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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. 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. PMID:26132017

  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. 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. PMID:20637050

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26197397

  6. 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. PMID:26197397

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27016078

  9. Global Patterns in Post-Dispersal Seed Removal by Invertebrates and Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:23776503

  16. 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

  17. Predation of cassowary dispersed seeds: is the cassowary an effective disperser?

    PubMed

    Bradford, Matt G; Westcott, David A

    2011-09-01

    Post-dispersal predation is a potentially significant modifier of the distribution of recruiting plants and an often unmeasured determinant of the effectiveness of a frugivore's dispersal service. In the wet tropical forests of Australia and New Guinea, the cassowary provides a large volume, long distance dispersal service incorporating beneficial gut processing; however, the resultant clumped deposition might expose seeds to elevated mortality. We examined the contribution of post-dispersal seed predation to cassowary dispersal effectiveness by monitoring the fate of 11 species in southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius johnsonii Linnaeus) droppings over a period of 1 year. Across all species, the rate of predation and removal was relatively slow. After 1 month, 70% of seeds remained intact and outwardly viable, while the number fell to 38% after 1 year. The proportion of seeds remaining intact in droppings varied considerably between species: soft-seeded and large-seeded species were more likely to escape removal and predation. Importantly, across all species, seeds in droppings were no more likely to be predated than those left undispersed under the parent tree. We speculate that seed predating and scatter-hoarding rodents are responsible for the vast majority of predation and removal from droppings and that the few seeds which undergo secondary dispersal survive to germination. Our findings reinforce the conclusion that the cassowary is an important seed disperser; however, dispersal effectiveness for particular plant species can be reduced by massive post-dispersal seed mortality.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:21952959

  3. 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.

  4. Pollination, seed set and seed predation on a landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Steffan-Dewenter, I; Münzenberg, U; Tscharntke, T

    2001-08-22

    We analysed the combined effects of pollination and seed predation on seed set of Centaurea jacea in 15 landscapes differing in structural complexity. In the centre of each landscape, a patch of Centaurea plants was established for standardized measurements of flower visitation, seed predation and seed set. Both the number of flower-visiting bees and the proportion of flower heads damaged by seed predators increased with landscape complexity, which was measured as the proportion of semi-natural habitats. The mean number of seeds per flower head did not increase with the proportion of semi-natural habitats, presumably because of the counterbalancing effects of pollination and seed predation. For a subset of undamaged flower heads, the number of seeds per flower head was positively correlated with the number of flower visits. Further reasons for the unexpected failure to detect a correlation between landscape complexity and seed set appeared to be changes in flower-visitor behaviour and the contrasting responses of honeybees and wild bees to habitat context. Landscape analyses at eight spatial scales (radius of landscape sectors, 250-3000 m) showed that different groups perceived the landscape at different spatial scales. Changes in pollinator numbers could be explained only at small scales (up to 1000 m), while the seed predators also responded to large scales (up to 2500 m).

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  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. PMID:26400794

  9. New approaches to understanding weed seed predation in agroecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Postdispersal predation of weed seeds in arable systems can be a valuable ecosystem service, with the potential to support ecological approaches to weed management by reducing inputs to the soil seed bank. Scientific understanding of factors regulating weed seed predation rates is still insufficient...

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2011-11-27

    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 m(2)) 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2011-11-27

    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 m(2)) 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.

  14. Effects of seed predators and light level on the distribution of Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. in tropical, tidal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Thomas J.

    1987-07-01

    Avicennia marina has an unusual distributional pattern across the intertidal region in mangrove forests of north-eastern Australia. It is often abundant in the low intertidal and high intertidal but is very rare in mid-intertidal areas. The influences of shade intolerance and seed predators on the distribution of Avicennia were investigated. Field observations of 391 light gaps indicated that while seedlings were equally abundant in gaps versus under the neighboring forest canopy, saplings were much more abundant in gaps. Subsequent field studies showed that seedlings survived and grew best in light gaps as opposed to under the forest canopy. Further field experiments revealed that 96·0±3·4% of the post-dispersal propagules of Avicennia are consumed by seed predators, primarily grapsid crabs. Predation on propagules was less in low and high intertidal regions where conspecific adults were common and was highest in the mid intertidal where Avicennia is rarest. Predator exclusion experiments indicated that Avicennia was capable of growing in mid-intertidal areas. It is concluded that the combination of shade intolerance and extensive predation on its' propagules effectively limits the distribution of Avicennia marina across the intertidal and may account for the dominance by members of the Rhizophoraceae in the mangrove forests of northern Australia.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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 km(2). Our results demonstrate that strictly carnivorous, felid predators could have broad and overlooked ecological functions related to ecosystem structuring and functioning. PMID:26791932

  16. 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

  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

    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.

  19. 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.

  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

    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 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

  3. Coevolution of mast seeding in trees and extended diapause of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Tachiki, Yuuya; Iwasa, Yoh

    2013-12-21

    Many trees in forests show synchronized and intermittent reproduction, which is called "masting" or mast seeding. According to recent theoretical studies, the evolution of masting is promoted both by recruitment through the seedling bank and by seed predators. An important class of specialist seed predators (e.g., weevils and some moths) are parasitoids that oviposit on or in fruits from which the next generation emerges over the following several years. This staggered emergence is called "extended diapause". In this paper, we study the simultaneous evolution of tree masting and extended diapause of seed predators. If a fixed fraction of diapausing larvae matures every year, the evolution of trees results in masting (intermittent reproduction with a large fluctuation in reproductive activity) or non-masting (trees reproduce every year). The transition occurs discontinuously, showing evolutionary jumping. The range of seedling survivorship for which masting evolves is broader when the ovipositing efficiency and larval survivorship of the seed predators are large. Interestingly, the conditions for the evolution of masting are broadest for an intermediate fraction of extended diapause of seed predators. When both tree masting and the extended diapause of seed predators evolve simultaneously, the evolutionary end point of the fraction of extended diapause is clearly greater than the value that most favors masting evolution. The stochasticity caused by the finiteness of the number of trees tends to promote masting evolution.

  4. Post-dispersal embryo development, germination phenology, and seed dormancy in Cardiocrinum cordatum var. glehnii (Liliaceae s. str.), a perennial herb of the broadleaved deciduous forest in Japan.

    PubMed

    Kondo, Tetsuya; Sato, Chihiro; Baskin, Jerry M; Baskin, Carol C

    2006-06-01

    In an investigation of seed germination in Cardiocrinum cordatum var. glehnii, embryos in fresh seeds in October were underdeveloped and did not grow until September of the following year. Then, they grew rapidly and had fully elongated by early November. In the second spring after dispersal, radicles emerged under snow in late March and after snowmelt in April. Cotyledons emerged soon after radicles. In several laboratory experiments, embryos grew at 15°/5°C (light 12 h/ dark 12 h) following 25°/15°C. Radicles emerged from seeds with fully elongated embryos at 5°-15°C after cold stratification at 0°-5°C. Cotyledons emerged in 2 wk from seeds with a radicle at 15°/5°C to 30°/20°C. Although seeds require c. 18-19 mo after dispersal to germinate in nature, under controlled conditions, they required only 9 mo with a sequence of 25°/15°C → 15°/5°C → 0°-5°C → 15°/5°C. This is practical knowledge for propagation of plants from seeds. GA(3) treatment partially substituted for the high temperature requirement. Based on dormancy-breaking requirements, the seeds have deep simple morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). A literature review of seed dormancy in taxa of Liliaceae s. str. showed that phylogenetic position in this case is not a good predictor of level of MPD.

  5. Seed predation by mammals in forest fragments in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Chinchilla, Federico A

    2009-09-01

    Few studies have evaluated seed predation in fragmented landscapes, in which lower species diversity is expected to modifying ecological interactions. The rates of seed removal by mammals were investigated in a continuous forest and two fragmented patches of Premontane Tropical Moist Forest, in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The composition of mammalian seed-predators in each site was recorded during 16 months. The removal of four native tree species of experimental seeds: Ocotea valeriana and Ocotea whitei (Lauraceae), Panopsis costaricensis (Proteaceae) and Billia colombiana (Hippocastanaceae) in forest understories was followed during two annual fruiting seasons for each species. Results indicated similar species composition of seed-predators between continuous forest, the largest fragment (350 ha). However the smaller fragment (20 ha), had fewer seed predators. In this fragment, the specialized seed predator Heteromys desmarestianus (Rodentia) was more abundant. Unexpectedly, seed-predation in the two forest fragments and the continuous forest did not differ statistically for any of the seed species. Apparently, the higher abundance of small seed-predators in the fragments was compensated by the absence of medium and large seed-predators, like Agouti paca, Dasyprocta punctata (both Rodentia) and Pecari tajacu (Artiodactyla) recorded in continuous forest. Removal of experimentally-placed seeds was higher when the number of naturally occurring seeds in the sites was lower. This result could best be attributed to differential satiation of seed predators rather than differences in richness or abundance of seed predators.

  6. 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. PMID:26747267

  7. Indirect interactions between browsers and seed predators affect the seed bank dynamics of a chaparral shrub.

    PubMed

    Deveny, Adrian J; Fox, Laurel R

    2006-11-01

    Interactions between herbivores and seed predators may have long-term consequences for plant populations that rely on persistent seed banks for recovery after unpredictable fires. We assessed the effects of browsing by deer and seed predation by rodents, ants and birds on the densities of seeds entering the seed bank of Ceanothus cuneatus var. rigidus, a maritime chaparral shrub in coastal California. Ceanothus produced many more seeds when protected from browsers in long-term experimental exclosures than did browsed plants, but the seed densities in the soil beneath browsed and unbrowsed Ceanothus were the same at the start of an intensive one-year study. The density of seeds in the soil initially increased in both treatments following summer seed drop: while densities returned to pre-drop levels within a few weeks under browsed plants, soil seed densities remained high for 5-8 months beneath unbrowsed plants. Rodent abundance (especially deer mice) was higher near unbrowsed plants than >30 m away, and rodents removed Ceanothus seeds from dishes in the experimental plots. At least in the short term, rodent density and rates of seed removal were inversely related to the intensity of browsing. Our data have management implications for maintaining viable Ceanothus populations by regulating the intensity of browsing and the timing, intensity and frequency of fires.

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. A seed predator drives the evolution of a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-08-22

    Although antagonists are hypothesized to impede the evolution of mutualisms, they may simultaneously exert selection favouring the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions. We found that increases in limber pine (Pinus flexilis) seed defences arising from selection exerted by a pre-dispersal seed predator (red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) reduced the efficacy of limber pine's primary seed disperser (Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana) while enhancing seed dispersal by ground-foraging scatter-hoarding rodents (Peromyscus). Thus, there is a shift from relying on primary seed dispersal by birds in areas without red squirrels, to an increasing reliance on secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in areas with red squirrels. Seed predators can therefore drive the evolution of seed defences, which in turn favour alternative seed dispersal mutualisms that lead to major changes in the mode of seed dispersal. Given that adaptive evolution in response to antagonists frequently impedes one kind of mutualistic interaction, the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions may be a common by-product. PMID:18460433

  11. A seed predator drives the evolution of a seed dispersal mutualism.

    PubMed

    Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2008-08-22

    Although antagonists are hypothesized to impede the evolution of mutualisms, they may simultaneously exert selection favouring the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions. We found that increases in limber pine (Pinus flexilis) seed defences arising from selection exerted by a pre-dispersal seed predator (red squirrel Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) reduced the efficacy of limber pine's primary seed disperser (Clark's nutcracker Nucifraga columbiana) while enhancing seed dispersal by ground-foraging scatter-hoarding rodents (Peromyscus). Thus, there is a shift from relying on primary seed dispersal by birds in areas without red squirrels, to an increasing reliance on secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents in areas with red squirrels. Seed predators can therefore drive the evolution of seed defences, which in turn favour alternative seed dispersal mutualisms that lead to major changes in the mode of seed dispersal. Given that adaptive evolution in response to antagonists frequently impedes one kind of mutualistic interaction, the evolution of alternative mutualistic interactions may be a common by-product.

  12. 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.

  13. Physiological and behavioural effects of fruit toxins on seed-predating versus seed-dispersing congeneric rodents.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    Fleshy, ripe fruits attract seed dispersers but also seed predators. Although many fruit consumers (legitimate seed dispersers as well as seed predators) are clearly exposed to plant secondary compounds (PSCs), their impact on the consumers' physiology and foraging behaviour has been largely overlooked. Here, we document the divergent behavioural and physiological responses to fruit consumption of three congeneric rodent species in the Middle East, representing both seed dispersers and seed predators. The fruit pulp of the desert plant Ochradenus baccatus contains high concentrations of glucosinolates (GLSs). These GLSs are hydrolyzed into active toxic compounds upon contact with the myrosinase enzyme released from seeds crushed during fruit consumption. Acomys russatus and A. cahirinus share a desert habitat. Acomys russatus acts as an O. baccatus seed predator, and A. cahirinus circumvents the activation of the GLSs by orally expelling vital seeds. We found that between the three species examined, A. russatus was physiologically most tolerant to whole fruit consumption and even A. minous, which is evolutionarily naïve to O. baccatus, exhibits greater tolerance to whole fruit consumption than A. cahirinus. However, like A. cahirinus, A. minous may also behaviourally avoid the activation of the GLSs by making a hole in the pulp and consuming only the seeds. Our findings demonstrate that seed predators have a higher physiological tolerance than seed dispersers when consuming fruits containing toxic PSCs. The findings also demonstrate the extreme ecological/evolutionary lability of this plant-animal symbiosis to shift from predation to mutualism and vice versa. PMID:23788702

  14. Uncoupling the effects of seed predation and seed dispersal by granivorous ants on plant population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength.

  15. Uncoupling the Effects of Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal by Granivorous Ants on Plant Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Arnan, Xavier; Molowny-Horas, Roberto; Rodrigo, Anselm; Retana, Javier

    2012-01-01

    Secondary seed dispersal is an important plant-animal interaction, which is central to understanding plant population and community dynamics. Very little information is still available on the effects of dispersal on plant demography and, particularly, for ant-seed dispersal interactions. As many other interactions, seed dispersal by animals involves costs (seed predation) and benefits (seed dispersal), the balance of which determines the outcome of the interaction. Separate quantification of each of them is essential in order to understand the effects of this interaction. To address this issue, we have successfully separated and analyzed the costs and benefits of seed dispersal by seed-harvesting ants on the plant population dynamics of three shrub species with different traits. To that aim a stochastic, spatially-explicit individually-based simulation model has been implemented based on actual data sets. The results from our simulation model agree with theoretical models of plant response dependent on seed dispersal, for one plant species, and ant-mediated seed predation, for another one. In these cases, model predictions were close to the observed values at field. Nonetheless, these ecological processes did not affect in anyway a third species, for which the model predictions were far from the observed values. This indicates that the balance between costs and benefits associated to secondary seed dispersal is clearly related to specific traits. This study is one of the first works that analyze tradeoffs of secondary seed dispersal on plant population dynamics, by disentangling the effects of related costs and benefits. We suggest analyzing the effects of interactions on population dynamics as opposed to merely analyzing the partners and their interaction strength. PMID:22880125

  16. Hierarchical Levels of Seed Predation Variation by Introduced Beetles on an Endemic Mediterranean Palm

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Marta; Delibes, Miguel; Fedriani, José Mª.

    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. PMID:25340462

  17. Insect Seed Predators in Erythrina falcata (Fabaceae): Identification of Predatory Species and Ecological Consequences of Asynchronous Flowering.

    PubMed

    Pereira, C M; Moura, M O; Da-Silva, P R

    2014-06-01

    Seed predation by insects exerts negative effects on plant reproduction by limiting the supply of seeds and preventing germination. Seed predators of the family Fabaceae are usually generalists, which increases the rate of predation. One strategy to minimize seed predation, developed by plants from temperate regions, is "escape in time," i.e., flowering before or after the peak of predation. For tropical species, few studies have investigated the strategies used by plants to minimize seed predation. Here, using Erythrina falcata, a tropical species of Fabaceae, we test three main hypotheses: (i) escape in time is a mechanism used by E. falcata to minimize seed predation, (ii) the predators of E. falcata seeds are generalists, and (iii) the biometric variables of the pods can influence seed predation. In order to test these hypotheses, we determined the flowering time of E. falcata, rate of seed predation, the predators insects, and biometric variables of the pods. The analyzed trees were grouped into three classes: "early," "peak," and "late" flowering. The average seed predation rates on trees in the early and late classes were 65% and 50%, respectively, and in the peak class, 80%; thus, our first hypothesis can be accepted. Three species of Lepidoptera and two of Coleoptera were found preying on E. falcata seeds. These species were observed to be generalist predators; thus, our second hypothesis can be accepted. The biometric variables of the pods cannot influence seed predation rate. The ecological consequences of asynchronous flowering on plants and insects are discussed.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17698486

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:23289569

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26602355

  6. 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.

