteins in Arabidopsis seed longevity.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Thu-Phuong; Cueff, Gwendal; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Rajjou, Loïc; Bentsink, Leónie

    2015-10-01

    Proteomics approaches have been a useful tool for determining the biological roles and functions of individual proteins and identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern seed germination, vigour and viability in response to ageing. In this work the dry seed proteome of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, that carry introgression fragments at the position of seed longevity quantitative trait loci and as a result display different levels of seed longevity, was investigated. Seeds at two physiological states, after-ripened seeds that had the full germination ability and aged (stored) seeds of which the germination ability was severely reduced, were compared. Aged dry seed proteomes were markedly different from the after-ripened and reflected the seed longevity level of the four genotypes, despite the fact that dry seeds are metabolically quiescent. Results confirmed the role of antioxidant systems, notably vitamin E, and indicated that protection and maintenance of the translation machinery and energy pathways are essential for seed longevity. Moreover, a new role for seed storage proteins (SSPs) was identified in dry seeds during ageing. Cruciferins (CRUs) are the most abundant SSPs in Arabidopsis and seeds of a triple mutant for three CRU isoforms (crua crub cruc) were more sensitive to artificial ageing and their seed proteins were highly oxidized compared with wild-type seeds. These results confirm that oxidation is involved in seed deterioration and that SSPs buffer the seed from oxidative stress, thus protecting important proteins required for seed germination and seedling formation.

  2. A role for seed storage proteins in Arabidopsis seed longevity

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Thu-Phuong; Cueff, Gwendal; Hegedus, Dwayne D; Rajjou, Loïc; Bentsink, Leónie

    2015-01-01

    Proteomics approaches have been a useful tool for determining the biological roles and functions of individual proteins and identifying the molecular mechanisms that govern seed germination, vigour and viability in response to ageing. In this work the dry seed proteome of four Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes, that carry introgression fragments at the position of seed longevity quantitative trait loci and as a result display different levels of seed longevity, was investigated. Seeds at two physiological states, after-ripened seeds that had the full germination ability and aged (stored) seeds of which the germination ability was severely reduced, were compared. Aged dry seed proteomes were markedly different from the after-ripened and reflected the seed longevity level of the four genotypes, despite the fact that dry seeds are metabolically quiescent. Results confirmed the role of antioxidant systems, notably vitamin E, and indicated that protection and maintenance of the translation machinery and energy pathways are essential for seed longevity. Moreover, a new role for seed storage proteins (SSPs) was identified in dry seeds during ageing. Cruciferins (CRUs) are the most abundant SSPs in Arabidopsis and seeds of a triple mutant for three CRU isoforms (crua crub cruc) were more sensitive to artificial ageing and their seed proteins were highly oxidized compared with wild-type seeds. These results confirm that oxidation is involved in seed deterioration and that SSPs buffer the seed from oxidative stress, thus protecting important proteins required for seed germination and seedling formation. PMID:26184996

  3. Crystallization on prestructured seeds.

    PubMed

    Jungblut, Swetlana; Dellago, Christoph

    2013-01-01

    The crystallization transition of an undercooled monodisperse Lennard-Jones fluid in the presence of small prestructured seeds is studied with transition path sampling combined with molecular dynamics simulations. Compared to the homogeneous crystallization, clusters of a few particles arranged into a face- and body-centered cubic structure enhance the crystallization, while icosahedrally ordered seeds do not change the reaction rate. We identify two distinct nucleation regimes-close to the seed and in the bulk. Crystallites form close to the face- and body-centered structures and tend to stay away from the icosahedrally ordered seeds.

  4. Predator odor recognition and antipredatory response in fish: does the prey know the predator diel rhythm?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ylönen, Hannu; Kortet, Raine; Myntti, Janne; Vainikka, Anssi

