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Sample records for predation index predator

  1. 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…

  2. 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)

  3. 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…

  4. Developing a Predation Index and Evaluating Ways to Reduce Salmonid Losses to Predation in the Columbia River Basin, Annual Progress Report August 1988-September 1989.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.

    1989-12-01

    We are reporting progress on the predator-prey study for the period August 28, 1988 to September 1, 1989. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the feasibility of an index for assessment of predation in various reservoirs throughout the Columbia River basin, to describe the relationships among predator-caused mortality of smolts and physical and biological variables; to examine the feasibility of developing bounty, commercial or recreational fisheries on northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonesis); and to develop a plan to evaluate the efficacy of predator control fisheries. Literature searches on predator abundance indexing and factors regulating fish population dynamics have been conducted; selected references have been summarized, and compiled in a key-word bibliography format. The feasibility of various types of predator abundance indices is being assessed; existing data relevant to mark-recapture, catch per unit effort (CPUE), physical and chemical variables, and reservoir morphology have been compiled, reviewed, and summarized. In cases where sufficient data exist, preliminary implementation of predator abundance indices has been demonstrated. Field sampling in John Day Reservoir was conducted during May to August, 1989 -- to continue time series data bases on northern squawfish CPUE and growth, and to evaluate the possibility of year class strength determinations of northern squawfish and walleyes using restricted sampling. Development of plans has begun for fishery implementation and evaluation. 184 refs., 33 figs., 35 tabs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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)

  8. Developing a Predation Index and Evaluating Ways to Reduce Salmonid Losses to Predation in the Columbia River Basin, Final Report August 1988-September 1990.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.

    1990-12-01

    We report our results of studies to develop a predation index and evaluate ways to reduce juvenile salmonid losses to predation in the Columbia River Basin. Study objectives of each were: develop an index to estimate predation losses of juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp) in reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin, describe the relationships among predator-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids and physical and biological variables, examine the feasibility of developing bounty, commercial or recreational fisheries on northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) and develop a plan to evaluate the efficacy of predator control fisheries; determine the economic feasibility of developing bounty and commercial fisheries for northern squawfish, assist ODFW with evaluating the economic feasibility of recreational fisheries for northern squawfish and assess the economic feasibility of utilizing northern squawfish, carp (Cyprinus carpio) and suckers (Castostomus spp) in multispecies fisheries; evaluate commercial technology of various fishing methods for harvesting northern squawfish in Columbia River reservoirs and field test the effectiveness of selected harvesting systems, holding facilities and transportation systems; and modify the existing Columbia River Ecosystem Model (CREM) to include processes necessary to evaluate effects of removing northern squawfish on their population size structure and abundance, document the ecological processes, mathematical equations and computer (FORTRAN) programming of the revised version of CREM and conduct systematic analyses of various predator removal scenarios, using revised CREM to generate the simulations. Individual reports are indexed separately.

  9. 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)

  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. Development of a System Wide Predator Control Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin; Section II: Evaluation; 1996 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Franklin R.

    1997-11-01

    Predator control fisheries aimed at reducing predation on juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) were implemented for the seventh consecutive year in the mainstream Columbia and Snake rivers.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. Sublethal effects of catch-and-release fishing: measuring capture stress, fish impairment, and predation risk using a condition index

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, Matthew D.; Patino, Reynaldo; Tolan, J.M.; Strauss, R.E.; Diamond, S.

    2009-01-01

    The sublethal effects of simulated capture of red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) were analysed using physiological responses, condition indexing, and performance variables. Simulated catch-and-release fishing included combinations of depth of capture and thermocline exposure reflective of environmental conditions experienced in the Gulf of Mexico. Frequency of occurrence of barotrauma and lack of reflex response exhibited considerable individual variation. When combined into a single condition or impairment index, individual variation was reduced, and impairment showed significant increases as depth increased and with the addition of thermocline exposure. Performance variables, such as burst swimming speed (BSS) and simulated predator approach distance (AD), were also significantly different by depth. BSSs and predator ADs decreased with increasing depth, were lowest immediately after release, and were affected for up to 15 min, with longer recovery times required as depth increased. The impairment score developed was positively correlated with cortisol concentration and negatively correlated with both BSS and simulated predator AD. The impairment index proved to be an efficient method to estimate the overall impairment of red snapper in the laboratory simulations of capture and shows promise for use in field conditions, to estimate release mortality and vulnerability to predation.

  16. Development of a System-Wide Program, Volume II : Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, 1992 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, David L.; Nigro, Anthony A.; Willis, Charles F.

    1994-06-01

    The authors report their results of studies to determine the extent to which northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids is a problem in the Columbia River Basin, and to evaluate how effectively fisheries can be used to control northern squawfish populations and reduce juvenile salmonid losses to predation. These studies were initiated as part of a basinwide program to control northern squawfish predation and reduce mortality of juvenile salmonids on their migration to the ocean. Three papers are included in this report. They are entitled: (1) Development of a Systemwide Predator Control Program: Indexing and Fisheries Evaluation; (2) Economic, Social and Legal Feasibility of Commercial Sport, and Bounty Fisheries on Northern Squawfish; (3) Columbia River Ecosystem Model (CREM): Modeling Approach for Evaluation of Control of Northern Squawfish Populations using Fisheries Exploitation.

  17. 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

  18. Production of coleopteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. Development of a System-Wide Predator Control Program : Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, 1990 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.

    1990-12-01

    The papers in this document report the results of studies to develop a Columbia River basin-wide program to control northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids. Our studies focus on (1) determining where in the basin northern squawfish predation is a problem, (2) conducting various fisheries for northern squawfish, and (3) testing a plan to evaluate how well fisheries are controlling northern squawfish populations. These studies were initiated as part of a basin-wide effort to reduce mortality of juvenile salmonids on their journey from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River basin suggested predation by northern squawfish on juvenile salmonids may account for most of the 10 to 20 percent mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982--1988 indicated it is not necessary to eradicate northern squawfish to substantially reduce predation-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids. Instead, if northern squawfish were exploited at a 20 percent rate, reductions in their numbers and restructuring of their populations could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50 percent. We tested three fisheries in 1990, a tribal long-line fishery, a recreational-reward fishery, and a dam hook-and-line fishery.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Development of a Systemwide Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, Volume 1, 1992 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, David L.

    1994-06-01

    Results of the second year are reported of a basinwide program to harvest northern squawfish in an effort to reduce mortality due to squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids during their migration from natal streams to the ocean. Six papers are included in this report. They are entitled: feasibility investigation of a commercial longline fishery for northern squawfish in the Columbia River downstream from Bonneville dam; evaluation of the northern squawfish sport-reward fishery in the Columbia and Snake Rivers; controlled angling for northern squawfish at selected dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in 1992; evaluation of harvest technology for squawfish control in Columbia River reservoirs; effectiveness of predator-removal for protecting juvenile fall chinook salmon released from Bonneville Hatchery; and Northern squawfish sport-reward payments.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Development of a System-Wide Predator Control Program : Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin, 1991 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Nigro, Anthony A.; Willis, Charles F.

    1993-02-01

    We report our results from the first year of a basin-wide program to harvest northern squawfish in an effort to reduce mortality due to northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River basin suggested predation by northern squawfish on juvenile salmonids may account for most of the 10 to 20 percent mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated it is not necessary to eradicate northern squawfish to substantially reduce predation-caused mortality of juvenile salmonids. Instead, if northern squawfish were exploited at a 10 to 20 percent rate, reductions in their numbers and restructuring of their populations could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50 percent or more. Consequently, we designed and tested a sport reward hook-and-line fishery and a longline fishery in the John Day pool in 1990. Based on the successfulness of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a multi-pool or system wide scale in 1991: a tribal longline fishery, a sport reward fishery, and a dam angling (hook-and-line) fishery. In addition, we examined several alternative harvest techniques to determine their potential for use in system-wide test fisheries. Evaluation of the success of the three test fisheries conducted in 1991 in achieving a 20 percent exploitation rate on northern squawfish, together with information regarding the economic, social, and legal feasibility of sustaining each fishery, is presented in Section II of this report.

  13. Development of a System-Wide Predator Control Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2001 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Winther, Eric C.; Fox, Lyle G.

    2003-03-01

    This report presents results for year eleven in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Report on the Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Program Evaluation for the Columbia River Basin Experimental Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2008 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell .

    2009-09-10

    This report presents results for year seventeen in the basin-wide Experimental Northern Pikeminnow Management Program to harvest northern pikeminnow1 (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) in the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991 - a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional

  17. Stability of an intraguild predation system with mutual predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yuanshi; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 2000 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Grassley, James M.; Grue, Christian E.; Major, III, Walter

    2002-01-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of juvenile spring chinook salmon in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)--whose goal is to increase natural production historically present within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research--conducted by Dr. Steve Mathews and David Phinney of the University of Washington--confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon, and that under certain conditions could impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) was asked by the YKFP and the WDFW to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Phinney et al. (1998) were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') continued through 2000. In 2000, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls at Hotspots was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by all other piscivorous birds was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. Further development of the avian consumption index model provided an estimation of smolt consumption for the 2000 survey season. Seasonal patterns of avian piscivore abundance were identified, diurnal patterns of gull abundance at hotspots were identified, predation indices were calculated for hotspots and spring and summer river reaches, and the efficacy of aerial surveys for estimating bird abundance within river

  19. Development of a System-Wide Predator Control Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2002 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Winther, Eric C.; Fox, Lyle G.

    2004-01-01

    This report presents results for year twelve in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow1 (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and damangling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional effective harvest techniques. During 1991 and 1992, we developed and tested a modified

  20. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 1999 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Gassley, James M.; Grue, Christian E.

    2001-10-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of juvenile spring chinook salmon in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakama/Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)--whose goal is to increase natural production historically present within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research--conducted by Dr. Steve Mathews and David Phinney of the University of Washington--confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon, and that under certain conditions could significantly impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit was asked by the YKFP and the WDFW to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Mathews and Phinney were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') continued. New efforts initiated in 1999 included piscivorous bird surveys at smolt acclimation sites operated by the Yakama Nation, monitoring of the North Fork Teanaway River for changes in avian piscivore abundance associated with the installation of the Jack Creek acclimation facility, and aerial surveys seeking to identify avian piscivores along the length of the Yakima River. In 1999, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by Common Mergansers (which forage underwater) was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. A second-order polynomial equation was used to

  1. Development of an Index to Bird Predation of Juvenile Salmonids within the Yakima River, 2001 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Major, III, Walter; Grue, Christian E.; Ryding, Kristen E.

    2002-08-01

    Avian predation of fish is suspected to contribute to the loss of out-migrating juvenile salmonids in the Yakima Basin, potentially constraining natural and artificial production. In 1997 and 1998, the Yakima/ Klickitat Fisheries Project (YKFP)--whose goal is increasing natural production within the Yakima River--initiated investigations to assess the feasibility of developing an index to avian predation of juvenile salmon within the river. This research confirmed that Ring-billed Gulls and Common Mergansers were the primary avian predators of juvenile salmon (Phinney et al. 1998), and that under certain conditions could significantly impact migrating smolt populations. Beginning in 1999, the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) was asked by the YKFP to continue development of avian consumption indices. Monitoring methods developed by Phinney et al. (1998) were adopted (with modifications) and monitoring of impacts to juvenile salmon along river reaches and at areas of high predator/prey concentrations (colloquially referred to as ''hotspots'') has continued each year through 2001. In 2001, piscivorous birds were counted from river banks at hotspots and from a raft or drift boat along river reaches. Consumption by gulls at hotspots was based on direct observations of foraging success and modeled abundance; consumption by all other piscivorous birds was estimated using published dietary requirements and modeled abundance. Seasonal patterns of avian piscivore abundance were identified, diurnal patterns of gull abundance at hotspots were identified, and predation indices were calculated for hotspots and river reaches (for both spring and summer). Changes in survey methods in 2001 included the addition of surveys in the ''Canyon'' reach during spring and altering the method of directly measuring gull feeding rates at hotspots. Primary avian predators in 2001 were ''gulls'' (California and Ring-billed) at hotspots and Common Mergansers within

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

  4. Development of a System-Wide Predator Control Program: Stepwise Implementation of a Predation Index, Predator Control Fisheries, and Evaluation Plan in the Columbia River Basin; Northern Pikeminnow Management Program, 2000 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, Russell G.; Glaser, Bryce G.; Amren, Jennifer

    2003-03-01

    This report presents results for year ten in a basin-wide program to harvest northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). This program was started in an effort to reduce predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids during their emigration from natal streams to the ocean. Earlier work in the Columbia River Basin suggested predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids might account for most of the 10-20% mortality juvenile salmonids experience in each of eight Columbia River and Snake River reservoirs. Modeling simulations based on work in John Day Reservoir from 1982 through 1988 indicated that, if predator-size northern pikeminnow were exploited at a 10-20% rate, the resulting restructuring of their population could reduce their predation on juvenile salmonids by 50%. To test this hypothesis, we implemented a sport-reward angling fishery and a commercial longline fishery in the John Day Pool in 1990. We also conducted an angling fishery in areas inaccessible to the public at four dams on the mainstem Columbia River and at Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. Based on the success of these limited efforts, we implemented three test fisheries on a system-wide scale in 1991--a tribal longline fishery above Bonneville Dam, a sport-reward fishery, and a dam-angling fishery. Low catch of target fish and high cost of implementation resulted in discontinuation of the tribal longline fishery. However, the sport-reward and dam-angling fisheries were continued in 1992 and 1993. In 1992, we investigated the feasibility of implementing a commercial longline fishery in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam and found that implementation of this fishery was also infeasible. Estimates of combined annual exploitation rates resulting from the sport-reward and damangling fisheries remained at the low end of our target range of 10-20%. This suggested the need for additional effective harvest techniques. During 1991 and 1992, we developed and tested a modified

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Toward Reliable Estimates of Abundance: Comparing Index Methods to Assess the Abundance of a Mammalian Predator

    PubMed Central

    Güthlin, Denise; Storch, Ilse; Küchenhoff, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Due to time and financial constraints indices are often used to obtain landscape-scale estimates of relative species abundance. Using two different field methods and comparing the results can help to detect possible bias or a non monotonic relationship between the index and the true abundance, providing more reliable results. We used data obtained from camera traps and feces counts to independently estimate relative abundance of red foxes in the Black Forest, a forested landscape in southern Germany. Applying negative binomial regression models, we identified landscape parameters that influence red fox abundance, which we then used to predict relative red fox abundance. We compared the estimated regression coefficients of the landscape parameters and the predicted abundance of the two methods. Further, we compared the costs and the precision of the two field methods. The predicted relative abundances were similar between the two methods, suggesting that the two indices were closely related to the true abundance of red foxes. For both methods, landscape diversity and edge density best described differences in the indices and had positive estimated effects on the relative fox abundance. In our study the costs of each method were of similar magnitude, but the sample size obtained from the feces counts (262 transects) was larger than the camera trap sample size (88 camera locations). The precision of the camera traps was lower than the precision of the feces counts. The approach we applied can be used as a framework to compare and combine the results of two or more different field methods to estimate abundance and by this enhance the reliability of the result. PMID:24743565

  9. Toward reliable estimates of abundance: comparing index methods to assess the abundance of a Mammalian predator.

    PubMed

    Güthlin, Denise; Storch, Ilse; Küchenhoff, Helmut

    2014-01-01

    Due to time and financial constraints indices are often used to obtain landscape-scale estimates of relative species abundance. Using two different field methods and comparing the results can help to detect possible bias or a non monotonic relationship between the index and the true abundance, providing more reliable results. We used data obtained from camera traps and feces counts to independently estimate relative abundance of red foxes in the Black Forest, a forested landscape in southern Germany. Applying negative binomial regression models, we identified landscape parameters that influence red fox abundance, which we then used to predict relative red fox abundance. We compared the estimated regression coefficients of the landscape parameters and the predicted abundance of the two methods. Further, we compared the costs and the precision of the two field methods. The predicted relative abundances were similar between the two methods, suggesting that the two indices were closely related to the true abundance of red foxes. For both methods, landscape diversity and edge density best described differences in the indices and had positive estimated effects on the relative fox abundance. In our study the costs of each method were of similar magnitude, but the sample size obtained from the feces counts (262 transects) was larger than the camera trap sample size (88 camera locations). The precision of the camera traps was lower than the precision of the feces counts. The approach we applied can be used as a framework to compare and combine the results of two or more different field methods to estimate abundance and by this enhance the reliability of the result. PMID:24743565

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. PMID:27075257

  16. 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

  17. Does nonrandom nest placement imply nonrandom nest predation? - A reply

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, R.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Zenitsky, G.D.; Mullin, S.J.; Dececco, J.D.; Marshall, M.R.; Wolf, D.J.; Pomara, L.Y.

    1999-01-01

    In response to the critique by Schmidt and Whelan (Condor 101(4):916-920, 1999), we find that the relationship between nest success and tree selectivity is dependent upon inclusion or exclusion of particular tree species, whether or not years are pooled, and the selectivity index used. We question their use of point estimates of nest success with extremely high variances, defend our index, question the application of the Chesson (1983) index to our data, and explain the need to analyze years separately. Bottomland hardwood forest systems are extremely variable; hydroperiods alter the suitability of nesting substrates, availability of alternative food, and behavior of predators and their prey. Given these features, actively searching for Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nests is seldom an efficient predator foraging strategy. Therefore, these predation events are best described as random; nests are principally encountered opportunistically by generalist predators while searching for other prey.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Rahmani, Hasan; Daneshmandi, Aliakbar; Walzer, Andreas

    2015-12-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Predator population depending on lemming cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Low-Reynolds-number predator.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Low-Reynolds-number predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Petersen, James H.

    2001-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Scaling laws of marine predator search behaviour.

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-28

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean.

    PubMed

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

    2003-08-19

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

  14. 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.

  15. Predator diversity hotspots in the blue ocean

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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 density, although the proportion of chironomid larvae in protective cases increased in response to direct predation from dragonflies, indicating an antipredatory behavioral response. Taken together, these results reveal that predator community composition altered larval survival and behavior, but colonizing females either did not or could not assess these risks across small scales during oviposition. PMID:25628869

  20. Cannibalistic Predator-Prey Model with Disease in Predator — A Delay Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biswas, Santosh; Samanta, Sudip; Chattopadhyay, Joydev

    In this paper, we propose and analyze a cannibalistic predator-prey model with a transmissible disease in the predator population. The disease can be transmitted through contacts with infected individuals as well as the cannibalism of an infected predator. We also consider incubation delay in disease transmission, where the incubation period represents the time in which the infectious agent develops in the host. Local stability analysis of the system around the biologically feasible equilibria is studied. Bifurcation analysis of the system around interior equilibrium is also studied. Applying the normal form theory and central manifold theorem, the direction of Hopf bifurcation, the stability and the period of bifurcating periodic solutions are derived. Under appropriate conditions, the permanence of the system with time delay is proved. Our results suggest that incubation delay destabilizes the system and can produce chaos. We also observe that cannibalism can control disease and population oscillations. Extensive numerical simulations are performed to support our analytical results.

  1. Diet quality in a wild grazer declines under the threat of an ambush predator.

    PubMed

    Barnier, Florian; Valeix, Marion; Duncan, Patrick; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Barre, Philippe; Loveridge, Andrew J; Macdonald, David W; Fritz, Hervé

    2014-06-22

    Predators influence prey populations not only through predation itself, but also indirectly through prompting changes in prey behaviour. The behavioural adjustments of prey to predation risk may carry nutritional costs, but this has seldom been studied in the wild in large mammals. Here, we studied the effects of an ambush predator, the African lion (Panthera leo), on the diet quality of plains zebras (Equus quagga) in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. We combined information on movements of both prey and predators, using GPS data, and measurements of faecal crude protein, an index of diet quality in the prey. Zebras which had been in close proximity to lions had a lower quality diet, showing that adjustments in behaviour when lions are within short distance carry nutritional costs. The ultimate fitness cost will depend on the frequency of predator-prey encounters and on whether bottom-up or top-down forces are more important in the prey population. Our finding is the first attempt to our knowledge to assess nutritionally mediated risk effects in a large mammalian prey species under the threat of an ambush predator, and brings support to the hypothesis that the behavioural effects of predation induce important risk effects on prey populations.

  2. Does Predation Influence the Seasonal and Diel Timing of Moose Calving in Central Ontario, Canada?

    PubMed Central

    Patterson, Brent R.; Mills, Kenneth J.; Middel, Kevin R.; Benson, John F.; Obbard, Martyn E.

    2016-01-01

    Birth synchrony is well documented among ungulates and is hypothesised to maximize neonate survival, either by minimizing the risk of predation through predator swamping or by synchronising birthing with increased seasonal food availability. We used encapsulated vaginal implant transmitters to locate and capture neonatal moose calves and document the seasonal and diel timing of parturition in two adjacent study areas with different predation pressure in central Ontario, Canada. We tested the hypothesis that predation promotes earlier and more synchronous birth of moose calves. Across both areas, proportionately more births occurred during the afternoon and fewer than expected occurred overnight. Mean date of calving averaged 1.5 days earlier and calving was also more synchronous in the study area with heavier predation pressure, despite average green-up date and peak Normalized Difference Vegetation Index date occurring 2 days later in this study area than in the area receiving lighter predation pressure. We encourage analysis of data on timing of parturition from additional study areas experiencing varying degrees of predation pressure to better clarify the influence of predation in driving seasonal and diel timing of parturition in temperate ungulates. PMID:27082234

  3. Does Predation Influence the Seasonal and Diel Timing of Moose Calving in Central Ontario, Canada?

    PubMed

    Patterson, Brent R; Mills, Kenneth J; Middel, Kevin R; Benson, John F; Obbard, Martyn E

    2016-01-01

    Birth synchrony is well documented among ungulates and is hypothesised to maximize neonate survival, either by minimizing the risk of predation through predator swamping or by synchronising birthing with increased seasonal food availability. We used encapsulated vaginal implant transmitters to locate and capture neonatal moose calves and document the seasonal and diel timing of parturition in two adjacent study areas with different predation pressure in central Ontario, Canada. We tested the hypothesis that predation promotes earlier and more synchronous birth of moose calves. Across both areas, proportionately more births occurred during the afternoon and fewer than expected occurred overnight. Mean date of calving averaged 1.5 days earlier and calving was also more synchronous in the study area with heavier predation pressure, despite average green-up date and peak Normalized Difference Vegetation Index date occurring 2 days later in this study area than in the area receiving lighter predation pressure. We encourage analysis of data on timing of parturition from additional study areas experiencing varying degrees of predation pressure to better clarify the influence of predation in driving seasonal and diel timing of parturition in temperate ungulates.

  4. Predation on exotic zebra mussels by native fishes: Effects on predator and prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, D.D.; Lewis, L.C.

    2002-01-01

    1. Exotic zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, occur in southern U.S. waterways in high densities, but little is known about the interaction between native fish predators and zebra mussels. Previous studies have suggested that exotic zebra mussels are low profitability prey items and native vertebrate predators are unlikely to reduce zebra mussel densities. We tested these hypotheses by observing prey use of fishes, determining energy content of primary prey species of fishes, and conducting predator exclusion experiments in Lake Dardanelle, Arkansas. 2. Zebra mussels were the primary prey eaten by 52.9% of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus; 48.2% of freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens; and 100% of adult redear sunfish, Lepomis microlophus. Blue catfish showed distinct seasonal prey shifts, feeding on zebra mussels in summer and shad, Dorosoma spp., during winter. Energy content (joules g-1) of blue catfish prey (threadfin shad, Dorosoma petenense; gizzard shad, D. cepedianum; zebra mussels; and asiatic clams, Corbicula fluminea) showed a significant species by season interaction, but shad were always significantly greater in energy content than bivalves examined as either ash-free dry mass or whole organism dry mass. Fish predators significantly reduced densities of large zebra mussels (>5 mm length) colonising clay tiles in the summers of 1997 and 1998, but predation effects on small zebra mussels (???5 mm length) were less clear. 3. Freshwater drum and redear sunfish process bivalve prey by crushing shells and obtain low amounts of higher-energy food (only the flesh), whereas blue catfish lack a shell-crushing apparatus and ingest large amounts of low-energy food per unit time (bivalves with their shells). Blue catfish appeared to select the abundant zebra mussel over the more energetically rich shad during summer, then shifted to shad during winter when shad experienced temperature-dependent stress and mortality. Native fish predators can suppress adult zebra

  5. Enhanced understanding of predator-prey relationships using molecular methods to identify predator species, individual and sex.