  7. Mechanical defence in seeds to avoid predation by a granivorous ant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveras, Jordi; Gómez, Crisanto; Bas, Josep M.; Espadaler, Xavier

    2008-06-01

    Harvester ants have traditionally been considered as seed predators that negatively affect plants. In some cases, however, they can also act as positive seed dispersers. During field observations, we noted that a portion of Psoralea bituminosa seeds that were collected and carried to the nest by the granivorous harvester ant Messor barbarus were discarded intact in refuse piles outside the nest. We analyzed and compared the physical characteristics of size, mass and toughness in P. bituminosa seeds from two different origins: intact seeds found in the ant’s refuse piles and seeds collected directly from the plants. Seeds from refuse piles were similar in width but lighter and tougher than seeds from the plant. Our results point to a mechanical defence based on seed toughness to avoid predation by M. barbarus and suggest that an elevated proportion (~69%) of the seeds produced by P. bituminosa could be too tough to be consumed by this ant. These transported but uneaten seeds could benefit by being moved far from the mother plant and this could act as a selective evolutionary pressure towards tough seeds.

  8. Seed predation by insects in tropical mangrove forests: extent and effects on seed viability and the growth of seedlings.

    PubMed

    Robertson, A I; Giddins, R; Smith, T J

    1990-06-01

    Although insects are known to be important seed predators in most terrestrial forests, their role in marine tidal (mangrove) forests has not been examined. Surveys at 12 sites in tropical Australia showed that between 3.1 and 92.7 percent of the seeds or propagules of 12 mangrove tree species had been attacked by insects. Seeds/propagules of six species (Avicennia marina, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. parviflora, Heritiera littoralis, Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum) showed consistently high (>40%) levels of insect damage. Greater than 99% of H. littoralis seeds were attacked by insect predators. The survival and subsequent growth in height and biomass of insect-damaged and non-damaged control seeds/propagules of eight mangrove species were compared in shadehouse experiments. Mangrove species fell into 4 groups with regard to the effect of insect predators on their seeds and seedlings. Xylocarpus australasicus and X. granatum had significantly decreased survival (X 48 and 70%) and growth in height (X 61 and 96%) and biomass (X 66 and 85%). Bruguiera parviflora showed decreased survival (X 59%), but there was no effect of insects on the growth of surviving propagules. In contrast, there was no effect of insect damage on the survival of seedlings of Avicennia marina and Bruguiera exaristata, but decreased growth in height (X 22 and 25%) and biomass (X 22 and 26%). Survival and growth of seedlings of Rhizophora stylosa and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza were not affected. The influence of insect seed predators on the survival and growth of seeds of mangrove species in forests will depend on the relative abundance of seed-eating crabs and intertidal position in mangrove forests. PMID:22160114

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:25827710

  11. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:23786053

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. [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. PMID:24459753

  18. Are Local Filters Blind to Provenance? Ant Seed Predation Suppresses Exotic Plants More than Natives

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25099535

  19. 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...

  20. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct “hide-and-seek” strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community. PMID:26575270

  1. Pre-Dispersal Seed Predation in a Species-Rich Forest Community: Patterns and the Interplay with Determinants.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yue; Shen, Zehao; Li, Daoxin; Guo, Qinfeng

    2015-01-01

    Pre-dispersal seed predation (PDSP) is commonly observed in woody plants, and recognized as a driver of seed production variability that is critical for successful regeneration. Earlier studies on PDSP and its determinants were mostly species specific, with community-level PDSP rarely estimated; and the interactions between the temporal variability of seed production and PDSP remain elusive. In this study, the community seed rain of woody plants in a mixed evergreen-deciduous broadleaf forest was monitored for seven years. We examined predation on collected seeds and analyzed the determinants of PDSP. PDSP was recorded in 17 out of 44 woody plant species, and three-quarters of PDSP was due to insect predators. Annual seed production varied substantially at community level, reversely linked with the temporal variation of PDSP rate. The PDSP rate was biased regarding fruit types, and being significantly correlated with seed mass when using phylogenetic independent contrasts (PICs) or without taking into account phylogenetic relations, especially for nuts. PDSP rate was also negatively correlated with seed density, showing a threshold-related predator satiation effect. The community-level PDSP rate was primarily determined by tree height, fruit type, and interannual variation of seed production and seed mass. Our analysis revealed a causal link between seed production and the dynamics of PDSP rate at the community level. The predator satiation effect was primarily contributed by the dominant species, whereas the rare species seemed to apply a distinct "hide-and-seek" strategy to control the risk of PDSP. The mechanistic difference of seed production between the common and rare species can shed new light on species coexistence and community assembly. Long-term monitoring of both seed rain and seed predation is required for understanding the ecological and evolutionary implications of species regeneration strategies in a species-rich forest community.

  2. Interactions between nectar robbers and seed predators mediated by a shared host plant, Ipomopsis aggregata.

    PubMed

    Brody, Alison K; Irwin, Rebecca E; McCutcheon, Meghan L; Parsons, Emily C

    2008-02-01

    Animals that consume plant parts or rewards but provide no services in return are likely to have significant impacts on the reproductive success of their host plants. The effects of multiple antagonists to plant reproduction may not be predictable from studying their individual effects in isolation. If consumer behaviors are contingent on each other, such interactions may limit the ability of the host to evolve in response to any one enemy. Here, we asked whether nectar robbing by a bumblebee (Bombus occidentalis) altered the likelihood of pre-dispersal seed predation by a fly (Hylemya sp.) on a shared host plant, Ipomopsis aggregata (Polemoniaceae). We estimated the fitness consequences of the combined interactions using experimental manipulations of nectar robbing within and among sites. Within sites, nectar robbing reduced the percentage of fruits destroyed by Hylemya. However, the negative effects of robbing on seed production outweighed any advantages associated with decreased seed predation in robbed plants. We found similar trends among sites when we manipulated robbing to all plants within a local population, although the results were not statistically significant. Taken together, our results suggest that seed predation is not independent of nectar robbing. Thus, accounting for the interactions among species is crucial to predicting their ecological effects and plant evolutionary response.

  3. 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. PMID:25412525

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:26494854

  6. 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.

  7. Cheating on the mutualistic contract: nutritional gain through seed predation in the frugivorous bat Chiroderma villosum (Phyllostomidae).

    PubMed

    Wagner, Insa; Ganzhorn, Jörg U; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Most frugivorous bats are efficient seed dispersers, as they typically do not damage seeds and transport them over long distances. In contrast, bats of the phyllostomid genus Chiroderma cheat fig trees by acting more as seed predators than as seed dispersers. The bats initially separate seeds from fruit pulp in the mouth. After extracting the juice from the fruit pulp, they thoroughly chew the seeds and spit out small seed fragments in a pellet. Consequently, the faeces contain almost no viable seeds. We compared the nutrient content of intact fig seeds with ejecta and faecal samples from both Chiroderma villosum and the 'conventional' frugivorous bat Artibeus watsoni. We show that C. villosum can extract nutrients from the seeds, especially protein and fat. The processing time of figs showed no significant difference between the two bat species. Food-choice experiments showed that C. villosum preferred fig species with more seeds over those with fewer seeds. This preference, in combination with the specialized seed-chewing behaviour, leads to an increased nutrient intake per fig. This unique strategy enables C. villosum to satisfy its nutritional requirements with a lower number of figs than other species, which decreases the amount of energy necessary for foraging flights as well as the predation risk during foraging.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. Evaluating the Interacting Influences of Pollination, Seed Predation, Invasive Species and Isolation on Reproductive Success in a Threatened Alpine Plant

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Alternative strategies of seed predator escape by early-germinating oaks in Asia and North America.

    PubMed

    Yi, Xianfeng; Yang, Yueqin; Curtis, Rachel; Bartlow, Andrew W; Agosta, Salvatore J; Steele, Michael A

    2012-03-01

    Early germination of white oaks is widely viewed as an evolutionary strategy to escape rodent predation; yet, the mechanism by which this is accomplished is poorly understood. We report that chestnut oak Quercus montana (CO) and white oak Q. alba (WO) (from North America), and oriental cork oak Q. variabilis (OO) and Mongolian oak Q. mongolica (MO) (from Asia) can escape predation and successfully establish from only taproots. During germination in autumn, cotyledonary petioles of acorns of CO and WO elongate and push the plumule out of the cotyledons, whereas OO and MO extend only the hypocotyls and retain the plumule within the cotyledons. Experiments showed that the pruned taproots (>6 cm) of CO and WO acorns containing the plumule successfully germinated and survived, and the pruned taproots (≥12 cm) of OO and MO acorns without the plumule successfully regenerated along with the detached acorns, thus producing two seedlings. We argue that these two distinct regeneration morphologies reflect alternative strategies for escaping seed predation.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. PMID:24979772

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:23576106

  7. 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

  8. 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. PMID:22136589

  9. 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

  10. Landscape-scale eco-evolutionary dynamics: selection by seed predators and fire determine a major reproductive strategy.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matt V; Benkman, Craig W

    2013-06-01

    Recent work in model systems has demonstrated significant effects of rapid evolutionary change on ecological processes (eco-evolutionary dynamics). Fewer studies have addressed whether eco-evolutionary dynamics structure natural ecosystems. We investigated variation in the frequency of serotiny in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), a widespread species in which postfire seedling density and ecosystem structure are largely determined by serotiny. Serotiny, the retention of mature seeds in cones in a canopy seed bank, is thought to be an adaptation for stand-replacing fire, but less attention has been paid to the potential selective effects of seed predation on serotiny. We hypothesized that spatial variation in percentage serotiny in lodgepole pine forests results from an eco-evolutionary dynamic where the local level of serotiny depends on the relative strengths of conflicting directional selection from fire (favoring serotiny) and seed predation (favoring cones that open at maturity). We measured percentage serotiny, the abundance of American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus; the primary pre-dispersal seed predator of lodgepole pine), and several measures of forest structure in Yellowstone National Park, USA. Fire frequency strongly predicted the frequency of serotiny, a pattern that is well-supported in the literature. At sites with high fire frequency (return intervals of -135-185 years) where fire favors increased serotiny, squirrel abundance was negatively associated with serotiny, suggesting that selection from predation can overwhelm selection from fire when squirrels are abundant. At sites with low fire frequency (return intervals of -280-310 years), serotiny was nearly universally uncommon (< 10%). Finally, forest structure strongly predicted squirrel density independently of serotiny, and serotiny provided no additional explanatory power, suggesting that the correlation is caused by selection against serotiny exerted by squirrels, rather than

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26498017

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Neighborhoods have little effect on fungal attack or insect predation of developing seeds in a grassland biodiversity experiment.

    PubMed

    Beckman, Noelle G; Dybzinski, Ray; Tilman, G David

    2014-02-01

    Numerous observational studies have documented conspecific negative density-dependence that is consistent with the Janzen-Connell Hypothesis (JCH) of diversity maintenance. However, there have been few experimental tests of a central prediction of the JCH: that removing host-specific enemies should lead to greater increases in per capita recruitment in areas of higher host density or lower relative phylogenetic diversity. Using spatially randomized plots of high and low host biomass in a temperate grassland biodiversity experiment, we treated developing seedheads of six prairie perennials to factorial applications of fungicide and insecticide. We measured predispersal seed production, seed viability, and seedling biomass. Results were highly species-specific and idiosyncratic. Effects of insect seed predators and fungal pathogens on predispersal responses varied with neither conspecific biomass nor phylogenetic diversity, suggesting that-at least at the predispersal stage and for the insect and fungal seed predators we were able to exclude-the JCH is not sufficient to contribute to negative conspecific density-dependence for these dominant prairie species.

  18. 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.

  19. Evidence Suggesting Protozoan Predation on Rhizobium Associated with Germinating Seeds and in the Rhizosphere of Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.).

    PubMed

    Ramirez, C; Alexander, M

    1980-09-01

    Changes in populations of microorganisms around germinating bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds, in the rhizosphere of bean, and in a model rhizosphere were studied. Strains of Rhizobium phaseoli that were resistant to streptomycin and thiram were used, and as few as 300 R. phaseoli cells per g of soil could be enumerated with a selective medium that was devised. A direct role was not evident for bacterial competitors, lytic bacteria, antibiotic-producing microorganisms, bacteriophages, and Bdellovibrio in the suppression of R. phaseoli around germinating seeds and in the rhizosphere. Protozoa increased in numbers in the soil upon planting of the seeds. The extent of colonization of soil by R. phaseoli was inversely related to the presence of large numbers of bacteria and protozoa. Colonization of R. phaseoli was improved upon suppression of protozoa with thiram and also when the soil was amended with other protozoan inhibitors and mannitol to simulate seed and root exudation. The data support the view that the decrease in numbers of R. phaseoli is caused by an increase in protozoan predation, the protozoa increasing in number because they prey on bacteria that proliferate by using seed and root exudates as nutrients.

  20. Evidence Suggesting Protozoan Predation on Rhizobium Associated with Germinating Seeds and in the Rhizosphere of Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, Carlos; Alexander, Martin

    1980-01-01

    Changes in populations of microorganisms around germinating bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) seeds, in the rhizosphere of bean, and in a model rhizosphere were studied. Strains of Rhizobium phaseoli that were resistant to streptomycin and thiram were used, and as few as 300 R. phaseoli cells per g of soil could be enumerated with a selective medium that was devised. A direct role was not evident for bacterial competitors, lytic bacteria, antibiotic-producing microorganisms, bacteriophages, and Bdellovibrio in the suppression of R. phaseoli around germinating seeds and in the rhizosphere. Protozoa increased in numbers in the soil upon planting of the seeds. The extent of colonization of soil by R. phaseoli was inversely related to the presence of large numbers of bacteria and protozoa. Colonization of R. phaseoli was improved upon suppression of protozoa with thiram and also when the soil was amended with other protozoan inhibitors and mannitol to simulate seed and root exudation. The data support the view that the decrease in numbers of R. phaseoli is caused by an increase in protozoan predation, the protozoa increasing in number because they prey on bacteria that proliferate by using seed and root exudates as nutrients. PMID:16345628

  1. Seed preferences by rodents in the agri-environment and implications for biological weed control.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Christina; Türke, Manfred

    2016-08-01

    Post-dispersal seed predation and endozoochorous seed dispersal are two antagonistic processes in relation to plant recruitment, but rely on similar preconditions such as feeding behavior of seed consumers and seed traits. In agricultural landscapes, rodents are considered important seed predators, thereby potentially providing regulating ecosystem services in terms of biological weed control. However, their potential to disperse seeds endozoochorously is largely unknown. We exposed seeds of arable plant species with different seed traits (seed weight, nutrient content) and different Red List status in an experimental rye field and assessed seed removal by rodents. In a complementary laboratory experiment, consumption rates, feeding preferences, and potential endozoochory by two vole species (Microtus arvalis and Myodes glareolus) were tested. Seed consumption by rodents after 24 h was 35% in the field and 90% in the laboratory. Both vole species preferred nutrient-rich over nutrient-poor seeds and M. glareolus further preferred light over heavy seeds and seeds of common over those of endangered plants. Endozoochory by voles could be neglected for all tested plant species as no seeds germinated, and only few intact seeds could be retrieved from feces. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that voles can provide regulating services in agricultural landscapes by depleting the seed shadow of weeds, rather than facilitating plant recruitment by endozoochory. In the laboratory, endangered arable plants were less preferred by voles than noxious weeds, and thus, our results provide implications for seed choice in restoration approaches. However, other factors such as seed and predator densities need to be taken into account to reliably predict the impact of rodents on the seed fate of arable plants. PMID:27547355

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:23598358

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-16

    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.

  7. 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...