    2007-01-01

    We studied in a laboratory experiment using stream tanks if two percid prey fish, the perch ( Perca fluviatilis) and the ruffe ( Gymnocephalus cernuus), can recognize and respond to increased predation risk using odors of two piscivores, the pike ( Esox lucius) and the burbot ( Lota lota). Burbot is night-active most of the year but pike hunts predominantly visually whenever there is enough light. Perch is a common day-active prey of pike and dark-active ruffe that of burbot. We predicted that besides recognizing the predator odors, the prey species would respond more strongly to odors of the predator which share the same activity pattern. Both perch and ruffe clearly responded to both predator fish odors. They decreased movements and erected the spiny dorsal fins. Fin erection showed clearly the black warning ornamentation in the fin and thus erected fin may function besides as mechanical defense also as warning ornament for an approaching predator. No rapid escape movements were generally observed. Both perch and ruffe responded more strongly to pike odor than to burbot. There were no clear differences in response between day and night. In conclusion, we were able to verify clear predator odor recognition by both prey fish. Both perch and ruffe responded to both predator odors and it seemed that pike forms a stronger threat for both prey species. Despite of diel activity differences both perch and ruffe used the same antipredatory strategies, but the day-active perch seemed to have a more flexible antipredatory behavior by responding more strongly to burbot threat during the night when burbot is active.

  5. Beyond Predation: The Zoophytophagous Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Induces Tomato Resistance against Spider Mites.

    PubMed

    Pappas, Maria L; Steppuhn, Anke; Geuss, Daniel; Topalidou, Nikoleta; Zografou, Aliki; Sabelis, Maurice W; Broufas, George D

    2015-01-01

    Many predatory insects that prey on herbivores also feed on the plant, but it is unknown whether plants affect the performance of herbivores by responding to this phytophagy with defence induction. We investigate whether the prior presence of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur) on tomato plants affects plant resistance against two different herbivore species. Besides plant-mediated effects of M. pygmaeus on herbivore performance, we examined whether a plant defence trait that is known to be inducible by herbivory, proteinase inhibitors (PI), may also be activated in response to the interactions of this predator with the tomato plant. We show that exposing tomato plants to the omnivorous predator M. pygmaeus reduced performance of a subsequently infesting herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, but not of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). The spider-mite infested tomato plants experience a lower herbivore load, i.e., number of eggs deposited and individuals present, when previously exposed to the zoophytophagous predator. This effect is not restricted to the exposed leaf and persists on exposed plants for at least two weeks after the removal of the predators. The decreased performance of spider mites as a result of prior exposure of the plant to M. pygmaeus is accompanied by a locally and systemically increased accumulation of transcripts and activity of proteinase inhibitors that are known to be involved in plant defence. Our results demonstrate that zoophytophagous predators can induce plant defence responses and reduce herbivore performance. Hence, the suppression of populations of certain herbivores via consumption may be strengthened by the induction of plant defences by zoophytophagous predators.

  6. Beyond Predation: The Zoophytophagous Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Induces Tomato Resistance against Spider Mites

    PubMed Central

    Pappas, Maria L.; Steppuhn, Anke; Geuss, Daniel; Topalidou, Nikoleta; Zografou, Aliki; Broufas, George D.

    2015-01-01

    Many predatory insects that prey on herbivores also feed on the plant, but it is unknown whether plants affect the performance of herbivores by responding to this phytophagy with defence induction. We investigate whether the prior presence of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur) on tomato plants affects plant resistance against two different herbivore species. Besides plant-mediated effects of M. pygmaeus on herbivore performance, we examined whether a plant defence trait that is known to be inducible by herbivory, proteinase inhibitors (PI), may also be activated in response to the interactions of this predator with the tomato plant. We show that exposing tomato plants to the omnivorous predator M. pygmaeus reduced performance of a subsequently infesting herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, but not of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood). The spider-mite infested tomato plants experience a lower herbivore load, i.e., number of eggs deposited and individuals present, when previously exposed to the zoophytophagous predator. This effect is not restricted to the exposed leaf and persists on exposed plants for at least two weeks after the removal of the predators. The decreased performance of spider mites as a result of prior exposure of the plant to M. pygmaeus is accompanied by a locally and systemically increased accumulation of transcripts and activity of proteinase inhibitors that are known to be involved in plant defence. Our results demonstrate that zoophytophagous predators can induce plant defence responses and reduce herbivore performance. Hence, the suppression of populations of certain herbivores via consumption may be strengthened by the induction of plant defences by zoophytophagous predators. PMID:25974207

  7. Seed moisture at physiological maturity in oilseed and confectionary sunflower hybrids in the Northern U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Desiccating sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) to hasten harvest has become a common practice in the northern U.S. and can aid in reducing yield loss associated with severe weather and bird predation. Currently, it is recommended to apply desiccants to sunflower at 35% or less seed moisture correspond...