    PubMed

    Mumma, Matthew A; Soulliere, Colleen E; Mahoney, Shane P; Waits, Lisette P

    2014-01-01

    Predator species identification is an important step in understanding predator-prey interactions, but predator identifications using kill site observations are often unreliable. We used molecular tools to analyse predator saliva, scat and hair from caribou calf kills in Newfoundland, Canada to identify the predator species, individual and sex. We sampled DNA from 32 carcasses using cotton swabs to collect predator saliva. We used fragment length analysis and sequencing of mitochondrial DNA to distinguish between coyote, black bear, Canada lynx and red fox and used nuclear DNA microsatellite analysis to identify individuals. We compared predator species detected using molecular tools to those assigned via field observations at each kill. We identified a predator species at 94% of carcasses using molecular methods, while observational methods assigned a predator species to 62.5% of kills. Molecular methods attributed 66.7% of kills to coyote and 33.3% to black bear, while observations assigned 40%, 45%, 10% and 5% to coyote, bear, lynx and fox, respectively. Individual identification was successful at 70% of kills where a predator species was identified. Only one individual was identified at each kill, but some individuals were found at multiple kills. Predator sex was predominantly male. We demonstrate the first large-scale evaluation of predator species, individual and sex identification using molecular techniques to extract DNA from swabs of wild prey carcasses. Our results indicate that kill site swabs (i) can be highly successful in identifying the predator species and individual responsible; and (ii) serve to inform and complement traditional methods. PMID:23957886

  6. Nest predation research: Recent findings and future perspectives

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Ibanez-Alamo, J. D.; Magrath, R. D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.; Thomson, R. L.; Oteyza, Juan C.; Haff, T. M.; Martin, T.E.

    2016-01-01

    Nest predation is a key source of selection for birds that has attracted increasing attention from ornithologists. The inclusion of new concepts applicable to nest predation that stem from social information, eavesdropping or physiology has expanded our knowledge considerably. Recent methodological advancements now allow focus on all three players within nest predation interactions: adults, offspring and predators. Indeed, the study of nest predation now forms a vital part of avian research in several fields, including animal behaviour, population ecology, evolution and conservation biology. However, within nest predation research there are important aspects that require further development, such as the comparison between ecological and evolutionary antipredator responses, and the role of anthropogenic change. We hope this review of recent findings and the presentation of new research avenues will encourage researchers to study this important and interesting selective pressure, and ultimately will help us to better understand the biology of birds.

  7. Effect of predator reduction on waterfowl nesting success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balser, D.S.; Dill, H.H.; Nelson, H.K.

    1968-01-01

    A 6-year study to determine the effect of nest-predator removal on waterfowl nesting success was conducted at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Minnesota from 1959 through 1964. Predators were removed from the west side of the Refuge while the east side served as a control area. At the end of 3 years, these areas were reversed to reduce the effects of environmental influences. The effect of predator removal was measured by a simulated nest study to determine predation pressure, a check of natural nest success, and weekly breeding pair and brood counts. Results indicated that 60 percent more Class I ducklings were produced on the units where predator control was conducted. Until more is known, reduction of predators to increase waterfowl nesting success should be limited to intensively managed production areas where substantial nest losses are demonstrated.

  8. [Predation of micro-protozoa on bacteria in Taihu Lake].

    PubMed

    Chen, Mo; Gao, Guang; Zhu, Li-Ping; Feng, Sheng

    2007-10-01

    With dilution method, this paper studied the predation of different size micro-protozoa on bacteria in Taihu Lake, and approached the effects of the predation on bacterial growth and of the water temperature on the predation. The results showed that in the water body of Taihu Lake, the predation rate of micro-protozoa with its size less than 32 microm was 5.07 d(-1), and the nano-size (less than 16 microm) protozoa contributed about 90.7%. The predation of nano-protozoa reduced the abundance of bacteria significantly. With the increase of water temperature, the predation rate of nano-protozoa and the growth rate of bacteria increased obviously.

  9. Predator mixes and the conspicuousness of aposematic signals.

    PubMed

    Endler, John A; Mappes, Johanna

    2004-04-01

    Conspicuous warning signals of unprofitable prey are a defense against visually hunting predators. They work because predators learn to associate unprofitability with bright coloration and because strong signals are detectable and memorable. However, many species that can be considered defended are not very conspicuous; they have weak warning signals. This phenomenon has previously been ignored in models and experiments. In addition, there is significant within- and among-species variation among predators in their search behavior, in their visual, cognitive, and learning abilities, and in their resistance to defenses. In this article we explore the effects of variable predators on models that combine positive frequency-dependent, frequency-independent, and negative frequency-dependent predation and show that weak signaling of aposematic species can evolve if predators vary in their tendency to attack defended prey.

  10. Experimental predator removal causes rapid salt marsh die-off.

    PubMed

    Bertness, Mark D; Brisson, Caitlin P; Coverdale, Tyler C; Bevil, Matt C; Crotty, Sinead M; Suglia, Elena R

    2014-07-01

    Salt marsh habitat loss to vegetation die-offs has accelerated throughout the western Atlantic in the last four decades. Recent studies have suggested that eutrophication, pollution and/or disease may contribute to the loss of marsh habitat. In light of recent evidence that predators are important determinants of marsh health in New England, we performed a total predator exclusion experiment. Here, we provide the first experimental evidence that predator depletion can cause salt marsh die-off by releasing the herbivorous crab Sesarma reticulatum from predator control. Excluding predators from a marsh ecosystem for a single growing season resulted in a >100% increase in herbivory and a >150% increase in unvegetated bare space compared to plots with predators. Our results confirm that marshes in this region face multiple, potentially synergistic threats.

  11. Vertical heterogeneity in predation pressure in a temperate forest canopy

    PubMed Central

    Aikens, Kathleen R.; Buddle, Christopher M.

    2013-01-01

    The forest canopy offers a vertical gradient across which variation in predation pressure implies variation in refuge quality for arthropods. Direct and indirect experimental approaches were combined to assess whether canopy strata differ in ability to offer refuge to various arthropod groups. Vertical heterogeneity in impact of avian predators was quantified using exclosure cages in the understory, lower, mid, and upper canopy of a north-temperate deciduous forest near Montreal, Quebec. Bait trials were completed in the same strata to investigate the effects of invertebrate predators. Exclusion of birds yielded higher arthropod densities across all strata, although treatment effects were small for some taxa. Observed gradients in predation pressure were similar for both birds and invertebrate predators; the highest predation pressure was observed in the understory and decreased with height. Our findings support a view of the forest canopy that is heterogeneous with respect to arthropod refuge from natural enemies. PMID:24010017

  12. Vertical heterogeneity in predation pressure in a temperate forest canopy.

    PubMed

    Aikens, Kathleen R; Timms, Laura L; Buddle, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    The forest canopy offers a vertical gradient across which variation in predation pressure implies variation in refuge quality for arthropods. Direct and indirect experimental approaches were combined to assess whether canopy strata differ in ability to offer refuge to various arthropod groups. Vertical heterogeneity in impact of avian predators was quantified using exclosure cages in the understory, lower, mid, and upper canopy of a north-temperate deciduous forest near Montreal, Quebec. Bait trials were completed in the same strata to investigate the effects of invertebrate predators. Exclusion of birds yielded higher arthropod densities across all strata, although treatment effects were small for some taxa. Observed gradients in predation pressure were similar for both birds and invertebrate predators; the highest predation pressure was observed in the understory and decreased with height. Our findings support a view of the forest canopy that is heterogeneous with respect to arthropod refuge from natural enemies.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries.

    PubMed

    Stier, Adrian C; Samhouri, Jameal F; Novak, Mark; Marshall, Kristin N; Ward, Eric J; Holt, Robert D; Levin, Phillip S

    2016-05-01

    Habitat loss, overexploitation, and numerous other stressors have caused global declines in apex predators. This "trophic downgrading" has generated widespread concern because of the fundamental role that apex predators can play in ecosystem functioning, disease regulation, and biodiversity maintenance. In attempts to combat declines, managers have conducted reintroductions, imposed stricter harvest regulations, and implemented protected areas. We suggest that full recovery of viable apex predator populations is currently the exception rather than the rule. We argue that, in addition to well-known considerations, such as continued exploitation and slow life histories, there are several underappreciated factors that complicate predator recoveries. These factors include three challenges. First, a priori identification of the suite of trophic interactions, such as resource limitation and competition that will influence recovery can be difficult. Second, defining and accomplishing predator recovery in the context of a dynamic ecosystem requires an appreciation of the timing of recovery, which can determine the relative density of apex predators and other predators and therefore affect competitive outcomes. Third, successful recovery programs require designing adaptive sequences of management strategies that embrace key environmental and species interactions as they emerge. Consideration of recent research on food web modules, alternative stable states, and community assembly offer important insights for predator recovery efforts and restoration ecology more generally. Foremost among these is the importance of a social-ecological perspective in facilitating a long-lasting predator restoration while avoiding unintended consequences. PMID:27386535

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-03-30

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

  16. Predation as a determinant of minimum group size in baboons.

    PubMed

    Bettridge, Caroline M; Dunbar, R I M

    2012-01-01

    Predation risk places a pressure on animals to adopt mechanisms by which they reduce their individual risk of being preyed on. However, a consensus on methods of determining predation risk has yet to be reached. One of the most widespread ways in which animals respond to predation risk is by living in groups. Minimum permissible group size is the smallest group size that animals are able to live in, given the habitat-specific predation risk they face. We explore ways in which predation risk can be measured and analyse its effect on minimum observed group size in baboons. Using data on predator density, habitat composition and baboon body size, we investigate the impact of the components of predation risk on baboon group size, and derive an equation that best predicts minimum group size. Minimum group size in baboons is related to predator density and female body mass. Both of these elements can, in turn, be estimated from environmental variables. These findings present support for the argument that group living in primates is a response to predation risk and offer potentially new ways of investigating carnivore and primate ecology. PMID:23363593

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  18. Population dynamics of intraguild predation in a lattice gas system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    In the system of intraguild predation (IGP) we are concerned with, species that are in a predator-prey relationship, also compete for shared resources (space or food). While several models have been established to characterize IGP, mechanisms by which IG prey and IG predator can coexist in IGP systems with spatial competition, have not been shown. This paper considers an IGP model, which is derived from reactions on lattice and has a form similar to that of Lotka-Volterra equations. Dynamics of the model demonstrate properties of IGP and mechanisms by which the IGP leads to coexistence of species and occurrence of alternative states. Intermediate predation is shown to lead to persistence of the predator, while extremely big predation can lead to extinction of one/both species and extremely small predation can lead to extinction of the predator. Numerical computations confirm and extend our results. While empirical observations typically exhibit coexistence of IG predator and IG prey, theoretical analysis in this work demonstrates exact conditions under which this coexistence can occur.

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

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-01-01

    Parents of many bird species produce alarm calls when they approach and deter a nest predator in order to defend their offspring. Alarm calls have been shown to warn nestlings about predatory threats, but parents also face a similar risk of predation when incubating eggs in their nests. Here, I show that incubating female Japanese great tits, Parus minor, assess predation risk by conspecific alarm calls given outside the nest cavity. Tits produce acoustically discrete alarm calls for different nest predators: “jar” calls for snakes and “chicka” calls for other predators such as crows and martens. Playback experiments revealed that incubating females responded to “jar” calls by leaving their nest, whereas they responded to “chicka” calls by looking out of the nest entrance. Since snakes invade the nest cavity, escaping from the nest helps females avoid snake predation. In contrast, “chicka” calls are used for a variety of predator types, and therefore, looking out of the nest entrance helps females gather information about the type and location of approaching predators. These results show that incubating females derive information about predator type from different types of alarm calls, providing a novel example of functionally referential communication. PMID:25985093

  20. Evolution of Swarming Behavior Is Shaped by How Predators Attack.

    PubMed

    Olson, Randal S; Knoester, David B; Adami, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Animal grouping behaviors have been widely studied due to their implications for understanding social intelligence, collective cognition, and potential applications in engineering, artificial intelligence, and robotics. An important biological aspect of these studies is discerning which selection pressures favor the evolution of grouping behavior. In the past decade, researchers have begun using evolutionary computation to study the evolutionary effects of these selection pressures in predator-prey models. The selfish herd hypothesis states that concentrated groups arise because prey selfishly attempt to place their conspecifics between themselves and the predator, thus causing an endless cycle of movement toward the center of the group. Using an evolutionary model of a predator-prey system, we show that how predators attack is critical to the evolution of the selfish herd. Following this discovery, we show that density-dependent predation provides an abstraction of Hamilton's original formulation of domains of danger. Finally, we verify that density-dependent predation provides a sufficient selective advantage for prey to evolve the selfish herd in response to predation by coevolving predators. Thus, our work corroborates Hamilton's selfish herd hypothesis in a digital evolutionary model, refines the assumptions of the selfish herd hypothesis, and generalizes the domain of danger concept to density-dependent predation. PMID:27139941

  1. Invasive prey indirectly increase predation on their native competitors.

    PubMed

    Castorani, Max C N; Hovel, Kevin A

    2015-07-01

    Ecological theory predicts that invasive prey can interact with native prey directly by competing for shared resources or indirectly by changing the abundance or behavior of shared native predators. However, both the study and management of invasive prey have historically overlooked indirect effects. In southern California estuaries, introduction of the Asian nest mussel Arcuatula senhousia has been linked to profound changes in native bivalve assemblages, but the mechanisms of these interactions remain unclear. We performed three field experiments to assess the mechanisms of competition between Arcuatula and native bivalves, and evaluated the potential for Arcuatula to indirectly mediate native predator-prey dynamics. We found that Arcuatula reduces the diversity, abundance, and size of native bivalve recruits by preemptively exploiting space in surface sediments. When paired with native shallow-dwelling clams (Chione undatella and Laevicardium substriatum), Arcuatula reduces adult survival through overgrowth competition. However, Arcuatula also attracts native predators, causing apparent competition by indirectly increasing predation of native clams, especially for poorly defended species. Therefore, invasive prey can indirectly increase predation rates on native competitors by changing the behavior of shared native predators, but the magnitude of apparent competition strongly depends on the vulnerability of natives to predation. Interestingly, our results indicate that the vulnerability of invasive prey to predation can greatly exacerbate impacts on their native competitors. Our findings suggest that consideration of both direct and indirect effects of invasive prey, as well as native predator-prey relationships, should lead to more effective invasive species management.

  2. Prey aggregation is an effective olfactory predator avoidance strategy.

    PubMed

    Johannesen, Asa; Dunn, Alison M; Morrell, Lesley J

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions have a major effect on species abundance and diversity, and aggregation is a well-known anti-predator behaviour. For immobile prey, the effectiveness of aggregation depends on two conditions: (a) the inability of the predator to consume all prey in a group and (b) detection of a single large group not being proportionally easier than that of several small groups. How prey aggregation influences predation rates when visual cues are restricted, such as in turbid water, has not been thoroughly investigated. We carried out foraging (predation) experiments using a fish predator and (dead) chironomid larvae as prey in both laboratory and field settings. In the laboratory, a reduction in visual cue availability (in turbid water) led to a delay in the location of aggregated prey compared to when visual cues were available. Aggregated prey suffered high mortality once discovered, leading to better survival of dispersed prey in the longer term. We attribute this to the inability of the dead prey to take evasive action. In the field (where prey were placed in feeding stations that allowed transmission of olfactory but not visual cues), aggregated (large groups) and semi-dispersed prey survived for longer than dispersed prey-including long term survival. Together, our results indicate that similar to systems where predators hunt using vision, aggregation is an effective anti-predator behaviour for prey avoiding olfactory predators.

  3. Spider mite web mediates anti-predator behaviour.

    PubMed

    Lemos, Felipe; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Dias, Cleide Rosa; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2010-09-01

    Herbivores suffer significant mortality from predation and are therefore subject to natural selection on traits promoting predator avoidance and resistance. They can employ an array of strategies to reduce predation, for example through changes in behaviour, morphology and life history. So far, the anti-predator response studied most intensively in spider mites has been the avoidance of patches with high predation risk. Less attention has been given to the dense web produced by spider mites, which is a complex structure of silken threads that is thought to hinder predators. Here, we investigate the effects of the web produced by the red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker & Pritchard, on its interactions with the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus longipes Evans. We tested whether female spider mites recognize predator cues and whether these can induce the spider mites to produce denser web. We found that the prey did not produce denser web in response to such cues, but laid more eggs suspended in the web, away from the leaf surface. These suspended eggs suffered less from predation by P. longipes than eggs that were laid on the leaf surface under the web. Thus, by altering their oviposition behaviour in response to predator cues, females of T. evansi protect their offspring.

  4. Winter predation of diapausing cocoons of slug caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae).

    PubMed

    Murphy, Shannon M; Lill, John T

    2010-12-01

    Predators exert strong top-down pressure on herbivorous insects, but research on how predators affect herbivore fitness often focuses on the more active juvenile and adult life stages while ignoring the pupal or cocoon life stage. Few studies have investigated predation of lepidopteran pupae or cocoons and even fewer have investigated species that are not forest pests. Here we present a study on overwinter survival for two moth species in the family Limacodidae, a group of polyphagous species found in deciduous forests. We placed cocoons of the saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea (Clemens), and the spiny oak-slug caterpillar, Euclea delphinii (Boisduval), in the field under saplings of six different tree species and monitored predation and survival. This is the first study to examine predation rate among different host plants within a site. We found that cocoon predation was fairly high and differed significantly between limacodid species (29% for A. stimulea vs. 22% for E. delphinii). Predation rate did not differ among the six host plant species that we tested and also did not vary annually. Through phenotypic selection analyses, we found that cocoon mass affected both the likelihood of predation and overwinter survival; larger cocoons were less likely to be depredated and more likely to successfully emerge the following year. Overall our results indicate that cocoon predation is an important source of mortality for these two limacodid species and that there may be positive selection for greater cocoon mass for both limacodid species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-05-01

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

  6. Population dynamics of intraguild predation in a lattice gas system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi; Wu, Hong

    2015-01-01

    In the system of intraguild predation (IGP) we are concerned with, species that are in a predator-prey relationship, also compete for shared resources (space or food). While several models have been established to characterize IGP, mechanisms by which IG prey and IG predator can coexist in IGP systems with spatial competition, have not been shown. This paper considers an IGP model, which is derived from reactions on lattice and has a form similar to that of Lotka-Volterra equations. Dynamics of the model demonstrate properties of IGP and mechanisms by which the IGP leads to coexistence of species and occurrence of alternative states. Intermediate predation is shown to lead to persistence of the predator, while extremely big predation can lead to extinction of one/both species and extremely small predation can lead to extinction of the predator. Numerical computations confirm and extend our results. While empirical observations typically exhibit coexistence of IG predator and IG prey, theoretical analysis in this work demonstrates exact conditions under which this coexistence can occur. PMID:25447811

  7. Bat Predation by Cercopithecus Monkeys: Implications for Zoonotic Disease Transmission.

    PubMed

    Tapanes, Elizabeth; Detwiler, Kate M; Cords, Marina

    2016-06-01

    The relationship between bats and primates, which may contribute to zoonotic disease transmission, is poorly documented. We provide the first behavioral accounts of predation on bats by Cercopithecus monkeys, both of which are known to harbor zoonotic disease. We witnessed 13 bat predation events over 6.5 years in two forests in Kenya and Tanzania. Monkeys sometimes had prolonged contact with the bat carcass, consuming it entirely. All predation events occurred in forest-edge or plantation habitat. Predator-prey relations between bats and primates are little considered by disease ecologists, but may contribute to transmission of zoonotic disease, including Ebolavirus. PMID:27138290

  8. Ecosystem context and historical contingency in apex predator recoveries

    PubMed Central

    Stier, Adrian C.; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Novak, Mark; Marshall, Kristin N.; Ward, Eric J.; Holt, Robert D.; Levin, Phillip S.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss, overexploitation, and numerous other stressors have caused global declines in apex predators. This “trophic downgrading” has generated widespread concern because of the fundamental role that apex predators can play in ecosystem functioning, disease regulation, and biodiversity maintenance. In attempts to combat declines, managers have conducted reintroductions, imposed stricter harvest regulations, and implemented protected areas. We suggest that full recovery of viable apex predator populations is currently the exception rather than the rule. We argue that, in addition to well-known considerations, such as continued exploitation and slow life histories, there are several underappreciated factors that complicate predator recoveries. These factors include three challenges. First, a priori identification of the suite of trophic interactions, such as resource limitation and competition that will influence recovery can be difficult. Second, defining and accomplishing predator recovery in the context of a dynamic ecosystem requires an appreciation of the timing of recovery, which can determine the relative density of apex predators and other predators and therefore affect competitive outcomes. Third, successful recovery programs require designing adaptive sequences of management strategies that embrace key environmental and species interactions as they emerge. Consideration of recent research on food web modules, alternative stable states, and community assembly offer important insights for predator recovery efforts and restoration ecology more generally. Foremost among these is the importance of a social-ecological perspective in facilitating a long-lasting predator restoration while avoiding unintended consequences. PMID:27386535

  9. A solution to the accelerated-predator-satiety Lotka-Volterra predator-prey problem using Boubaker polynomial expansion scheme.

    PubMed

    Dubey, B; Zhao, T G; Jonsson, M; Rahmanov, H

    2010-05-01

    In this study, an analytical method is introduced for the identification of predator-prey populations time-dependent evolution in a Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model which takes into account the concept of accelerated-predator-satiety. Oppositely to most of the predator-prey problem models, the actual model does not suppose that the predation is strictly proportional to the prey density. In reference to some recent experimental results and particularly to the conclusions of May (1973) about predators which are 'never not hungry', an accelerated satiety function is matched with the initial conventional equations. Solutions are plotted and compared to some relevant ones. The obtained trends are in good agreement with many standard Lotka-Volterra solutions except for the asymptotic behaviour.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  11. Wave propagation in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Sheng-Chen; Tsai, Je-Chiang

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, we study a class of predator-prey systems of reaction-diffusion type. Specifically, we are interested in the dynamical behaviour for the solution with the initial distribution where the prey species is at the level of the carrying capacity, and the density of the predator species has compact support, or exponentially small tails near x=+/- ∞ . Numerical evidence suggests that this will lead to the formation of a pair of diverging waves propagating outwards from the initial zone. Motivated by this phenomenon, we establish the existence of a family of travelling waves with the minimum speed. Unlike the previous studies, we do not use the shooting argument to show this. Instead, we apply an iteration process based on Berestycki et al 2005 (Math Comput. Modelling 50 1385-93) to construct a set of super/sub-solutions. Since the underlying system does not enjoy the comparison principle, such a set of super/sub-solutions is not based on travelling waves, and in fact the super/sub-solutions depend on each other. With the aid of the set of super/sub-solutions, we can construct the solution of the truncated problem on the finite interval, which, via the limiting argument, can in turn generate the wave solution. There are several advantages to this approach. First, it can remove the technical assumptions on the diffusivities of the species in the existing literature. Second, this approach is of PDE type, and hence it can shed some light on the spreading phenomenon indicated by numerical simulation. In fact, we can compute the spreading speed of the predator species for a class of biologically acceptable initial distributions. Third, this approach might be applied to the study of waves in non-cooperative systems (i.e. a system without a comparison principle).

  12. Risk communication in sexually violent predator hearings.

    PubMed

    Scott, Sarah; Gilcrist, Brett; Thurston, Nicole; Huss, Matthew T

    2010-01-01

    Sexually violent predator (SVP) laws use the civil commitment process to confine mentally disordered and dangerous offenders who are at high risk to reoffend. Few studies have examined how jurors decide SVP cases. As a result, a pilot study and three experimental studies were conducted, in which victim type, risk communication, and juror education were manipulated to assess juror response. Results continually illustrated that victim type was the most salient manipulation across studies and that the manner of risk communication and juror education had little impact on jurors. PMID:19908210

  13. Variation in predator foraging behavior changes predator-prey spatio-temporal dynamics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    1. Foraging underlies the ability of all animals to acquire essential resources and, thus, provides a critical link to understanding population dynamics. A key issue is how variation in foraging behavior affects foraging efficiency and predator-prey interactions in spatially-heterogeneous environmen...

  14. Predation of Notiophilus (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on Collembola as a Predator-Prey Teaching Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Higgins, R. C.