  8. Cache placement, pilfering, and a recovery advantage in a seed-dispersing rodent: Could predation of scatter hoarders contribute to seedling establishment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, Michael A.; Bugdal, Melissa; Yuan, Amy; Bartlow, Andrew; Buzalewski, Jarrod; Lichti, Nathan; Swihart, Robert

    2011-11-01

    Scatter-hoarding mammals are thought to rely on spatial memory to relocate food caches. Yet, we know little about how long these granivores (primarily rodents) recall specific cache locations or whether individual hoarders have an advantage when recovering their own caches. Indeed, a few recent studies suggest that high rates of pilferage are common and that individual hoarders may not have a retriever's advantage. We tested this hypothesis in a high-density (>7 animals/ha) population of eastern gray squirrels ( Sciurus carolinensis) by presenting individually marked animals (>20) with tagged acorns, mapping cache sites, and following the fate of seed caches. PIT tags allowed us to monitor individual seeds without disturbing cache sites. Acorns only remained in the caches for 12-119 h (0.5-5 d). However, when we live-trapped and removed some animals from the site immediately after they stored seeds (thus simulating predation), their seed caches remained intact for significantly longer periods (16-27 d). Cache duration corresponded roughly to the time at which squirrels were returned to the study area. These results suggest that squirrels have a retriever's advantage and may remember specific cache sites longer than previously thought. We further suggest that predation of scatter hoarders who store seeds for long periods and also possess a recovery advantage may be one important mechanism by which seed establishment is achieved.

  9. Seed size variation and its effect on germination and seedling performance in the clonal herb Convallaria majalis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, Ove

    1999-02-01

    Variation in seed size is common both within and among plant species. This study examined within-species variation in seed weight, and its implications for some components of fitness in the clonal herb Convallaria majalis. This species produces berries containing 4.1 seeds on average. The average seed weight was 16.5 mg, with a coefficient of variation of 32.7%. Seed packaging in fruits was on average 12.5%, and showed a slight tendency to increase with fruit weight. A trade-off was found between seed weight and seed number both within fruits and within ramets. The probability and timing of germination was not influenced by seed size. A field experiment and indirect evidence suggested that post-dispersal seed predation was not related to seed size. Increasing seed weight conferred an advantage to developing seedlings. This advantage was enhanced if a seedling was growing in the close vicinity of a seedling of another species. It is suggested that seed size variation in C. majalis primarily is the result of resource variation during fruit development. A conflict between parents and offspring may however contribute to increase seed size variation.

  10. 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. PMID:25807916

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:24260515

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:22546452

  16. 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.

  17. Phenology of semiochemical-mediated host foraging by the western boxelder bug, Boisea rubrolineata, an aposematic seed predator.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Joseph; Gries, Regine; Hillier, Kirk; Vickers, Neil; Gries, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    The western boxelder bug (BEB), Boisea rubrolineata (Heteroptera: Rhopalidae), is a specialist herbivore of boxelder trees, Acer negundo. We tested the hypothesis that BEBs use semiochemicals to locate host trees. Headspace volatiles from trees bearing staminate inflorescences ("staminate trees") and from trees bearing pistillate inflorescences ("pistillate trees") were collected throughout the season and bioassayed in Y-tube olfactometer experiments. Headspace extracts of early-season, pollen-bearing staminate trees and midseason pistillate trees with mature samaras (seed pods) attracted female and male BEBs. By using coupled gas chromatographic-electroantennographic detection and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified and tested a five-component synthetic blend of candidate semiochemicals (hexanol, pentyl acetate, phenylacetonitrile, 2-phenethyl acetate, and trans-nerolidol). This blend attracted females, males, and fifth-instar nymphs. Phenylacetonitrile by itself was as attractive as the five-component blend to both adults and nymphs. By responding to phenylacetonitrile emitted by pollen-bearing staminate trees and pistillate trees with maturing seeds, BEBs appear to track and exploit the availability of nutrient-rich food sources, suggesting that the bugs' reproductive ecology is synchronized to the phenology of their host boxelder tree. PMID:19123035

  18. 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.

  19. Parasitoid wasps indirectly suppress seed production by stimulating consumption rates of their seed-feeding hosts.

    PubMed

    Xi, Xinqiang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sun, Shucun

    2015-07-01

    In parasitoid-herbivore-plant food chains, parasitoids may be simultaneously linked with both herbivore hosts and plants, as occurs when herbivores attacked by parasitoids continue to consume plants although they are destined to die. This peculiar property may cause parasitoids to confer a differential trophic cascading effect on plants than that known for typical predators. We hypothesized that larval koinobiont parasitoids would confer an immediate negative effect on plant seed production by stimulating consumption of their seed-predator hosts. We tested this hypothesis in an alpine parasitic food chain of plant seeds, pre-dispersal seed predators (tephritid fly larvae) and koinobiont parasitoids using field observations, a field experiment and a microcosm study. We first compared observed seed production in (i) non-infected capitula, (ii) capitula infected only by seed predators (tephritid flies) and (iii) capitula infected by both seed predators and their parasitoids in five Asteraceae species. Consistent with our hypothesis, seed loss in the capitula with both seed predators and parasitoids was significantly greater than in the capitula infested only by seed predators. This effect was replicated in a controlled field experiment focusing on the most common parasitoid-seed predator-plant interaction chain in our system, in which confounding factors (e.g. density and phenology) were excluded. Here, we show that parasitoids indirectly decreased plant seed production by changing the behaviour of seed predators. In a microcosm study, we show that larval parasitoids significantly extended the growth period and increased the terminal size of their host tephritid maggots. Thus, parasitoids suppressed plant seed production by stimulating the growth and consumption of the fly maggots. In contrast to the typical predator-induced trophic cascade, we highlight the significance of parasitoids indirectly decreasing plant fitness by stimulating consumption by seed predators

  20. Parasitoid wasps indirectly suppress seed production by stimulating consumption rates of their seed-feeding hosts.

    PubMed

    Xi, Xinqiang; Eisenhauer, Nico; Sun, Shucun

    2015-07-01

    In parasitoid-herbivore-plant food chains, parasitoids may be simultaneously linked with both herbivore hosts and plants, as occurs when herbivores attacked by parasitoids continue to consume plants although they are destined to die. This peculiar property may cause parasitoids to confer a differential trophic cascading effect on plants than that known for typical predators. We hypothesized that larval koinobiont parasitoids would confer an immediate negative effect on plant seed production by stimulating consumption of their seed-predator hosts. We tested this hypothesis in an alpine parasitic food chain of plant seeds, pre-dispersal seed predators (tephritid fly larvae) and koinobiont parasitoids using field observations, a field experiment and a microcosm study. We first compared observed seed production in (i) non-infected capitula, (ii) capitula infected only by seed predators (tephritid flies) and (iii) capitula infected by both seed predators and their parasitoids in five Asteraceae species. Consistent with our hypothesis, seed loss in the capitula with both seed predators and parasitoids was significantly greater than in the capitula infested only by seed predators. This effect was replicated in a controlled field experiment focusing on the most common parasitoid-seed predator-plant interaction chain in our system, in which confounding factors (e.g. density and phenology) were excluded. Here, we show that parasitoids indirectly decreased plant seed production by changing the behaviour of seed predators. In a microcosm study, we show that larval parasitoids significantly extended the growth period and increased the terminal size of their host tephritid maggots. Thus, parasitoids suppressed plant seed production by stimulating the growth and consumption of the fly maggots. In contrast to the typical predator-induced trophic cascade, we highlight the significance of parasitoids indirectly decreasing plant fitness by stimulating consumption by seed predators

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Evolution: predator versus parasite.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Martin

    2014-05-19

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

  5. 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)

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

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Antiqueira, Pablo Augusto Poleto; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2016-06-01

    Although predators and floral herbivores can potentially decrease plant fitness by changing pollinator behaviors, studies comparing the strength of these factors as well as their additive and interactive effects on pollinator visitation and plant fitness have not been conducted. In this study, we manipulated the floral symmetry and predator presence (artificial crab spiders) on the flowers of the shrub Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae) in a 2 × 2 factorial randomized block design. We found that asymmetry and predators decreased pollinator visitation (mainly hymenopterans), and overall these factors did not interact (additive effects). The effect of predation risk on pollinator avoidance behavior was 62 % higher than that of floral asymmetry. Furthermore, path analyses revealed that only predation risk cascaded down to plant fitness, and it significantly decreased fruit biomass by 33 % and seed number by 28 %. We also demonstrated that R. rosifolius fitness is indirectly affected by visiting and avoidance behaviors of pollinators. The strong avoidance behavioral response triggered by predation risk may be related to predator pressure upon flowers. Although floral asymmetry caused by herbivory can alter the quality of resources, it should not exert the same evolutionary pressure as that of predator-prey interactions. Our study highlights the importance of considering simultaneous forces, such as predation risk and floral asymmetry, as well as pollinator behavior when evaluating ecological processes involving mutualistic plant-pollinator systems. PMID:26861474

  8. 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)

  9. Seed output and the seed bank in Vallisneria americana (Hydrocharitaceae).

    PubMed

    Lokker, C; Lovett-Doust, L; Lovett-Doust, J

    1997-10-01

    Seed banks and sexual reproduction are known to be significant in colonization and re-establishment of some aquatic macrophyte communities. For highly clonal aquatic macrophytes, however, there is a lack of information on seed production and seed fate as compared with annual sexual species. The seed bank for three populations of Vallisneria americana in the Huron-Erie corridor of the Great Lakes was sampled and quantified in the spring of 1994, and related to seed production in the previous season at these sites. Seed deposition rates during 1994 were also assessed. Sites varied in the proportion of plants flowering and in their tertiary sex ratios, but did not differ in seed numbers produced per unit area. The size of the seed bank was not significantly related to the previous season's seed output, and estimates of seed deposition in the following year tended to be approximately tenfold greater than seed densities found in the seed bank. The stages between seed production and subsequent seed germination are generally very dynamic, with dispersal, mortality, and predation as likely regulating factors. The potential for seedling establishment in V. americana needs to be assessed more fully before the role of seeds in population processes can be determined. PMID:21708549

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

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Seasonal variation in the fate of seeds under contrasting logging regimes.

    PubMed

    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

  18. 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)

  19. 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...

  20. [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. PMID:25757305

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Predator identity influences metacommunity assembly.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  8. Seed fate in the myrmecochorous Neotropical plant Turnera ulmifolia L., from plant to germination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salazar-Rojas, Betzabeth; Rico-Gray, Víctor; Canto, Azucena; Cuautle, Mariana

    2012-04-01

    Myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants) differs from other dispersal systems in a series of advantages offered by the ants to the plants. Here, seed fate, from fruit to germination, of the myrmecochorous Neotropical plant Turnera ulmifolia L. is described. Seed movement from the fruit to their germination was studied, using different measurements and experiments. The results show that a T. ulmifolia individual produces ca. 5000 seeds per year. The main pre-seed-fall predators are the larvae of the Microlepidopteran Crocidosema plebejana Zeller, which consumed 1% of the seeds on the plant. The red-land crab Gecarcinus lateralis (Freminville) consumed 19% of the seeds beneath the plant and was the main post-seed-fall predator. Seed removal by ants was recorded on and beneath the plant, and ants removed 49% of the total seed production. Considering the seed removal events, the ant Forelius analis contributed with 64% of the total number of events. F. analis took seeds to its nest and discarded 23% of the seeds collected. Germination of seeds collected by F. analis was two to four times higher than that of seeds with and without elaiosome, respectively. The relatively low seed predation was probably related to ant defense, associated with the presence of extrafloral nectaries in this plant and with seed removal on the plant. Our results suggest that F. analis is a quantitatively efficient but qualitatively inefficient seed disperser of T. ulmifolia.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Leopard predation and primate evolution.

    PubMed

    Zuberbühler, Klaus; Jenny, David

    2002-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Predator avoidance in extremophile fish.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:23586556

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Good foragers can also be good at detecting predators.

    PubMed Central

    Cresswell, W; Quinn, J L; Whittingham, M J; Butler, S

    2003-01-01

    The degree to which foraging and vigilance are mutually exclusive is crucial to understanding the management of the predation and starvation risk trade-off in animals. We tested whether wild-caught captive chaffinches that feed at a higher rate do so at the expense of their speed in responding to a model sparrowhawk flying nearby, and whether consistently good foragers will therefore tend to respond more slowly on average. First, we confirmed that the time taken to respond to the approaching predator depended on the rate of scanning: as head-up rate increased so chaffinches responded more quickly. However, against predictions, as peck rate increased so head-up rate increased and mean length of head-up and head-down periods decreased. Head-up rate was probably dependent on peck rate because almost every time a seed was found, a bird raised its head to handle it. Therefore chaffinches with higher peck rates responded more quickly. Individual chaffinches showed consistent durations of both their head-down and head-up periods and, therefore, individuals that were good foragers were also good detectors of predators. In relation to the broad range of species that have a similar foraging mode to chaffinches, our results have two major implications for predation/starvation risk trade-offs: (i) feeding rate can determine vigilance scanning patterns; and (ii) the best foragers can also be the best at detecting predators. We discuss how our results can be explained in mechanistic terms relating to fundamental differences in how the probabilities of detecting food rather than a predator are affected by time. In addition, our results offer a plausible explanation for the widely observed effect that vigilance continues to decline with group size even when there is no further benefit to reducing vigilance. PMID:12803897

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Chemotactic predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Ankush; Kruppa, Tobias; Löwen, Hartmut

    2011-03-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Albecker, Molly; Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Litter effects on seedling establishment interact with seed position and earthworm activity.

    PubMed

    Donath, T W; Eckstein, R L

    2012-01-01

    Seedling establishment is influenced by litter cover and by seed predators, but little is known about interactions between these two factors. We tested their effects on emergence of five typical grassland species in a microcosm experiment. We manipulated the amounts of grass litter, seed sowing position and earthworm activity to determine whether: (i) the protective effect of litter against seed predation depends on cover amount and seed sowing position, i.e., on top or beneath litter; (ii) seed transport by earthworms changes the effect of seed sowing position on seedling emergence; and (iii) seeds transported into deeper soil layers by earthworms are still germinable. Litter cover and presence of earthworms lowered seedling emergence. The impact of seed position increased with seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species was reduced when sown on the surface. Additionally, we found an important seed position × earthworm interaction related to seed size. Emergence of large-seeded species sown on top of the litter was up to three times higher when earthworms were present than without earthworms. Earthworms also significantly altered the depth distribution of seeds in the soil and across treatments: on average 6% of seeds germinated after burial. In contrast to the seed position effect, we found no size effect on mobility and germinability of seeds after burial in the soil. Nevertheless, the fate of different-sized seeds may differ. While burial will remove large seeds from the regeneration pool, it may enhance seed bank build up in small-seeded species. Consequently, changes in the amount of litter cover and the invertebrate community play a significant role in plant community composition. PMID:21972886

  2. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:20364390

  7. 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…

  8. 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...

  9. Species diversity and predation strategies in a multiple species predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mullan, Rory; Glass, David H.; McCartney, Mark

    2015-08-01

    A single predator, single prey ecological model, in which the behaviour of the populations relies upon two control parameters has been expanded to allow for multiple predators and prey to occupy the ecosystem. The diversity of the ecosystem that develops as the model runs is analysed by assessing how many predator or prey species survive. Predation strategies that dictate how the predators distribute their efforts across the prey are introduced in this multiple species model. The paper analyses various predation strategies and highlights their effect on the survival of the predators and prey species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators

    PubMed Central

    Rota, Jadranka; Wagner, David L.

    2006-01-01

    Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature's most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, Brenthia had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, indicating that Brenthia were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation. PMID:17183674

  15. Soil surface searching and transport of Euphorbia characias seeds by ants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Espadaler, Xavier; Gómez, Crisanto

    The intensity of exploring the soil surface by ants was studied for the four species involved in the dispersal and predation of seeds of the West-Mediterranean myrmecochorous plant Euphorbia characias. During the dehiscence period (June) the whole soil surface is sccanned in 43 minutes. Not all ants that find a seed take it to the nest. For the four ant species studied ( Pheidole pallidula, Aphaenogaster senilis, Tapinoma nigerrimum, Messor barbarus) the proportion of ants that finally take the seed is 67.6%. In spite of this, the high level of soil surface searching explains the rather short time that seeds remain on the soil before being removed. The presence of an elaiosome is a key element in the outcome of the ant-seed interaction: a seed with elaiosome has a seven-fold increase in probability of being taken to the nest if found by a non-granivorous ant. The predator-avoidance hypothesis for myrmecochory is supported.