  8. Management of Protected Areas and Its Effect on an Ecosystem Function: Removal of Prosopis flexuosa Seeds by Mammals in Argentinian Drylands.

    PubMed

    Campos, Claudia M; Campos, Valeria E; Miguel, Florencia; Cona, Mónica I

    The ecological function of animal seed dispersal depends on species interactions and can be affected by drivers such as the management interventions applied to protected areas. This study was conducted in two protected areas in the Monte Desert: a fenced reserve with grazing exclusion and absence of large native mammals (the Man and Biosphere Ñacuñán Reserve; FR) and an unfenced reserve with low densities of large native and domestic animals (Ischigualasto Park; UFR). The study focuses on Prosopis flexuosa seed removal by different functional mammal groups: "seed predators", "scatter-hoarders", and "opportunistic frugivores". Under both interventions, the relative contribution to seed removal by different functional mammal groups was assessed, as well as how these groups respond to habitat heterogeneity (i.e. vegetation structure) at different spatial scales. Camera traps were used to identify mammal species removing P. flexuosa seeds and to quantify seed removal; remote sensing data helped analyze habitat heterogeneity. In the FR, the major fruit removers were a seed predator (Graomys griseoflavus) and a scatter-hoarder (Microcavia asutralis). In the UFR, the main seed removers were the opportunistic frugivores (Lycalopex griseus and Dolichotis patagonum), who removed more seeds than the seed predator in the FR. The FR shows higher habitat homogeneity than the UFR, and functional groups respond differently to habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales. In the FR, because large herbivores are locally extinct (e.g. Lama guanicoe) and domestic herbivores are excluded, important functions of large herbivores are missing, such as the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity, which provides habitats for medium-sized opportunistic frugivores with consequent improvement of quality and quantity of seed dispersal services. In the UFR, with low densities of large herbivores, probably one important ecosystem function this group performs is to increase habitat

  9. The numerical and functional responses of a granivorous rodent and the fate of Neotropical tree seeds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klinger, R.; Rejmanek, M.

    2009-01-01

    Despite their potential to provide mechanistic explanations of rates of seed dispersal and seed fate, the functional and numerical responses of seed predators have never been explicitly examined within this context. Therefore, we investigated the numerical response of a small-mammal seed predator, Heteromys desmarestianus, to disturbance-induced changes in food availability and evaluated the degree to which removal and fate of seeds of eight tree species in a lowland tropical forest in Belize were related to the functional response of H. desmarestianus to varying seed densities. Mark-recapture trapping was used to estimate abundance of H. desmarestianus in six 0.5-ha grids from July 2000 to September 2002. Fruit availability and seed fate were estimated in each grid, and two experiments nested within the grids were used to determine (1) the form of the functional response for nine levels of fruit density (2-32 fruits/m 2), (2) the removal rate and handling times, and (3) the total proportion of fruits removed. The total proportion of fruits removed was determined primarily by the numerical response of H. desmarestianus to fruit availability, while removal rates and the proportion of seeds eaten or cached were related primarily to the form of the functional response. However, the numerical and functional responses interacted; H. desmarestianus showed strong spatial and temporal numerical responses to total fruit availability, and their density relative to fruit availability resulted in variation in the form of the functional response. Types I, II, and III functional responses were observed, as were density-independent responses, and these responses varied both among and within fruit species. The highest proportions of fruits were eaten when the Type III functional response was detected, which was when fruit availability was high relative to H. desmarestianus population density. Numerous idiosyncratic influences on seed fate have been documented, but our results

  10. Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Matthew R.; Castoe, Todd; Holmes, Julian; Packer, Michelle; Biles, Kelsey; Walsh, Melissa; Munch, Stephan B.; Post, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental signals can induce phenotypic changes that span multiple generations. Along with phenotypic responses that occur during development (i.e. ‘within-generation’ plasticity), such ‘transgenerational plasticity’ (TGP) has been documented in a diverse array of taxa spanning many environmental perturbations. New theory predicts that temporal stability is a key driver of the evolution of TGP. We tested this prediction using natural populations of zooplankton from lakes in Connecticut that span a large gradient in the temporal dynamics of predator-induced mortality. We reared more than 120 clones of Daphnia ambigua from nine lakes for multiple generations in the presence/absence of predator cues. We found that temporal variation in mortality selects for within-generation plasticity while consistently strong (or weak) mortality selects for increased TGP. Such results provide us the first evidence for local adaptation in TGP and argue that divergent ecological conditions select for phenotypic responses within and across generations. PMID:26817775