    1982-01-01

    The carabid beetle (Notiophilus) preys readily on an easily-cultured collembolan in simple experimental conditions. Some features of this predator-prey system are outlined to emphasize its use in biology instruction. Experiments with another potential collembolan are described in the context of developing the method for more advanced studies.…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Predation pressure by avian predators suggests summer limitation of small-mammal populations in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Therrien, J F; Gauthier, G; Korpimäki, E; Bêty, J

    2014-01-01

    Predation has been suggested to be especially important in simple food webs and less productive ecosystems such as the arctic tundra, but very few data are available to evaluate this hypothesis. We examined the hypothesis that avian predators could drive the population dynamics of two cyclic lemming species in the Canadian Arctic. A dense and diverse suite of predatory birds, including the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), and the Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus), inhabits the arctic tundra and prey on collared (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) and brown (Lemmus trimucronatus) lemmings during the snow-free period. We evaluated the predation pressure exerted by these predators by combining their numerical (variation in breeding and fledgling numbers) and functional (variation in diet and daily consumption rates) responses to variations in lemming densities over the 2004-2010 period. Breeding density and number of fledglings produced by the three main avian predators increased sharply without delay in response to increasing lemming densities. The proportion of collared lemmings in the diet of those predators was high at low lemming density (both species) but decreased as lemming density increased. However, we found little evidence that their daily consumption rates vary in relation to changes in lemming density. Total consumption rate by avian predators initially increased more rapidly for collared lemming but eventually leveled off at a much higher value for brown lemmings, the most abundant species at our site. The combined daily predation rate of avian predators exceeded the maximum daily potential growth rates of both lemming species except at the highest recorded densities for brown lemmings. We thus show, for the first time, that predation pressure exerted without delay by avian predators can limit populations of coexisting lemming species during the snow-free period, and thus, that predation could play a role in the

  17. Predation pressure by avian predators suggests summer limitation of small-mammal populations in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Therrien, J F; Gauthier, G; Korpimäki, E; Bêty, J

    2014-01-01

    Predation has been suggested to be especially important in simple food webs and less productive ecosystems such as the arctic tundra, but very few data are available to evaluate this hypothesis. We examined the hypothesis that avian predators could drive the population dynamics of two cyclic lemming species in the Canadian Arctic. A dense and diverse suite of predatory birds, including the Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus), and the Long-tailed Jaeger (Stercorarius longicaudus), inhabits the arctic tundra and prey on collared (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) and brown (Lemmus trimucronatus) lemmings during the snow-free period. We evaluated the predation pressure exerted by these predators by combining their numerical (variation in breeding and fledgling numbers) and functional (variation in diet and daily consumption rates) responses to variations in lemming densities over the 2004-2010 period. Breeding density and number of fledglings produced by the three main avian predators increased sharply without delay in response to increasing lemming densities. The proportion of collared lemmings in the diet of those predators was high at low lemming density (both species) but decreased as lemming density increased. However, we found little evidence that their daily consumption rates vary in relation to changes in lemming density. Total consumption rate by avian predators initially increased more rapidly for collared lemming but eventually leveled off at a much higher value for brown lemmings, the most abundant species at our site. The combined daily predation rate of avian predators exceeded the maximum daily potential growth rates of both lemming species except at the highest recorded densities for brown lemmings. We thus show, for the first time, that predation pressure exerted without delay by avian predators can limit populations of coexisting lemming species during the snow-free period, and thus, that predation could play a role in the

  18. Diets of introduced predators using stable isotopes and stomach contents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

    In a study of predation on ground-nesting birds at South San Francisco Bay (South Bay), California, USA, we analyzed stomach contents and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to identify commonly consumed prey. We obtained the stomach contents from 206 nonnative red foxes (Vulpes vulpes regalis) collected in the South Bay area and Monterey County during 1995-2001 and from 68 feral cats (Felis silvestris) from the South Bay area during 2001-2002. We determined prey identity, biomass, and frequency, described seasonal diet trends, and derived an Index of Relative Importance. Avian species were the most frequent prey we found in the stomachs of red foxes from South Bay (61%), whereas small rodents were most frequent for red foxes from Monterey County (62%). Small rodents were the most frequent prey we found in feral cats (63%). Carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures for foxes supported stomach content findings. However, isotope results indicated that cats received a majority of their energy from a source other than rodents and outside the natural system, which differed from the stomach content analysis. We demonstrated the utility of both stable isotope and stomach content analyses to establish a more complete understanding of predators' diets. This information aids natural resource managers in planning and evaluating future predator-removal programs and increases our understanding of the impacts of nonnative foxes and cats on native species.

  19. Quantifying avian predation on fish populations: integrating predator-specific deposition probabilities in tag-recovery studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hostetter, Nathan J.; Evans, Allen F.; Cramer, Bradley M.; Collis, Ken; Lyons, Donald E.; Roby, Daniel D.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate assessment of specific mortality factors is vital to prioritize recovery actions for threatened and endangered species. For decades, tag recovery methods have been used to estimate fish mortality due to avian predation. Predation probabilities derived from fish tag recoveries on piscivorous waterbird colonies typically reflect minimum estimates of predation due to an unknown and unaccounted-for fraction of tags that are consumed but not deposited on-colony (i.e., deposition probability). We applied an integrated tag recovery modeling approach in a Bayesian context to estimate predation probabilities that accounted for predator-specific tag detection and deposition probabilities in a multiple-predator system. Studies of PIT tag deposition were conducted across three bird species nesting at seven different colonies in the Columbia River basin, USA. Tag deposition probabilities differed significantly among predator species (Caspian ternsHydroprogne caspia: deposition probability = 0.71, 95% credible interval [CRI] = 0.51–0.89; double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus: 0.51, 95% CRI = 0.34–0.70; California gulls Larus californicus: 0.15, 95% CRI = 0.11–0.21) but showed little variation across trials within a species or across years. Data from a 6-year study (2008–2013) of PIT-tagged juvenile Snake River steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss (listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act) indicated that colony-specific predation probabilities ranged from less than 0.01 to 0.17 and varied by predator species, colony location, and year. Integrating the predator-specific deposition probabilities increased the predation probabilities by a factor of approximately 1.4 for Caspian terns, 2.0 for double-crested cormorants, and 6.7 for California gulls compared with traditional minimum predation rate methods, which do not account for deposition probabilities. Results supported previous findings on the high predation impacts from strictly piscivorous

  20. Friend or foe?: the role of latent inhibition in predator and non-predator labelling by coral reef fishes.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    In communities of high biodiversity, the ability to distinguish predators from non-predators is crucial for prey success. Learning often plays a vital role in the ability to distinguish species that are threatening from those that are not. Many prey animals learn to recognise predators based on a single conditioning event whereby they are exposed to the unknown predator at the same time as alarm cues released from injured conspecifics. The remarkable efficiency of such learning means that recognition mistakes may occur if prey inadvertently learn that a species is a predator when it is not. Latent inhibition is a means by which prey that are pre-exposed to an unknown species in the absence of negative reinforcement can learn that the unknown animal is likely not a threat. Learning through latent inhibition should be conservative because mistakenly identifying predators as non-predators can have fatal consequences. In this study, we demonstrated that a common coral reef fish, lemon damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis can learn to recognise a predator as non-threatening through latent inhibition. Furthermore, we showed that we could override the latent inhibition effect by conditioning the prey to recognise the predator numerous times. Our results highlight the ability of prey fish to continually update the information regarding the threat posed by other fishes in their vicinity.

  1. Prey, predators, parasites: intraguild predation or simpler community modules in disguise?

    PubMed

    Sieber, Michael; Hilker, Frank M

    2011-03-01

    1. Competition and predation are at the heart of community ecology. The theoretical concept of intraguild predation (IGP) combines these key interactions in a single community module. Because IGP is believed to be ubiquitous in nature, it has been subject to extensive research, and there exists a well-developed theoretical framework. 2. We show that a general class of IGP models can be transformed to simpler, but equivalent community structures. This rather unexpected simplification depends critically on the property of 'indiscriminate predation', which we define broadly as the top-predator not distinguishing between its two different prey species. 3. In a broader context, the great importance of IGP and of the simplifying transformation we report here is enhanced by the recent insight that the basic IGP structure extends naturally to host-parasitoid and host-pathogen communities. We show that parasites infecting prey (predators) tend to render IGP effectively into exploitative competition (tritrophic food chain, respectively). 4. The equivalence between the original and simplified community module makes it possible to take advantage from already existing insights. We illustrate this by means of an eco-epidemiological IGP model that is strikingly similar to a classical exploitative competition model. 5. The change of perspective on certain community modules may contribute to a better understanding of food web dynamics. In particular, it may help explain the interactions in food webs that include parasites. Given the ubiquity of parasitism, food webs may appear in a different light when they are transformed to their simplified analogue. PMID:21182521

  2. Habitat and roe deer fawn vulnerability to red fox predation.

    PubMed

    Panzacchi, M; Linnell, J D C; Odden, M; Odden, J; Andersen, R

    2009-11-01

    1. Notwithstanding the growing amount of literature emphasizing the link between habitat, life-history traits and behaviour, few empirical studies investigated the combined effect of these parameters on individual predation risk. We investigated direct and indirect consequences of habitat composition at multiple spatial scales on predation risk by red foxes on 151 radio-monitored roe deer fawns. We hypothesized that the higher resource availability in fragmented agricultural areas increased predation risk because of: (i) shorter prey movements, which may increase predictability; (ii) larger litter size and faster growth rates, which may increase detectability in species adopting a hiding neonatal anti-predator strategy. The sharing of risky habitat among littermates was expected to promote whole-litter losses as a result of predation. 2. The landscape-scale availability of agricultural areas negatively affected pre-weaning movements, but did not influence growth rates or litter size. Predation risk was best described by the interplay between movements and fine-scale habitat fragmentation: a higher mobility increased the encounter rate and predation risk in highly fragmented home ranges, while it reduced predation risk in forest-dominated areas with clumped resources because of decreased predictability. This is one of the first demonstrations that movement patterns can be an efficient anti-predator strategy when adjusted to local conditions. 3. In accordance with previous studies documenting the existence of family effects (i.e. non-independence among siblings) in survival, littermates survived or died together more often than expected by chance. In addition, our study specifically demonstrated the occurrence of behaviourally mediated family effects in predation risk: after a fox killed one fawn the probability of a sibling being killed within a few days rose from 20% to 47%, likely because of the win-stay strategy (i.e. return to a previously rewarding site

  3. Fish predation on sea urchins on the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

    Predators are important for regulating adult sea urchin densities. Here, we employ remote underwater video cameras to record diurnal predation on tethered sea urchins at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). We identified four fish predators of adult sea urchins ( Balistoides viridescens, Balistapus undulatus, Lethrinus atkinsoni and Choerodon schoenleinii). Predator activity appeared to be site-specific. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus (f: Balistidae) were the two most important predators of Echinometra mathaei with the former handling E. mathaei significantly faster (mean 0.7 min) than B. undulatus (5.2 min). Balistoides viridescens also successfully preyed on 70 % of detections, while C. schoenleinii, B. undulatus and L. atkinsoni preyed on just 33, 17 and <1 %, respectively. Additionally, B. viridescens were behaviourally dominant among predator species and were observed as aggressors in 30 encounters with B. undulatus and 8 encounters with L. atkinsoni. In only one encounter was B. viridescens the recipient of any aggression (from B. undulatus). In terms of relative vulnerability, of the three sea urchin species examined, E. mathaei were more vulnerable to predation than Diadema setosum or Echinothrix calamaris, with mean handling times of 1.2, 4.8 and 10.3 min, respectively. Balistoides viridescens and B. undulatus both appear to be able to play an important role as predators of sea urchins on the relatively intact coral reefs of Lizard Island. However, B. viridescens emerge as the most efficient predator in terms of handling speed and the proportion of detections preyed upon. They were also the behaviourally dominant predator. This preliminary study of the predators of sea urchins on the GBR highlights the potential significance of relatively scarce but functionally important species.

  4. Endemic predators, invasive prey and native diversity

    PubMed Central

    Wanger, Thomas C.; Wielgoss, Arno C.; Motzke, Iris; Clough, Yann; Brook, Barry W.; Sodhi, Navjot S.; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between native diversity and invasive species can be more complex than is currently understood. Invasive ant species often substantially reduce diversity in the native ants diversity that act as natural control agents for pest insects. In Indonesia (on the island of Sulawesi), the third largest cacao producer worldwide, we show that a predatory endemic toad (Ingerophrynus celebensis) controls invasive ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) abundance, and positively affects native ant diversity. We call this the invasive-naivety effect (an opposite of enemy release), whereby alien species may not harbour anti-predatory defences against a novel native predator. A positive effect of the toads on native ants may facilitate their predation on insect vectors of cacao diseases. Hence, toads may increase crop yield, but further research is needed on this aspect. Ironically, amphibians are globally the most threatened vertebrate class and are strongly impacted by the conversion of rainforest to cacao plantations in Sulawesi. It is, therefore, crucial to manage cacao plantations to maintain these endemic toads, as they may provide critical ecosystem services, such as invasion resistance and preservation of native insect diversity. PMID:20826488

  5. Bacteriovorax stolpii proliferation and predation without sphingophosphonolipids

    SciTech Connect

    Kaneshiro, Edna S. Hunt, Shannon M.; Watanabe, Yoko

    2008-02-29

    Bacteriovorax stolpii strain UKi2, a facultative predator-parasite of larger Gram-negative bacteria, synthesizes distinct sphingophosphonolipids. These lipids are characterized by a direct P-C bond, the novel head group 1-hydroxy-2-aminoethylphosphonate, iso-branched long chain bases and fatty acids, and fatty acids dominated by those with {alpha}-hydroxy groups. Myriocin, an inhibitor of serine:fatty acyl CoA transferase, reversibly blocked sphingophosphonolipid synthesis in B. stolpii UKi2. However, the inhibitor did not block cell proliferation indicating that these lipids are not vital for B. stolpii UKi2 viability and growth. When mixed with Escherichia coli prey cells, control predator-parasite bacteria were effective in forming large E. coli bdelloplasts and cleared the suspension of the prey cells. Although myriocin-treated cells could attack prey cells and form bdelloplasts, their locomotory behavior was altered and fewer and smaller bdelloplasts were produced. These observations open up the possibility for a role of sphingophosphonolipids in B. stolpii UKi2 complex behavior.

  6. Predation by estuarine zooplankton on tintinnid ciliates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, J. Roy

    1983-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the feeding performances of Uca zoeae and the estuarine copepods Acartia tonsa and Tortanus setacaudatus when these zooplankton preyed upon the co-occurring tintinnids Favella panamensis (length 265 μm) and Tintinnopsis tubulosa (length 148 μm). Predation by Favella on Tintinnopsis was also studied. Over the range of experimental prey densities used, Acartia ingested Tintinopsis at rates linearly related to prey density. Favella was ingested by Aractia at higher rates than was Tintinnopsis. Tortamus ingested Favella more readily than did Acartia, but Tortanus did not ingest Tintinnopsis. Uca ingested both Tintinnopsis and Favella while Tintinnopsis was also ingested by the larger tintinnid Favella. Comparisons of Acartia predation on tintinnids with published data on ingestion of nauplii and phytoplankton showed that when the phytoplankton are dominated by small (diameters < 10 μm) species, tintinnids in concentrations exceeding 10 3 organisms 1 -1 can be important items in the diets of Acartia. At lower tintinnid concentrations or when algal species with diameters > 10 μm are present in significant concentrations, tintinnids merely supplement algae in the diet of Acartia. Generally, tintinnids are more important food items for Acartia than are comparably sized nauplii. Only at concentrations exceeding 10 4 cop. m -3 can Acartia depress tintinid population growth.

  7. Optimal growth strategies under divergent predation pressure.

    PubMed

    Aikio, S; Herczeg, G; Kuparinen, A; Merilä, J

    2013-01-01

    The conditions leading to gigantism in nine-spined sticklebacks Pungitius pungitius were analysed by modelling fish growth with the von Bertalanffy model searching for the optimal strategy when the model's growth constant and asymptotic fish size parameters are negatively related to each other. Predator-related mortality was modelled through the increased risk of death during active foraging. The model was parameterized with empirical growth data of fish from four different populations and analysed for optimal growth strategy at different mortality levels. The growth constant and asymptotic fish size were negatively related in most populations. Optimal fish size, fitness and life span decreased with predator-induced mortality. At low mortality, the fitness of pond populations was higher than that of sea populations. The differences disappeared at intermediate mortalities, and sea populations had slightly higher fitness at extremely high mortalities. In the scenario where all populations mature at the same age, the pond populations perform better at low mortalities and the sea populations at high mortalities. It is concluded that a trade-off between growth constant and asymptotic fish size, together with different mortality rates, can explain a significant proportion of body size differentiation between populations. In the present case, it is a sufficient explanation of gigantism in pond P. pungitius. PMID:23331153

  8. Fading out of vole and predator cycles?

    PubMed

    Hörnfeldt, Birger; Hipkiss, Tim; Eklund, Ulf

    2005-10-01

    Northern voles and lemmings are famous for their spectacular multiannual population cycles with high amplitudes. Such cyclic vole populations in Scandinavia have shown an unexpected and marked long-term decline in density since the early 1970s, particularly with a marked shift to lower spring densities in the early 1980s. The vole decline, mainly characterized by a strongly decreased rate of change in numbers over winter, is associated with an increased occurrence of mild and wet winters brought about by a recent change in the North Atlantic Oscillation. This has led to a decrease in winter stability and has shortened the period with protective snow cover, the latter considered as an important prerequisite for the occurrence of multiannual, high-amplitude cycles in vole populations. Although the vole decline is predicted to be negative for predators' reproduction and abundance, empirical data showing this are rare. Here we show that the dynamics of a predator-prey system (Tengmalm's owl, Aegolius funereus, and voles), have in recent years gradually changed from 3-4 yr, high-amplitude cycles towards more or less annual fluctuations only. PMID:16191615

  9. Red fox predation on breeding ducks in midcontinent North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, Alan B.; Allen, Stephen H.; Eberhardt, Robert T.

    1984-01-01

    Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) predation on nesting ducks was assessed by examining 1,857 adult duck remains found at 1,432 fox rearing dens from 1968 to 1973. Dabbling ducks were much more vulnerable to foxes than diving ducks. Dabbling ducks (1,798) found at dens consisted of 27% blue-winged teals (Anas discors), 23% mallards (A. platyrhynchos), 20% northern pintails (A. acuta), 9% northern shovelers (Spatula clypeata), 8% gadwalls (A. strepera), 3% green-winged teals (A. crecca), 2% American wigeons (A. americana), and 10% unidentified. Relative abundance of individual species and nesting chronology were the most important factors affecting composition of ducks taken by foxes. Seventy-six percent of 1,376 adult dabbling ducks and 40% of 30 adult diving ducks for which sex was determined were hens. In western North Dakota and western South Dakota, 65% of mallard and northern pintail remains found at dens were hens compared with 76% in eastern North Dakota and eastern South Dakota (P < 0.05). Percentage hens varied among the 5 most common dabbling ducks found at dens. In eastern North Dakota and eastern South Dakota, where predation on ducks was greatest, an average of 64% of gadwall, 73% of northern pintail, 81% of blue-winged teal, 81% of mallard, and 90% of northern shoveler remains found at dens were hens. Percentage hens among duck remains found at dens increased as the duck nesting season progressed. Numbers of adult ducks found at individual dens ranged from 0 to 67. The average number of ducks found in and around den entrances was used as an index of fox predation rates on ducks. Predation rate indices ranged from 0.01 duck/den in Iowa to 1.80 ducks/den in eastern North Dakota. Average annual predation rate indices for dabbling ducks in a 3-county intensive study area in eastern North Dakota were closely correlated with May pond numbers (r = 0.874, P < 0.10) and duck population size (r = 0.930, P < 0.05), but all species were not affected in the same manner or to

  10. Diet quality in a wild grazer declines under the threat of an ambush predator

    PubMed Central

    Barnier, Florian; Valeix, Marion; Duncan, Patrick; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Barre, Philippe; Loveridge, Andrew J.; Macdonald, David W.; Fritz, Hervé

    2014-01-01

    Predators influence prey populations not only through predation itself, but also indirectly through prompting changes in prey behaviour. The behavioural adjustments of prey to predation risk may carry nutritional costs, but this has seldom been studied in the wild in large mammals. Here, we studied the effects of an ambush predator, the African lion (Panthera leo), on the diet quality of plains zebras (Equus quagga) in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. We combined information on movements of both prey and predators, using GPS data, and measurements of faecal crude protein, an index of diet quality in the prey. Zebras which had been in close proximity to lions had a lower quality diet, showing that adjustments in behaviour when lions are within short distance carry nutritional costs. The ultimate fitness cost will depend on the frequency of predator–prey encounters and on whether bottom-up or top-down forces are more important in the prey population. Our finding is the first attempt to our knowledge to assess nutritionally mediated risk effects in a large mammalian prey species under the threat of an ambush predator, and brings support to the hypothesis that the behavioural effects of predation induce important risk effects on prey populations. PMID:24789903

  11. Influence of edge on predator prey distribution and abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferguson, Steven H.

    2004-03-01

    I investigated the effect of spatial configuration on distribution and abundance of invertebrate trophic groups by counting soil arthropods under boxes (21 × 9.5 cm) arranged in six different patterns that varied in the amount of edge (137-305 cm). I predicted fewer individuals from the consumer trophic group (Collembola) in box groups with greater amount of edge. This prediction was based on the assumption that predators (mites, ants, spiders, centipedes) select edge during foraging and thereby reduce abundance of the less mobile consumer group under box patterns with greater edge. Consumer abundance (Collembola) was not correlated with amount of edge. Among the predator groups, mite, ant and centipede abundance related to the amount of edge of box groups. However, in contrast to predictions, abundance of these predators was negatively correlated with amount of edge in box patterns. All Collembola predators, with the exception of ants, were less clumped in distribution than Collembola. The results are inconsistent with the view that predators used box edges to predate the less mobile consumer trophic group. Alternative explanations for the spatial patterns other than predator-prey relations include (1) a negative relationship between edge and moisture, (2) a positive relationship between edge and detritus decomposition (i.e. mycelium as food for the consumer group), and (3) a negative relationship between edge and the interstices between adjacent boxes. Landscape patterns likely affect microclimate, food, and predator-prey relations and, therefore, future experimental designs need to control these factors individually to distinguish among alternative hypotheses.

  12. Prey aggregation is an effective olfactory predator avoidance strategy

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Alison M.; Morrell, Lesley J.

    2014-01-01

    Predator–prey interactions have a major effect on species abundance and diversity, and aggregation is a well-known anti-predator behaviour. For immobile prey, the effectiveness of aggregation depends on two conditions: (a) the inability of the predator to consume all prey in a group and (b) detection of a single large group not being proportionally easier than that of several small groups. How prey aggregation influences predation rates when visual cues are restricted, such as in turbid water, has not been thoroughly investigated. We carried out foraging (predation) experiments using a fish predator and (dead) chironomid larvae as prey in both laboratory and field settings. In the laboratory, a reduction in visual cue availability (in turbid water) led to a delay in the location of aggregated prey compared to when visual cues were available. Aggregated prey suffered high mortality once discovered, leading to better survival of dispersed prey in the longer term. We attribute this to the inability of the dead prey to take evasive action. In the field (where prey were placed in feeding stations that allowed transmission of olfactory but not visual cues), aggregated (large groups) and semi-dispersed prey survived for longer than dispersed prey—including long term survival. Together, our results indicate that similar to systems where predators hunt using vision, aggregation is an effective anti-predator behaviour for prey avoiding olfactory predators. PMID:24918032

  13. Ecology: The Upside-Down World of Coral Reef Predators.

    PubMed

    Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Heupel, Michelle R

    2016-08-01

    Examination of a large aggregation of sharks demonstrates that trophic pyramids with greater amounts of high-level predators than prey can occur on coral reefs. This is possible because the high-level predators obtain food from sources outside their home location. PMID:27505241

  14. Saving the Predators: Teaching About the Role of Predatory Animals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soltow, Willow

    1985-01-01

    Discusses the role of predators in regulating prey populations, noting that this is an excellent example of the "interconnectedness" of life. Suggestions for films, books, articles, and student questions are given, and a special section dealing with human attitudes about predators is provided. (DH)

  15. Disentangling mite predator-prey relationships by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sayas, Consuelo; Pina, Tatiana; Gómez-Martínez, María A; Camañes, Gemma; Ibáñez-Gual, María V; Jaques, Josep A; Hurtado, Mónica A

    2015-11-01

    Gut content analysis using molecular techniques can help elucidate predator-prey relationships in situations in which other methodologies are not feasible, such as in the case of trophic interactions between minute species such as mites. We designed species-specific primers for a mite community occurring in Spanish citrus orchards comprising two herbivores, the Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri, and six predatory mites belonging to the Phytoseiidae family; these predatory mites are considered to be these herbivores' main biological control agents. These primers were successfully multiplexed in a single PCR to test the range of predators feeding on each of the two prey species. We estimated prey DNA detectability success over time (DS50), which depended on the predator-prey combination and ranged from 0.2 to 18 h. These values were further used to weight prey detection in field samples to disentangle the predatory role played by the most abundant predators (i.e. Euseius stipulatus and Phytoseiulus persimilis). The corrected predation value for E. stipulatus was significantly higher than for P. persimilis. However, because this 1.5-fold difference was less than that observed regarding their sevenfold difference in abundance, we conclude that P. persimilis is the most effective predator in the system; it preyed on tetranychids almost five times more frequently than E. stipulatus did. The present results demonstrate that molecular tools are appropriate to unravel predator-prey interactions in tiny species such as mites, which include important agricultural pests and their predators.

  16. Phenotypically plastic neophobia: a response to variable predation risk

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Prey species possess a variety of morphological, life history and behavioural adaptations to evade predators. While specific evolutionary conditions have led to the expression of permanent, non-plastic anti-predator traits, the vast majority of prey species rely on experience to express adaptive anti-predator defences. While ecologists have identified highly sophisticated means through which naive prey can deal with predation threats, the potential for death upon the first encounter with a predator is still a remarkably important unresolved issue. Here, we used both laboratory and field studies to provide the first evidence for risk-induced neophobia in two taxa (fish and amphibians), and argue that phenotypically plastic neophobia acts as an adaptive anti-predator strategy for vulnerable prey dealing with spatial and temporal variation in predation risk. Our study also illustrates how risk-free maintenance conditions used in laboratory studies may blind researchers to adaptive anti-predator strategies that are only expressed in high-risk conditions. PMID:23390103

  17. 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...

  18. Sleeping Birds Do Not Respond to Predator Odour

    PubMed Central

    Amo, Luisa; Caro, Samuel P.; Visser, Marcel E.