  16. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species. PMID:22303845

  17. Innate predator recognition in giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Du, Yiping; Huang, Yan; Zhang, Hemin; Li, Desheng; Yang, Bo; Wei, Ming; Zhou, Yingmin; Liu, Yang

    2012-02-01

    Innate predator recognition confers a survival advantage to prey animals. We investigate whether giant pandas exhibit innate predator recognition. We analyzed behavioral responses of 56 naive adult captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), to urine from predators and non-predators and water control. Giant pandas performed more chemosensory investigation and displayed flehmen behaviors more frequently in response to predator urine compared to both non-predator urine and water control. Subjects also displayed certain defensive behaviors, as indicated by vigilance, and in certain cases, fleeing behaviors. Our results suggest that there is an innate component to predator recognition in captive giant pandas, although such recognition was only slight to moderate. These results have implications that may be applicable to the conservation and reintroduction of this endangered species.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

    Because some native ungulates have lived without top predators for generations, it has been uncertain whether runaway predation would occur when predators are newly restored to these systems. We show that landscape features and vegetation, which influence predator detection and capture of prey, shape large-scale patterns of predation in a newly restored predator-prey system. We analysed the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park over 10 consecutive winters. The influence of wolf distribution on kill sites diminished over the course of this study, a result that was likely caused by territorial constraints on wolf distribution. In contrast, landscape factors strongly influenced kill sites, creating distinct hunting grounds and prey refugia. Elk in this newly restored predator-prey system should be able to mediate their risk of predation by movement and habitat selection across a heterogeneous risk landscape. PMID:17594424

  3. Influence of predator density on nonindependent effects of multiple predator species.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Williamson, Tucker

    2008-02-01

    Interactions between multiple predator species are frequent in natural communities and can have important implications for shared prey survival. Predator density may be an important component of these interactions between predator species, as the frequency of interactions between species is largely determined by species density. Here we experimentally examine the importance of predator density for interactions between predator species and subsequent impacts on prey. We show that aggressive interactions between the predatory shore crabs Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus increased with predator density, yet did not increase as fast as negative interactions between conspecifics. At low density, interactions between conspecific and heterospecific predators had similar inhibitory impacts on predator function, whereas conspecific interference was greater than interference from heterospecifics at high predator density. Thus the impact of conspecific interference at high predator density was sufficient in itself that interactions with a second predator species had no additional impact on per capita predation. Spatial and temporal variability in predator density is a ubiquitous characteristic of natural systems that should be considered in studies of multiple predator species.

  4. Predators indirectly reduce the prevalence of an insect-vectored plant pathogen independent of predator diversity.

    PubMed

    Long, Elizabeth Y; Finke, Deborah L

    2015-04-01

    A widely cited benefit of predator diversity is greater suppression of insect herbivores, with corresponding increases in plant biomass. In the context of a vector-borne pathogen system, predator species richness may also influence plant disease risk via the direct effects of predators on the abundance and behavior of herbivores that also act as pathogen vectors. Using an assemblage of generalist insect predators, we examined the relationship between predator species richness and the prevalence of the aphid-vectored cereal yellow dwarf virus in wheat. We found that increasing predator richness enhanced suppression of the vector population and that pathogen prevalence was reduced when predators were present, but the reduction in prevalence was independent of predator species richness. To determine the mechanism(s) by which predator species richness contributes to vector suppression, but not pathogen prevalence, we evaluated vector movement and host plant occupancy in response to predator treatments. We found that pathogen prevalence was unrelated to vector suppression because host plant occupancy by vectors did not vary as a function of vector abundance. However, the presence of predators reduced pathogen prevalence because predators stimulated greater plant-to-plant movement by vectors, which likely diminished vector feeding time and reduced the transmission efficiency of this persistent pathogen. We conclude that community structure (i.e., the presence of predators), but not predator diversity, is a potential factor influencing local plant infection by this insect-vectored pathogen. PMID:25561170

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Consumer preference for seeds and seedlings of rare species impacts tree diversity at multiple scales.

    PubMed

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Guevara, Roger; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-07-01

    Positive density-dependent seed and seedling predation, where herbivores selectively eat seeds or seedlings of common species, is thought to play a major role in creating and maintaining plant community diversity. However, many herbivores and seed predators are known to exhibit preferences for rare foods, which could lead to negative density-dependent predation. In this study, we first demonstrate the occurrence of increased predation of locally rare tree species by a widespread group of insular seed and seedling predators, land crabs. We then build computer simulations based on these empirical data to examine the effects of such predation on diversity patterns. Simulations show that herbivore preferences for locally rare species are likely to drive scale-dependent effects on plant community diversity: at small scales these foraging patterns decrease plant community diversity via the selective consumption of rare plant species, while at the landscape level they should increase diversity, at least for short periods, by promoting clustered local dominance of a variety of species. Finally, we compared observed patterns of plant diversity at the site to those obtained via computer simulations, and found that diversity patterns generated under simulations were highly consistent with observed diversity patterns. We posit that preference for rare species by herbivores may be prevalent in low- or moderate-diversity systems, and that these effects may help explain diversity patterns across different spatial scales in such ecosystems. PMID:23229391

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Coevolution can reverse predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-05-20

    A hallmark of Lotka-Volterra models, and other ecological models of predator-prey interactions, is that in predator-prey cycles, peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. Such models typically assume that species life history traits are fixed over ecologically relevant time scales. However, the coevolution of predator and prey traits has been shown to alter the community dynamics of natural systems, leading to novel dynamics including antiphase and cryptic cycles. Here, using an eco-coevolutionary model, we show that predator-prey coevolution can also drive population cycles where the opposite of canonical Lotka-Volterra oscillations occurs: predator peaks precede prey peaks. These reversed cycles arise when selection favors extreme phenotypes, predator offense is costly, and prey defense is effective against low-offense predators. We present multiple datasets from phage-cholera, mink-muskrat, and gyrfalcon-rock ptarmigan systems that exhibit reversed-peak ordering. Our results suggest that such cycles are a potential signature of predator-prey coevolution and reveal unique ways in which predator-prey coevolution can shape, and possibly reverse, community dynamics.

  11. Coevolution can reverse predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Michael H; Weitz, Joshua S

    2014-05-20

    A hallmark of Lotka-Volterra models, and other ecological models of predator-prey interactions, is that in predator-prey cycles, peaks in prey abundance precede peaks in predator abundance. Such models typically assume that species life history traits are fixed over ecologically relevant time scales. However, the coevolution of predator and prey traits has been shown to alter the community dynamics of natural systems, leading to novel dynamics including antiphase and cryptic cycles. Here, using an eco-coevolutionary model, we show that predator-prey coevolution can also drive population cycles where the opposite of canonical Lotka-Volterra oscillations occurs: predator peaks precede prey peaks. These reversed cycles arise when selection favors extreme phenotypes, predator offense is costly, and prey defense is effective against low-offense predators. We present multiple datasets from phage-cholera, mink-muskrat, and gyrfalcon-rock ptarmigan systems that exhibit reversed-peak ordering. Our results suggest that such cycles are a potential signature of predator-prey coevolution and reveal unique ways in which predator-prey coevolution can shape, and possibly reverse, community dynamics. PMID:24799689

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26978659

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Predator-prey interactions mediated by prey personality and predator hunting mode.

    PubMed

    Belgrad, Benjamin A; Griffen, Blaine D

    2016-04-13

    Predator-prey interactions are important drivers in structuring ecological communities. However, despite widespread acknowledgement that individual behaviours and predator species regulate ecological processes, studies have yet to incorporate individual behavioural variations in a multipredator system. We quantified a prevalent predator avoidance behaviour to examine the simultaneous roles of prey personality and predator hunting mode in governing predator-prey interactions. Mud crabs, Panopeus herbstii, reduce their activity levels and increase their refuge use in the presence of predator cues. We measured mud crab mortality and consistent individual variations in the strength of this predator avoidance behaviour in the presence of predatory blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, and toadfish, Opsanus tau We found that prey personality and predator species significantly interacted to affect mortality with blue crabs primarily consuming bold mud crabs and toadfish preferentially selecting shy crabs. Additionally, the strength of the predator avoidance behaviour depended upon the predation risk from the predator species. Consequently, the personality composition of populations and predator hunting mode may be valuable predictors of both direct and indirect predator-prey interaction strength. These findings support theories postulating mechanisms for maintaining intraspecies diversity and have broad implications for community dynamics. PMID:27075257

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26899481

  20. Predator Recognition in Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Oulton, Lois Jane; Haviland, Vivian; Brown, Culum

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to olfactory cues during embryonic development can have long term impacts on birds and amphibians behaviour. Despite the vast literature on predator recognition and responses in fishes, few researchers have determined how fish embryos respond to predator cues. Here we exposed four-day-old rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi) embryos to cues emanating from a novel predator, a native predator and injured conspecifics. Their response was assessed by monitoring heart rate and hatch time. Results showed that embryos have an innate capacity to differentiate between cues as illustrated by faster heart rates relative to controls. The greatest increase in heart rate occurred in response to native predator odour. While we found no significant change in the time taken for eggs to hatch, all treatments experienced slight delays as expected if embryos are attempting to reduce exposure to larval predators. PMID:24146817

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:26271284

  3. Why are predator urines aversive to prey?

    PubMed

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

    1994-07-01

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

  4. Cooperation in defence against a predator.

    PubMed

    Garay, József

    2009-03-01

    The origin and the evolutionary stability of cooperation between unrelated individuals is one of the key problems of evolutionary biology. In this paper, a cooperative defence game against a predator is introduced which is based on Hamilton's selfish herd theory and Eshel's survival game models. Cooperation is altruistic in the sense that the individual, which is not the target of the predator, helps the members of the group attacked by the predator and during defensive action the helper individual may also die in any attack. In order to decrease the long term predation risk, this individual has to carry out a high risk action. Here I show that this kind of cooperative behaviour can evolve in small groups. The reason for the emergence of cooperation is that if the predator does not kill a mate of a cooperative individual, then the survival probability of the cooperative individual will increase in two cases. If the mate is non-cooperative, then-according to the dilution effect, the predator confusion effect and the higher predator vigilance-the survival probability of the cooperative individual increases. The second case is when the mate is cooperative, because a cooperative individual has a further gain, the active help in defence during further predator attacks. Thus, if an individual can increase the survival rate of its mates (no matter whether the mate is cooperative or not), then its own predation risk will decrease.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    A first step to evaluate potential negative effects of intraguild predation (IGP) when using multiple predators against a pest species is the determination of the predation behavior of the predators and the nutritional value of intraguild (IG) prey in terms of development and oviposition. Here, we investigated the predation preference of the female predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus bagdasarjani and Phytoseius plumifer, when having choice between larvae of the two other predatory mite species (IG prey) with and without extraguild prey, the spider mite Tetranychus urticae (EG prey). Additionally, we evaluated the juvenile development and oviposition of the three predator species when provided with larvae from each other species. Irrespective of EG prey, IG prey species affected neither the first attack nor attack times of the three female IG predator species. The IG predation rates of the predator females, however, were influenced by prey species in the absence of EG prey. Neoseiulus californicus females killed more P. plumifer than T. bagdasarjani larvae, whereas T. bagdasarjani and P. plumifer females killed more N. californicus than P. plumifer and T. bagdasarjani larvae, respectively. All IG predator species consumed significantly more EG than IG prey. IG prey species did not influence juvenile and adult survival probabilities of the IG predators. We conclude that IGP is a weak force among the three predators and the potential consequences of IGP should not result in the elimination of one by another tested predatory mite species at least in the presence of spider mites. PMID:26462926

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:25452078

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Predator harvesting in stage dependent predation models: insights from a threshold management policy.

    PubMed

    Costa, Michel Iskin da Silveira

    2008-11-01

    Stage dependent predation may give rise to the hydra effect--the increase of predator density at equilibrium as its mortality rate is raised. Management strategies that adjust predator harvest rates or quotas based on responses of populations to past changes in capture rates may eventually lead to a catastrophic collapse of predator species. A proposed threshold management policy avoids the hydra effect and its subsequent danger of predator extinction. Suggestions to extend the application of threshold policies in areas such as intermediate disturbance hypothesis, density-trait mediated interactions and non-optimal anti-predatory behavior are put forward.

  19. Influence of predator mutual interference and prey refuge on Lotka-Volterra predator-prey dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Liujuan; Chen, Fengde; Wang, Yiqin

    2013-11-01

    A Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model incorporating a constant number of prey using refuges and mutual interference for predator species is presented. By applying the divergency criterion and theories on exceptional directions and normal sectors, we show that the interior equilibrium is always globally asymptotically stable and two boundary equilibria are both saddle points. Our results indicate that prey refuge has no influence on the coexistence of predator and prey species of the considered model under the effects of mutual interference for predator species, which differently from the conclusion without predator mutual interference, thus improving some known ones. Numerical simulations are performed to illustrate the validity of our results.

  20. 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)

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. The Functional Response of a Generalist Predator

    PubMed Central

    Smout, Sophie; Asseburg, Christian; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Fernández, Carmen; Redpath, Stephen; Harwood, John

    2010-01-01

    Background Predators can have profound impacts on the dynamics of their prey that depend on how predator consumption is affected by prey density (the predator's functional response). Consumption by a generalist predator is expected to depend on the densities of all its major prey species (its multispecies functional response, or MSFR), but most studies of generalists have focussed on their functional response to only one prey species. Methodology and principal findings Using Bayesian methods, we fit an MSFR to field data from an avian predator (the hen harrier Circus cyaneus) feeding on three different prey species. We use a simple graphical approach to show that ignoring the effects of alternative prey can give a misleading impression of the predator's effect on the prey of interest. For example, in our system, a “predator pit” for one prey species only occurs when the availability of other prey species is low. Conclusions and significance The Bayesian approach is effective in fitting the MSFR model to field data. It allows flexibility in modelling over-dispersion, incorporates additional biological information into the parameter priors, and generates estimates of uncertainty in the model's predictions. These features of robustness and data efficiency make our approach ideal for the study of long-lived predators, for which data may be sparse and management/conservation priorities pressing. PMID:20523722

  4. Top predators and habitat complexity alter an intraguild predation module in pond communities.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-03-01

    Predator diversity and habitat complexity frequently influence species interactions at lower trophic levels, yet their joint investigation has been performed infrequently despite the demonstrated importance of each individual factor. We investigated how different top predators and varying habitat complexity influence the function of an intraguild predation module consisting of two larval salamanders, intraguild predator Ambystoma annulatum and intraguild prey A. maculatum. We manipulated predator food webs and habitat complexity in outdoor mesocosms. Top predators significantly influenced body condition and survival of A. annulatum, but habitat complexity had minimal effects on either response. A three-way interaction among the covariates top predator identity, habitat complexity and A. annulatum survival influenced body condition and survival of A. maculatum via a density-mediated indirect effect. Different top predator combinations had variable effects in different habitat complexity treatments on intraguild predator (A. annulatum) survival that subsequently influenced intraguild prey (A. maculatum) body condition and survival. Future work should consider how different top predators influence other food web components, which should vary due to predator attributes and the physical environments in which they co-occur. PMID:26476095

  5. Do predators influence the behaviour of bats?

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L; O'Keefe, Joy M

    2013-08-01

    Many aspects of animal behaviour are affected by real-time changes in the risk of predation. This conclusion holds for virtually all taxa and ecological systems studied, but does it hold for bats? Bats are poorly represented in the literature on anti-predator behaviour, which may reflect a lack of nocturnal predators specialized on bats. If bats actually experience a world with minimal anti-predator concerns, then they will provide a unique contrast within the realm of vertebrate ecology. Alternatively, such predator-driven behaviour in bats may not yet be fully understood, given the difficulties in working with these highly mobile and nocturnal animals. We provide a wide-ranging exploration of these issues in bat behaviour. We first cover the basic predator-prey information available on bats, both on potential predators and the ways in which bats might perceive predators and respond to attacks. We then cover work relevant to key aspects of bat behaviour, such as choice of daytime roosts, the nature of sleep and torpor, evening roost departures, moonlight avoidance, landscape-related movement patterns, and habitat selection. Overall, the evidence in favour of a strong influence of predators on bat behaviour is equivocal, with the picture clouded by contradictory results and a lack of information on potential predators and the perception of risk by bats. It seems clear that day-active bats run a considerable risk of being killed by diurnal raptors, which are able to capture bats with relative ease. Thus, bats taking advantage of a pulse of insects just prior to sunset are likely taking risks to gain much-needed energy. Further, the choice of daytime roosts by bats is probably strongly influenced by roost safety. Few studies, however, have directly addressed either of these topics. As a group, insectivorous temperate-zone bats show no clear tendency to avoid apparently risky situations, such as activity on moonlit nights. However, some observations are consistent

  6. Can generalist predators be effective biocontrol agents?

    PubMed

    Symondson, W O C; Sunderland, K D; Greenstone, M H

    2002-01-01

    Theoretical developments are helping us to comprehend the basic parameters governing the dynamics of the interactions between generalist predators and their many pest and nonpest prey. In practice, however, inter- and intraspecific interactions between generalist predators, and between the predators and their prey, within multispecies systems under the influence of rapidly changing biotic and abiotic variables are difficult to predict. We discuss trade-offs between the relative merits of specialists and generalists that allow both to be effective, and often complementary, under different circumstances. A review of manipulative field studies showed that in approximately 75% of cases, generalist predators, whether single species or species assemblages, reduced pest numbers significantly. Techniques for manipulating predator numbers to enhance pest control at different scales are discussed. We now need to find ways of disentangling the factors influencing positive and negative interactions within natural enemy communities in order to optimize beneficial synergies leading to pest control.