  11. The Great White Guppy: Top Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michalski, G. M.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen isotopes are often used to trace the trophic level of members of an ecosystem. As part of a stable isotope biogeochemistry and forensics course at Purdue University, students are introduced to this concept by analyzing nitrogen isotopes in sea food purchased from local grocery stores. There is a systematic increase in 15N/14N ratios going from kelp to clams/shrimp, to sardines, to tuna and finally to shark. These enrichments demonstrate how nitrogen is enriched in biomass as predators consume prey. Some of the highest nitrogen isotope enrichments observed, however, are in the common guppy. We investigated a number of aquarium fish foods and find they typically have high nitrogen isotope ratios because they are made form fish meal that is produced primarily from the remains of predator fish such as tuna. From, a isotope perspective, the guppy is the top of the food chain, more ferocious than even the Great White shark.

  12. Climate change, keystone predation, and biodiversity loss.

    PubMed

    Harley, Christopher D G

    2011-11-25

    Climate change can affect organisms both directly via physiological stress and indirectly via changing relationships among species. However, we do not fully understand how changing interspecific relationships contribute to community- and ecosystem-level responses to environmental forcing. I used experiments and spatial and temporal comparisons to demonstrate that warming substantially reduces predator-free space on rocky shores. The vertical extent of mussel beds decreased by 51% in 52 years, and reproductive populations of mussels disappeared at several sites. Prey species were able to occupy a hot, extralimital site if predation pressure was experimentally reduced, and local species richness more than doubled as a result. These results suggest that anthropogenic climate change can alter interspecific interactions and produce unexpected changes in species distributions, community structure, and diversity.

  13. Simulated predator extinctions: predator identity affects survival and recruitment of oysters.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Nessa E; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Ladwig, Laura M; Bruno, John F

    2008-02-01

    The rate of species loss is increasing at a global scale, and human-induced extinctions are biased toward predator species. We examined the effects of predator extinctions on a foundation species, the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica). We performed a factorial experiment manipulating the presence and abundance of three of the most common predatory crabs, the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), stone crab (Menippe mercenaria), and mud crab (Panopeus herbstii) in estuaries in the eastern United States. We tested the effects of species richness and identity of predators on juvenile oyster survival, oyster recruitment, and organic matter content of sediment. We also manipulated the density of each of the predators and controlled for the loss of biomass of species by maintaining a constant mass of predators in one set of treatments and simultaneously using an additive design. This design allowed us to test the density dependence of our results and test for functional compensation by other species. The identity of predator species, but not richness, affected oyster populations. The loss of blue crabs, alone or in combination with either of the other species, affected the survival rate of juvenile oysters. Blue crabs and stone crabs both affected oyster recruitment and sediment organic matter negatively. Mud crabs at higher than ambient densities, however, could fulfill some of the functions of blue and stone crabs, suggesting a level of ecological redundancy. Importantly, the strong effects of blue crabs in all processes measured no longer occurred when individuals were present at higher-than-ambient densities. Their role as dominant predator is, therefore, dependent on their density within the system and the density of other species within their guild (e.g., mud crabs). Our findings support the hypothesis that the effects of species loss at higher trophic levels are determined by predator identity and are subject to complex intraguild interactions that are largely