    2011-01-01

    Background During sleep animals are relatively unresponsive and unaware of their environment, and therefore, more exposed to predation risk than alert and awake animals. This vulnerability might influence when, where and how animals sleep depending on the risk of predation perceived before going to sleep. Less clear is whether animals remain sensitive to predation cues when already asleep. Methodology/Principal Findings We experimentally tested whether great tits are able to detect the chemical cues of a common nocturnal predator while sleeping. We predicted that birds exposed to the scent of a mammalian predator (mustelid) twice during the night would not go into torpor (which reduces their vigilance) and hence would not reduce their body temperature as much as control birds, exposed to the scent of another mammal that does not represent a danger for the birds (rabbit). As a consequence of the higher body temperature birds exposed to the scent of a predator are predicted to have a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR) and to lose more body mass. In the experiment, all birds decreased their body temperature during the night, but we did not find any influence of the treatment on body temperature, RMR, or body mass. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that birds are not able to detect predator chemical cues while sleeping. As a consequence, antipredatory strategies taken before sleep, such as roosting sites inspection, may be crucial to cope with the vulnerability to predation risk while sleeping. PMID:22110676

  19. Disentangling mite predator-prey relationships by multiplex PCR.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Sayas, Consuelo; Pina, Tatiana; Gómez-Martínez, María A; Camañes, Gemma; Ibáñez-Gual, María V; Jaques, Josep A; Hurtado, Mónica A

    2015-11-01

    Gut content analysis using molecular techniques can help elucidate predator-prey relationships in situations in which other methodologies are not feasible, such as in the case of trophic interactions between minute species such as mites. We designed species-specific primers for a mite community occurring in Spanish citrus orchards comprising two herbivores, the Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri, and six predatory mites belonging to the Phytoseiidae family; these predatory mites are considered to be these herbivores' main biological control agents. These primers were successfully multiplexed in a single PCR to test the range of predators feeding on each of the two prey species. We estimated prey DNA detectability success over time (DS50), which depended on the predator-prey combination and ranged from 0.2 to 18 h. These values were further used to weight prey detection in field samples to disentangle the predatory role played by the most abundant predators (i.e. Euseius stipulatus and Phytoseiulus persimilis). The corrected predation value for E. stipulatus was significantly higher than for P. persimilis. However, because this 1.5-fold difference was less than that observed regarding their sevenfold difference in abundance, we conclude that P. persimilis is the most effective predator in the system; it preyed on tetranychids almost five times more frequently than E. stipulatus did. The present results demonstrate that molecular tools are appropriate to unravel predator-prey interactions in tiny species such as mites, which include important agricultural pests and their predators. PMID:25824504

  20. Predator-induced reduction of freshwater carbon dioxide emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atwood, Trisha B.; Hammill, Edd; Greig, Hamish S.; Kratina, Pavel; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Srivastava, Diane S.; Richardson, John S.

    2013-03-01

    Predators can influence the exchange of carbon dioxide between ecosystems and the atmosphere by altering ecosystem processes such as decomposition and primary production, according to food web theory. Empirical knowledge of such an effect in freshwater systems is limited, but it has been suggested that predators in odd-numbered food chains suppress freshwater carbon dioxide emissions, and predators in even-numbered food chains enhance emissions. Here, we report experiments in three-tier food chains in experimental ponds, streams and bromeliads in Canada and Costa Rica in the presence or absence of fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) and invertebrate (Hesperoperla pacifica and Mecistogaster modesta) predators. We monitored carbon dioxide fluxes along with prey and primary producer biomass. We found substantially reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the presence of predators in all systems, despite differences in predator type, hydrology, climatic region, ecological zone and level of in situ primary production. We also observed lower amounts of prey biomass and higher amounts of algal and detrital biomass in the presence of predators. We conclude that predators have the potential to markedly influence carbon dioxide dynamics in freshwater systems.

  1. Phylogenetic signal in predator-prey body-size relationships.

    PubMed

    Naisbit, Russell E; Kehrli, Patrik; Rohr, Rudolf P; Bersier, Louis-Félix

    2011-12-01

    Body mass is a fundamental characteristic that affects metabolism, life history, and population abundance and frequently sets bounds on who eats whom in food webs. Based on a collection of topological food webs, Ulrich Brose and colleagues presented a general relationship between the body mass of predators and their prey and analyzed how mean predator-prey body-mass ratios differed among habitats and predator metabolic categories. Here we show that the general body-mass relationship conceals significant variation associated with both predator and prey phylogeny. Major-axis regressions between the log body mass of predators and prey differed among taxonomic groups. The global pattern for Kingdom Animalia had slope > 1, but phyla and classes varied, and several had slopes significantly < 1. The predator-prey body-mass ratio can therefore decrease or increase with increasing body mass, depending on the taxon considered. We also found a significant phylogenetic signal in analyses of prey body-mass range for predators and predator body-mass range for prey, with stronger signal in the former. Besides providing insights into how characteristics of trophic interactions evolve, our results emphasize the need to integrate phylogeny to improve models of community structure and dynamics or to achieve a metabolic theory of food-web ecology.

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

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Leung, Luke K-P

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Allen, Benjamin L; Leung, Luke K-P

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Experimental evidence of an age-specific shift in chemical detection of predators in a lizard.

    PubMed

    Head, Megan L; Keogh, J Scott; Doughty, Paul

    2002-03-01

    The risk posed by predation is one of the most fundamental aspects of an animal's environment. Avoidance of predators implies an ability to obtain reliable information about the risk of predation, and for many species, chemosensory cues are likely to be an important source of such information. Chemosensory cues reliably reveal the presence of predators or their presence in the recent past. We used retreat site selection experiments to test whether the Australian scincid lizard Eulamprus heatwolei uses chemical cues for predator detection and avoidance. Both adult and juvenile lizards were given the choice of retreat sites treated with scents from invertebrate predators, as well as sympatric and allopatric snake predators. Some of the snake predators were known to eat E. heatwolei, while others did not pose a predation threat. All invertebrate predators posed a risk to juveniles, but not adults because of their size. We found that juvenile E. heatwolei avoided predator odors more strongly than adults. Juveniles avoided both invertebrate predators and snakes, and the strongest response was toward the funnel web spider, the only ambush predator used in this experiment. This result may demonstrate the importance of predator ecology in the evolution of predator detection mechanisms, with chemical cues being more useful in detecting sedentary predators than active predators. Adult lizards showed no avoidance behavior toward predator odors. This result suggests an age specific shift in predator avoidance behavior as lizards get older and become too large for many predators. However, adults showed no response to the odor from the red-bellied black snake, a known predator of adult E. heatwolei. This finding further demonstrates the importance of predator ecology when examining communication between predators and prey. Chemical cues, which are persistent long after predators have vacated the area, may not be useful in detecting the red-bellied black snake, a wide

  6. Nonlinearity in the predation risk of prey mobility.

    PubMed Central

    Banks, P B; Norrdahl, K; Korpimäki, E

    2000-01-01

    Odorous waste products such as urine and faeces are unavoidable for most animals and are widely exploited by predators and their prey. Consequently, waste accumulations can be risky and prey which increase their mobility in order to disperse and dilute their waste should avoid a high predation risk until this benefit is balanced by the increasing risks of random predator encounter. This hypothesis was tested for voles (Microtus spp.) in Finland which are vulnerable to predation due to the scent and ultraviolet attractiveness of their urine. The mortality and mobility of radio-collared voles showed a U-shaped relationship, regardless of vole sex, species or population cycle phase. The low risks for prey making intermediate movements suggest that predation risk can exert strong selective pressures on prey such that they have little respite from the risk of being killed. PMID:11467424

  7. Visual motion with pink noise induces predation behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Wataru; Watanabe, Eiji

    2012-01-01

    Visual motion cues are one of the most important factors for eliciting animal behaviour, including predator-prey interactions in aquatic environments. To understand the elements of motion that cause such selective predation behaviour, we used a virtual plankton system where the predation behaviour in response to computer-generated prey was analysed. First, we performed motion analysis of zooplankton (Daphnia magna) to extract mathematical functions for biologically relevant motions of prey. Next, virtual prey models were programmed on a computer and presented to medaka (Oryzias latipes), which served as predatory fish. Medaka exhibited predation behaviour against several characteristic virtual plankton movements, particularly against a swimming pattern that could be characterised as pink noise motion. Analysing prey-predator interactions via pink noise motion will be an interesting research field in the future. PMID:22355733

  8. Effects of predator odour on antipredator responses of Nile tilapia.

    PubMed

    Miyai, Caio Akira; Sanches, Fábio Henrique Carretero; Pinho-Neto, Cândido Ferreira; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio

    2016-10-15

    Several fish species exhibit antipredator responses when exposed to chemicals which indicate risk of predation. One such substance is the scent of a predator (a kairomone) that may induce defensive responses in a potential prey. In the present study, we show that chemical cues (odour) from predator fish induce antipredator and stress responses in Nile tilapia. When exposed to predator odour, Nile tilapia decreased activity and increased ventilation rate (VR), but no increase in plasma levels of cortisol and glucose was found. Although the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal axis (HPI axis) was not activated, an increase in ventilation is a fast response which can provide the fish enough oxygen for a 'fight or flight' event when facing a predator. Thus, this respiratory response suggests an anticipated adjustment in order to prepare the body for a defensive response, such as escaping, irrespective of HPI axis activation.

  9. Environmental versus demographic variability in stochastic predator-prey models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobramysl, U.; Täuber, U. C.

    2013-10-01

    In contrast to the neutral population cycles of the deterministic mean-field Lotka-Volterra rate equations, including spatial structure and stochastic noise in models for predator-prey interactions yields complex spatio-temporal structures associated with long-lived erratic population oscillations. Environmental variability in the form of quenched spatial randomness in the predation rates results in more localized activity patches. Our previous study showed that population fluctuations in rare favorable regions in turn cause a remarkable increase in the asymptotic densities of both predators and prey. Very intriguing features are found when variable interaction rates are affixed to individual particles rather than lattice sites. Stochastic dynamics with demographic variability in conjunction with inheritable predation efficiencies generate non-trivial time evolution for the predation rate distributions, yet with overall essentially neutral optimization.

  10. Interference coloration as an anti-predator defence

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Thomas W.

    2015-01-01

    Interference coloration, in which the perceived colour varies predictably with the angle of illumination or observation, is extremely widespread across animal groups. However, despite considerable advances in our understanding of the mechanistic basis of interference coloration in animals, we still have a poor understanding of its function. Here, I show, using avian predators hunting dynamic virtual prey, that the presence of interference coloration can significantly reduce a predator's attack success. Predators required more pecks to successfully catch interference-coloured prey compared with otherwise identical prey items that lacked interference coloration, and attacks against prey with interference colours were less accurate, suggesting that changes in colour or brightness caused by prey movement hindered a predator's ability to pinpoint their exact location. The pronounced anti-predator benefits of interference coloration may explain why it has evolved independently so many times. PMID:25878050

  11. Multiple micro-predators controlling bacterial communities in the environment.

    PubMed

    Johnke, Julia; Cohen, Yossi; de Leeuw, Marina; Kushmaro, Ariel; Jurkevitch, Edouard; Chatzinotas, Antonis

    2014-06-01

    Predator-prey interactions are a main issue in ecological theory, including multispecies predator-prey relationships and intraguild predation. This knowledge is mainly based on the study of plants and animals, while its relevance for microorganisms is not well understood. The three key groups of micro-predators include protists, predatory bacteria and bacteriophages. They greatly differ in size, in prey specificity, in hunting strategies and in the resulting population dynamics. Yet, their potential to jointly control bacterial populations and reducing biomass in complex environments such as wastewater treatment plants is vast. Here, we present relevant ecological concepts and recent findings on micropredators, and propose that an integrative approach to predation at the microscale should be developed enabling the exploitation of this potential.

  12. Multiple micro-predators controlling bacterial communities in the environment.

    PubMed

    Johnke, Julia; Cohen, Yossi; de Leeuw, Marina; Kushmaro, Ariel; Jurkevitch, Edouard; Chatzinotas, Antonis

    2014-06-01

    Predator-prey interactions are a main issue in ecological theory, including multispecies predator-prey relationships and intraguild predation. This knowledge is mainly based on the study of plants and animals, while its relevance for microorganisms is not well understood. The three key groups of micro-predators include protists, predatory bacteria and bacteriophages. They greatly differ in size, in prey specificity, in hunting strategies and in the resulting population dynamics. Yet, their potential to jointly control bacterial populations and reducing biomass in complex environments such as wastewater treatment plants is vast. Here, we present relevant ecological concepts and recent findings on micropredators, and propose that an integrative approach to predation at the microscale should be developed enabling the exploitation of this potential. PMID:24598212

  13. Kinship reinforces cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish.

    PubMed

    Hesse, Saskia; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M; Frommen, Joachim G; Thünken, Timo

    2015-11-01

    Kin selection theory predicts that cooperation is facilitated between genetic relatives, as by cooperating with kin an individual might increase its inclusive fitness. Although numerous theoretical papers support Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory, experimental evidence is still underrepresented, in particular in noncooperative breeders. Cooperative predator inspection is one of the most intriguing antipredator strategies, as it implies high costs on inspectors. During an inspection event, one or more individuals leave the safety of a group and approach a potential predator to gather information about the current predation risk. We investigated the effect of genetic relatedness on cooperative predator inspection in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus, a species in which juveniles live in shoals under natural conditions. We show that relatedness significantly influenced predator inspection behaviour with kin dyads being significantly more cooperative. Thus, our results indicate a higher disposition for cooperative antipredator behaviour among kin as predicted by kin selection theory. PMID:26299423

  14. Effects of multiple predator species on green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) tadpoles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gunzburger, M.S.; Travis, J.

    2005-01-01

    Prey species that occur across a range of habitats may be exposed to variable communities of multiple predator species across habitats. Predicting the combined effects of multiple predators can be complex. Many experiments evaluating the effects of multiple predators on prey confound either variation in predator density with predator identity or variation in relative predator frequency with overall predation rates. We develop a new experimental design of factorial predator combinations that maintains a constant expected predation rate, under the null hypothesis of additive predator effects. We implement this design to evaluate the combined effects of three predator species (bass, aeshnid and libellulid odonate naiads) on mortality rate of a prey species, Hyla cinerea (Schneider, 1799) tadpoles, that occurs across a range of aquatic habitats. Two predator treatments (libellulid and aeshnid + libellulid) resulted in lower tadpole mortality than any of the other predator treatments. Variation in tadpole mortality across treatments was not related to coarse variation in microhabitat use, but was likely due to intraguild predation, which occurred in all predator treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles have constant, low survival values when exposed to many different combinations of predator species, and predation rate probably increases linearly with predator density.

  15. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Aller I; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-07-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian predator (Red Knot, Calidris canutus). We measured densities, patchiness, morphology, and body composition (shell and flesh mass) of cockles in a quasi-experimental setting, i.e., before and after predation in three similar plots of 1 ha each, two of which experienced predation, and one of which remained unvisited in the course of the short study period and served as a reference. An individual's shell and flesh mass declined with cockle density (negative density dependence). Before predation, cockles were patchily distributed. After predation, during which densities were reduced by 78% (from 232 to 50 cockles/m2), the patchiness was substantially reduced, i.e., the spatial distribution was homogenized. Red Knots selected juvenile cockles with an average length of 6.9 ± 1.0 mm (mean ± SD). Cockles surviving predation had heavier shells than before predation (an increase of 21.5 percentage points), but similar flesh masses. By contrast, in the reference plot shell mass did not differ statistically between initial and final sampling occasions, while flesh mass was larger (an increase of 13.2 percentage points). In this field study, we show that Red Knots imposed a strong selection pressure on cockles to grow fast with thick shells and little flesh mass, with selection gradients among the highest reported in the literature.

  16. Population and behavioural responses of native prey to alien predation.

    PubMed

    Kovacs, Eszter Krasznai; Crowther, Mathew S; Webb, Jonathan K; Dickman, Christopher R

    2012-04-01

    The introduction of invasive alien predators often has catastrophic effects on populations of naïve native prey, but in situations where prey survive the initial impact a predator may act as a strong selective agent for prey that can discriminate and avoid it. Using two common species of Australian small mammals that have persisted in the presence of an alien predator, the European red fox Vulpes vulpes, for over a century, we hypothesised that populations of both would perform better where the activity of the predator was low than where it was high and that prey individuals would avoid signs of the predator's presence. We found no difference in prey abundance in sites with high and low fox activity, but survival of one species-the bush rat Rattus fuscipes-was almost twofold higher where fox activity was low. Juvenile, but not adult rats, avoided fox odour on traps, as did individuals of the second prey species, the brown antechinus, Antechinus stuartii. Both species also showed reduced activity at foraging trays bearing fox odour in giving-up density (GUD) experiments, although GUDs and avoidance of fox odour declined over time. Young rats avoided fox odour more strongly where fox activity was high than where it was low, but neither adult R. fuscipes nor A. stuartii responded differently to different levels of fox activity. Conservation managers often attempt to eliminate alien predators or to protect predator-naïve prey in protected reserves. Our results suggest that, if predator pressure can be reduced, otherwise susceptible prey may survive the initial impact of an alien predator, and experience selection to discriminate cues to its presence and avoid it over the longer term. Although predator reduction is often feasible, identifying the level of reduction that will conserve prey and allow selection for avoidance remains an important challenge. PMID:22042524

  17. Natural selection by pulsed predation: survival of the thickest.

    PubMed

    Bijleveld, Aller I; Twietmeyer, Sönke; Piechocki, Julia; van Gils, Jan A; Piersma, Theunis

    2015-07-01

    Selective predation can lead to natural selection in prey populations and may alleviate competition among surviving individuals. The processes of selection and competition can have substantial effects on prey population dynamics, but are rarely studied simultaneously. Moreover, field studies of predator-induced short-term selection pressures on prey populations are scarce. Here we report measurements of density dependence in body composition in a bivalve prey (edible cockle, Cerastoderma edule) during bouts of intense predation by an avian predator (Red Knot, Calidris canutus). We measured densities, patchiness, morphology, and body composition (shell and flesh mass) of cockles in a quasi-experimental setting, i.e., before and after predation in three similar plots of 1 ha each, two of which experienced predation, and one of which remained unvisited in the course of the short study period and served as a reference. An individual's shell and flesh mass declined with cockle density (negative density dependence). Before predation, cockles were patchily distributed. After predation, during which densities were reduced by 78% (from 232 to 50 cockles/m2), the patchiness was substantially reduced, i.e., the spatial distribution was homogenized. Red Knots selected juvenile cockles with an average length of 6.9 ± 1.0 mm (mean ± SD). Cockles surviving predation had heavier shells than before predation (an increase of 21.5 percentage points), but similar flesh masses. By contrast, in the reference plot shell mass did not differ statistically between initial and final sampling occasions, while flesh mass was larger (an increase of 13.2 percentage points). In this field study, we show that Red Knots imposed a strong selection pressure on cockles to grow fast with thick shells and little flesh mass, with selection gradients among the highest reported in the literature. PMID:26378316

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  20. Predation of stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by a complex of predators and adjoining soybean habitats in Georgia, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Molecular gut-content analysis was used to examine predation on stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) by arthropod predators in habitats of soybean with and without buckwheat and adjoining cotton. Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), Chinavia hilaris (Say), and Euschistus quadrator Rolston,...

  1. Do Predators Always Win? Starfish versus Limpets: A Hands-On Activity Examining Predator-Prey Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faria, Claudia; Boaventura, Diana; Galvao, Cecilia; Chagas, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    In this article we propose a hands-on experimental activity about predator-prey interactions that can be performed both in a research laboratory and in the classroom. The activity, which engages students in a real scientific experiment, can be explored not only to improve students' understanding about the diversity of anti-predator behaviors but…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Stationary distribution and periodic solution for stochastic predator-prey systems with nonlinear predator harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Wenjie; Jiang, Daqing

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of the stochastic autonomous and non-autonomous predator-prey systems with nonlinear predator harvesting respectively. For the autonomous system, we first give the existence of the global positive solution. Then, in the case of persistence, we prove that there exists a unique stationary distribution and it has ergodicity by constructing a suitable Lyapunov function. The result shows that, the relatively weaker white noise will strengthen the stability of the system, but the stronger white noise will result in the extinction of one or two species. Particularly, for the non-autonomous periodic system, we show that there exists at least one nontrivial positive periodic solution according to the theory of Khasminskii. Finally, numerical simulations illustrate our theoretical results.

  4. Novel trophic cascades: apex predators enable coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Ripple, William J; Carroll, Scott P

    2015-03-01

    Novel assemblages of native and introduced species characterize a growing proportion of ecosystems worldwide. Some introduced species have contributed to extinctions, even extinction waves, spurring widespread efforts to eradicate or control them. We propose that trophic cascade theory offers insights into why introduced species sometimes become harmful, but in other cases stably coexist with natives and offer net benefits. Large predators commonly limit populations of potentially irruptive prey and mesopredators, both native and introduced. This top-down force influences a wide range of ecosystem processes that often enhance biodiversity. We argue that many species, regardless of their origin or priors, are allies for the retention and restoration of biodiversity in top-down regulated ecosystems. PMID:25687158

  5. Novel trophic cascades: apex predators enable coexistence.

    PubMed

    Wallach, Arian D; Ripple, William J; Carroll, Scott P

    2015-03-01

    Novel assemblages of native and introduced species characterize a growing proportion of ecosystems worldwide. Some introduced species have contributed to extinctions, even extinction waves, spurring widespread efforts to eradicate or control them. We propose that trophic cascade theory offers insights into why introduced species sometimes become harmful, but in other cases stably coexist with natives and offer net benefits. Large predators commonly limit populations of potentially irruptive prey and mesopredators, both native and introduced. This top-down force influences a wide range of ecosystem processes that often enhance biodiversity. We argue that many species, regardless of their origin or priors, are allies for the retention and restoration of biodiversity in top-down regulated ecosystems.

  6. Prey-Predator Three Species Model Using Predator Harvesting Holling Type II Functional

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vijaya, S.; Rekha, E.

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents three species harvesting model in which there is one predator species and two others are prey species. We derive boundedness and equilibrium point for this system. Also we derive the stability of this system analytically. We find bifurcation for this system. We have derived the binomic equilibrium point by using Pontryagin’s maximum principle (PMP). Presented are various suitable analytical and numerical examples with Maple 18 programming.

  7. Spatial distribution of predator/prey interactions in the Scotia Sea: implications for measuring predator/fisheries overlap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Keith; Sims, Michelle; White, Richard W.; Gillon, Keith W.

    2004-06-01

    The measurement of spatial overlap between predators and fisheries exploiting a common prey source is dependent upon the measurement scale used; inappropriate scales may produce misleading results. Previous assessments of the level of overlap between predators and fisheries for Antarctic krill ( Euphausia superba) in the region of the South Shetland Islands used different measurement scales and arrived at contradictory conclusions. At-sea data from observations of krill predators during the CCAMLR 2000 Survey were used to identify the areas of potential overlap with fisheries in the Scotia Sea and to determine the scale at which such overlap should be measured. The relationship between autocorrelation and sampling distance was used to identify the characteristic scales of the distribution of predators, krill and krill fisheries, and an effort-corrected index of relative abundance as a function of distance from land was used to identify the characteristics of areas of high potential for overlap. Despite distinct differences in foraging ecology, a group of krill-dependent species including chinstrap penguin ( Pygoscelis antarctica), (Antarctic) fur seal ( Arctocephalus sp. ( gazella)) and white-chinned petrel ( Procellaria aequinoctialis) showed similar patterns of distribution; the relative abundances were highest at 60-120 km from land and decreased sharply at distances greater than 150 km from land. There were more inter-specific differences in the characteristic scales, which were of the order of 50-100 km. Antarctic krill had a characteristic scale of approximately 200 km and the relationship with distance from land showed a log-linear decline. Krill fisheries operate at a scale of 150 km and occur almost entirely within 100 km of land. The requirement of land for breeding and the biological and oceanographic conditions that produce the high concentrations of krill associated with those land areas produce a system in which the demand for Antarctic krill from

  8. Role of egg predation by haddock in the decline of an Atlantic herring population.

    PubMed

    Richardson, David E; Hare, Jonathan A; Fogarty, Michael J; Link, Jason S

    2011-08-16

    Theoretical studies suggest that the abrupt and substantial changes in the productivity of some fisheries species may be explained by predation-driven alternate stable states in their population levels. With this hypothesis, an increase in fishing or a natural perturbation can drive a population from an upper to a lower stable-equilibrium population level. After fishing is reduced or the perturbation ended, this low population level can persist due to the regulatory effect of the predator. Although established in theoretical studies, there is limited empirical support for predation-driven alternate stable states in exploited marine fish populations. We present evidence that egg predation by haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) can cause alternate stable population levels in Georges Bank Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). Egg predation by haddock explains a substantial decoupling of herring spawning stock biomass (an index of egg production) from observed larval herring abundance (an index of egg hatching). Estimated egg survival rates ranged from <2-70% from 1971 to 2005. A population model incorporating egg predation and herring fishing explains the major population trends of Georges Bank herring over four decades and predicts that, when the haddock population is high, seemingly conservative levels of fishing can still precipitate a severe decline in the herring population. These findings illustrate how efforts to rebuild fisheries can be undermined by not incorporating ecological interactions into fisheries models and management plans.