  7. 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.

  8. What Are Chia Seeds?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Men For Women For Seniors What Are Chia Seeds? Published February 05, 2014 Print Email When you ... number of research participants. How to Eat Chia Seeds Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2010-05-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Predation efficiency of Anopheles gambiae larvae by aquatic predators in western Kenya highlands

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The current status of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes and the effects of insecticides on non-target insect species have raised the need for alternative control methods for malaria vectors. Predation has been suggested as one of the important regulation mechanisms for malaria vectors in long-lasting aquatic habitats, but the predation efficiency of the potential predators is largely unknown in the highlands of western Kenya. In the current study, we examined the predation efficiency of five predators on Anopheles gambiae s.s larvae in 24 hour and semi- field evaluations. Methods Predators were collected from natural habitats and starved for 12 hours prior to starting experiments. Preliminary experiments were conducted to ascertain the larval stage most predated by each predator species. When each larval instar was subjected to predation, third instar larvae were predated at the highest rate. Third instar larvae of An. gambiae were introduced into artificial habitats with and without refugia at various larval densities. The numbers of surviving larvae were counted after 24 hours in 24. In semi-field experiments, the larvae were counted daily until they were all either consumed or had developed to the pupal stage. Polymerase chain reaction was used to confirm the presence of An. gambiae DNA in predator guts. Results Experiments found that habitat type (P < 0.0001) and predator species (P < 0.0001) had a significant impact on the predation rate in the 24 hour evaluations. In semi-field experiments, predator species (P < 0.0001) and habitat type (P < 0.0001) were significant factors in both the daily survival and the overall developmental time of larvae. Pupation rates took significantly longer in habitats with refugia. An. gambiae DNA was found in at least three out of ten midguts for all predator species. Gambusia affins was the most efficient, being three times more efficient than tadpoles. Conclusion These experiments provide insight into the

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Bean Seed Imbibition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershey, David R.

    1998-01-01

    Enables students to examine the time course for seed imbibition and the pressure generated by imbibing seeds. Provides background information, detailed procedures, and ideas for further investigation. (DDR)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2015-03-01

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2015-03-01

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

    Prey are often consumed by multiple predator species. Predation rates on shared prey species measured in isolation often do not combine additively due to interference or facilitation among the predator species. Furthermore, the strength of predator interactions and resulting prey mortality may change with habitat type. We experimentally examined predation on amphipods in rock and algal habitats by two species of intertidal crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (top predators) and Carcinus maenas (intermediate predators). Algae provided a safer habitat for amphipods when they were exposed to only a single predator species. When both predator species were present, mortality of amphipods was less than additive in both habitats. However, amphipod mortality was reduced more in rock than algal habitat because intermediate predators were less protected in rock habitat and were increasingly targeted by omnivorous top predators. We found that prey mortality in general was reduced by (1) altered foraging behavior of intermediate predators in the presence of top predators, (2) top predators switching to foraging on intermediate predators rather than shared prey, and (3) density reduction of intermediate predators. The relative importance of these three mechanisms was the same in both habitats; however, the magnitude of each was greater in rock habitat. Our study demonstrates that the strength of specific mechanisms of interference between top and intermediate predators can be quantified but cautions that these results may be habitat specific. PMID:16086166

  7. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

    Prey are often consumed by multiple predator species. Predation rates on shared prey species measured in isolation often do not combine additively due to interference or facilitation among the predator species. Furthermore, the strength of predator interactions and resulting prey mortality may change with habitat type. We experimentally examined predation on amphipods in rock and algal habitats by two species of intertidal crabs, Hemigrapsus sanguineus (top predators) and Carcinus maenas (intermediate predators). Algae provided a safer habitat for amphipods when they were exposed to only a single predator species. When both predator species were present, mortality of amphipods was less than additive in both habitats. However, amphipod mortality was reduced more in rock than algal habitat because intermediate predators were less protected in rock habitat and were increasingly targeted by omnivorous top predators. We found that prey mortality in general was reduced by (1) altered foraging behavior of intermediate predators in the presence of top predators, (2) top predators switching to foraging on intermediate predators rather than shared prey, and (3) density reduction of intermediate predators. The relative importance of these three mechanisms was the same in both habitats; however, the magnitude of each was greater in rock habitat. Our study demonstrates that the strength of specific mechanisms of interference between top and intermediate predators can be quantified but cautions that these results may be habitat specific.

  8. Predator identity influences the effect of habitat management on nest predation.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Timothy P; Miller, James R; Debinski, Diane M; Engle, David M

    2015-09-01

    Predation is the leading cause of nest failure for many passerines and considerable effort is devoted to identifying the habitat characteristics and management practices that influence nest loss. The habitat components associated with nest loss are strongly influenced by the ecology of nest predators and differ among predator species as a result. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to generalize about the effects of habitat features and management on nest failure without considering how resulting patterns are influenced by nest predators. We examined how predator-specific patterns of nest loss differed among predators and in response to grassland management with fire and grazing by cattle (Bos taurus). We used video cameras to monitor and identify predators at nests of the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a species of conservation concern throughout its range. We observed predation by 15 different species that differed in their response to management and the habitat characteristics associated with nests they preyed on. Losses to mammals and snakes were more likely at nests with greater amounts of litter cover and tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix). Mammals were less likely to prey on nests surrounded by greater forb cover. Nest predation by snakes was lower in burned areas, whereas predation by mammals and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was unaffected by the use of fire. Neither vegetation density at the nest, nor landscape context was related to nest loss by any predator taxon. Although there were many similarities, we identified important differences in the species composing the nest predator community between our. study and other published research. These differences are likely to be responsible for geographic variation in the influence of habitat features and management actions on nest success. Our results demonstrate the need for natural resource managers to incorporate knowledge of local nest predators and their ecology when developing

  9. Behavioral responses of native prey to disparate predators: naiveté and predator recognition.

    PubMed

    Anson, Jennifer R; Dickman, Chris R

    2013-02-01

    It is widely accepted that predator recognition and avoidance are important behaviors in allowing prey to mitigate the impacts of their predators. However, while prey species generally develop anti-predator behaviors through coevolution with predators, they sometimes show accelerated adoption of these behaviors under strong selection pressure from novel species. We used a field manipulation experiment to gauge the ability of the common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), a semi-arboreal Australian marsupial, to recognize and respond to olfactory cues of different predator archetypes. We predicted that ringtails would display stronger anti-predator behaviors to cues of the invasive European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in areas where fox impacts had been greatest, and to cues of the native lace monitor (Varanus varius) in areas of sympatry compared with allopatry. We found that ringtails fled quickly and were more alert when exposed to the fecal odors of both predators compared to neutral and pungent control odors, confirming that predator odors are recognized and avoided. However, these aversive responses were similar irrespective of predator presence or level of impact. These results suggest that selection pressure from the fox has been sufficient for ringtails to develop anti-predator behaviors over the few generations since foxes have become established. In contrast, we speculate that aversive responses by ringtails to the lace monitor in areas where this predator is absent reflect recent coexistence of the two species. We conclude that rapid evolution of anti-predator behaviors may occur when selection is strong. The maintenance of these behaviors should allow re-establishment of predator-prey relationships if the interactants regain sympatry via range shifts or management actions to reintroduce them to their former ranges. PMID:22865005

  10. 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.

  11. The increased risk of predation enhances cooperation

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25447635

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Lethal predators: psychopathic, sadistic, and sane.

    PubMed

    Ochberg, Frank M; Brantley, Alan C; Hare, R D; Houk, Peter D; Ianni, Robert; James, Earl; O'Toole, Mary Ellen; Saathoff, Gregory

    2003-01-01

    The violent criminals defined in this article are a small, exceptionally dangerous group of offenders designated by the authors as "lethal predators." They have a history of sexual predation, have killed at least once, and are mentally abnormal but legally sane. They are highly likely to keep killing as long as they are free. Laws permitting civil commitment of dangerous and mentally abnormal sexual predators after they have completed criminal prison sentences have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Such laws can provide a legal means of keeping these highly dangerous killers confined so they cannot kill again.

  17. 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.

  18. Nutrient-specific foraging in invertebrate predators.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Adaptive and selective seed abortion reveals complex conditional decision making in plants.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Katrin M; Soldaat, Leo L; Auge, Harald; Thulke, Hans-Hermann

    2014-03-01

    Behavior is traditionally attributed to animals only. Recently, evidence for plant behavior is accumulating, mostly from plant physiological studies. Here, we provide ecological evidence for complex plant behavior in the form of seed abortion decisions conditional on internal and external cues. We analyzed seed abortion patterns of barberry plants exposed to seed parasitism and different environmental conditions. Without abortion, parasite infestation of seeds can lead to loss of all seeds in a fruit. We statistically tested a series of null models with Monte Carlo simulations to establish selectivity and adaptiveness of the observed seed abortion patterns. Seed abortion was more frequent in parasitized fruits and fruits from dry habitats. Surprisingly, seed abortion occurred with significantly greater probability if there was a second intact seed in the fruit. This strategy provides a fitness benefit if abortion can prevent a sibling seed from coinfestation and if nonabortion of an infested but surviving single seed saves resources invested in the fruit coat. Ecological evidence for complex decision making in plants thus includes a structural memory (the second seed), simple reasoning (integration of inner and outer conditions), conditional behavior (abortion), and anticipation of future risks (seed predation). PMID:24561600

  20. 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. PMID:16475103

  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. Adaptation of inducible defense in Euplotes daidaleos (Ciliophora) to predation risks by various predators.

    PubMed

    Kusch, J

    1995-07-01

    The extent of induced morphological defense in Euplotes daidaleos correlates to this ciliate's predation risk from the defense-inducing predator species. Euplotes daidaleos responded by morphological transformation only to organisms that are able to feed on typically formed Euplotes cells (63 ± 5 μm cell width in E. daidaleos). Three of those potential predator species caused defensive changes to various degrees (Student's t-test, P < 0.1 to P < 0.0001): Lembadion bullinum (Ciliata) induced 82 ± 6 μm cell width in E. daidaleos; Chaetogaster diastrophus (Oligochaeta) induced 85 = 6 μm width; and Stenostomum sphagnetorum (Turbellaria) induced 89 ± 8 μm width (at a density of 10 predators per milliliter, respectively). At higher predator densities (50 or 100 organisms per milliliter), Euplotes developed a correspondingly larger width (to a maximum of 103 ± 10 μm in the presence of S. sphagnetorum). Euplotes did not respond to organisms (e.g., Blepharisma japonicum, Colpidium campylum, Didinium nasutum, Paramecium caudatum, Spirostomum ambiguum, Stentor coeruleus) that cannot feed on this ciliate species. Daphnia longispina and Bursaria truncatella predators, which can feed on large prey of ≥125, or ≥200 μm in diameter, respectively, also had no effect on the morphology of Euplotes. The extent of defense in Euplotes that was induced by 10 predators per milliliter during 24 h decreased the predation risk from those predators to 67% in the presence of S. sphagnetorum, to 50% with L. bullinum, and to 15% with C. diastrophus, compared to the typical form of Euplotes. In a natural population, the defensive form of E. daidaleos was found with average cell widths of 88 ± 8 μm. The results indicate that predator-induced defense in natural Euplotes populations is beneficial to this prey and that it is adapted to the predation abilities of Euplotes predators, whereby energetical costs related to defensive changes may be saved. PMID:24185414

  3. 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.

  4. 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. PMID:26174962

  5. 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

  6. Frequency-dependent selection by predators.

    PubMed

    Allen, J A

    1988-07-01

    Sometimes predators tend to concentrate on common varieties of prey and overlook rare ones. Within prey species, this could result in the fitness of each variety being inversely related to its frequency in the population. Such frequency-dependent or 'apostatic' selection by predators hunting by sight could maintain polymorphism for colour pattern, and much of the supporting evidence for this idea has come from work on birds and artificial prey. These and other studies have shown that the strength of the observed selection is affected by prey density, palatability, coloration and conspicuousness. When the prey density is very high, selection becomes 'anti-apostatic': predators preferentially remove rare prey. There is still much to be learned about frequency-dependent selection by predators on artificial prey: work on natural polymorphic prey has hardly begun. PMID:2905488

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Parasitology: parasite survives predation on its host.

    PubMed

    Ponton, Fleur; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Lefèvre, Thierry; Biron, David G; Duneau, David; Hughes, David P; Thomas, Frédéric

    2006-04-01

    As prisoners in their living habitat, parasites should be vulnerable to destruction by the predators of their hosts. But we show here that the parasitic gordian worm Paragordius tricuspidatus is able to escape not only from its insect host after ingestion by a fish or frog but also from the digestive tract of the predator. This remarkable tactic enables the worm to continue its life cycle.

  10. Techniques for identifying predators of goose nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.; 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).

  11. Diversity of protists and bacteria determines predation performance and stability.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muhammad; Fetzer, Ingo; Harms, Hauke; Chatzinotas, Antonis

    2013-10-01

    Predation influences prey diversity and productivity while it effectuates the flux and reallocation of organic nutrients into biomass at higher trophic levels. However, it is unknown how bacterivorous protists are influenced by the diversity of their bacterial prey. Using 456 microcosms, in which different bacterial mixtures with equal initial cell numbers were exposed to single or multiple predators (Tetrahymena sp., Poterioochromonas sp. and Acanthamoeba sp.), we showed that increasing prey richness enhanced production of single predators. The extent of the response depended, however, on predator identity. Bacterial prey richness had a stabilizing effect on predator performance in that it reduced variability in predator production. Further, prey richness tended to enhance predator evenness in the predation experiment including all three protists predators (multiple predation experiment). However, we also observed a negative relationship between prey richness and predator production in multiple predation experiments. Mathematical analysis of potential ecological mechanisms of positive predator diversity-functioning relationships revealed predator complementarity as a factor responsible for both enhanced predator production and prey reduction. We suggest that the diversity at both trophic levels interactively determines protistan performance and might have implications in microbial ecosystem processes and services.

  12. 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.

  13. Rhinoceros beetles suffer male-biased predation by mammalian and avian predators.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Wataru; Sugiura, Shinji; Makihara, Hiroshi; Ishikawa, Yukio; Takanashi, Takuma

    2014-03-01

    Male sexually-selected traits often impose an increased risk of predation on their bearers, causing male-biased predation. We investigated whether males of the sap-feeding Japanese rhinoceros beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus were more susceptible to predation than females by comparing the morphology of beetles caught in bait traps with the remains of beetles found on the ground. The males of this species are larger than the females and have a horn on the head. We found that predation pressure was greater for males than for females, and that larger individuals of both sexes were more vulnerable to predation. We identified two predators, the raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides and jungle crow Corvus macrorhynchos, by monitoring sap-site trees with infrared video cameras. Raccoon dogs visited sap-site trees at night, while crows came after daybreak. The highest frequency of visits by both predators was observed in the first half of August, which matches the peak season of T. dichotomus. Raccoon dogs often left bite marks on the remains of prey, whereas crows did not. Bite marks were found on most of the remains collected at two distant localities, which suggested that predation by raccoon dogs is common. Size- and sex-dependent differences in the conspicuousness and active period of T. dichotomus probably explain these biased predation patterns. Our results suggest that having a large horn/body is costly in terms of the increased risk of predation. Predation cost may act as a stabilizing selection pressure against the further exaggeration of male sexual traits. PMID:24601771

  14. 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. PMID:25648648

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    Predators affect ecosystems not only through direct mortality of prey, but also through risk effects on prey behavior, which can exert strong influences on ecosystem function and prey fitness. However, how functionally different prey species respond to predation risk and how prey strategies vary across ecosystems and in response to predator reintroduction are poorly understood. We investigated the spatial distributions of six African herbivores varying in foraging strategy and body size in response to environmental factors and direct predation risk by recently reintroduced lions in the thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, using camera trap surveys, GPS telemetry, kill site locations and Light Detection and Ranging. Spatial distributions of all species, apart from buffalo, were driven primarily by environmental factors, with limited responses to direct predation risk. Responses to predation risk were instead indirect, with species distributions driven by environmental factors, and diel patterns being particularly pronounced. Grazers were more responsive to the measured variables than browsers, with more observations in open areas. Terrain ruggedness was a stronger predictor of browser distributions than was vegetation density. Buffalo was the only species to respond to predator encounter risk, avoiding areas with higher lion utilization. Buffalo therefore behaved in similar ways to when lions were absent from the study area. Our results suggest that direct predation risk effects are relatively weak when predator densities are low and the time since reintroduction is short and emphasize the need for robust, long-term monitoring of predator reintroductions to place such events in the broader context of predation risk effects. PMID:27547350

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  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. [Contribution of seed size and its fate to vegetation renewal: a review].