  14. Hydrological disturbance diminishes predator control in wetlands.

    PubMed

    Dorn, Nathan J; Cook, Mark I

    2015-11-01

    Effects of predators on prey populations can be especially strong in aquatic ecosystems, but disturbances may mediate the strength of predator limitation and even allow outbreaks of some prey populations. In a two-year study we investigated the numerical responses of crayfish (Procambarus fallax) and small fishes (Poeciliidae and Fundulidae) to a brief hydrological disturbance in replicated freshwater wetlands with an experimental drying and large predatory fish reduction. The experiment and an in situ predation assay tested the component of the consumer stress model positing that disturbances release prey from predator limitation. In the disturbed wetlands, abundances of large predatory fish were seasonally reduced, similar to dynamics in the Everglades (southern Florida). Densities of small fish were unaffected by the disturbance, but crayfish densities, which were similar across all wetlands before drying, increased almost threefold in the year after the disturbance. Upon re-flooding, juvenile crayfish survival was inversely related to the abundance of large fish across wetlands, but we found no evidence for enhanced algal food quality. At a larger landscape scale (500 km2 of the Everglades), crayfish densities over eight years were positively correlated with the severity of local dry disturbances (up to 99 days dry) during the preceding dry season. In contrast, densities of small-bodied fishes in the same wetlands were seasonally depressed by dry disturbances. The results from our experimental wetland drought and the observations of crayfish densities in the Everglades represent a large-scale example of prey population release following a hydrological disturbance in a freshwater ecosystem. The conditions producing crayfish pulses in the Everglades appear consistent with the mechanics of the consumer stress model, and we suggest crayfish pulses may influence the number of nesting wading birds in the Everglades.

  15. Motional instabilities in prey-predator systems.

    PubMed

    Malchow, H

    2000-06-21

    Differential fluxes can destabilize the locally stable stationary density distributions in interaction systems with diffusion, advection, and/or locomotion of chemical or biological species. By this method they can cause the formation of stationary or travelling spatial structures. Different scenarios of this general mechanism of spatio-temporal pattern formation in reaction-diffusion-advection systems will be demonstrated, using a simple two-species predator-prey system as an example model.

  16. A quick SEED tutorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringler, Adam; Evans, John R.

    2015-01-01

    A number of different government-funded seismic data centers offer free open-access data (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), and Data Management System), which can be freely downloaded and shared among different members of the community (Lay, 2009). To efficiently share data, it is important that different data providers follow a common format. The Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data (SEED) provides one such format for storing seismic and other geophysical data. The SEED format is widely used in earthquake seismology; however, SEED and its structure can be difficult for many first-time users (ourselves included). Below is a quick tutorial that outlines the basic structure of SEED format. This write-up is in no way intended to replace the comprehensive SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), and instead of going into the details of any specific part of the SEED format we refer the reader to the manual for additional details. The goal of this write-up is to succinctly explain the basic structure of SEED format as well as the associated jargon, as most commonly used now, in a colloquial way so that novice users of SEED can become more familiar with the format and its application quickly. Our goal is to give the reader the necessary background so that when problems or questions about SEED format arise they will have some understanding of where they should look for more details or from where the problem might be stemming. As a secondary goal, we hope to help the reader become familiar with the SEED manual (Ahern et al., 2009), which contains detailed information about all aspects of the SEED format.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. Seasonally Varying Predation Behavior and Climate Shifts Are Predicted to Affect Predator-Prey Cycles.

    PubMed

    Tyson, Rebecca; Lutscher, Frithjof

    2016-11-01

    The functional response of some predator species changes from a pattern characteristic for a generalist to that for a specialist according to seasonally varying prey availability. Current theory does not address the dynamic consequences of this phenomenon. Since season length correlates strongly with altitude and latitude and is predicted to change under future climate scenarios, including this phenomenon in theoretical models seems essential for correct prediction of future ecosystem dynamics. We develop and analyze a two-season model for the great horned owl (Bubo virginialis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). These species form a predator-prey system in which the generalist to specialist shift in predation pattern has been documented empirically. We study the qualitative behavior of this predator-prey model community as summer season length changes. We find that relatively small changes in summer season length can have a profound impact on the system. In particular, when the predator has sufficient alternative resources available during the summer season, it can drive the prey to extinction, there can be coexisting stable states, and there can be stable large-amplitude limit cycles coexisting with a stable steady state. Our results illustrate that the impacts of global change on local ecosystems can be driven by internal system dynamics and can potentially have catastrophic consequences.

  20. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Predator B in flight.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. ALTAIR/PREDATOR B -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator testbed aircraft to validate a variety of command and control technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Ten-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 84 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of those basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  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. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures.

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-19

    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.