  9. Differential predation of the planarian Dugesia tigrina on two mosquito species under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Melo, A S; Andrade, C F

    2001-03-01

    Two experiments were performed on the predation of the planarian Dugesia tigrina (Girard) upon 2 mosquito prey species, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Bioassays were carried out in sectioned tires with 2 liters of water. In the 1st experiment, predation was evaluated using 4, 8, and 12 mature planarians against 40 2nd-stage larvae of each mosquito species alone. In the 2nd experiment, the same 3 predator densities were used with a pool composed of 20 2nd-stage larvae of each mosquito species. In the 1st experiment, final corrected mortality of Ae. albopictus reached 89.1, 98.8, and 99.6% and final corrected mortality of Cx. quinquefasciatus reached 29.4, 48.0, and 53.0%, respectively, with 4, 8, and 12 planarians. In the 2nd experiment and when subjected to the density of 4 planarians, Ae. albopictus was more susceptible to predation, with a selectivity index of 0.87, whereas this index was 0.13 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. Predation was more intensive during the 1st 4 days of the experiments, when most larvae were in the 2nd and 3rd stages. We observed that Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae were faster than Ae. albopictus in reacting to planarian contacts, resulting in more success in escaping from the predator attacks.

  10. 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

  11. Estimating cougar predation rates from GPS location clusters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.R.; Lindzey, F.G.

    2003-01-01

    We examined cougar (Puma concolor) predation from Global Positioning System (GPS) location clusters (???2 locations within 200 m on the same or consecutive nights) of 11 cougars during September-May, 1999-2001. Location success of GPS averaged 2.4-5.0 of 6 location attempts/night/cougar. We surveyed potential predation sites during summer-fall 2000 and summer 2001 to identify prey composition (n = 74; 3-388 days post predation) and record predation-site variables (n = 97; 3-270 days post predation). We developed a model to estimate probability that a cougar killed a large mammal from data collected at GPS location clusters where the probability of predation increased with number of nights (defined as locations at 2200, 0200, or 0500 hr) of cougar presence within a 200-m radius (P < 0.001). Mean estimated cougar predation rates for large mammals were 7.3 days/kill for subadult females (1-2.5 yr; n = 3, 90% CI: 6.3 to 9.9), 7.0 days/kill for adult females (n = 2, 90% CI: 5.8 to 10.8), 5.4 days/kill for family groups (females with young; n = 3, 90% CI: 4.5 to 8.4), 9.5 days/kill for a subadult male (1-2.5 yr; n = 1, 90% CI: 6.9 to 16.4), and 7.8 days/kill for adult males (n = 2, 90% CI: 6.8 to 10.7). We may have slightly overestimated cougar predation rates due to our inability to separate scavenging from predation. We detected 45 deer (Odocoileus spp.), 15 elk (Cervus elaphus), 6 pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), 2 livestock, 1 moose (Alces alces), and 6 small mammals at cougar predation sites. Comparisons between cougar sexes suggested that females selected mule deer and males selected elk (P < 0.001). Cougars averaged 3.0 nights on pronghorn carcasses, 3.4 nights on deer carcasses, and 6.0 nights on elk carcasses. Most cougar predation (81.7%) occurred between 1901-0500 hr and peaked from 2201-0200 hr (31.7%). Applying GPS technology to identify predation rates and prey selection will allow managers to efficiently estimate the ability of an area's prey base to

  12. Managing a subsidized predator population: Reducing common raven predation on desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boarman, W.I.

    2003-01-01

    Human communities often are an inadvertent source of food, water, and other resources to native species of wildlife. Because these resources are more stable and predictable than those in a natural environment, animals that subsist on them are able to increase in numbers and expand their range, much to the detriment of their competitors and species they prey upon. In the Mojave Desert, common ravens (Corvus corax) have benefited from human-provided resources to increase in population size precipitously in recent years. This trend has caused concern because ravens prey on juvenile desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), a federally threatened species. In this paper, I discuss management strategies to reduce raven predation on desert tortoises. The recommendations fall into three categories: (1) managing raven populations by reducing access to anthropogenic resources; (2) removing offending ravens or other birds in specially targeted tortoise management zones; and (3) continuing research on raven ecology, raven behavior, and methods of reducing raven predation on tortoises. I also recommend approaching the problem within an adaptive management framework: management efforts should first be employed as scientific experiments - with replicates and controls - to yield an unbiased assessment of their effectiveness. Furthermore, these strategies should be implemented in concert with actions that reduce other causes of desert tortoise mortality to aid the long-term recovery of their populations. Overall, the approaches outlined in this paper are widely applicable to the management of subsidized predators, particularly where they present a threat to a declining species of prey.

  13. Interactive effects of nutrient additions and predation on infaunal communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Posey, M.H.; Alphin, T.D.; Cahoon, L.; Lindquist, D.; Becker, M.E.

    1999-01-01

    Nutrient additions represent an important anthropogenic stress on coastal ecosystems. At moderate levels, increased nutrients may lead to increased primary production and, possibly, to increased biomass of consumers although complex trophic interactions may modify or mask these effects. We examined the influence of nutrient additions and interactive effects of trophic interactions (predation) on benthic infaunal composition and abundances through small-scale field experiments in 2 estuaries that differed in ambient nutrient conditions. A blocked experimental design was used that allowed an assessment of direct nutrient effects in the presence and absence of predation by epibenthic predators as well as an assessment of the independent effects of predation. Benthic microalgal production increased with experimental nutrient additions and was greater when infaunal abundances were lower, but there were no significant interactions between these factors. Increased abundances of one infaunal taxa, Laeonereis culveri, as well as the grazer feeding guild were observed with nutrient additions and a number of taxa exhibited higher abundances with predator exclusion. In contrast to results from freshwater systems there were no significant interactive effects between nutrient additions and predator exclusion as was predicted. The infaunal responses observed here emphasize the importance of both bottom-up (nutrient addition and primary producer driven) and top-down (predation) controls in structuring benthic communities. These processes may work at different spatial and temporal scales, and affect different taxa, making observation of potential interactive effects difficult.

  14. Multimodal warning signals for a multiple predator world.

    PubMed

    Ratcliffe, John M; Nydam, Marie L

    2008-09-01

    Aposematism is an anti-predator defence, dependent on a predator's ability to associate unprofitable prey with a prey-borne signal. Multimodal signals should vary in efficacy according to the sensory systems of different predators; however, until now, the impact of multiple predator classes on the evolution of these signals had not been investigated. Here, using a community-level molecular phylogeny to generate phylogenetically independent contrasts, we show that warning signals of tiger moths vary according to the seasonal and daily activity patterns of birds and bats-predators with divergent sensory capacities. Many tiger moths advertise chemical defence using conspicuous colouration and/or ultrasonic clicks. During spring, when birds are active and bats less so, we found that tiger moths did not produce ultrasonic clicks. Throughout both spring and summer, tiger moths most active during the day were visually conspicuous. Those species emerging later in the season produced ultrasonic clicks; those that were most nocturnal were visually cryptic. Our results indicate that selective pressures from multiple predator classes have distinct roles in the evolution of multimodal warning displays now effective against a single predator class. We also suggest that the evolution of acoustic warning signals may lack the theoretical difficulties associated with the origination of conspicuous colouration.

  15. Reduced flocking by birds on islands with relaxed predation.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2004-05-22

    Adaptive hypotheses for the evolution of flocking in birds have usually focused on predation avoidance or foraging enhancement. It still remains unclear to what extent each factor has contributed to the evolution of flocking. If predation avoidance were the sole factor involved, flocking should not be prevalent when predation is relaxed. I examined flocking tendencies along with mean and maximum flock size in species living on islands where predation risk is either absent or negligible and then compared these results with matched counterparts on the mainland. The dataset consisted of 46 pairs of species from 22 different islands across the world. The tendency to flock was retained on islands in most species, but in pairs with dissimilar flocking tendencies, island species were less likely to flock. Mean and maximum flock size were smaller on islands than on the mainland. Potential confounding factors such as population density, nest predation, habitat type, food type and body mass failed to account for the results. The results suggest that predation is a significant factor in the evolution of flocking in birds. Nevertheless, predation and other factors, such as foraging enhancement, probably act together to maintain the trait in most species. PMID:15293857

  16. Nest predation and circulating corticosterone levels within and among species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, Joseph J.; Arriero, Elena; Schwabl, Hubert; Martin, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    Variation in the risk of predation to offspring can influence the expression of reproductive strategies both within and among species. Appropriate expression of reproductive strategies in environments that differ in predation risk can have clear advantages for fitness. Although adult-predation risk appears to influence glucocorticosteroid levels, leading to changes in behavioral and life-history strategies, the influence of offspring-predation risk on adult glucocorticosteroid levels remains unclear. We compared total baseline corticosterone concentrations in Gray-headed Juncos (Junco hyemalis dorsalis) nesting on plots with and without experimentally reduced risk of nest predation. Despite differences in risk between treatments, we failed to find differences in total baseline corticosterone concentrations. When we examined corticosterone concentrations across a suite of sympatric species, however, higher risk of nest predation correlated with higher total baseline corticosterone levels. As found previously, total baseline corticosterone was negatively correlated with body condition and positively correlated with date of sampling. However, we also found that corticosterone levels increased seasonally, independent of stage of breeding. Nest predation can alter the expression of birds' reproductive strategies, but our findings suggest that total baseline corticosterone is not the physiological mechanism regulating these responses.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. The role of predator selection on polymorphic aposematic poison frogs.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Brice P; Comeault, Aaron A

    2009-02-23

    Demonstrations of interactions between diverse selective forces on bright coloration in defended species are rare. Recent work has suggested that not only do the bright colours of Neotropical poison frogs serve to deter predators, but they also play a role in sexual selection, with females preferring males similar to themselves. These studies report an interaction between the selective forces of mate choice and predation. However, evidence demonstrating phenotypic discrimination by potential predators on these polymorphic species is lacking. The possibility remains that visual (avian) predators possess an inherent avoidance of brightly coloured diurnal anurans and purifying selection against novel phenotypes within populations is due solely to non-random mating. Here, we examine the influence of predation on phenotypic variation in a polymorphic species of poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius. Using clay models, we demonstrate a purifying role for predator selection, as brightly coloured novel forms are more likely to suffer an attack than both local aposematic and cryptic forms. Additionally, local aposematic forms are attacked, though infrequently, indicating ongoing testing/learning and a lack of innate avoidance. These results demonstrate predator-driven phenotypic purification within populations and suggest colour patterns of poison frogs may truly represent a 'magic trait'.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. The impact of environmental toxins on predator-prey dynamics.

    PubMed

    Huang, Qihua; Wang, Hao; Lewis, Mark A

    2015-08-01

    Predators and prey may be simultaneously exposed to environmental toxins, but one may be more susceptible than the other. To study the effects of environmental toxins on food web dynamics, we develop a toxin-dependent predator-prey model that combines both direct and indirect toxic effects on two trophic levels. The direct effects of toxins typically reduce organism abundance by increasing mortality or reducing fecundity. Such direct effects, therefore, alter both bottom-up food availability and top-down predatory ability. However, the indirect effects, when mediated through predator-prey interactions, may lead to counterintuitive effects. This study investigates how the balance of the classical predator-prey dynamics changes as a function of environmental toxin levels. While high toxin concentrations are shown to be harmful to both species, possibly leading to extirpation of both species, intermediate toxin concentrations may affect predators disproportionately through biomagnification, leading to reduced abundance of predators and increased abundance of the prey. This counterintuitive effect significantly increases biomass at the lower trophic level. Environmental toxins may also reduce population variability by preventing populations from fluctuating around a coexistence equilibrium. Finally, environmental toxins may induce bistable dynamics, in which different initial population levels produce different long-term outcomes. Since our toxin-dependent predator-prey model is general, the theory developed here not only provides a sound foundation for population or community effects of toxicity, but also could be used to help develop management strategies to preserve and restore the integrity of contaminated habitats.

  1. The role of predator selection on polymorphic aposematic poison frogs.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Brice P; Comeault, Aaron A

    2009-02-23

    Demonstrations of interactions between diverse selective forces on bright coloration in defended species are rare. Recent work has suggested that not only do the bright colours of Neotropical poison frogs serve to deter predators, but they also play a role in sexual selection, with females preferring males similar to themselves. These studies report an interaction between the selective forces of mate choice and predation. However, evidence demonstrating phenotypic discrimination by potential predators on these polymorphic species is lacking. The possibility remains that visual (avian) predators possess an inherent avoidance of brightly coloured diurnal anurans and purifying selection against novel phenotypes within populations is due solely to non-random mating. Here, we examine the influence of predation on phenotypic variation in a polymorphic species of poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius. Using clay models, we demonstrate a purifying role for predator selection, as brightly coloured novel forms are more likely to suffer an attack than both local aposematic and cryptic forms. Additionally, local aposematic forms are attacked, though infrequently, indicating ongoing testing/learning and a lack of innate avoidance. These results demonstrate predator-driven phenotypic purification within populations and suggest colour patterns of poison frogs may truly represent a 'magic trait'. PMID:19019778

  2. The role of predator selection on polymorphic aposematic poison frogs

    PubMed Central

    Noonan, Brice P.; Comeault, Aaron A.

    2008-01-01

    Demonstrations of interactions between diverse selective forces on bright coloration in defended species are rare. Recent work has suggested that not only do the bright colours of Neotropical poison frogs serve to deter predators, but they also play a role in sexual selection, with females preferring males similar to themselves. These studies report an interaction between the selective forces of mate choice and predation. However, evidence demonstrating phenotypic discrimination by potential predators on these polymorphic species is lacking. The possibility remains that visual (avian) predators possess an inherent avoidance of brightly coloured diurnal anurans and purifying selection against novel phenotypes within populations is due solely to non-random mating. Here, we examine the influence of predation on phenotypic variation in a polymorphic species of poison frog, Dendrobates tinctorius. Using clay models, we demonstrate a purifying role for predator selection, as brightly coloured novel forms are more likely to suffer an attack than both local aposematic and cryptic forms. Additionally, local aposematic forms are attacked, though infrequently, indicating ongoing testing/learning and a lack of innate avoidance. These results demonstrate predator-driven phenotypic purification within populations and suggest colour patterns of poison frogs may truly represent a ‘magic trait’. PMID:19019778

  3. Social deprivation affects cooperative predator inspection in a cichlid fish

    PubMed Central

    Hesse, Saskia; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M.; Frommen, Joachim G.; Thünken, Timo

    2015-01-01

    The social environment individuals are exposed to during ontogeny shapes social skills and social competence in group-living animals. Consequently, social deprivation has serious effects on behaviour and development in animals but little is known about its impact on cooperation. In this study, we examined the effect of social environment on cooperative predator inspection. Predator inspection behaviour is a complex behaviour, which is present in a variety of shoaling fish species. Often, two fish leave the safety of the group and inspect a potentially dangerous predator in order to gather information about the current predation risk. As predator inspection is highly risky, it is prone to conflicts and cheating. However, cooperation among individuals may reduce the individual predation risk. We investigated this complex social behaviour in juveniles of the cichlid fish Pelvicachromis taeniatus that were reared in two different social environments throughout development. Fish reared in a group inspected more often than isolation-reared fish and were more likely to cooperate, i.e. they conducted conjoint inspection of a predator. By contrast, isolation-reared fish were more likely to perform a single inspection without a companion. These results suggest an impairment of cooperative behaviour in isolation-reared fish most probably due to lack of social experience and resulting in lowered social skills needed in coordinated behaviour. PMID:26064616

  4. Escaping peril: perceived predation risk affects migratory propensity

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Nest predation and circulating corticosterone levels within and among species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Arriero, E.; Schwabl, H.; Martin, T.E.

    2011-01-01

    Variation in the risk of predation to offspring can influence the expression of reproductive strategies both within and among species. Appropriate expression of reproductive strategies in environments that differ in predation risk can have clear advantages for fitness. Although adult-predation risk appears to influence glucocorticosteroid levels, leading to changes in behavioral and life-history strategies, the influence of offspring-predation risk on adult glucocorticosteroid levels remains unclear. We compared total baseline corticosterone concentrations in Gray-headed Juncos (Junco hyemalis dorsalis) nesting on plots with and without experimentally reduced risk of nest predation. Despite differences in risk between treatments, we failed to find differences in total baseline corticosterone concentrations. When we examined corticosterone concentrations across a suite of sympatric species, however, higher risk of nest predation correlated with higher total baseline corticosterone levels. As found previously, total baseline corticosterone was negatively correlated with body condition and positively correlated with date of sampling. However, we also found that corticosterone levels increased seasonally, independent of stage of breeding. Nest predation can alter the expression of birds' reproductive strategies, but our findings suggest that total baseline corticosterone is not the physiological mechanism regulating these responses. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  6. Mapping risk for nest predation on a barrier island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Optimal-Foraging Predator Favors Commensalistic Batesian Mimicry

    PubMed Central

    Honma, Atsushi; Takakura, Koh-ichi; Nishida, Takayoshi

    2008-01-01

    Background Mimicry, in which one prey species (the Mimic) imitates the aposematic signals of another prey (the Model) to deceive their predators, has attracted the general interest of evolutionary biologists. Predator psychology, especially how the predator learns and forgets, has recently been recognized as an important factor in a predator–prey system. This idea is supported by both theoretical and experimental evidence, but is also the source of a good deal of controversy because of its novel prediction that in a Model/Mimic relationship even a moderately unpalatable Mimic increases the risk of the Model (quasi-Batesian mimicry). Methodology/Principal Findings We developed a psychology-based Monte Carlo model simulation of mimicry that incorporates a “Pavlovian” predator that practices an optimal foraging strategy, and examined how various ecological and psychological factors affect the relationships between a Model prey species and its Mimic. The behavior of the predator in our model is consistent with that reported by experimental studies, but our simulation's predictions differed markedly from those of previous models of mimicry because a more abundant Mimic did not increase the predation risk of the Model when alternative prey were abundant. Moreover, a quasi-Batesian relationship emerges only when no or very few alternative prey items were available. Therefore, the availability of alternative prey rather than the precise method of predator learning critically determines the relationship between Model and Mimic. Moreover, the predation risk to the Model and Mimic is determined by the absolute density of the Model rather than by its density relative to that of the Mimic. Conclusions/Significance Although these predictions are counterintuitive, they can explain various kinds of data that have been offered in support of competitive theories. Our model results suggest that to understand mimicry in nature it is important to consider the likely presence of

  11. System-Wide Significance of Predation on Juvenile Salmonids in Columbia and Snake River Reservoirs and Evaluation of Predation Control Measures : Annual Report 1993.

    SciTech Connect

    Gadomski, Dena M.; Petersen, James H.; Poe, Thomas P.

    1993-12-01

    This project had three major goals. The first was to assist the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife with predation indexing as part of an effort to estimate the relative magnitude of juvenile salmonid losses to northern squawfish Ptychocheilus oregonensis in reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin. The second goal was to evaluate the northern squawfish control program and test critical assumptions about mid-reservoir predation processes. The final goal was to determine mechanisms underlying northern squawfish recruitment and factors affecting year-class strength.

  12. Survival of the Stillest: Predator Avoidance in Shark Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Kempster, Ryan M.; Hart, Nathan S.; Collin, Shaun P.

    2013-01-01

    Sharks use highly sensitive electroreceptors to detect the electric fields emitted by potential prey. However, it is not known whether prey animals are able to modulate their own bioelectrical signals to reduce predation risk. Here, we show that some shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum) embryos can detect predator-mimicking electric fields and respond by ceasing their respiratory gill movements. Despite being confined to the small space within the egg case, where they are vulnerable to predators, embryonic sharks are able to recognise dangerous stimuli and react with an innate avoidance response. Knowledge of such behaviours, may inform the development of effective shark repellents. PMID:23326342

  13. A single predator multiple prey model with prey mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

    A multiple species predator-prey model is expanded with the introduction of a coupled map lattice for the prey, allowing the prey to mutate discretely into other prey species. The model is examined in its single predator, multiple mutating prey form. Two unimodal maps are used for the underlying dynamics of the prey species, with different predation strategies being used. Conclusions are drawn on how varying the control parameters of the model governs the overall behaviour and survival of the species. It is observed that in such a complex system, with multiple mutating prey, a large range of non-linear dynamics is possible.

  14. A predator-prey model with a holling type I functional response including a predator mutual interference

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seo, G.; DeAngelis, D.L.

    2011-01-01

    The most widely used functional response in describing predator-prey relationships is the Holling type II functional response, where per capita predation is a smooth, increasing, and saturating function of prey density. Beddington and DeAngelis modified the Holling type II response to include interference of predators that increases with predator density. Here we introduce a predator-interference term into a Holling type I functional response. We explain the ecological rationale for the response and note that the phase plane configuration of the predator and prey isoclines differs greatly from that of the Beddington-DeAngelis response; for example, in having three possible interior equilibria rather than one. In fact, this new functional response seems to be quite unique. We used analytical and numerical methods to show that the resulting system shows a much richer dynamical behavior than the Beddington-DeAngelis response, or other typically used functional responses. For example, cyclic-fold, saddle-fold, homoclinic saddle connection, and multiple crossing bifurcations can all occur. We then use a smooth approximation to the Holling type I functional response with predator mutual interference to show that these dynamical properties do not result from the lack of smoothness, but rather from subtle differences in the functional responses. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Animal migrations are costly and are often characterized by high predation risk for individuals. Three of the most oft-assumed mechanisms for reducing risk for migrants are swamping predators with high densities, specific timing of migrations and increased body size. Assessing the relative importance of these mechanisms in reducing predation risk particularly for migrants is generally lacking due to the difficulties in tracking the fate of individuals and population-level characteristics simultaneously. We used acoustic telemetry to track migration behaviour and survival of juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) smolts released over a wide range of conspecific outmigration densities in a river associated with poor survival. The landscape was indeed high risk; smolt survival was poor (˜68%) over 13·5 km of river examined even though migration was rapid (generally <48 h). Our results demonstrate that smolts largely employ swamping of predators to reduce predation risk. Increased densities of co-migrant conspecifics dramatically improved survival of smolts. The strong propensity for nocturnal migration resulted in smolts pausing downstream movements until the next nightfall, greatly increasing relative migration durations for smolts that could not traverse the study area in a single night. Smolt size did not appear to impact predation risk, potentially due to unique characteristics of the system or our inability to tag the entire size range of outmigrants. Movement behaviours were important in traversing this high-risk landscape and provide rare evidence for swamping to effectively reduce individual predation risk. PMID:27159553

  17. A single predator charging a herd of prey: effects of self volume and predator-prey decision-making

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarzl, Maria; Godec, Aljaz; Oshanin, Gleb; Metzler, Ralf

    2016-06-01

    We study the degree of success of a single predator hunting a herd of prey on a two-dimensional square lattice landscape. We explicitly consider the self volume of the prey restraining their dynamics on the lattice. The movement of both predator and prey is chosen to include an intelligent, decision making step based on their respective sighting ranges, the radius in which they can detect the other species (prey cannot recognise each other besides the self volume interaction): after spotting each other the motion of prey and predator turns from a nearest neighbour random walk into directed escape or chase, respectively. We consider a large range of prey densities and sighting ranges and compute the mean first passage time for a predator to catch a prey as well as characterise the effective dynamics of the hunted prey. We find that the prey's sighting range dominates their life expectancy and the predator profits more from a bad eyesight of the prey than from his own good eye sight. We characterise the dynamics in terms of the mean distance between the predator and the nearest prey. It turns out that effectively the dynamics of this distance coordinate can be captured in terms of a simple Ornstein-Uhlenbeck picture. Reducing the many-body problem to a simple two-body problem by imagining predator and nearest prey to be connected by an effective Hookean bond, all features of the model such as prey density and sighting ranges merge into the effective binding constant.

  18. Prey subsidy or predator cue? Direct and indirect effects of caged predators on aquatic consumers and resources.

    PubMed

    Costa, Zacharia J; Vonesh, James R

    2013-12-01

    The non-consumptive effects of predators on prey can affect prey phenotypes, potentially having important consequences for communities due to trait-mediated indirect interactions. Predicting non-consumptive effects and their impacts on communities can be difficult because predators can affect resources directly through nutrient cycling and indirectly by altering prey resource use, which can lead to complex interactions among resources and consumers. In this study we examined the effects of caged dragonfly predators on aquatic resources in the presence and absence of two focal herbivores, the tadpoles of Neotropical tree frogs Agalychnis callidryas and Dendropsophus ebraccatus. We crossed the presence/absence of caged dragonflies with four tadpole treatments: no tadpoles, each tadpole species alone, and both species together to examine interactions among tadpole composition, predator presence, and time on tadpole growth, resources, and zooplankton abundances. Predator effects on growth changed through ontogeny and was species-dependent. Predators initially reduced then dramatically increased A. callidryas growth, but had no effect on D. ebraccatus. Predators also increased the abundances of both periphyton and phytoplankton. However, there was no evidence of a trait-mediated trophic cascade (i.e., tadpole by predator interaction). Instead, nutrients from prey carcass subsidies likely played an increasingly important role in facilitating resources, and shaping tadpole growth, competitive interactions, and zooplankton abundances through time. In nutrient-poor aquatic systems the release of nutrients via the consumption of terrestrially derived prey items by aquatic predators may have important impacts on food webs by facilitating resources independent of the role of trait-mediated trophic cascades. PMID:23771817

  19. Understanding the importance of episodic acidification on fish predator-prey interactions: does weak acidification impair predator recognition?