    PubMed

    Wu, Gaolin; Du, Guozhen; Shang, Zhanhuan

    2006-10-01

    Seed is the reproductive body of spermatophytes, and its resource devotion has a direct effect on the offspring fitness and the renewal of vegetation community. Generally, larger size seed has the superiorities of higher germination rate and seedling' s establishment, while smaller size seed has the advantages in escaping the predation of animals and birds, forming soil seed bank, and exhibiting larger potentiality of vegetation renewal. Under various kinds of stress, different size seed has different fate in its life history, and has different contribution in vegetation renewal. This paper reviewed the research findings on the contribution of seed size and its fate to vegetation renewal, and presented some suggestions regarding the domestic research in the future.

  1. 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.

  2. The ventromedial hypothalamus mediates predator fear memory.

    PubMed

    Silva, Bianca A; Mattucci, Camilla; Krzywkowski, Piotr; Cuozzo, Rachel; Carbonari, Laura; Gross, Cornelius T

    2016-06-01

    The amygdala has been shown to be essential for the processing of acute and learned fear across animal species. However, the downstream neural circuits that mediate these fear responses differ according to the nature of the threat, with separate pathways having been identified for predator, conspecific and physically harmful threats. In particular, the dorsomedial part of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VHMdm) is critical for the expression of defensive responses to predators. Here, we tested the hypothesis that this circuit also participates in predator fear memory by transient pharmacogenetic inhibition of the VMHdm and its downstream effector, the dorsal periaqueductal grey, during predator fear learning in the mouse. Our data demonstrate that neural activity in the VMHdm is required for both the acquisition and recall of predator fear memory, whereas that of its downstream effector, the dorsal periaqueductal grey, is required only for the acute expression of fear. These findings are consistent with a role for the medial hypothalamus in encoding an internal emotional state of fear. PMID:26991018

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Prey perception of predation risk: volatile chemical cues mediate non-consumptive effects of a predator on a herbivorous insect.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Sara L; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2014-11-01

    Predators can affect prey in two ways-by reducing their density (consumptive effects) or by changing their behavior, physiology or other phenotypic traits (non-consumptive effects). Understanding the cues and sensory modalities prey use to detect predators is critical for predicting the strength of non-consumptive effects and the outcome of predator-prey encounters. While predator-associated cues have been well studied in aquatic systems, less is known about how terrestrial prey, particularly insect larvae, detect their predators. We evaluated how Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, larvae perceive predation risk by isolating cues from its stink bug predator, the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. When exposed to male "risk" predators that were surgically manipulated so they could hunt but not kill, beetles reduced feeding 29% compared to controls. Exposure to risk females caused an intermediate response. Beetles ate 24% less on leaves pre-exposed to predators compared to leaves never exposed to predators, indicating that tactile and visual cues are not required for the prey's response. Volatile odor cues from predators reduced beetle feeding by 10% overall, although male predators caused a stronger reduction than females. Finally, visual cues from the predator had a weak effect on beetle feeding. Because multiple cues appear to be involved in prey perception of risk, and because male and female predators have differential effects, beetle larvae likely experience tremendous variation in the information about risk from their local environment. PMID:25234373

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    Studies that focus on single predator-prey interactions can be inadequate for understanding antipredator responses in multi-predator systems. Yet there is still a general lack of information about the strategies of prey to minimize predation risk from multiple predators at the landscape level. Here we examined the distribution of seven African ungulate species in the fenced Karongwe Game Reserve (KGR), South Africa, as a function of predation risk from all large carnivore species (lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and spotted hyena). Using observed kill data, we generated ungulate-specific predictions of relative predation risk and of riskiness of habitats. To determine how ungulates minimize predation risk at the landscape level, we explicitly tested five hypotheses consisting of strategies that reduce the probability of encountering predators, and the probability of being killed. All ungulate species avoided risky habitats, and most selected safer habitats, thus reducing their probability of being killed. To reduce the probability of encountering predators, most of the smaller prey species (impala, warthog, waterbuck, kudu) avoided the space use of all predators, while the larger species (wildebeest, zebra, giraffe) only avoided areas where lion and leopard space use were high. The strength of avoidance for the space use of predators generally did not correspond to the relative predation threat from those predators. Instead, ungulates used a simpler behavioral rule of avoiding the activity areas of sit-and-pursue predators (lion and leopard), but not those of cursorial predators (cheetah and African wild dog). In general, selection and avoidance of habitats was stronger than avoidance of the predator activity areas. We expect similar decision rules to drive the distribution pattern of ungulates in other African savannas and in other multi-predator systems, especially where predators differ in their hunting modes. PMID:21618919

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:20545732

  10. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 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...

  12. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 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...

  13. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 7 CFR 201.18 - Other agricultural seeds (crop seeds).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 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...

  16. 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)

  17. Healthy food trends -- chia seeds

    MedlinePlus

    ... Healthy food trends - salvia; Healthy snacks - Chia seeds; Weight loss - Chia seeds; Healthy diet - Chia seeds; Wellness - Chia ... fiber. Some think chia seeds may help with weight loss and other risk factors, but this has not ...

  18. Predators and the breeding bird: behavioral and reproductive flexibility under the risk of predation.

    PubMed

    Lima, Steven L

    2009-08-01

    A growing body of work suggests that breeding birds have a significant capacity to assess and respond, over ecological time, to changes in the risk of predation to both themselves and their eggs or nestlings. This review investigates the nature of this flexibility in the face of predation from both behavioural and reproductive perspectives, and also explores several directions for future research. Most available work addresses different aspects of nest predation. A substantial change in breeding location is perhaps the best documented response to nest predation, but such changes are not always observed and not necessarily the best strategy. Changes in nesting microhabitat (to more concealed locations) following predation are known to occur. Surprisingly little work addresses the proactive avoidance of areas with many nest predators, but such avoidance is probably widespread. Individual birds could conceivably adopt anti-predator strategies based on the nest predators actually present in an area, but such effects have yet to be demonstrated. In fact, the ways in which birds assess the risk of nest predation is unclear. Nest defence in birds has historically received much attention, but little is known about how it interacts with other aspects of decision-making by parents. Other studies concentrate on predation risk to adults. Some findings suggest that risk to adults themselves influences territory location, especially relative to raptor nests. An almost completely unexplored area concerns the sorts of social protection from predators that might exist during the breeding season. Flocking typical of the non-breeding season appears unusual while breeding, but a mated pair may sometimes act as a "flock of two". Opportunistic heterospecific sociality may exist, with heterospecific protector species associations more prevalent than currently appreciated. The dynamics of singing during the breeding season may also respond to variation in predation risk, but empirical

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Testing for predator dependence in predator-prey dynamics: a non-parametric approach.

    PubMed

    Jost, C; Ellner, S P

    2000-08-22

    The functional response is a key element in all predator-prey interactions. Although functional responses are traditionally modelled as being a function of prey density only, evidence is accumulating that predator density also has an important effect. However, much of the evidence comes from artificial experimental arenas under conditions not necessarily representative of the natural system, and neglecting the temporal dynamics of the organism (in particular the effects of prey depletion on the estimated functional response). Here we present a method that removes these limitations by reconstructing the functional response non-parametrically from predator-prey time-series data. This method is applied to data on a protozoan predator-prey interaction, and we obtain significant evidence of predator dependence in the functional response. A crucial element in this analysis is to include time-lags in the prey and predator reproduction rates, and we show that these delays improve the fit of the model significantly. Finally, we compare the non-parametrically reconstructed functional response to parametric forms, and suggest that a modified version of the Hassell-Varley predator interference model provides a simple and flexible function for theoretical investigation and applied modelling. PMID:11467423

  4. Predator release of the gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum increases predation on gorgonian corals.

    PubMed

    Burkepile, Deron E; Hay, Mark E

    2007-11-01

    When large, predatory fishes and invertebrates were excluded from areas of a coral reef in the Florida Keys, USA, densities of the normally rare gastropod Cyphoma gibbosum, a principal predator of gorgonian corals, increased 19-fold. Gorgonians in predator exclosures were grazed more frequently and extensively by C. gibbosum than were gorgonians in uncaged areas. In exclosures, 14% of all gorgonians showed recent predation by C. gibbosum, with 62% of the entire colony surface being removed from these attacked individuals. In areas where predators of C. gibbosum were not excluded, only 5% of gorgonians exhibited recent damage, with only 26% of the colony surface being removed from these few damaged individuals. Thus, the increases in both frequency and extent of attack combined to produce an 8x increase in gorgonian damage following removal of large predators. These patterns suggest that predators typically suppress C. gibbosum populations, that overfishing of these predators could release C. gibbosum from top-down control, and that this release will allow increased damage to gorgonian corals.

  5. Predator diversity effects in an exotic freshwater food web.

    PubMed

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Rudstam, Lars G

    2013-01-01

    Cascading trophic interactions are often defined as the indirect effects of a predator on primary producers through the effect of the predator on herbivores. These effects can be both direct through removal of herbivores [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)] or indirect through changes in the behavior of the herbivores [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. How the relative importance of these two indirect interactions varies with predator diversity remains poorly understood. We tested the effect of predator diversity on both TMIIs and DMIIs on phytoplankton using two competitive invasive dreissenid mussel species (zebra mussel and quagga mussel) as the herbivores and combinations of one, two or all three species of the predators pumpkinseed sunfish, round goby, and rusty crayfish. Predators had either direct access to mussels and induced both TMII and DMII, or no direct access and induced only TMII through the presence of risk cues. In both sets of treatments, the predators induced a trophic cascade which resulted in more phytoplankton remaining with predators present than with only mussels present. The trophic cascade was weaker in three-predator and two-predator treatments than in one-predator treatments when predators had direct access to dreissenids (DMIIs and TMIIs). Crayfish had higher cascading effects on phytoplankton than both pumpkinseed and round goby. Increased predator diversity decreased the strength of DMIIs but had no effect on the strength of TMIIs. The strength of TMIIs was higher with zebra than quagga mussels. Our study suggests that inter-specific interference among predators in multi-species treatments weakens the consumptive cascading effects of predation on lower trophic levels whereas the importance of predator diversity on trait mediated effects depends on predator identity. PMID:23991126

  6. Predator Diversity Effects in an Exotic Freshwater Food Web

    PubMed Central

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Rudstam, Lars G.

    2013-01-01

    Cascading trophic interactions are often defined as the indirect effects of a predator on primary producers through the effect of the predator on herbivores. These effects can be both direct through removal of herbivores [density-mediated indirect interactions (DMIIs)] or indirect through changes in the behavior of the herbivores [trait-mediated indirect interactions (TMIIs)]. How the relative importance of these two indirect interactions varies with predator diversity remains poorly understood. We tested the effect of predator diversity on both TMIIs and DMIIs on phytoplankton using two competitive invasive dreissenid mussel species (zebra mussel and quagga mussel) as the herbivores and combinations of one, two or all three species of the predators pumpkinseed sunfish, round goby, and rusty crayfish. Predators had either direct access to mussels and induced both TMII and DMII, or no direct access and induced only TMII through the presence of risk cues. In both sets of treatments, the predators induced a trophic cascade which resulted in more phytoplankton remaining with predators present than with only mussels present. The trophic cascade was weaker in three-predator and two-predator treatments than in one-predator treatments when predators had direct access to dreissenids (DMIIs and TMIIs). Crayfish had higher cascading effects on phytoplankton than both pumpkinseed and round goby. Increased predator diversity decreased the strength of DMIIs but had no effect on the strength of TMIIs. The strength of TMIIs was higher with zebra than quagga mussels. Our study suggests that inter-specific interference among predators in multi-species treatments weakens the consumptive cascading effects of predation on lower trophic levels whereas the importance of predator diversity on trait mediated effects depends on predator identity. PMID:23991126

  7. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.; 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.

  8. Intense or Spatially Heterogeneous Predation Can Select against Prey Dispersal

    PubMed Central

    Barraquand, Frederic; Murrell, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Dispersal theory generally predicts kin competition, inbreeding, and temporal variation in habitat quality should select for dispersal, whereas spatial variation in habitat quality should select against dispersal. The effect of predation on the evolution of dispersal is currently not well-known: because predation can be variable in both space and time, it is not clear whether or when predation will promote dispersal within prey. Moreover, the evolution of prey dispersal affects strongly the encounter rate of predator and prey individuals, which greatly determines the ecological dynamics, and in turn changes the selection pressures for prey dispersal, in an eco-evolutionary feedback loop. When taken all together the effect of predation on prey dispersal is rather difficult to predict. We analyze a spatially explicit, individual-based predator-prey model and its mathematical approximation to investigate the evolution of prey dispersal. Competition and predation depend on local, rather than landscape-scale densities, and the spatial pattern of predation corresponds well to that of predators using restricted home ranges (e.g. central-place foragers). Analyses show the balance between the level of competition and predation pressure an individual is expected to experience determines whether prey should disperse or stay close to their parents and siblings, and more predation selects for less prey dispersal. Predators with smaller home ranges also select for less prey dispersal; more prey dispersal is favoured if predators have large home ranges, are very mobile, and/or are evenly distributed across the landscape. PMID:22247764

  9. Consequences of induced hatching plasticity depend on predator community.

    PubMed

    Wojdak, Jeremy M; Touchon, Justin C; Hite, Jessica L; Meyer, Beth; Vonesh, James R

    2014-08-01

    Many prey species face trade-offs in the timing of life history switch points like hatching and metamorphosis. Costs associated with transitioning early depend on the biotic and abiotic conditions found in the subsequent life stage. The red-eyed treefrog, Agalychnis callidryas, faces risks from predators in multiple, successive life stages, and can hatch early in response to mortality threats at the egg stage. Here we tested how the consequences of life history plasticity, specifically early hatching in response to terrestrial egg predators, depend on the assemblage of aquatic larval predators. We predicted that diverse predator assemblages would impose lower total predation pressure than the most effective single predator species and might thereby reduce the costs of hatching early. We then conducted a mesocosm experiment where we crossed hatchling phenotype (early vs. normal hatching) with five larval-predator environments (no predators, either waterbugs, dragonflies, or mosquitofish singly, or all three predator species together). The consequences of hatching early varied across predator treatments, and tended to disappear through time in some predation treatments, notably the waterbug and diverse predator assemblages. We demonstrate that the fitness costs of life history plasticity in an early life stage depend critically on the predator community composition in the next stage.

  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. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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)

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27310262

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-19

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

  3. Habitat stability, predation risk and 'memory syndromes'.

    PubMed

    Dalesman, S; Rendle, A; Dall, S R X

    2015-05-27

    Habitat stability and predation pressure are thought to be major drivers in the evolutionary maintenance of behavioural syndromes, with trait covariance only occurring within specific habitats. However, animals also exhibit behavioural plasticity, often through memory formation. Memory formation across traits may be linked, with covariance in memory traits (memory syndromes) selected under particular environmental conditions. This study tests whether the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, demonstrates consistency among memory traits ('memory syndrome') related to threat avoidance and foraging. We used eight populations originating from three different habitat types: i) laboratory populations (stable habitat, predator-free); ii) river populations (fairly stable habitat, fish predation); and iii) ditch populations (unstable habitat, invertebrate predation). At a population level, there was a negative relationship between memories related to threat avoidance and food selectivity, but no consistency within habitat type. At an individual level, covariance between memory traits was dependent on habitat. Laboratory populations showed no covariance among memory traits, whereas river populations showed a positive correlation between food memories, and ditch populations demonstrated a negative relationship between threat memory and food memories. Therefore, selection pressures among habitats appear to act independently on memory trait covariation at an individual level and the average response within a population.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. What regulates crab predation on mangrove propagules?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Nedervelde, Fleur; Cannicci, Stefano; Koedam, Nico; Bosire, Jared; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid

    2015-02-01

    Crabs play a major role in some ecosystems. To increase our knowledge about the factors that influence crab predation on propagules in mangrove forests, we performed experiments in Gazi Bay, Kenya in July 2009. We tested whether: (1) crab density influences propagule predation rate; (2) crab size influences food competition and predation rate; (3) crabs depredate at different rates according to propagule and canopy cover species; (4) vegetation density is correlated with crab density; (5) food preferences of herbivorous crabs are determined by size, shape and nutritional value. We found that (1) propagule predation rate was positively correlated to crab density. (2) Crab competitive abilities were unrelated to their size. (3) Avicennia marina propagules were consumed more quickly than Ceriops tagal except under C. tagal canopies. (4) Crab density was negatively correlated with the density of A. marina trees and pneumatophores. (5) Crabs prefer small items with a lower C:N ratio. Vegetation density influences crab density, and crab density affects propagule availability and hence vegetation recruitment rate. Consequently, the mutual relationships between vegetation and crab populations could be important for forest restoration success and management.