  3. Plant facilitation of a belowground predator.

    PubMed

    Preisser, Evan L; Dugaw, Christopher J; Dennis, Brian; Strong, Donald R

    2006-05-01

    Interest in facilitative predator plant interactions has focused upon above-ground systems. Underground physical conditions are distinctive, however, and we provide evidence that bush lupine, Lupinus arboreus, facilitates the survival of the predatory nematode Heterorhabditis marelatus. Because H. marelatus is prone to desiccation and lupines maintain a zone of moist soil around their taproots even during dry periods, we hypothesized that dry-season nematode survival under lupines might be higher than in the surrounding grasslands. We performed field surveys and measured nematode survival in lupine and grassland rhizospheres under wet- and dry-season conditions. Nematodes survived the crucial summer period better under lupines than in grasslands; however, this advantage disappeared in wet, winter soils. Modeling the probability of nematode population extinction showed that, while even large nematode cohorts were likely to go extinct in grasslands, even small cohorts in lupine rhizospheres were likely to survive until the arrival of the next prey generation. Because this nematode predator has a strong top-down effect on lupine survival via its effect on root-boring larvae of the ghost moth Hepialus californicus, this facilitative interaction may enable a belowground trophic cascade. Similar cases of predator facilitation in seasonally stressful environments are probably common in nature.

  4. Range contraction in large pelagic predators

    PubMed Central

    Worm, Boris; Tittensor, Derek P.

    2011-01-01

    Large reductions in the abundance of exploited land predators have led to significant range contractions for those species. This pattern can be formalized as the range–abundance relationship, a general macroecological pattern that has important implications for the conservation of threatened species. Here we ask whether similar responses may have occurred in highly mobile pelagic predators, specifically 13 species of tuna and billfish. We analyzed two multidecadal global data sets on the spatial distribution of catches and fishing effort targeting these species and compared these with available abundance time series from stock assessments. We calculated the effort needed to reliably detect the presence of a species and then computed observed range sizes in each decade from 1960 to 2000. Results suggest significant range contractions in 9 of the 13 species considered here (between 2% and 46% loss of observed range) and significant range expansions in two species (11–29% increase). Species that have undergone the largest declines in abundance and are of particular conservation concern tended to show the largest range contractions. These include all three species of bluefin tuna and several marlin species. In contrast, skipjack tuna, which may have increased its abundance in the Pacific, has also expanded its range size. These results mirror patterns described for many land predators, despite considerable differences in habitat, mobility, and dispersal, and imply ecological extirpation of heavily exploited species across parts of their range. PMID:21693644

  5. Examining Children's Models of Seed.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, Natalie

    2002-01-01

    Reports research that examines children's models of seed. Explores the conceptions held by children (N=75) of germination and seed formation. Concludes that children hold a restricted meaning for the term 'seed'. (DDR)

  6. Predator density and the functional responses of coral reef fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stier, A. C.; White, J. W.

    2014-03-01

    Predation is a key process driving coral reef fish population dynamics, with higher per capita prey mortality rates on reefs with more predators. Reef predators often forage together, and at high densities, they may either cooperate or antagonize one another, thereby causing prey mortality rates to be substantially higher or lower than one would expect if predators did not interact. However, we have a limited mechanistic understanding of how prey mortality rates change with predator densities. We re-analyzed a previously published observational dataset to investigate how the foraging response of the coney grouper ( Cephalopholis fulva) feeding on the bluehead wrasse ( Thalassoma bifasciatum) changed with shifts in predator and prey densities. Using a model-selection approach, we found that per-predator feeding rates were most consistent with a functional response that declines as predator density increases, suggesting either antagonistic interactions among predators or a shared antipredator behavioral response by the prey. Our findings suggest that variation in predator density (natural or anthropogenic) may have substantial consequences for coral reef fish population dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vail, Alexander L; McCormick, Mark I

    2011-12-23

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

  9. Taphonomy for taxonomists: Implications of predation in small mammal studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-Jalvo, Yolanda; Andrews, Peter; Denys, Christiane; Sesé, Carmen; Stoetzel, Emmanuelle; Marin-Monfort, Dolores; Pesquero, Dolores