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-15

    The ability of prey to recognize predators is a fundamental prerequisite to avoid being eaten. Indeed, many prey animals learn to distinguish species that pose a threat from those that do not. Once the prey has learned the identity of one predator, it may generalize this recognition to similar predators with which the prey has no experience. The ability to generalize reduces the costs associated with learning and further enhances the ability of the prey to avoid relevant threats. For many aquatic organisms, recognition of predators is based on odor signatures, consequently any anthropogenic alteration in water chemistry has the potential to impair recognition and learning of predators. Here we explored whether episodic acidification could influence the ability of juvenile rainbow trout to learn to recognize an unknown predator and then generalize this recognition to a closely related predator. Trout were conditioned to recognize the odor of pumpkinseed sunfish under circumneutral (~pH 7) conditions, and then tested for recognition of pumpkinseed or longear sunfish under both neutral or weakly acidic (~pH 6) conditions. When tested for a response to pumpkinseed odor, we found no significant effect of predator odor pH: trout responded similarly regardless of pH. Moreover, under neutral conditions, trout were able to generalize their recognition to the odor of longear sunfish. However, the trout could not generalize their recognition of the longear sunfish under acidic conditions. Given the widespread occurrence of anthropogenic acidification, acid-mediated impairment of predator recognition and generalization may be a pervasive problem for freshwater salmonid populations and other aquatic organisms.

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

    PubMed Central

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Antipredator behaviours of a spider mite in response to cues of dangerous and harmless predators.

    PubMed

    Dias, Cleide Rosa; Bernardo, Ana Maria Guimarães; Mencalha, Jussara; Freitas, Caelum Woods Carvalho; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Janssen, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Prey are known to invest in costly antipredator behaviour when perceiving cues of dangerous, but not of relatively harmless predators. Whereas most studies investigate one type of antipredator behaviour, we studied several types (changes in oviposition, in escape and avoidance behaviour) in the spider mite Tetranychus evansi in response to cues from two predatory mites. The predator Phytoseiulus longipes is considered a dangerous predator for T. evansi, whereas Phytoseiulus macropilis has a low predation rate on this prey, thus is a much less dangerous predator. Spider mite females oviposited less on leaf disc halves with predator cues than on clean disc halves, independent of the predator species. On entire leaf discs, they laid fewer eggs in the presence of cues of the dangerous predator than on clean discs, but not in the presence of cues of the harmless predator. Furthermore, the spider mites escaped more often from discs with cues of the dangerous predator than from discs without predator cues, but they did not escape more from discs with cues of the harmless predator. The spider mites did not avoid plants with conspecifics and predators. We conclude that the spider mites displayed several different antipredator responses to the same predator species, and that some of these antipredator responses were stronger with cues of dangerous predators than with cues of harmless predators. PMID:27067101

  2. Antipredator behaviours of a spider mite in response to cues of dangerous and harmless predators.

    PubMed

    Dias, Cleide Rosa; Bernardo, Ana Maria Guimarães; Mencalha, Jussara; Freitas, Caelum Woods Carvalho; Sarmento, Renato Almeida; Pallini, Angelo; Janssen, Arne

    2016-07-01

    Prey are known to invest in costly antipredator behaviour when perceiving cues of dangerous, but not of relatively harmless predators. Whereas most studies investigate one type of antipredator behaviour, we studied several types (changes in oviposition, in escape and avoidance behaviour) in the spider mite Tetranychus evansi in response to cues from two predatory mites. The predator Phytoseiulus longipes is considered a dangerous predator for T. evansi, whereas Phytoseiulus macropilis has a low predation rate on this prey, thus is a much less dangerous predator. Spider mite females oviposited less on leaf disc halves with predator cues than on clean disc halves, independent of the predator species. On entire leaf discs, they laid fewer eggs in the presence of cues of the dangerous predator than on clean discs, but not in the presence of cues of the harmless predator. Furthermore, the spider mites escaped more often from discs with cues of the dangerous predator than from discs without predator cues, but they did not escape more from discs with cues of the harmless predator. The spider mites did not avoid plants with conspecifics and predators. We conclude that the spider mites displayed several different antipredator responses to the same predator species, and that some of these antipredator responses were stronger with cues of dangerous predators than with cues of harmless predators.

  3. Predation of the Peach Aphid Myzus persicae by the mirid Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus on Sweet Peppers: Effect of Prey and Predator Density

    PubMed Central

    De Backer, Lara; Wäckers, Felix L.; Francis, Frédéric; Verheggen, François J.

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Pest Management strategies are widely implemented in sweet peppers. Aphid biological control on sweet pepers includes curative applications of parasitoids and generalist predators, but with limited efficiency. Macrolophus pygmaeus is a zoophytophagous predator which has been reported to predate on aphids, but has traditionally been used to control other pests, including whiteflies. In this work, we evaluate the effectiveness of M. pygmaeus in controlling Myzus persicae (Homoptera: Aphididae) by testing different combinations of aphid and predator densities in cage-experiments under greenhouse conditions. The impact of the presence of an alternative factitious prey (E. kuehniella eggs) was also investigated. Macrolophus pygmaeus, at densities of four individuals/plant, caused rapid decline of newly established aphid populations. When aphid infestations were heavy, the mirid bug reduced the aphid numbers but did not fully eradicate aphid populations. The availability of a factitious prey did not influence M. pygmaeus predation on aphids. Based on our data, preventive application of M. pygmaeus, along with a supplementary food source , is recommended to control early infestations of aphids. PMID:26463201

  4. Sublethal foot-predation on Donacidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salas, Carmen; Tirado, Cristina; Manjón-Cabeza, Maria Eugenia

    2001-08-01

    The incidence of foot nipping was studied on the Donax spp. of the littoral of Málaga (Southern Spain, 2875 specimens collected from February 1990 to January 1991) and of Ré island (French Atlantic coast, 262 specimens of Donax vittatus (Da Costa, 1778) collected in May 1996). In Málaga, Donax trunculus L., 1758 was the species most regularly nipped (18% of individuals), with peaks in summer (25% in August and 48% in September) and winter (34% in December). In Ré island, 27% of the specimens showed a nipped foot. Logistic regression shows that in D. trunculus length is the variable that most influences the probability of foot nipping, followed by weight and chlorophyll a. However, the difference in length between damaged and undamaged individuals was not significant (U-Mann-Whitney test). The size class frequency and the values of Ivlev's index show that the small size classes were avoided, while for the other size classes predation remained balanced throughout the year. Therefore, the avoidance of the small size classes makes length the most influential variable. The logistic regression indicated a coefficient B=-0.03 for weight. This implies a slightly negative influence on the probability of foot nipping. However, without the data of September, there is a positive correlation ( r=0.76, p<0.01) between the monthly percentages of predation and the flesh dry weight of a standard individual (25 mm long). The peak in September could be due to the recruitment peak of bivalves, which may have attracted more predators to the area, and/or to the recruitment of predators such as crabs to the swash zone. Logistic regression and test of comparison of percentages indicate that there was not any influence of the sex of an animal on the probability of foot nipping. Only in February was a significantly higher percentage ( p<0.05) of females nipped (44.44%) than the total of females in the sample (20.20%). The biomass (as flesh dry weight) of D. trunculus lost by foot

  5. Predator-induced morphology enhances escape locomotion in crucian carp

    PubMed Central

    Domenici, Paolo; Turesson, Håkan; Brodersen, Jakob; Brönmark, Christer

    2007-01-01

    Fishes show a remarkable diversity of shapes which have been associated with their swimming abilities and anti-predator adaptations. The crucian carp (Carassius carassius) provides an extreme example of phenotypic plasticity in body shape which makes it a unique model organism for evaluating the relationship between body form and function in fishes. In crucian carp, a deep body is induced by the presence of pike (Esox lucius), and this results in lower vulnerability to gape-limited predators, such as pike itself. Here, we demonstrate that deep-bodied crucian carp attain higher speed, acceleration and turning rate during anti-predator responses than shallow-bodied crucian carp. Therefore, a predator-induced morphology in crucian carp enhances their escape locomotor performance. The deep-bodied carp also show higher percentage of muscle mass. Therefore, their superior performance in escape swimming may be due to a combination of higher muscle power and higher thrust. PMID:17971327

  6. Apparent predation by cattle at grassland bird nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nack, J.L.; Ribic, C.A.

    2005-01-01

    We document the first cases of cattle behaving as avian predators, removing nestlings and eggs from three active ground nests in continuously grazed pastures in southwestern Wisconsin, 2000-2001. Cows removed three of four Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) eggs from one nest (the fourth egg was damaged), all four Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) nestlings from another, and all three Savannah Sparrow nestlings from a third. We found only two of three missing eggs (intact) and one of seven missing nestlings (dead) near two of the nests. Cows may have eaten the egg and nestlings we were unable to account for; alternatively, the egg and nestlings may have been scavenged by predators or removed from the area by the adult birds. Without videotape documentation, we would have attributed nest failure to traditional predators and cattle would not have been implicated. We may be underestimating the impact of cattle on ground nests by not considering cattle as potential predators.

  7. Predator-prey systems depend on a prey refuge.

    PubMed

    Chivers, W J; Gladstone, W; Herbert, R D; Fuller, M M

    2014-11-01

    Models of near-exclusive predator-prey systems such as that of the Canadian lynx and snowshoe hare have included factors such as a second prey species, a Holling Type II predator response and climatic or seasonal effects to reproduce sub-sets of six signature patterns in the empirical data. We present an agent-based model which does not require the factors or constraints of previous models to reproduce all six patterns in persistent populations. Our parsimonious model represents a generalised predator and prey species with a small prey refuge. The lack of the constraints of previous models, considered to be important for those models, casts doubt on the current hypothesised mechanisms of exclusive predator-prey systems. The implication for management of the lynx, a protected species, is that maintenance of an heterogeneous environment offering natural refuge areas for the hare is the most important factor for the conservation of this species.

  8. Predation effects on mean time to extinction under demographic stochasticity.

    PubMed

    Palamara, Gian Marco; Delius, Gustav W; Smith, Matthew J; Petchey, Owen L

    2013-10-01

    Methods for predicting the probability and timing of a species' extinction are typically based on single species population dynamics. Assessments of extinction risk often lack effects of interspecific interactions. We study a birth and death process in which the death rate includes an effect of predation. Predation is included via a general nonlinear expression for the functional response of predation to prey density. We investigate the effects of the foraging parameters (e.g. attack rate and handling time) on the mean time to extinction. Mean time to extinction varies by orders of magnitude when we alter the foraging parameters, even when we exclude the effects of these parameters on the equilibrium population size. Conclusions are robust to assumptions about initial conditions and variable predator abundance. These findings clearly show that accounting for the nature of interspecific interactions is likely to be critically important when estimating extinction risk.

  9. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  10. Bioeconomic harvesting of a prey-predator fishery.

    PubMed

    Das, Tapasi; Mukherjee, R N; Chaudhuri, K S

    2009-09-01

    This paper deals with the problem of non-selective harvesting of a prey-predator system by using a reasonable catch-rate function instead of usual catch-per-unit-efforthypothesis. Here both the prey and the predator species obey the law of logistic growth. We have taken the predator functional response to prey density in such a form that each predator's functional response to the prey density approaches a constant as the prey population increases. Boundedness of the exploited system is examined. The existence of its steady states and their stability (local and global) are studied using Eigenvalue analysis. The existence of bionomic equilibria has been illustrated using a numerical example. The problem of determining the optimal harvesting policy is then solved by using Pontryagin's maximum principle. PMID:22880894

  11. Colour Polymorphism Protects Prey Individuals and Populations Against Predation

    PubMed Central

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Colour pattern polymorphism in animals can influence and be influenced by interactions between predators and prey. However, few studies have examined whether polymorphism is adaptive, and there is no evidence that the co-occurrence of two or more natural prey colour variants can increase survival of populations. Here we show that visual predators that exploit polymorphic prey suffer from reduced performance, and further provide rare evidence in support of the hypothesis that prey colour polymorphism may afford protection against predators for both individuals and populations. This protective effect provides a probable explanation for the longstanding, evolutionary puzzle of the existence of colour polymorphisms. We also propose that this protective effect can provide an adaptive explanation for search image formation in predators rather than search image formation explaining polymorphism. PMID:26902799

  12. Prey-predator model with a nonlocal consumption of prey.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, M; Volpert, V

    2016-08-01

    The prey-predator model with nonlocal consumption of prey introduced in this work extends previous studies of local reaction-diffusion models. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous in space stationary solution and numerical simulations of nonhomogeneous solutions allow us to analyze bifurcations and dynamics of stationary solutions and of travelling waves. These solutions present some new properties in comparison with the local models. They correspond to different feeding strategies of predators observed in ecology. PMID:27586616

  13. Prey-predator model with a nonlocal consumption of prey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, M.; Volpert, V.

    2016-08-01

    The prey-predator model with nonlocal consumption of prey introduced in this work extends previous studies of local reaction-diffusion models. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous in space stationary solution and numerical simulations of nonhomogeneous solutions allow us to analyze bifurcations and dynamics of stationary solutions and of travelling waves. These solutions present some new properties in comparison with the local models. They correspond to different feeding strategies of predators observed in ecology.

  14. Prey-predator model with a nonlocal consumption of prey.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, M; Volpert, V

    2016-08-01

    The prey-predator model with nonlocal consumption of prey introduced in this work extends previous studies of local reaction-diffusion models. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous in space stationary solution and numerical simulations of nonhomogeneous solutions allow us to analyze bifurcations and dynamics of stationary solutions and of travelling waves. These solutions present some new properties in comparison with the local models. They correspond to different feeding strategies of predators observed in ecology.

  15. Nash Equilibria in Noncooperative Predator-Prey Games

    SciTech Connect

    Ramos, Angel Manuel Roubicek, Tomas

    2007-09-15

    A noncooperative game governed by a distributed-parameter predator-prey system is considered, assuming that two players control initial conditions for predator and prey, respectively. Existence of a Nash equilibrium is shown under the condition that the desired population profiles and the environmental carrying capacity for the prey are sufficiently small. A conceptual approximation algorithm is proposed and analyzed. Finally, numerical simulations are performed, too.

  16. California current system - Predators and the preyscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  17. Predator-prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators.

    PubMed Central

    Heiling, A M; Herberstein, M E

    2004-01-01

    Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis manipulate visual flower signals to lure introduced Apis mellifera. We gave Australian native bees, Austroplebia australis, the choice between two white daisies, Chrysanthemum frutescens, one of them occupied by a crab spider. The colour contrast between flowers and spiders affected the behaviour of native bees. Native bees approached spider-occupied flowers more frequently. However, native bees avoided flowers occupied by spiders and landed on vacant flowers more frequently. In contrast to honeybees that did not coevolve with T. spectabilis, Australian native bees show an anti-predatory response to avoid flowers occupied by this predator. PMID:15252982

  18. Predator-prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators.

    PubMed

    Heiling, A M; Herberstein, M E

    2004-05-01

    Australian crab spiders Thomisus spectabilis manipulate visual flower signals to lure introduced Apis mellifera. We gave Australian native bees, Austroplebia australis, the choice between two white daisies, Chrysanthemum frutescens, one of them occupied by a crab spider. The colour contrast between flowers and spiders affected the behaviour of native bees. Native bees approached spider-occupied flowers more frequently. However, native bees avoided flowers occupied by spiders and landed on vacant flowers more frequently. In contrast to honeybees that did not coevolve with T. spectabilis, Australian native bees show an anti-predatory response to avoid flowers occupied by this predator. PMID:15252982

  19. Human shields mediate sexual conflict in a top predator.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, S M J G; Leclerc, M; Pelletier, F; Kindberg, J; Brunberg, S; Swenson, J E; Zedrosser, A

    2016-06-29

    Selecting the right habitat in a risky landscape is crucial for an individual's survival and reproduction. In predator-prey systems, prey often can anticipate the habitat use of their main predator and may use protective associates (i.e. typically an apex predator) as shields against predation. Although never tested, such mechanisms should also evolve in systems in which sexual conflict affects offspring survival. Here, we assessed the relationship between offspring survival and habitat selection, as well as the use of protective associates, in a system in which sexually selected infanticide (SSI), rather than interspecific predation, affects offspring survival. We used the Scandinavian brown bear (Ursus arctos) population with SSI in a human-dominated landscape as our model system. Bears, especially adult males, generally avoid humans in our study system. We used resource selection functions to contrast habitat selection of GPS-collared mothers that were successful (i.e. surviving litters, n = 19) and unsuccessful (i.e. complete litter loss, n = 11) in keeping their young during the mating season (2005-2012). Habitat selection was indeed a predictor of litter survival. Successful mothers were more likely to use humans as protective associates, whereas unsuccessful mothers avoided humans. Our results suggest that principles of predator-prey and fear ecology theory (e.g. non-consumptive and cascading effects) can also be applied to the context of sexual conflict. PMID:27335423

  20. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Sloggett, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups. PMID:26466621

  1. Intraguild predation drives evolutionary niche shift in threespine stickleback.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Travis; Svanbäck, Richard; Kraft, Nathan J B; Kratina, Pavel; Southcott, Laura; Schluter, Dolph

    2012-06-01

    Intraguild predation--competition and predation by the same antagonist--is widespread, but its evolutionary consequences are unknown. Intraguild prey may evolve antipredator defenses, superior competitive ability on shared resources, or the ability to use an alternative resource, any of which may alter the structure of the food web. We tested for evolutionary responses by threespine stickleback to a benthic intraguild predator, prickly sculpin. We used a comparative morphometric analysis to show that stickleback sympatric with sculpin are more armored and have more limnetic-like body shapes than allopatric stickleback. To test the ecological implications of this shift, we conducted a mesocosm experiment that varied sculpin presence and stickleback population of origin (from one sympatric and one allopatric lake). Predation by sculpin greatly increased the mortality of allopatric stickleback. In contrast, sculpin presence did not affect the mortality of sympatric stickleback, although they did have lower growth rates suggesting increased nonpredatory effects of sculpin. Consistent with their morphology, sympatric stickleback included more pelagic prey in their diets, leading to depletion of zooplankton in the mesocosms. These findings suggest that intraguild prey evolution has altered food web structure by reducing both predation by the intraguild predator and diet overlap between species.

  2. A descriptive study of dairy goat predation in Louisiana.

    PubMed Central

    Hagstad, H V; Hubbert, W T; Stagg, L M

    1987-01-01

    Questionnaires concerning herd size, housing and management, and previous instances of predation were mailed to 124 goat owners in Louisiana. Postcards were mailed over a period of one year on a monthly basis, to the 84 individuals who responded to this questionnaire. Owners were asked to indicate whether they had seen predators on their property and whether any goats were injured or killed by the predators. Upon receipt of any postcard with a "yes" answer to either of these questions, a telephone interview was conducted to determine the exact circumstances of predator experience. The interview format included time, physical circumstances, and detailed questions about the actions of the predator and the goats. In 85% of the cases, the predators sighted were reported as dogs, and most of these were thought to be pets, rather than wild. Instances of attacks occurred most frequently during periods of reduced light. No clear seasonal pattern of attacks emerged. Four management factors were associated with a reduction in number of attacks; penning the goats at night, use of a night light, proximity of the herd to an occupied residence, and presence of a dog. PMID:3567749

  3. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-12

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

  4. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction.

    PubMed

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-09-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator-prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term 'indirect evolutionary rescue', has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change.

  5. Model of naticid gastropod predator-prey coevolution

    SciTech Connect

    DeAngelis, D.L.; Kitchell, J.A.; Post, W.M.; Travis, C.C.

    1982-01-01

    Size change over evolutionary time between two interacting species, a predatory naticid gastropod and its bivalve prey, is analyzed. We show that two simultaneous, maximizing algorithms (the predator maximizes energy intake; the prey maximizes reproductive output) result in an endogenous, coevolutionary size increase, to a stable attracting point. In particular, we show that selection for delayed reproduction in a predatorpreay system that is highly size-selective due to the predatory strategy of cost-benefit prey selection, coupled with the relative allometries of cost (prey shell thickness) and benefit (prey biomass) with prey size, and the highly size-dependent probability of successful predation, lead to a coevolutionary size increase for both predator and prey, up to a limit condition dictated by predatory respiration costs. In the absence of predation, the prey species attains a smaller size than in the presence of predation. Addition of the predator results in a delay in the timing of reproduction by the prey, thereby facilitating a size response.

  6. Density-dependent effects of prey defenses and predator offenses.

    PubMed

    Jeschke, Jonathan M

    2006-10-21

    Defenses protect prey, while offenses arm predators. Some defenses and offenses are constitutive (e.g. tortoise shells), while others are phenotypically plastic and not always expressed (e.g. neckteeth in water fleas). All of them are costly and only adaptive at certain prey densities. Here, I analyse such density-dependent effects, applying a functional response model to categorize defenses and offenses and qualitatively predict at which prey densities each category should evolve (if it is constitutive) or be expressed (if it is phenotypically plastic). The categories refer to the step of the predation cycle that a defense or offense affects: (1) search, (2) encounter, (3) detection, (4) attack, or (5) meal. For example, prey warning signals such as red coloration prevent predator attacks and are hence step 4 defenses, while sharp predator eyes enhance detection and are step 3 offenses. My theoretical analyses predict that step 1 defenses, which prevent predators from searching for their next meal (e.g. toxic substances), evolve or are expressed at intermediate prey densities. Other defenses, however, should be most beneficial at low prey densities. Regarding predators, step 1 offenses (e.g. immunity against prey toxins) are predicted to evolve or be expressed at high prey densities, other offenses at intermediate densities. I provide evidence from the literature that supports these predictions.

  7. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The effects of seasonally variable dragonfly predation on butterfly assemblages.

    PubMed

    Tiitsaar, Anu; Kaasik, Ants; Teder, Tiit

    2013-01-01

    Where predation is seasonally variable, the potential impact of a predator on individual prey species will critically depend on phenological synchrony of the predator with the prey. Here we explored the effects of seasonally variable predation in multispecies assemblages of short-lived prey. The study was conducted in a landscape in which we had previously demonstrated generally high, but spatially and seasonally variable dragonfly-induced mortality in adult butterflies. In this system, we show that patterns of patch occupancy in butterfly species flying during periods of peak dragonfly abundance are more strongly associated with spatial variation in dragonfly abundance than patch occupancy of species flying when dragonfly density was low. We provide evidence indicating that this differential sensitivity of different butterfly species to between-habitat differences in dragonfly abundance is causally tied to seasonal variation in the intensity of dragonfly predation. The effect of dragonfly predation could also be measured at the level of whole local butterfly assemblages. With dragonfly density increasing, butterfly species richness decreased, and butterfly species composition tended to show a shift toward a greater proportion of species flying during periods of off-peak dragonfly abundance.

  9. 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.

  10. Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-12

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

  11. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-01-01

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups.

  12. Coexistence of two stage-structured intraguild predators.

    PubMed

    Schellekens, Tim; van Kooten, Tobias

    2012-09-01

    An organism can be defined as omnivorous if it feeds on more than one trophic level. Omnivory is present in many ecosystems and multiple omnivorous species can coexist in the same ecosystem. How coexisting omnivores are able to avoid competitive exclusion is very much an open question. In this paper we analyze a model of a community consisting of two omnivorous predators and a basal resource. The population of both predators is explicitly structured into juveniles and adults, of which juveniles only feed on basal resource and adults feed on a varied proportion of basal resource and juveniles of the other population. We thereby separate the omnivorous roles (competitor for basal resource and predator of competitors) over life history. We show in this study that persistence of multiple omnivorous predators is possible when predators differ in adult diets. In this case, coexistence occurs because community dynamics force one of the model species to act as a predator and the other to act as a consumer. We conclude that separation of omnivorous roles over life history not only offers an explanation on why systems with omnivory can persist, but also how multiple omnivores can coexist at the same trophic levels of those systems.

  13. Predator perception of Batesian mimicry and conspicuousness in a salamander.

    PubMed

    Kraemer, Andrew C; Adams, Dean C

    2014-04-01

    In Batesian mimicry a palatable mimic deceives predators by resembling an unpalatable model. The evolution of Batesian mimicry relies on the visual capabilities of the potential predators, as prey detection provides the selective force driving evolutionary change. We compared the visual capabilities of several potential predators to test predictions stemming from the hypothesis of Batesian mimicry between two salamanders: the model species Notophthalmus viridescens, and polymorphic mimic, Plethodon cinereus. First, we found mimicry to be restricted to coloration, but not brightness. Second, only bird predators appeared able to discriminate between the colors of models and nonmimic P. cinereus. Third, estimates of salamander conspicuousness were background dependent, corresponding to predictions only for backgrounds against which salamanders are most active. These results support the hypothesis that birds influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry in P. cinereus, as they are the only group examined capable of differentiating N. viridescens and nonmimetic P. cinereus. Additionally, patterns of conspicuousness suggest that selection from predators may drive the evolution of conspicuousness in this system. This study confirms the expectation that the visual abilities of predators may influence the evolution of Batesian mimicry, but the role of conspicuousness may be more complex than previously thought.