  7. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  8. The seed nuclear proteome

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23267364

  9. Species invasion shifts the importance of predator dependence.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Delaney, David G

    2007-12-01

    The strength of interference between foraging individuals can influence per capita consumption rates, with important consequences for predator and prey populations and system stability. Here we demonstrate how the replacement of a previously established invader, the predatory crab Carcinus maenas, by the recently invading predatory crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus shifts predation from a species that experiences strong predator interference (strong predator dependence) to one that experiences weak predator interference (weak predator dependence). We demonstrate using field experiments that differences in the strength of predator dependence persist for these species both when they forage on a single focal prey species only (the mussel Mytilus edulis) and when they forage more broadly across the entire prey community. This shift in predator dependence with species replacement may be altering the biomass across trophic levels, consistent with theoretical predictions, as we show that H. sanguineus populations are much larger than C. maenas populations throughout their invaded ranges. Our study highlights that predator dependence may differ among predator species and demonstrates that different predatory impacts of two conspicuous invasive predators may be explained at least in part by different strengths of predator dependence.

  10. Species invasion shifts the importance of predator dependence.

    PubMed

    Griffen, Blaine D; Delaney, David G

    2007-12-01

    The strength of interference between foraging individuals can influence per capita consumption rates, with important consequences for predator and prey populations and system stability. Here we demonstrate how the replacement of a previously established invader, the predatory crab Carcinus maenas, by the recently invading predatory crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus shifts predation from a species that experiences strong predator interference (strong predator dependence) to one that experiences weak predator interference (weak predator dependence). We demonstrate using field experiments that differences in the strength of predator dependence persist for these species both when they forage on a single focal prey species only (the mussel Mytilus edulis) and when they forage more broadly across the entire prey community. This shift in predator dependence with species replacement may be altering the biomass across trophic levels, consistent with theoretical predictions, as we show that H. sanguineus populations are much larger than C. maenas populations throughout their invaded ranges. Our study highlights that predator dependence may differ among predator species and demonstrates that different predatory impacts of two conspicuous invasive predators may be explained at least in part by different strengths of predator dependence. PMID:18229836

  11. Dark side of predation: Blind side in biocontrol research

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predation of pests by arthopod predators (insects and spiders) occurs around the clock. Yet little effort has been made to characterize the 24-hour pattern of predation on insect pests in the field, particularly events that occur nocturnally. The few round-the-clock observations in various ecosyst...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Murray; Jenkins

    1999-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Food-limitation in a generalist predator.

    PubMed

    Rutz, Christian; Bijlsma, Rob G

    2006-08-22

    Investigating food-limitation in generalist predators is difficult, because they can switch to alternative prey, when one of their staple prey becomes scarce. Apart from data on the dynamics of the predator population, a robust study requires: (i) a documentation of the predator's entire prey base; and (ii) an experimental or natural situation, where profitable dietary shifts are impossible, because several preferred prey species decline simultaneously. Here, we provide a detailed description of how food-supply has limited a generalist avian top predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. In our study area, populations of several principal goshawk prey species crashed simultaneously during 1975-2000, whereas other extrinsic factors remained essentially unchanged. The breeding and non-breeding segments of the local goshawk population declined markedly, associated with a significant increase in nest failures. Brood size of successful pairs remained unaffected by changes in prey availability. Breeding recruitment ceased at a time when potential replacement birds ('floaters') were still present, providing a rare empirical demonstration of an 'acceptance threshold' in raptor territory choice. To investigate how goshawk diet changed in response to varying food-supplies, we make novel use of an analytical tool from biodiversity research-'abundance-biomass-comparison curves' (ABC curves). With increasing levels of food-stress, the dominance of principal prey species in the diet decreased, and the number of small-bodied prey species increased, as did intra-guild predation. Our finding that breeder and non-breeder segments declined in concert is unexpected. Our results carry the management implication that, in food-limited raptor populations, externally induced breeder mortality can rapidly depress population size, as losses are no longer buffered when floaters reject breeding opportunities.

  1. Food-limitation in a generalist predator

    PubMed Central

    Rutz, Christian; Bijlsma, Rob G

    2006-01-01

    Investigating food-limitation in generalist predators is difficult, because they can switch to alternative prey, when one of their staple prey becomes scarce. Apart from data on the dynamics of the predator population, a robust study requires: (i) a documentation of the predator's entire prey base; and (ii) an experimental or natural situation, where profitable dietary shifts are impossible, because several preferred prey species decline simultaneously. Here, we provide a detailed description of how food-supply has limited a generalist avian top predator, the northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. In our study area, populations of several principal goshawk prey species crashed simultaneously during 1975–2000, whereas other extrinsic factors remained essentially unchanged. The breeding and non-breeding segments of the local goshawk population declined markedly, associated with a significant increase in nest failures. Brood size of successful pairs remained unaffected by changes in prey availability. Breeding recruitment ceased at a time when potential replacement birds (‘floaters’) were still present, providing a rare empirical demonstration of an ‘acceptance threshold’ in raptor territory choice. To investigate how goshawk diet changed in response to varying food-supplies, we make novel use of an analytical tool from biodiversity research—‘abundance–biomass–comparison curves’ (ABC curves). With increasing levels of food-stress, the dominance of principal prey species in the diet decreased, and the number of small-bodied prey species increased, as did intra-guild predation. Our finding that breeder and non-breeder segments declined in concert is unexpected. Our results carry the management implication that, in food-limited raptor populations, externally induced breeder mortality can rapidly depress population size, as losses are no longer buffered when floaters reject breeding opportunities. PMID:16846915

  2. 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. PMID:23917944

  3. A tropical horde of counterfeit predator eyes

    PubMed Central

    Janzen, Daniel H.; Hallwachs, Winnie; Burns, John M.

    2010-01-01

    We propose that the many different, but essentially similar, eye-like and face-like color patterns displayed by hundreds of species of tropical caterpillars and pupae—26 examples of which are displayed here from the dry, cloud, and rain forests of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica—constitute a huge and pervasive mimicry complex that is evolutionarily generated and sustained by the survival behavior of a large and multispecific array of potential predators: the insect-eating birds. We propose that these predators are variously and innately programmed to flee when abruptly confronted, at close range, with what appears to be an eye of one of their predators. Such a mimetic complex differs from various classical Batesian and Müllerian mimicry complexes of adult butterflies in that (i) the predators sustain it for the most part by innate traits rather than by avoidance behavior learned through disagreeable experiences, (ii) the more or less harmless, sessile, and largely edible mimics vastly outnumber the models, and (iii) there is no particular selection for the eye-like color pattern to closely mimic the eye or face of any particular predator of the insect-eating birds or that of any other member of this mimicry complex. Indeed, selection may not favor exact resemblance among these mimics at all. Such convergence through selection could create a superabundance of one particular false eyespot or face pattern, thereby increasing the likelihood of a bird species or guild learning to associate that pattern with harmless prey. PMID:20547863

  4. A tropical horde of counterfeit predator eyes.

    PubMed

    Janzen, Daniel H; Hallwachs, Winnie; Burns, John M

    2010-06-29

    We propose that the many different, but essentially similar, eye-like and face-like color patterns displayed by hundreds of species of tropical caterpillars and pupae-26 examples of which are displayed here from the dry, cloud, and rain forests of Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica-constitute a huge and pervasive mimicry complex that is evolutionarily generated and sustained by the survival behavior of a large and multispecific array of potential predators: the insect-eating birds. We propose that these predators are variously and innately programmed to flee when abruptly confronted, at close range, with what appears to be an eye of one of their predators. Such a mimetic complex differs from various classical Batesian and Müllerian mimicry complexes of adult butterflies in that (i) the predators sustain it for the most part by innate traits rather than by avoidance behavior learned through disagreeable experiences, (ii) the more or less harmless, sessile, and largely edible mimics vastly outnumber the models, and (iii) there is no particular selection for the eye-like color pattern to closely mimic the eye or face of any particular predator of the insect-eating birds or that of any other member of this mimicry complex. Indeed, selection may not favor exact resemblance among these mimics at all. Such convergence through selection could create a superabundance of one particular false eyespot or face pattern, thereby increasing the likelihood of a bird species or guild learning to associate that pattern with harmless prey.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. 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. PMID:25679393

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Predator odours attract other predators, creating an olfactory web of information.

    PubMed

    Banks, Peter B; Daly, Andrew; Bytheway, Jenna P

    2016-05-01

    Many studies have reported the aversive reactions of prey towards a predator's odour signals (e.g. urine marks), a behaviour widely thought to reduce the risk of predation by the predator. However, because odour signals persist in the environment, they are vulnerable to exploitation and eavesdropping by predators, prey and conspecifics. As such, scent patches created by one species might attract other species interested in information about their enemies. We studied this phenomenon by examining red fox investigation of odours from conspecifics and competing species in order to understand what prey are responding to when avoiding the odours of a predator. Surprisingly, foxes showed limited interest in conspecific odours but were highly interested in the odours of their competitors (wild dogs and feral cats), suggesting that odours are likely to play an important role in mediating competitive interactions. Importantly, our results identify that simple, dyadic interpretations of prey responses to a predator odour (i.e. cat odour = risk of cat encounter = fear of cats) can no longer be assumed in ecological or psychology research. Instead, interactions mediated by olfactory cues are more complex than previously thought and are likely to form a complicated olfactory web of interactions. PMID:27194283

  11. 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.

  12. Exploratory behaviour and novel predator recognition: behavioural correlations across contexts.

    PubMed

    Blake, C A; Gabor, C R

    2016-08-01

    It was hypothesized that the exploratory behaviour of an individual measured in a novel environment could predict its behaviour in response to a novel predator. This study examined novel predator recognition in the western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis, a species with individual differences in risk-taking, activity and exploration in novel environments. Prey responded with characteristic shoaling and avoidance in response to native predators, but did not show characteristic antipredator behaviour towards novel predators. Furthermore, G. affinis exhibited individual-level behavioural correlations across contexts but only when prey were tested with native predators. This could be the result of native predatory selection on behavioural correlations in the prey species. PMID:27220896

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. Rapid habituation by mosquito larvae to predator kairomones.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Derek

    2014-12-01

    Larvae of some species of mosquitoes have been shown to respond to water-borne kairomones from predators by reducing bottom-feeding and replacing it with surface filter-feeding, which uses less movement and is thus less likely to attract a predator. However, if no predator attack takes place, then it would be more efficient to use a risk allocation strategy of habituating their response depending on the predator and the overall risk. The larvae of Culiseta longiareolata Macquart live in temporary rain-filled pools, where they are exposed to a high level of predation. Within one hour, they responded to kairomones from dragonfly or damselfly nymphs, or to the fish Aphanius, by significantly reducing bottom-feeding activity. Continued exposure to the predator kairomones resulted in habituation of their response to damselflies, a slower habituation to fish, but no habituation to dragonflies even after 30 h. In contrast, the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus Say normally live in highly polluted and thus anaerobic water, where the predation risk will be much lower. They also showed a significant reduction in bottom-feeding after 1 h of exposure to predator kairomones but had completely habituated this response within 6 h of continuous exposure. Some species of mosquito larvae can thus show a very rapid habituation to predator kairomones, while others only habituate slowly depending on the predator and overall predation risk. PMID:25424265

  16. Predator exposure alters stress physiology in guppies across timescales.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Eva K; Harris, Rayna M; Hofmann, Hans A; Hoke, Kim L

    2014-02-01

    In vertebrates, glucocorticoids mediate a wide-range of responses to stressors. For this reason, they are implicated in adaptation to changes in predation pressure. Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from high-predation environments have repeatedly and independently colonized and adapted to low-predation environments, resulting in parallel changes in life history, morphology, and behavior. We validated methods for non-invasive waterborne hormone sample collection in this species, and used this technique to examine genetic and environmental effects of predation on basal glucocorticoid (cortisol) levels. To examine genetic differences, we compared waterborne cortisol levels in high- and low-predation fish from two distinct population pairs. We found that fish from high-predation localities had lower cortisol levels than their low-predation counterparts. To isolate environmental influences, we compared waterborne cortisol levels in genetically similar fish reared with and without exposure to predator chemical cues. We found that fish reared with predator chemical cues had lower waterborne cortisol levels than those reared without. Comparisons of waterborne and whole-body cortisol levels demonstrated that populations differed in overall cortisol levels in the body, whereas rearing conditions altered the release of cortisol from the body into the water. Thus, evolutionary history with predators and lifetime exposure to predator cues were both associated with lower cortisol release, but depended on distinct physiological mechanisms. PMID:24370688

  17. 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.

  18. Simulated predator attacks on flocks: a comparison of tactics.

    PubMed

    Demšar, Jure; Lebar Bajec, Iztok

    2014-01-01

    It is not exactly known why birds aggregate in coordinated flocks. The most common hypothesis proposes that the reason is protection from predators. Most of the currently developed examples of individual-based predator-prey models assume predators are attracted to the center of a highly coordinated flock. This proposed attraction of a predator to a flock would appear to be contradictory to an alternate hypothesis that flocks evolved as a protection against predation. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, in this article we use a fuzzy individual-based model to study three attack tactics (attack center, attack nearest, attack isolated) and analyze the success of predation on two types of prey (social and individualistic). Our simulations revealed that social flocking (as opposed to individualistic behavior) is the optimal anti-predatory response to predators attacking mainly isolated individuals. PMID:24730766

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. PMID:25974207

  6. 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.

  7. Physiology of Oil Seeds

    PubMed Central

    Ketring, D. L.; Morgan, P. W.

    1971-01-01

    Germination, ethylene production, and carbon dioxide production by dormant Virginia-type peanuts were determined during treatments with plant growth regulators. Kinetin, benzylaminopurine, and 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid induced extensive germination above the water controls. Benzylaminopurine and 2-chloroethylphosphonic acid increased the germination of the more dormant basal seeds to a larger extent above the controls than the less dormant apical seeds. Coumarin induced a slight stimulation of germination while abscisic acid, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and succinic acid 2,2-dimethylhydrazide did not stimulate germination above the controls. In addition to stimulating germination, the cytokinins also stimulated ethylene production by the seeds. In the case of benzylaminopurine, where the more dormant basal seeds were stimulated to germinate above the control to a larger extent than the less dormant apical seeds, correspondingly more ethylene production was induced in the basal seeds. However, the opposite was true of kinetin for both germination and ethylene production. When germination was extensively stimulated by the cytokinins, maximal ethylene and carbon dioxide evolution occurred at 24 and 72 hours, respectively. Abscisic acid inhibited ethylene production and germinaton of the seeds while carbon dioxide evolution was comparatively high. The crucial physiological event for germination of dormant peanut seeds was enhancement of ethylene production by the seeds. PMID:16657647

  8. 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.

  9. Bat predation on nocturnally migrating birds.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, C; Juste, J; García-Mudarra, J L; Agirre-Mendi, P T

    2001-08-14

    Bat predation on birds is a very rare phenomenon in nature. Most documented reports of bird-eating bats refer to tropical bats that occasionally capture resting birds. Millions of small birds concentrate and cross over the world's temperate regions during migration, mainly at night, but no nocturnal predators are known to benefit from this enormous food resource. An analysis of 14,000 fecal pellets of the greater noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) reveals that this species captures and eats large numbers of migrating passerines, making it the only bat species so far known that regularly preys on birds. The echolocation characteristics and wing morphology of this species strongly suggest that it captures birds in flight.