    2016-05-01

    Predation is one of the most recurrent sources of bone accumulations. The influence of predation is widely studied for large mammal sites where humans, acting as predators, produce bone accumulations similar to carnivore accumulations. Similarly, small mammal fossil sites are mainly occupation levels of predators (nests or dens). In both cases, investigations of past events can be compared with present day equivalents or proxies. Chewing marks are sometimes present on large mammal predator accumulations, but digestion traits are the most direct indication of predation, and evidence for this is always present in small mammal (prey) fossil assemblages. Digestion grades and frequency indicates predator type and this is well established since the publication of Andrews (1990). The identification of the predator provides invaluable information for accurate interpretation of the palaeoenvironment. Traditionally, palaeoenvironmental interpretations are obtained from the taxonomic species identified in the site, but rather than providing direct interpretations of the surrounding palaeoenvironment, this procedure actually describes the dietary preferences of the predators and the type of occupation (nests, marking territory, dens, etc). This paper reviews the identification of traits produced by predators on arvicolins, murins and soricids using a method that may be used equally by taxonomists and taphonomists. It aims to provide the "tools" for taxonomists to identify the predator based on their methodology, which is examining the occlusal surfaces of teeth rather than their lateral aspects. This will greatly benefit both the work of taphonomists and taxonomists to recognize signs of predation and the improvement of subsequent palaeoecological interpretations of past organisms and sites by identifying both the prey and the predator.

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

    PubMed

    Hebblewhite, Mark; Merrill, Evelyn H

    2007-05-01

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

  11. Olfactory systems and neural circuits that modulate predator odor fear

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Lorey K.

    2014-01-01

    When prey animals detect the odor of a predator a constellation of fear-related autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses rapidly occur to facilitate survival. How olfactory sensory systems process predator odor and channel that information to specific brain circuits is a fundamental issue that is not clearly understood. However, research in the last 15 years has begun to identify some of the essential features of the sensory detection systems and brain structures that underlie predator odor fear. For instance, the main (MOS) and accessory olfactory systems (AOS) detect predator odors and different types of predator odors are sensed by specific receptors located in either the MOS or AOS. However, complex predator chemosignals may be processed by both the MOS and AOS, which complicate our understanding of the specific neural circuits connected directly and indirectly from the MOS and AOS to activate the physiological and behavioral components of unconditioned and conditioned fear. Studies indicate that brain structures including the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG), paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, and the medial amygdala (MeA) appear to be broadly involved in predator odor induced autonomic activity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress hormone secretion. The MeA also plays a key role in predator odor unconditioned fear behavior and retrieval of contextual fear memory associated with prior predator odor experiences. Other neural structures including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the ventral hippocampus (VHC) appear prominently involved in predator odor fear behavior. The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial hypothalamic nuclei, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are also activated by some but not all predator odors. Future research that characterizes how distinct predator odors are uniquely processed in olfactory systems and neural circuits will provide significant insights into the differences of how diverse predator

  12. 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.

  13. Predator cannibalism can intensify negative impacts on heterospecific prey.

    PubMed

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

    Although natural populations consist of individuals with different traits, and the degree of phenotypic variation varies among populations, the impact of phenotypic variation on ecological interactions has received little attention, because traditional approaches to community ecology assume homogeneity of individuals within a population. Stage structure, which is a common way of generating size and developmental variation within predator populations, can drive cannibalistic interactions, which can affect the strength of predatory effects on the predator's heterospecific prey. Studies have shown that predator cannibalism weakens predatory effects on heterospecific prey by reducing the size of the predator population and by inducing less feeding activity of noncannibal predators. We predict, however, that predator cannibalism, by promoting rapid growth of the cannibals, can also intensify predation pressure on heterospecific prey, because large predators have large resource requirements and may utilize a wider variety of prey species. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which we created carnivorous salamander (Hynobius retardatus) populations with different stage structures by manipulating the salamander's hatch timing (i.e., populations with large or small variation in the timing of hatching), and explored the resultant impacts on the abundance, behavior, morphology, and life history of the salamander's large heterospecific prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles. Cannibalism was rare in salamander populations having small hatch-timing variation, but was frequent in those having large hatch-timing variation. Thus, giant salamander cannibals occurred only in the latter. We clearly showed that salamander giants exerted strong predation pressure on frog tadpoles, which induced large behavioral and morphological defenses in the tadpoles and caused them to metamorphose late at large size. Hence,