  14. Prey community structure affects how predators select for Mullerian mimicry.

    PubMed

    Ihalainen, Eira; Rowland, Hannah M; Speed, Michael P; Ruxton, Graeme D; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-06-01

    Müllerian mimicry describes the close resemblance between aposematic prey species; it is thought to be beneficial because sharing a warning signal decreases the mortality caused by sampling by inexperienced predators learning to avoid the signal. It has been hypothesized that selection for mimicry is strongest in multi-species prey communities where predators are more prone to misidentify the prey than in simple communities. In this study, wild great tits (Parus major) foraged from either simple (few prey appearances) or complex (several prey appearances) artificial prey communities where a specific model prey was always present. Owing to slower learning, the model did suffer higher mortality in complex communities when the birds were inexperienced. However, in a subsequent generalization test to potential mimics of the model prey (a continuum of signal accuracy), only birds that had foraged from simple communities selected against inaccurate mimics. Therefore, accurate mimicry is more likely to evolve in simple communities even though predator avoidance learning is slower in complex communities. For mimicry to evolve, prey species must have a common predator; the effective community consists of the predator's diet. In diverse environments, the limited diets of specialist predators could create 'simple community pockets' where accurate mimicry is selected for.

  15. Role of Alternative Food in Controlling Chaotic Dynamics in a Predator-Prey Model with Disease in the Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Krishna Pada; Bairagi, Nandadulal; Sen, Prabir

    It is generally, but not always, accepted that alternative food plays a stabilizing role in predator-prey interaction. Parasites, on the other hand, have the ability to change both the qualitative and quantitative dynamics of its host population. In recent times, researchers are showing growing interest in formulating models that integrate both the ecological and epidemiological aspects. The present paper deals with the effect of alternative food on a predator-prey system with disease in the predator population. We show that the system, in the absence of alternative food, exhibits different dynamics viz. stable coexistence, limit cycle oscillations, period-doubling bifurcation and chaos when infection rate is gradually increased. However, when predator consumes alternative food coupled with its focal prey, the system returns to regular oscillatory state from chaotic state through period-halving bifurcations. Our study shows that alternative food may have larger impact on the community structure and may increase population persistence.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    Predators can affect prey indirectly when prey respond to cues indicating a risk of predation by altering activity levels. Changes in prey behavior may cascade through the food web to influence ecosystem function. The response of the collembolan Sinella curviseta Brook (Collembola: Entomobryidae) to cues indicating predation risk (necromones and cues from the wolf spider Pardosa milvina (Hentz) (Araneae: Lycosidae)) was tested. Additionally, necromones and predator cues were paired in a conditioning experiment to determine whether the collembolan could form learned associations. Although collembolans did not alter activity levels in response to predator cues, numerous aspects of behavior differed in the presence of necromones. There was no detectable conditioned response to predator cues after pairing with necromones. These results provide insight into how collembolans perceive and respond to predation threats that vary in information content. Previously detected indirect impacts of predator cues on ecosystem function are likely due to changes in prey other than activity level. PMID:26313189

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  18. Predicting prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator-prey ratios in three wolf-ungulate systems.

    PubMed

    Vucetich, John A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Smith, Douglas W; Peterson, Rolf O

    2011-11-01

    1. Predation rate (PR) and kill rate are both fundamental statistics for understanding predation. However, relatively little is known about how these statistics relate to one another and how they relate to prey population dynamics. We assess these relationships across three systems where wolf-prey dynamics have been observed for 41 years (Isle Royale), 19 years (Banff) and 12 years (Yellowstone). 2. To provide context for this empirical assessment, we developed theoretical predictions of the relationship between kill rate and PR under a broad range of predator-prey models including predator-dependent, ratio-dependent and Lotka-Volterra dynamics. 3. The theoretical predictions indicate that kill rate can be related to PR in a variety of diverse ways (e.g. positive, negative, unrelated) that depend on the nature of predator-prey dynamics (e.g. structure of the functional response). These simulations also suggested that the ratio of predator-to-prey is a good predictor of prey growth rate. That result motivated us to assess the empirical relationship between the ratio and prey growth rate for each of the three study sites. 4. The empirical relationships indicate that PR is not well predicted by kill rate, but is better predicted by the ratio of predator-to-prey. Kill rate is also a poor predictor of prey growth rate. However, PR and ratio of predator-to-prey each explained significant portions of variation in prey growth rate for two of the three study sites. 5. Our analyses offer two general insights. First, Isle Royale, Banff and Yellowstone are similar insomuch as they all include wolves preying on large ungulates. However, they also differ in species diversity of predator and prey communities, exploitation by humans and the role of dispersal. Even with the benefit of our analysis, it remains difficult to judge whether to be more impressed by the similarities or differences. This difficulty nicely illustrates a fundamental property of ecological

  19. Predicting prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator-prey ratios in three wolf-ungulate systems.

    PubMed

    Vucetich, John A; Hebblewhite, Mark; Smith, Douglas W; Peterson, Rolf O

    2011-11-01

    1. Predation rate (PR) and kill rate are both fundamental statistics for understanding predation. However, relatively little is known about how these statistics relate to one another and how they relate to prey population dynamics. We assess these relationships across three systems where wolf-prey dynamics have been observed for 41 years (Isle Royale), 19 years (Banff) and 12 years (Yellowstone). 2. To provide context for this empirical assessment, we developed theoretical predictions of the relationship between kill rate and PR under a broad range of predator-prey models including predator-dependent, ratio-dependent and Lotka-Volterra dynamics. 3. The theoretical predictions indicate that kill rate can be related to PR in a variety of diverse ways (e.g. positive, negative, unrelated) that depend on the nature of predator-prey dynamics (e.g. structure of the functional response). These simulations also suggested that the ratio of predator-to-prey is a good predictor of prey growth rate. That result motivated us to assess the empirical relationship between the ratio and prey growth rate for each of the three study sites. 4. The empirical relationships indicate that PR is not well predicted by kill rate, but is better predicted by the ratio of predator-to-prey. Kill rate is also a poor predictor of prey growth rate. However, PR and ratio of predator-to-prey each explained significant portions of variation in prey growth rate for two of the three study sites. 5. Our analyses offer two general insights. First, Isle Royale, Banff and Yellowstone are similar insomuch as they all include wolves preying on large ungulates. However, they also differ in species diversity of predator and prey communities, exploitation by humans and the role of dispersal. Even with the benefit of our analysis, it remains difficult to judge whether to be more impressed by the similarities or differences. This difficulty nicely illustrates a fundamental property of ecological

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  1. How climate change might influence the starvation-predation risk trade-off response.

    PubMed

    Cresswell, W; Clark, J A; Macleod, R

    2009-10-01

    Climate change within the UK will affect winter starvation risk because higher temperatures reduce energy budgets and are likely to increase the quality of the foraging environment. Mass regulation in birds is a consequence of the starvation-predation risk trade-off: decreasing starvation risk because of climate change should decrease mass, but this will be countered by the effects of predation risk, because high predation risk has a negative effect on mass when foraging conditions are poor and a positive effect on mass when foraging conditions are good. We tested whether mass regulation in great tits (Parus major) across the UK was related to temporal changes in starvation risk (winter temperature 1995-2005) and spatial changes in predation risk (sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus abundance). As predicted, great tits carried less mass during later, warmer, winters, demonstrating that starvation risk overall has decreased. Also, the effects of predation risk interacted with the effects of temperature (as an index of foraging conditions), so that in colder winters higher sparrowhawk abundance led to lower mass, whereas in warmer, later, winters higher sparrowhawk abundance led to higher mass. Mass regulation in a small bird species may therefore provide an index of how environmental change is affecting the foraging environment.

  2. Distribution and abundance of predators that affect duck production--prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Greenwood, R.J.; Sovada, M.A.; Shaffer, T.L.

    1993-01-01

    During 1983-88, the relative abundance of 18 species and species-groups of mammalian and avian predators affecting duck production in the prairie pothole region was determined in 33 widely scattered study areas ranging in size from 23-26 km2. Accounts of each studied species and species-group include habitat and history, population structure and reported densities, and information on distribution and abundance from the present study. Index values of undetected, scarce, uncommon, common, or numerous were used to rate abundance of nearly all species in each study area. Principal survey methods were livetrapping of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii), systematic searches for carnivore tracks in quarter sections (0.65 km2), daily records of sightings of individual predator species, and systematic searches for occupied nests of tree-nesting avian predators. Abundances of predators in individual areas were studied 1-3 years.The distribution and abundance of predator species throughout the prairie pothole region have undergone continual change since settlement of the region by Europeans in the late 1800's. Predator populations in areas we studied differed markedly from those of pristine times. The changes occurred from habitat alterations, human-inflicted mortality of predators, and interspecific relations among predator species. Indices from surveys of tracks revealed a decline in the abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and an albeit less consistent decline in the abundance of raccoons (Procyon lotor) with an increase in the abundance of coyotes (Canis latrans). Records of locations of occupied nests revealed great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) tended to nest 0.5 km apart, and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) tended to avoid nesting 0.5 km of nests of red-tailed hawks. Excluding large gulls, for which no measurements of abundance were obtained, the number of

  3. Predators as stressors? Physiological and reproductive consequences of predation risk in tropical stonechats (Saxicola torquata axillaris).

    PubMed

    Scheuerlein, A; Van't Hof, T J; Gwinner, E

    2001-08-01

    Tropical birds usually lay smaller clutches and are less likely to initiate a second brood than their temperate-zone relatives. This reduction in annual fecundity is generally explained as an adaptation either to higher rates of nest predation or to a more limited food supply concurrent with higher adult survival in the tropics. However, the physiological parameters associated with lower annual fecundity in tropical birds have not been well investigated. We compared the annual fecundity, behaviour and a number of physiological parameters of stonechat parents feeding fledged juveniles in territories with and without fiscal shrikes, a predator on adult and fledged birds. Stonechat pairs in territories with shrikes were less likely to initiate a second brood and delayed successive broods compared to pairs in territories without shrikes. After fledging of their young, males showed a greater propensity than females to initiate distraction calls after a human intrusion into their territory and, therefore, invested more in the defence of their young. In territories with shrikes stonechat males had higher initial plasma corticosterone levels and lower body conditions than males in territories without shrikes, suggesting that they were chronically stressed. In contrast, the females from both types of territory had low initial plasma corticosterone levels. We conclude that shrike presence might account for the delay in initiation of a second brood and the reduction in the tendency to initiate a second brood. Whether these effects are mediated by the elevated levels of corticosterone remains to be demonstrated.

  4. Temperature dependence of predation depends on the relative performance of predators and prey.

    PubMed

    Öhlund, Gunnar; Hedström, Per; Norman, Sven; Hein, Catherine L; Englund, Göran

    2015-01-22

    The temperature dependence of predation rates is a key issue for understanding and predicting the responses of ecosystems to climate change. Using a simple mechanistic model, we demonstrate that differences in the relative performances of predator and prey can cause strong threshold effects in the temperature dependence of attack rates. Empirical data on the attack rate of northern pike (Esox lucius) feeding on brown trout (Salmo trutta) confirm this result. Attack rates fell sharply below a threshold temperature of +11°C, which corresponded to a shift in relative performance of pike and brown trout with respect to maximum attack and escape swimming speeds. The average attack speed of pike was an order of magnitude lower than the escape speed of brown trout at 5°C, but approximately equal at temperatures above 11°C. Thresholds in the temperature dependence of ecological rates can create tipping points in the responses of ecosystems to increasing temperatures. Thus, identifying thresholds is crucial when predicting future effects of climate warming.

  5. Introduced mammalian predators induce behavioural changes in parental care in an endemic New Zealand bird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Massaro, M.; Starling-Windhof, A.; Briskie, J.V.; Martin, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of predatory mammals to oceanic islands has led to the extension of many birds. Although introduced predators should favour changes that reduce predation risk in surviving bird species, the ability of island birds to respond to such novel changes remains unstudied. We tested whether novel predation risk imposed by introduced mammalian predators has altered the parental behaviour of the endemic New Zealand bellbird (Anthomis melanura). We examined parental behaviour of billbnirds at three woodlands sites in New Zealand that differed in predation risk: 1) a mainland site with exotic predators present (high predation risk), 2) a mainland site with exotic predators experimentally removed (low risk recently) and, 3) an off-shore island where exotic predators were never introduced (low risk always). We also compared parental behavior of bellbirds with two closely related Tasmanian honeyeaters (Phylidonyris spp) that evolved with native nest predators (high risk always). Increased nest predation risk has been postulated to favour reduced parental activity, and we tested whether island bellbirds responded to variation in predation risk. We found that females spent more time on the nest per incubating bout with increased risk of predation, a strategy that minimised activity at the nest during incubation. Parental activity during the nestling period, measured as number of feeding visits/hr, also decreased with increasing nest predation risk across sites, and was lowest among the honeyeaters in Tasmania that evolved with native predators. These results demonstrates that some island birds are able to respond to increased risk of predation by novel predators in ways that appear adaptive. We suggest that conservation efforts may be more effective if they take advantage of the ability of island birds to respond to novel predators, especially when the elimination of exotic predators is not possible.

  6. Introduced Mammalian Predators Induce Behavioural Changes in Parental Care in an Endemic New Zealand Bird

    PubMed Central

    Massaro, Melanie; Starling-Windhof, Amanda; Briskie, James V.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of predatory mammals to oceanic islands has led to the extinction of many endemic birds. Although introduced predators should favour changes that reduce predation risk in surviving bird species, the ability of island birds to respond to such novel changes remains unstudied. We tested whether novel predation risk imposed by introduced mammalian predators has altered the parental behaviour of the endemic New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura). We examined parental behaviour of bellbirds at three woodland sites in New Zealand that differed in predation risk: 1) a mainland site with exotic predators present (high predation risk), 2) a mainland site with exotic predators experimentally removed (low risk recently) and, 3) an off-shore island where exotic predators were never introduced (low risk always). We also compared parental behaviour of bellbirds with two closely related Tasmanian honeyeaters (Phylidonyris spp.) that evolved with native nest predators (high risk always). Increased nest predation risk has been postulated to favour reduced parental activity, and we tested whether island bellbirds responded to variation in predation risk. We found that females spent more time on the nest per incubating bout with increased risk of predation, a strategy that minimised activity at the nest during incubation. Parental activity during the nestling period, measured as number of feeding visits/hr, also decreased with increasing nest predation risk across sites, and was lowest among the honeyeaters in Tasmania that evolved with native predators. These results demonstrate that some island birds are able to respond to increased risk of predation by novel predators in ways that appear adaptive. We suggest that conservation efforts may be more effective if they take advantage of the ability of island birds to respond to novel predators, especially when the elimination of exotic predators is not possible. PMID:18523640

  7. The Effects of Predator Arrival Timing on Adaptive Radiation (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borden, J.; Knope, M. L.; Fukami, T.

    2009-12-01

    Much of Earth’s biodiversity is thought to have arisen by adaptive radiation, the rapid diversification of a single ancestral species to fill a wide-variety of ecological niches. Both theory and empirical evidence have long supported competition for limited resources as a primary driver of adaptive radiation. While predation has also been postulated to be an important selective force during radiation, empirical evidence is surprisingly scant and its role remains controversial. However, two recent empirical studies suggest that predation can promote divergence during adaptive radiation. Using an experimental laboratory microcosm system, we examined how predator arrival timing affects the rate and extent of diversification during adaptive radiation. We varied the introduction timing of a protozoan predator (Tetrahymena thermophila) into populations of the bacteria Pseudomonas flourescens, which is known for its ability to undergo rapid adaptive radiation in aqueous microcosms. While our results show that predator arrival timing may have a significant impact on the rate, but not extent, of diversification, these results are tenuous and should be interpreted with caution, as the protozoan predators died early in the majority of our treatments, hampering our ability for comparison across treatments. Additionally, the abundance of newly derived bacterial genotypes was markedly lower in all treatments than observed in previous experiments utilizing this microbial experimental evolution system. To address these shortcomings, we will be repeating the experiment in the near future to further explore the impact of predator arrival timing on adaptive radiation. Smooth Morph and small-Wrinkly Spreader Pseudomonas flourescens diversification in the 96 hour treatment. Day 10, diluted to 1e-5.

  8. Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J.

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders – observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens – are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2–6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the ‘swimming’ huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders’ body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance. PMID:24940885

  9. Fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders: a global pattern.

    PubMed

    Nyffeler, Martin; Pusey, Bradley J

    2014-01-01

    More than 80 incidences of fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders--observed at the fringes of shallow freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, and fens--are reviewed. We provide evidence that fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Fish predation by spiders appears to be more common in warmer areas between 40° S and 40° N. The fish captured by spiders, usually ranging from 2-6 cm in length, are among the most common fish taxa occurring in their respective geographic area (e.g., mosquitofish [Gambusia spp.] in the southeastern USA, fish of the order Characiformes in the Neotropics, killifish [Aphyosemion spp.] in Central and West Africa, as well as Australian native fish of the genera Galaxias, Melanotaenia, and Pseudomugil). Naturally occurring fish predation has been witnessed in more than a dozen spider species from the superfamily Lycosoidea (families Pisauridae, Trechaleidae, and Lycosidae), in two species of the superfamily Ctenoidea (family Ctenidae), and in one species of the superfamily Corinnoidea (family Liocranidae). The majority of reports on fish predation by spiders referred to pisaurid spiders of the genera Dolomedes and Nilus (>75% of observed incidences). There is laboratory evidence that spiders from several more families (e.g., the water spider Argyroneta aquatica [Cybaeidae], the intertidal spider Desis marina [Desidae], and the 'swimming' huntsman spider Heteropoda natans [Sparassidae]) predate fish as well. Our finding of such a large diversity of spider families being engaged in fish predation is novel. Semi-aquatic spiders captured fish whose body length exceeded the spiders' body length (the captured fish being, on average, 2.2 times as long as the spiders). Evidence suggests that fish prey might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. An exploitation-competition system with negative effect of prey on its predator.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi

    2015-05-01

    This paper considers an exploitation-competition system in which exploitation is the dominant interaction when the prey is at low density, while competition is dominant when the prey is at high density due to its negative effect on the predator. The two-species system is characterized by differential equations, which are the combination of Lotka-Volterra competitive and predator-prey models. Global dynamics of the model demonstrate some basic properties of exploitation-competition systems: (i) When the growth rate of prey is extremely small, the prey cannot promote the growth of predator. (ii) When the growth rate is small, an obligate predator can survive by preying on the prey, while a facultative predator can approach a high density by the predation. (iii) When the growth rate is intermediate, the predator can approach the maximal density by an intermediate predation. (iv) When the growth rate is large, the predator can persist only if it has a large density and its predation on the prey is big. (v) Intermediate predation is beneficial to the predator under certain parameter range, while over- or under-predation is not good. Extremely big/small predation would lead to extinction of species. Numerical simulations confirm and extend our results.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. An exploitation-competition system with negative effect of prey on its predator.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuanshi

    2015-05-01

    This paper considers an exploitation-competition system in which exploitation is the dominant interaction when the prey is at low density, while competition is dominant when the prey is at high density due to its negative effect on the predator. The two-species system is characterized by differential equations, which are the combination of Lotka-Volterra competitive and predator-prey models. Global dynamics of the model demonstrate some basic properties of exploitation-competition systems: (i) When the growth rate of prey is extremely small, the prey cannot promote the growth of predator. (ii) When the growth rate is small, an obligate predator can survive by preying on the prey, while a facultative predator can approach a high density by the predation. (iii) When the growth rate is intermediate, the predator can approach the maximal density by an intermediate predation. (iv) When the growth rate is large, the predator can persist only if it has a large density and its predation on the prey is big. (v) Intermediate predation is beneficial to the predator under certain parameter range, while over- or under-predation is not good. Extremely big/small predation would lead to extinction of species. Numerical simulations confirm and extend our results. PMID:25707917

  14. Functional response and population dynamics for fighting predator, based on activity distribution.

    PubMed

    Garay, József; Varga, Zoltán; Gámez, Manuel; Cabello, Tomás

    2015-03-01

    The classical Holling type II functional response, describing the per capita predation as a function of prey density, was modified by Beddington and de Angelis to include interference of predators that increases with predator density and decreases the number of killed prey. In the present paper we further generalize the Beddington-de Angelis functional response, considering that all predator activities (searching and handling prey, fight and recovery) have time duration, the probabilities of predator activities depend on the encounter probabilities, and hence on the prey and predator abundance, too. Under these conditions, the aim of the study is to introduce a functional response for fighting the predator and to analyse the corresponding dynamics, when predator-predator-prey encounters also occur. From this general approach, the Holling type functional responses can also be obtained as particular cases. In terms of the activity distribution, we give biologically interpretable sufficient conditions for stable coexistence. We consider two-individual (predator-prey) and three-individual (predator-predator-prey) encounters. In the three-individual encounter model there is a relatively higher fighting rate and a lower killing rate. Using numerical simulation, we surprisingly found that when the intrinsic prey growth rate and the conversion rate are small enough, the equilibrium predator abundance is higher in the three-individual encounter case. The above means that, when the equilibrium abundance of the predator is small, coexistence appears first in the three-individual encounter model.

  15. Predation, Competition, and Abiotic Disturbance: Population Dynamics of Small Mammals

    SciTech Connect

    Yunger, John A.; /Northern Illinois U. /Northern Illinois U.

    1996-01-01

    Predation and food availability have been implicated in annual non-cyclic fluctuations of vertebrate prey at mid-latitudes. The timing and magnitude of these factors are unclear due to a lack of large-scale field experiments, little attention to interactions, and a failure to closely link vertebrate predators with their prey. From October 1992 to January 1996, small mammal populations were censused on eight 0.6 ha plots at monthly intervals in a 32-ha prairie restoration at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Illinois. Terrestrial vertebrate predators were excluded after July 1993 from four of the eight plots and canid diets monitored. Both terrestrial and avian vertebrate predators were excluded in March 1994. During 1993 small mammal densities (i.e., Microtus Pennsylvanicus, Peromyscus leucopus, and P. maniculatus) were relatively high. Following peak densities in late summer, Microtus numbers wer 2-3x greater on exclusion plots relative to controls due to preferential selection of Microtus by canids, as reflected in dits. Following an ice-storm and crash in small mammal numbers (particularly Microtus), vertebrate predator exclusion had no detectable effect on P. leucopus numbers, probably due to an abundance of alternative prey (i.e., Sylvilagus floridanus). Meadow vole numbers began to increase in Fall 1995, and a numerical effect of predator exclusion, similar to that in 1993, was observed. Predator exclusion had no detectable effect on the movements and spatial patterns of Microtus during 1993. There was a significant decrease in home range and a significant increase in home range overlap for P. leucopus on the predator exclusion plots. The change in spatial behavior may be due to interspecific competition with Microtus resulting from increased densities on exclusion plots. Thus, predators had an indirect effect on P. leucopus spatial patterns mediated through M. Pennsylvanicus. The role of food limitation was studied using natural and manipulative

  16. Pace of life, predators and parasites: predator-induced life-history evolution in Trinidadian guppies predicts decrease in parasite tolerance.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, J F; van Oosterhout, C; Cable, J

    2015-11-01

    A common evolutionary response to predation pressure is increased investment in reproduction, ultimately resulting in a fast life history. Theory and comparative studies suggest that short-lived organisms invest less in defence against parasites than those that are longer lived (the pace of life hypothesis). Combining these tenets of evolutionary theory leads to the specific, untested prediction that within species, populations experiencing higher predation pressure invest less in defence against parasites. The Trinidadian guppy, Poecilia reticulata, presents an excellent opportunity to test this prediction: guppy populations in lower courses of rivers experience higher predation pressure, and as a consequence have evolved faster life histories, than those in upper courses. Data from a large-scale field survey showed that fish infected with Gyrodactylus parasites were of a lower body condition (quantified using the scaled mass index) than uninfected fish, but only in lower course populations. Although the evidence we present is correlational, it suggests that upper course guppies sustain lower fitness costs of infection, i.e. are more tolerant, than lower course guppies. The data are therefore consistent with the pace of life hypothesis of parasite defence allocation, and suggest that life-history traits mediate the indirect effect of predators on the parasites of their prey.

  17. The effects of hydropattern and predator communities on amphibian occupancy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amburgey, Staci; Bailey, L.L.; Murphy, M.A.; Muths, Erin L.; Funk, W.C.

    2014-01-01

    Complex, interactive ecological constraints regulate species distributions, and understanding these factors is crucial for predicting species persistence. We used occupancy analysis, which corrects for imperfect detection, to test the importance of abiotic and biotic habitat and landscape factors on probability of occupancy by Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850)) tadpoles. We hypothesized that hydropattern and predators are primarily important because they affect desiccation and predation risk and can interact in ways difficult to predict. We surveyed 62 wetland sites across an elevational gradient in Colorado, USA, and modeled patterns in P. maculata occupancy. Tadpoles were most frequently present in intermediate-length hydropattern systems with lower desiccation risk and no predatory fish because of occasional drying. Pseudacris maculata occupancy had a strong negative relationship with fish presence, while tadpoles, odonate larvae, and Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma mavortium mavortium Baird, 1850) frequently co-occurred. Dry seasonal conditions will likely result in fewer intermediate-length hydropattern ponds available for amphibian breeding. We hypothesize that this will force P. maculata to breed in habitats with fish. As habitats shrink, predators that co-occur with P. maculata are expected to concentrate in the remaining habitat and increase predation risk for developing tadpoles (assuming predators are similarly constricted in their habitat use as amphibians are).

  18. Invertebrate predators of zooplankton on Georges Bank, 1977 1987

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Barbara K.; Meise, Carol J.