  10. Environmental predators as models for bacterial pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hilbi, Hubert; Weber, Stefan S; Ragaz, Curdin; Nyfeler, Yves; Urwyler, Simon

    2007-03-01

    Environmental bacteria are constantly threatened by bacterivorous predators such as free-living protozoa and nematodes. In the course of their coevolution with environmental predators, some bacteria developed sophisticated defence mechanisms, including the secretion of toxins, or the capacity to avoid lysosomal killing and to replicate intracellularly within protozoa. To analyse the interactions with bacterial pathogens on a molecular, cellular or organismic level, protozoa and other non-mammalian hosts are increasingly used. These include amoebae, as well as genetically tractable hosts, such as the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Using these hosts, the virulence mechanisms of opportunistic pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas or Vibrio were found to be not only relevant for the interactions of the bacteria with protozoa, nematodes and insect phagocytes, but also with mammalian hosts including humans. Thus, non-mammalian model hosts provide valuable insight into the pathogenesis of environmental bacteria. PMID:17298357

  11. Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Matthew R; Castoe, Todd; Holmes, Julian; Packer, Michelle; Biles, Kelsey; Walsh, Melissa; Munch, Stephan B; Post, David M

    2016-01-27

    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

  12. Autoimmunity vs. cancer: predator vs. alien?

    PubMed

    Berens, Christian; Lauber, Kirsten; Herrmann, Martin

    2013-08-01

    "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." According to this motto, the human protagonists in Paul W. S. Anderson's science-fiction movie "Alien vs. Predator" (2004) solidarize with a predator in order to fight the aliens. Can this ancient and simple logic be transferred to the field of oncology and cancer immunotherapy? Can we utilize mechanisms known from the context of autoimmunity to fight cancer? Here, we summarize immune cell-mediated detection of danger and damage, central and peripheral tolerance, immunoregulation and immune privilege--processes known to be deregulated in the context of autoimmunity. We discuss them with special regard towards their misusage by tumors and pathogens and how they might be instrumentalized in the context of anti-cancer immunotherapy.

  13. Bat predation on nocturnally migrating birds

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, Carlos; Juste, Javier; García-Mudarra, Juan L.; Agirre-Mendi, Pablo T.

    2001-01-01

    Bat predation on birds is a very rare phenomenon in nature. Most documented reports of bird-eating bats refer to tropical bats that occasionally capture resting birds. Millions of small birds concentrate and cross over the world's temperate regions during migration, mainly at night, but no nocturnal predators are known to benefit from this enormous food resource. An analysis of 14,000 fecal pellets of the greater noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) reveals that this species captures and eats large numbers of migrating passerines, making it the only bat species so far known that regularly preys on birds. The echolocation characteristics and wing morphology of this species strongly suggest that it captures birds in flight. PMID:11493689

  14. Neurobiology of acoustically mediated predator detection.

    PubMed

    Pollack, Gerald S

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasound-driven avoidance responses have evolved repeatedly throughout the insecta as defenses against predation by echolocating bats. Although the auditory mechanics of ears and the properties of auditory receptor neurons have been studied in a number of groups, central neural processing of ultrasound stimuli has been examined in only a few cases. In this review, I summarize the neuronal basis for ultrasound detection and predator avoidance in crickets, tettigoniids, moths, and mantises, where central circuits have been studied most thoroughly. Several neuronal attributes, including steep intensity-response functions, high firing rates, and rapid spike conduction emerge as common themes of avoidance circuits. I discuss the functional consequences of these attributes, as well as the increasing complexity with which ultrasound stimuli are represented at successive levels of processing.

  15. Sexually violent predators and civil commitment laws.

    PubMed

    Kendall, Wanda D Beyer; 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 Websites identify 16 states that have civil commitment statutes to address the problem and treatment of SVPs, four states that are in the process of passing such laws, six states that failed to enact proposed statutes, six states that lack SVP legislation, and 18 states that do not have relevant data available. The majority of such laws have created a false sense of safety because they address only convicted sex offenders. New approaches to the civil commitment of sexually violent predators have created multifaceted demands, controversy, ethical dilemmas, and learning opportunities. It is advised that research should be focused on the parameters of sexually violent behaviors, program flexibility, and treatment effectiveness.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:27070017

  19. 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

  20. Habitat-former effects on prey behaviour increase predation and non-predation mortality.

    PubMed

    Gribben, Paul E; Wright, Jeffrey T

    2014-03-01

    Habitat-forming species can influence mortality on associated species via altering structural and non-structural abiotic conditions. Importantly, these effects can occur simultaneously and in opposite directions, although how they contribute to the net outcomes for predator-prey interactions remain unexplored. Seagrasses often have positive effects on associated fauna because their structure directly reduces predator encounter rates. However, we identified a 'risky' behaviour (shallower burial) in an infaunal bivalve at a high seagrass cover--likely induced by non-structural abiotic change--suggesting positive effects may be outweighed by risky behaviours. We determined whether the physical structure of the seagrass interacted with burial behaviour of clams to determine the predation and non-predation mortality and whether these interactions were mediated by the cover of the seagrass. Surveys on an intertidal sand flat in Tasmania, Australia showed that the highest densities of a dominant bivalve, Katelysia scalarina, occurred at low (33%) seagrass cover, but the lowest densities and the highest proportion of unburied clams occurred at high (100%) cover. A field experiment manipulating burial depth, seagrass cover and predator access demonstrated that unburied clams suffered very high predation and non-predation mortality compared to buried clams (~4x higher), which outweighed any positive effects of the seagrass structure in reducing predator access. Being unburied also had non-lethal consequences with surviving unburied clams having a reduced tissue biomass compared to buried clams. In this system, predation was driven by the availability of prey when they undertake a risky behaviour (shallow burial). However, significant changes in behaviour may only occur once a threshold of habitat-former density is reached. In this instance, changes in behaviour were likely due to seagrass effects on sediment redox potential, which decreased significantly above 33% seagrass

  1. The rules of engagement: how to defend against combinations of predators.

    PubMed

    Hoverman, Jason T; Relyea, Rick A

    2007-12-01

    Studies of inducible defenses have traditionally examined prey responses to one predator at a time. However, prey in nature encounter combinations of predators that should force them to produce phenotypic compromises. We examined how snails (Helisoma trivolvis) alter their phenotype in the presence of three different predator species that were presented alone and in pairwise combinations. When snails were exposed to each predator alone, they formed predator-specific defenses that reflected the differences in each predator's foraging mode. When snails were exposed to pairwise combinations of predators, their phenotype was dependent on their ability to detect each predator, the risk posed by each predator, and the effectiveness of a given defense against each predator. Consequently, responses to combined predators were typically biased towards one of the predators in the pair. This suggests that prey facing combined predators do not form simple intermediate defenses and, as a result, may experience enhanced mortality risk when they encounter natural predator regimes.

  2. The numerical and functional responses of a granivorous rodent and the fate of Neotropical tree seeds.

    PubMed

    Klinger, Rob; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2009-06-01

    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/m2), (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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Environmental deterioration increases tadpole vulnerability to predation.

    PubMed

    Squires, Zoe E; Bailey, Paul C E; Reina, Richard D; Wong, Bob B M

    2008-08-23

    Human-induced environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented rate and scale. Many freshwater habitats, in particular, have been degraded as a result of increased salinity. Little is known about the effects of anthropogenic salinization on freshwater organisms, especially at sublethal concentrations, where subtle behavioural changes can have potentially drastic fitness consequences. Using a species of Australian frog (Litoria ewingii), we experimentally examined the effects of salinization on tadpole behaviour and their vulnerability to a predatory dragonfly nymph (Hemianax papuensis). We found that tadpoles exposed to an ecologically relevant concentration of salt (15% seawater, SW) were less active than those in our freshwater control (0.4% SW). Tadpoles in elevated salinity also experienced a higher risk of predation, even though the strike rate of the predator did not differ between salt and freshwater treatments. In a separate experiment testing the burst-speed performance of tadpoles, we found that tadpoles in saltwater were slower than those in freshwater. Thus, it would appear that salt compromised the anti-predator response of tadpoles and made them more susceptible to being captured. Our results demonstrate that environmentally relevant concentrations of aquatic contaminants can, even at sublethal levels, severely undermine the fitness of exposed organisms. PMID:18492650

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:18177327

  9. Phenotypic plasticity in anti-intraguild predator strategies: mite larvae adjust their behaviours according to vulnerability and predation risk.

    PubMed

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-05-01

    Interspecific threat-sensitivity allows prey to maximize the net benefit of antipredator strategies by adjusting the type and intensity of their response to the level of predation risk. This is well documented for classical prey-predator interactions but less so for intraguild predation (IGP). We examined threat-sensitivity in antipredator behaviour of larvae in a predatory mite guild sharing spider mites as prey. The guild consisted of the highly vulnerable intraguild (IG) prey and weak IG predator Phytoseiulus persimilis, the moderately vulnerable IG prey and moderate IG predator Neoseiulus californicus and the little vulnerable IG prey and strong IG predator Amblyseius andersoni. We videotaped the behaviour of the IG prey larvae of the three species in presence of either a low- or a high-risk IG predator female or predator absence and analysed time, distance, path shape and interaction parameters of predators and prey. The least vulnerable IG prey A. andersoni was insensitive to differing IGP risks but the moderately vulnerable IG prey N. californicus and the highly vulnerable IG prey P. persimilis responded in a threat-sensitive manner. Predator presence triggered threat-sensitive behavioural changes in one out of ten measured traits in N. californicus larvae but in four traits in P. persimilis larvae. Low-risk IG predator presence induced a typical escape response in P. persimilis larvae, whereas they reduced their activity in the high-risk IG predator presence. We argue that interspecific threat-sensitivity may promote co-existence of IG predators and IG prey and should be common in predator guilds with long co-evolutionary history.

  10. 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.

  11. Survey of predators and sampling method comparison in sweet corn.

    PubMed

    Musser, Fred R; Nyrop, Jan P; Shelton, Anthony M

    2004-02-01

    Natural predation is an important component of integrated pest management that is often overlooked because it is difficult to quantify and perceived to be unreliable. To begin incorporating natural predation into sweet corn, Zea mays L., pest management, a predator survey was conducted and then three sampling methods were compared for their ability to accurately monitor the most abundant predators. A predator survey on sweet corn foliage in New York between 1999 and 2001 identified 13 species. Orius insidiosus (Say), Coleomegilla maculata (De Geer), and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) were the most numerous predators in all years. To determine the best method for sampling adult and immature stages of these predators, comparisons were made among nondestructive field counts, destructive counts, and yellow sticky cards. Field counts were correlated with destructive counts for all populations, but field counts of small insects were biased. Sticky cards underrepresented immature populations. Yellow sticky cards were more attractive to C. maculata adults than H. axyridis adults, especially before pollen shed, making coccinellid population estimates based on sticky cards unreliable. Field counts were the most precise method for monitoring adult and immature stages of the three major predators. Future research on predicting predation of pests in sweet corn should be based on field counts of predators because these counts are accurate, have no associated supply costs, and can be made quickly. PMID:14998137

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

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Large, Scott I; Smee, Delbert L

    2013-04-01

    The expression of prey antipredator defenses is often related to ambient consumer pressure, and prey express greater defenses under intense consumer pressure. Predation is generally greater at lower latitudes, and antipredator defenses often display a biogeographic pattern. Predation pressure may also vary significantly between habitats within latitudes, making biogeographic patterns difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, invasive predators may also influence the expression of prey defenses in ecological time. The purpose of this study was to determine how these factors influence the strength of antipredator responses. To assess patterns in prey antipredator defenses based upon geographic range (north vs. south), habitat type (wave-protected vs. wave-exposed shores), and invasive predators, we examined how native rock (Cancer irroratus) and invasive green (Carcinus maenas) crab predators influence the behavioral and morphological defenses of dogwhelk (Nucella lapillus) prey from habitats that differ in wave exposure across an ~230 km range within the Gulf of Maine. The expression of behavioral and morphological antipredatory responses varied according to wave exposure, geographic location, and predator species. Dogwhelks from areas with an established history with green crabs exhibited the largest behavioral and morphological antipredator responses to green crabs. Dogwhelk behavioral responses to rock crabs did not vary between habitats or geographic regions, although morphological responses were greater further south where predation pressure was greatest. These findings suggest that dogwhelk responses to invasive and native predators vary according to geographic location and habitat, and are strongly affected by ambient predation pressure due to the invasion history of an exotic predator. PMID:23001623

  14. Conspecific density modulates the effect of predation on dispersal rates.

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Fitzjohn, Richard G; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-08-01

    Dispersal decisions underlie the spatial dynamics of metacommunities. Prey individuals may disperse to reduce the risk of either predation or starvation, and both of these risks may depend on conspecific density. Surprisingly, there is little theory examining how dispersal rates should change in response to the combined effects of predation and changes in conspecific density. We develop such a model and show that, under certain conditions, predators may induce dispersal at low prey densities but not high prey densities. We then experimentally manipulate the density of the ciliate Paramecium aurelia and the perceived presence of its predator, the flatworm Stenostomum virginiamum, in a two-patch metacommunity to parameterise the model. Paramecium dispersed in response to Stenostomum at low densities, but they reduced their dispersal in response to predation risk at high predator densities. By applying our model to the empirical data, we show that this switch in dispersal strategy, linked to increases in prey density, occurred because predators increased the difficulty or risk of dispersal. Together, the model and experiment reveal that the effects of predators on dispersal are contingent on prey density. Previous studies have sometimes reported an increase in dispersal rate when predation risk is elevated, and other times a decrease in dispersal rate. Our demonstration of a switch point, with predation risk increasing dispersal at low prey densities but reducing dispersal above a threshold of prey density, may reconcile the diversity of prey dispersal behaviours reported in these previous investigations and observed in nature. PMID:25820788

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Predator cannibalism can intensify negative impacts on heterospecific prey.

    PubMed

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

    Although natural populations consist of individuals with different traits, and the degree of phenotypic variation varies among populations, the impact of phenotypic variation on ecological interactions has received little attention, because traditional approaches to community ecology assume homogeneity of individuals within a population. Stage structure, which is a common way of generating size and developmental variation within predator populations, can drive cannibalistic interactions, which can affect the strength of predatory effects on the predator's heterospecific prey. Studies have shown that predator cannibalism weakens predatory effects on heterospecific prey by reducing the size of the predator population and by inducing less feeding activity of noncannibal predators. We predict, however, that predator cannibalism, by promoting rapid growth of the cannibals, can also intensify predation pressure on heterospecific prey, because large predators have large resource requirements and may utilize a wider variety of prey species. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an experiment in which we created carnivorous salamander (Hynobius retardatus) populations with different stage structures by manipulating the salamander's hatch timing (i.e., populations with large or small variation in the timing of hatching), and explored the resultant impacts on the abundance, behavior, morphology, and life history of the salamander's large heterospecific prey, Rana pirica frog tadpoles. Cannibalism was rare in salamander populations having small hatch-timing variation, but was frequent in those having large hatch-timing variation. Thus, giant salamander cannibals occurred only in the latter. We clearly showed that salamander giants exerted strong predation pressure on frog tadpoles, which induced large behavioral and morphological defenses in the tadpoles and caused them to metamorphose late at large size. Hence, predator cannibalism arising from large variation in the timing

  18. 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.

  19. Habitat selection and consumption across a landscape of multiple predators

    PubMed Central

    Wesner, Jeff S; Meyers, Peter; Billman, Eric J; Belk, Mark C

    2015-01-01

    Predator community composition can alter habitat quality for prey by changing the strength and direction of consumptive effects. Whether predator community composition also alters prey density via nonconsumptive effects during habitat selection is not well known, but is important for understanding how changes to predator communities will alter prey populations. We tested the hypothesis that predator community composition (presence of caged trout, caged dragonflies, or caged trout + dragonflies) alters colonization of aquatic mesocosms by ovipositing aquatic insects. In a previous experiment in this system, we found a spatial contagion effect, in which insects avoided pools with predators, but only when predator-free pools were isolated (∼5 m away from predator pools). Here, we removed the isolated predator-free pools, allowing us to test whether insects would make fine-scale (∼1 m) oviposition decisions in the absence of preferred isolated pools. We also estimated consumptive effects by allowing predators to feed on colonists for 5 days following colonization. All insects collected after 21 days were dipterans, dominated by Chironomidae. Total colonization, measured as the number of developing larvae after 21 days, was not affected by either predator presence or composition. Consumption was significant in the trout only treatment, reducing larval insect density by 46 ± 37% (mean ± SE). No other predator treatment significantly reduced prey de