    Chaetognaths, primarily Sagitta elegans, were the most abundant and widespread invertebrate predator on Georges Bank during 1977-1987 MARMAP surveys. They were present in 79% of samples collected, and their average abundance was nearly an order of magnitude greater than that of any other predator taxon. hydrozoan and scyphozoan medusae, euphausiid shrimp, and gammarid and hyperiid amphipods were also abundant. Diversity and abundance of predators was highest in the central, well-mixed region of the bank. In this region numbers of chaetognaths and cnidaria increased following increased abundances of Calanus finmarchicus. However, on a larger scale the density of C. finmarchicus populations was inversely correlated with number of predators because this herbivore was most abundant in deeper waters surrounding Georges Bank where predators were least numerous. Chaetognaths and cnidaria were more abundant in 1978-1979 than in other years, and there was a statistically significant decline in the abundance of chaetognaths over the 10 year period. Abundance of both these groups was inversely correlated with temperature. Average numbers of chaetognaths in summer were low following a warm winter. Abundance of cnidaria in summer decreased with increasing summer temperatures.

  19. The ubiquity of intraguild predation among predatory arthropods.

    PubMed

    Gagnon, Annie-Ève; Heimpel, George E; Brodeur, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Intraguild predation (IGP) occurs when one predator species attacks another predator species with which it competes for a shared prey species. Despite the apparent omnipresence of intraguild interactions in natural and managed ecosystems, very few studies have quantified rates of IGP in various taxa under field conditions. We used molecular analyses of gut contents to assess the nature and incidence of IGP among four species of coccinellid predators in soybean fields. Over half of the 368 predator individuals collected in soybean contained the DNA of other coccinellid species indicating that IGP was very common at our field site. Furthermore, 13.2% of the sampled individuals contained two and even three other coccinellid species in their gut. The interaction was reciprocal, as each of the four coccinellid species has the capacity to feed on the others. To our knowledge, this study represents the most convincing field evidence of a high prevalence of IGP among predatory arthropods. The finding has important implications for conservation biology and biological control.

  20. Body size matters for aposematic prey during predator aversion learning.

    PubMed

    Smith, Karen E; Halpin, Christina G; Rowe, Candy

    2014-11-01

    Aposematic prey advertise their toxicity to predators using conspicuous warning signals, which predators learn to use to reduce their intake of toxic prey. Like other types of prey, aposematic prey often differ in body size, both within and between species. Increasing body size can increase signal size, which make larger aposematic prey more detectable but also gives them a more effective and salient deterrent. However, increasing body size also increases the nutritional value of prey, and larger aposematic prey may make a more profitable meal to predators that are trading off the costs of eating toxins with the benefits of ingesting nutrients. We tested if body size, independent of signal size, affected predation of toxic prey as predators learn to reduce their attacks on them. European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) learned to discriminate between defended (quinine-injected) and undefended (water-injected) mealworm prey (Tenebrio molitor) using visual signals. During this process, we found that birds attacked and ate more defended prey the larger they were. Body size does affect the probability that toxic prey are attacked and eaten, which has implications for the evolutionary dynamics of aposematism and mimicry (where species share the same warning pattern). PMID:25256160

  1. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction

    PubMed Central

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator–prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term ‘indirect evolutionary rescue’, has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change. PMID:26366196

  2. 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).

  3. Role of seasonality on predator-prey-subsidy population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Levy, Dorian; Harrington, Heather A; Van Gorder, Robert A

    2016-05-01

    The role of seasonality on predator-prey interactions in the presence of a resource subsidy is examined using a system of non-autonomous ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The problem is motivated by the Arctic, inhabited by the ecological system of arctic foxes (predator), lemmings (prey), and seal carrion (subsidy). We construct two nonlinear, nonautonomous systems of ODEs named the Primary Model, and the n-Patch Model. The Primary Model considers spatial factors implicitly, and the n-Patch Model considers space explicitly as a "Stepping Stone" system. We establish the boundedness of the dynamics, as well as the necessity of sufficiently nutritional food for the survival of the predator. We investigate the importance of including the resource subsidy explicitly in the model, and the importance of accounting for predator mortality during migration. We find a variety of non-equilibrium dynamics for both systems, obtaining both limit cycles and chaotic oscillations. We were then able to discuss relevant implications for biologically interesting predator-prey systems including subsidy under seasonal effects. Notably, we can observe the extinction or persistence of a species when the corresponding autonomous system might predict the opposite.

  4. Dynamics of Predator-Prey Metapopulations with Allee Effects.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Wu, Ping; Feng, Zhilan; Swihart, Robert K

    2016-08-01

    Allee effects increasingly are recognized as influential determinants of population dynamics, especially in disturbed landscapes. We developed a predator-prey metapopulation model to study the impact of an Allee effect on predator-prey. The model incorporates habitat destruction and predators with imperfect information about prey distribution. Criteria are established for the existence and stability of equilibria, and the possible existence of a limit cycle is discussed. Numerical bifurcation analysis of the model is carried out to examine the impact of Allee effects as well as other key processes on trophic dynamics. Inclusion of Allee effects produces a richer array of dynamics than earlier models in which it was absent. When prey interacts with generalist predators, Allee effects operate synergistically to depress prey populations. Allee effects are more likely to depress occupancy levels when destruction of habitat patches is moderate; at severe levels of destruction, Allee effects are swamped by demographic effects of habitat loss. Stronger Allee effects correspond to lower thresholds of predator colonization rates at which prey become extinct. We discuss implications of our model for conservation of rare species as well as pest management via biocontrol.

  5. Impacts of Size Structure on Intraguild Predation in Pond Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crumrine, P. W.

    2005-05-01

    Size structure, the degree to which individuals in a population vary in size, can greatly influence the dynamics of intraguild predation (IGP) within ecological communities. I manipulated the degree of size structure within assemblages of IG predators and IG prey to examine impacts on the direction and intensity of IGP in communities of larval dragonflies and larval water beetles. In pond enclosure studies, Pachydiplax longipennis (IG prey) mortality was lower when exposed to size structured assemblages of Anax junius (IG predator) than when exposed to only large A. junius at the same density. Effects of size-structured assemblages of A. junius on shared prey, Ischnura verticalis, were similar to the effects each size class alone at the same density. Separate experiments with Dytiscid water beetle larvae as IG predators and size-structured assemblages of A. junius as IG prey suggest that IG prey size structure plays only a limited role in mediating shared prey survival. These experiments highlight the importance of size structure as a characteristic that may promote the coexistence of predators in IGP systems.

  6. Role of seasonality on predator-prey-subsidy population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Levy, Dorian; Harrington, Heather A; Van Gorder, Robert A

    2016-05-01

    The role of seasonality on predator-prey interactions in the presence of a resource subsidy is examined using a system of non-autonomous ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The problem is motivated by the Arctic, inhabited by the ecological system of arctic foxes (predator), lemmings (prey), and seal carrion (subsidy). We construct two nonlinear, nonautonomous systems of ODEs named the Primary Model, and the n-Patch Model. The Primary Model considers spatial factors implicitly, and the n-Patch Model considers space explicitly as a "Stepping Stone" system. We establish the boundedness of the dynamics, as well as the necessity of sufficiently nutritional food for the survival of the predator. We investigate the importance of including the resource subsidy explicitly in the model, and the importance of accounting for predator mortality during migration. We find a variety of non-equilibrium dynamics for both systems, obtaining both limit cycles and chaotic oscillations. We were then able to discuss relevant implications for biologically interesting predator-prey systems including subsidy under seasonal effects. Notably, we can observe the extinction or persistence of a species when the corresponding autonomous system might predict the opposite. PMID:26916622

  7. Integrating environmental variation, predation pressure, phenotypic plasticity and locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Fu, Shi-Jian; Cao, Zhen-Dong; Yan, Guan-Jie; Fu, Cheng; Pang, Xu

    2013-10-01

    The Wujiang River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, has many dams along its length. These dams alter the river's natural habitat and produce various flow regimes and degrees of predator stress. To test whether the swimming performance and external body shape of pale chub (Zacco platypus) have changed as a result of alterations in the flow regime and predator conditions, we measured the steady (U(crit)) and unsteady (fast-start) swimming performances and morphological characteristics of fish collected from different sites along the Wujiang River. We also calculated the maximum respiratory capacity and cost of transport (COT). We demonstrated significant differences in swimming performance and morphological traits among the sampling sites. Steady swimming performance was positively correlated with water velocity and negatively correlated with the abundance of predators, whereas unsteady swimming performance was negatively correlated with water velocity. The body shape was significantly correlated with both swimming performance and ecological parameters. These findings suggested that selection pressure on swimming performance results in a higher U(crit) and a more streamlined body shape in fast-flow and (or) in habitats with low predator stress and subsequently results in a lower COT. These characteristics were accompanied by a poorer fast-start performance than that of the fish from the slow-flow and (or) high-predator habitats. The divergence in U(crit) may also be due in part to variation in respiratory capacity. PMID:23463244

  8. Predator facilitation or interference: a game of vipers and owls.

    PubMed

    Embar, Keren; Raveh, Ashael; Hoffmann, Ishai; Kotler, Burt P

    2014-04-01

    In predator-prey foraging games, the prey's reaction to one type of predator may either facilitate or hinder the success of another predator. We ask, do different predator species affect each other's patch selection? If the predators facilitate each other, they should prefer to hunt in the same patch; if they interfere, they should prefer to hunt alone. We performed an experiment in a large outdoor vivarium where we presented barn owls (Tyto alba) with a choice of hunting greater Egyptian gerbils (Gerbillus pyramidum) in patches with or without Saharan horned vipers (Cerastes cerastes). Gerbils foraged on feeding trays set under bushes or in the open. We monitored owl location, activity, and hunting attempts, viper activity and ambush site location, and the foraging behavior of the gerbils in bush and open microhabitats. Owls directed more attacks towards patches with vipers, and vipers were more active in the presence of owls. Owls and vipers facilitated each other's hunting through their combined effect on gerbil behavior, especially on full moon nights when vipers are more active. Owls forced gerbils into the bushes where vipers preferred to ambush, while viper presence chased gerbils into the open where they were exposed to owls. Owls and vipers took advantage of their indirect positive effect on each other. In the foraging game context, they improve each other's patch quality and hunting success. PMID:24481981

  9. Dynamics of Predator-Prey Metapopulations with Allee Effects.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Wu, Ping; Feng, Zhilan; Swihart, Robert K

    2016-08-01

    Allee effects increasingly are recognized as influential determinants of population dynamics, especially in disturbed landscapes. We developed a predator-prey metapopulation model to study the impact of an Allee effect on predator-prey. The model incorporates habitat destruction and predators with imperfect information about prey distribution. Criteria are established for the existence and stability of equilibria, and the possible existence of a limit cycle is discussed. Numerical bifurcation analysis of the model is carried out to examine the impact of Allee effects as well as other key processes on trophic dynamics. Inclusion of Allee effects produces a richer array of dynamics than earlier models in which it was absent. When prey interacts with generalist predators, Allee effects operate synergistically to depress prey populations. Allee effects are more likely to depress occupancy levels when destruction of habitat patches is moderate; at severe levels of destruction, Allee effects are swamped by demographic effects of habitat loss. Stronger Allee effects correspond to lower thresholds of predator colonization rates at which prey become extinct. We discuss implications of our model for conservation of rare species as well as pest management via biocontrol. PMID:27543248

  10. Stochastic predation events and population persistence in bighorn sheep.

    PubMed

    Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Coulson, Tim; Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Hogg, John T; Pelletier, Fanie

    2006-06-22

    Many studies have reported temporal changes in the relative importance of density-dependence and environmental stochasticity in affecting population growth rates, but they typically assume that the predominant factor limiting growth remains constant over long periods of time. Stochastic switches in limiting factors that persist for multiple time-steps have received little attention, but most wild populations may periodically experience such switches. Here, we consider the dynamics of three populations of individually marked bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) monitored for 24-28 years. Each population experienced one or two distinct cougar (Puma concolor) predation events leading to population declines. The onset and duration of predation events were stochastic and consistent with predation by specialist individuals. A realistic Markov chain model confirms that predation by specialist cougars can cause extinction of isolated populations. We suggest that such processes may be common. In such cases, predator-prey equilibria may only occur at large geographical and temporal scales, and are unlikely with increasing habitat fragmentation.

  11. Reconciling actual and perceived rates of predation by domestic cats

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Jennifer L; Maclean, Mairead; Evans, Matthew R; Hodgson, Dave J

    2015-01-01

    The predation of wildlife by domestic cats (Felis catus) is a complex problem: Cats are popular companion animals in modern society but are also acknowledged predators of birds, herpetofauna, invertebrates, and small mammals. A comprehensive understanding of this conservation issue demands an understanding of both the ecological consequence of owning a domestic cat and the attitudes of cat owners. Here, we determine whether cat owners are aware of the predatory behavior of their cats, using data collected from 86 cats in two UK villages. We examine whether the amount of prey their cat returns influences the attitudes of 45 cat owners toward the broader issue of domestic cat predation. We also contribute to the wider understanding of physiological, spatial, and behavioral drivers of prey returns among cats. We find an association between actual prey returns and owner predictions at the coarse scale of predatory/nonpredatory behavior, but no correlation between the observed and predicted prey-return rates among predatory cats. Cat owners generally disagreed with the statement that cats are harmful to wildlife, and disfavored all mitigation options apart from neutering. These attitudes were uncorrelated with the predatory behavior of their cats. Cat owners failed to perceive the magnitude of their cats’ impacts on wildlife and were not influenced by ecological information. Management options for the mitigation of cat predation appear unlikely to work if they focus on “predation awareness” campaigns or restrictions of cat freedom. PMID:26306163

  12. Antibiotic production by myxobacteria plays a role in predation.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yao; Wei, Xueming; Ebright, Richard; Wall, Daniel

    2011-09-01

    Myxobacteria are predatory and are prolific producers of secondary metabolites. Here, we tested a hypothesized role that secondary metabolite antibiotics function as weapons in predation. To test this, a Myxococcus xanthus Δta1 mutant, blocked in antibiotic TA (myxovirescin) production, was constructed. This TA(-) mutant was defective in producing a zone of inhibition (ZOI) against Escherichia coli. This shows that TA is the major M. xanthus-diffusible antibacterial agent against E. coli. Correspondingly, the TA(-) mutant was defective in E. coli killing. Separately, an engineered E. coli strain resistant to TA was shown to be resistant toward predation. Exogenous addition of spectinomycin, a bacteriostatic antibiotic, rescued the predation defect of the TA(-) mutant. In contrast, against Micrococcus luteus the TA(-) mutant exhibited no defect in ZOI or killing. Thus, TA plays a selective role on prey species. To extend these studies to other myxobacteria, the role of antibiotic corallopyronin production in predation was tested and also found to be required for Corallococcus coralloides killing on E. coli. Next, a role of TA production in myxobacterial fitness was assessed by measuring swarm expansion. Here, the TA(-) mutant had a specific swarm rate reduction on prey lawns, and thus reduced fitness, compared to an isogenic TA(+) strain. Based on these observations, we conclude that myxobacterial antibiotic production can function as a predatory weapon. To our knowledge, this is the first report to directly show a link between secondary metabolite production and predation.

  13. Bagworm bags as portable armour against invertebrate predators

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Some animals have evolved the use of environmental materials as “portable armour” against natural enemies. Portable bags that bagworm larvae (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) construct using their own silk and plant parts are generally believed to play an important role as a physical barrier against natural enemies. However, no experimental studies have tested the importance of bags as portable armour against predators. To clarify the defensive function, I studied the bagworm Eumeta minuscula and a potential predator Calosoma maximoviczi (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Under laboratory conditions, all bagworm larvae were attacked by carabid adults, but successfully defended themselves against the predators’ mandibles using their own bags. The portable bags, which are composed mainly of host plant twigs, may function as a physical barrier against predator mandibles. To test this hypothesis, I removed the twig bags and replaced some with herb leaf bags; all bag-removed larvae were easily caught and predated by carabids, while all bag-replaced larvae could successfully defend themselves against carabid attacks. Therefore, various types of portable bags can protect bagworm larvae from carabid attacks. This is the first study to test the defensive function of bagworm portable bags against invertebrate predators. PMID:26893969

  14. Hydrodynamic effects on a predator approaching a group of preys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Rosis, Alessandro

    2014-11-01

    A numerical approach to predict the hydrodynamics involving a predator approaching a group of 100 preys is presented. A collective behavioural model is adopted to predict the two-dimensional space-time evolution of the predator-preys system that is supposed to be immersed in a fluid. The preys manifest mutual repulsion, attraction and orientation, while the predator is idealized as an individual to be strongly repulsed. During the motion, the predator experiences a resistance induced by the encompassing fluid. Such effect is accounted for by computing the hydrodynamic force and by modifying the predator’s velocity given by the behavioural equations. A numerical campaign is carried out by varying the predator’s drag coefficient. Moreover, analyses characterized by progressively wider predator’s perception areas are performed, thus highlighting the role of the hydrodynamics over the behavioural interactions. In order to estimate the predator’s performance, an ad-hoc parameter is proposed. Moreover, findings in terms of trajectories and angular momentum of the group of preys are discussed. Present findings show that the sole collective behavioural equations are insufficient to predict the performance of a predator that is immersed in a fluid, since its motion is drastically affected by the resistance of the surrounding fluid.

  15. Guppies as predators of common mosquito larvae in Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Saleeza, S N R; Norma-Rashid, Y; Sofian-Azirun, M

    2014-03-01

    Observation on predation activities of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) on the larvae of three species of mosquito, namely Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus was carried out under laboratory conditions. Male and female guppies were used as predators for predation experiments on the 4th instars of mosquito larvae. The daily feeding rates comparing male and female guppies on mosquito larvae were different; the female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae than male guppies did. The daily feeding rates of female guppies were 121.3 for Ae. aegypti, 105.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 72.3 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. The daily feeding rates of male guppies were 98.6 for Ae. aegypti, 73.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 47.6 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. In terms of prey preference, there was greater preference towards mosquito larvae of Ae. aegypti, followed by Ae. albopictus, and the least preferred was Cx. quinquefasciatus. Male and female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae during lights on (day time) compared with lights off (night time). The water volume, prey species, number of fish predators available, prey densities, and prey's sex also influenced the predation activities. PMID:24968669

  16. Predators help protect carbon stocks in blue carbon ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  17. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey

    PubMed Central

    Halpin, Christina G.; Skelhorn, John; Rowe, Candy

    2014-01-01

    Avian predators readily learn to associate the warning coloration of aposematic prey with the toxic effects of ingesting them, but they do not necessarily exclude aposematic prey from their diets. By eating aposematic prey ‘educated’ predators are thought to be trading-off the benefits of gaining nutrients with the costs of eating toxins. However, while we know that the toxin content of aposematic prey affects the foraging decisions made by avian predators, the extent to which the nutritional content of toxic prey affects predators' decisions to eat them remains to be tested. Here, we show that European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) increase their intake of a toxic prey type when the nutritional content is artificially increased, and decrease their intake when nutritional enrichment is ceased. This clearly demonstrates that birds can detect the nutritional content of toxic prey by post-ingestive feedback, and use this information in their foraging decisions, raising new perspectives on the evolution of prey defences. Nutritional differences between individuals could result in equally toxic prey being unequally predated, and might explain why some species undergo ontogenetic shifts in defence strategies. Furthermore, the nutritional value of prey will likely have a significant impact on the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems. PMID:24598424

  18. Resilience of predators to fishing pressure on coral patch reefs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, R.E.; Parrish, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    Numbers and biomass of piscivorous fish and their predation on other fish may often be high in undisturbed coral reef communities. The effects of such predation have sometimes been studied by removal of piscivores (either experimentally or by fishermen). Such perturbations have usually involved removal of large, highly vulnerable, mobile piscivores that are often actively sought in fisheries. The effects of fishing on smaller, demersal, semi-resident piscivores have been little studied. We studied such effects on the fish communities of patch reefs at Midway atoll by experimentally removing major resident, demersal, piscivorous fishes. First, four control reefs and four experimental reefs were selected, their dimensions and habitats mapped, and their visible fish communities censused repeatedly over 1 year. Census of all control and experimental reefs was continued for the following 39 months, during which known piscivores were collected repeatedly by hand spearing. Records were kept of catch and effort to calculate CPUE as an index of predator density. Spearfishing on the experimental reefs removed 2504 piscivorous fish from 12 families and 43 taxa (mostly species). The species richness of the catch did not show an overall change over the duration of the experiment. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed some unexpected positive correlations for density in numbers and biomass of major fished piscivorous groups (especially lizardfish) over the experiment. Only two relatively minor fished piscivorous taxa declined in abundance over the experiment, while the overall abundance of piscivores increased. Visual censuses of fish on the experimental reefs also failed to show reduction of total piscivores over the full experimental period. No significant trend in the abundance of lizardfish censused over the full period was apparent on any of the control reefs. The high resilience of piscivores on these experimental reefs to relatively intense fishing pressure could

  19. Attracting predators without falling prey: chemical camouflage protects honeydew-producing treehoppers from ant predation.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Henrique C P; Oliveira, Paulo S; Trigo, José R

    2010-02-01

    Predaceous ants are dominant organisms on foliage and represent a constant threat to herbivorous insects. The honeydew of sap-feeding hemipterans has been suggested to appease aggressive ants, which then begin tending activities. Here, we manipulated the cuticular chemical profiles of freeze-dried insect prey to show that chemical background matching with the host plant protects Guayaquila xiphias treehoppers against predaceous Camponotus crassus ants, regardless of honeydew supply. Ant predation is increased when treehoppers are transferred to a nonhost plant with which they have low chemical similarity. Palatable moth larvae manipulated to match the chemical background of Guayaquila's host plant attracted lower numbers of predatory ants than unchanged controls. Although aggressive tending ants can protect honeydew-producing hemipterans from natural enemies, they may prey on the trophobionts under shortage of alternative food resources. Thus chemical camouflage in G. xiphias allows the trophobiont to attract predaceous bodyguards at reduced risk of falling prey itself.

  20. Keeping the herds healthy and alert: Implications of predator control for infectious disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Packer, Craig; Holt, Robert D.; Hudson, Peter J.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andrew P.

    2003-01-01

    Predator control programmes are generally implemented in an attempt to increase prey population sizes. However, predator removal could prove harmful to prey populations that are regulated primarily by parasitic infections rather than by predation. We develop models for microparasitic and macroparasitic infection that specify the conditions where predator removal will (a) increase the incidence of parasitic infection, (b) reduce the number of healthy individuals in the prey population and (c) decrease the overall size of the prey population. In general, predator removal is more likely to be harmful when the parasite is highly virulent, macroparasites are highly aggregated in their prey, hosts are long-lived and the predators select infected prey.

  1. Impacts of Wolbachia infection on predator prey relationships: evaluating survival and horizontal transfer between wMelPop infected Aedes aegypti and its predators.

    PubMed

    Hurst, Timothy P; Pittman, Geoff; O'Neill, Scott L; Ryan, Peter A; Nguyen, Hoang Le; Kay, Brian H

    2012-05-01

    The wMelPop strain of Wolbachia is currently being investigated for its potential use as a biological control agent to reduce the ability of Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquitoes to transmit dengue viruses. The survival of a potential wMelPop infected Ae. aegypti strain for field release is important as a higher susceptibility to predation in the wMelPop strain could result in difficulties in achieving fixation. We investigated immature and adult survival as a function of susceptibility to predation by six naturally occurring predator species; cyclopoid copepods, fish, predatory Toxorhynchites mosquito larvae and a salticid jumping spider. The trials indicated that wMelPop infected and uninfected Ae. aegypti larvae and adults were equally susceptible to predation to all six tested predators. In addition to evaluating any potential fitness costs to the infected host, we were unable to demonstrate horizontal transfer of wMelPop via consumption of infected Ae. aegypti larvae to the above predators. That susceptibility to predation was consistent across mosquito life stage, predator species and experimental venue is strong evidence that despite the neurotrophic and extensive nature of wMelPop infection, behavioral changes are not occurring, or at least not a determining factor in survival when exposed to a predator. Based on our results and the ecology of Wolbachia and mosquito predators, horizontal transfer of wMelPop from Ae. aegypti into naturally occurring predators is not cause for concern. PMID:22679870

  2. Developing SCAR markers to study predation on Trialeurodes vaporariorum.

    PubMed

    Agustí, N; de Vicente, M C; Gabarra, R

    2000-06-01

    DNA markers of Trialeurodes vaporariorum were developed to detect remains of these whitefly in the gut of the predator Dicyphus tamaninii. A 2400-bp DNA fragment of T. vaporariorum, absent in other closely related prey species and in the predator banding pattern, was identified by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis. After cloning and sequencing this fragment, two pairs of sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) primers were developed, amplifying single bands of 2100 bp and 310 bp, respectively. Detection of T. vaporariorum DNA in the predator gut was only possible using the primers that amplified the shortest fragment. Specificity tests performed with this pair of primers showed the presence of the 310-bp band for T. vaporariorum in all stages.

  3. Intraguild predation influences oviposition behavior of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Galindo, Luciane A; Moral, Rafael A; Moretti, Thiago C; Godoy, Wesley A C; Demétrio, Clarice G B

    2016-05-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are able to identify larvae of an intraguild predator species in the substrate and avoid laying eggs there. Blow flies oviposited in traps with different treatments: substrate only and substrate with larvae of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann, 1819), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794), or Chrysomya putoria (Wiedemann, 1830). Ch. megacephala, Ch. putoria, and Lucilia eximia (Wiedemann, 1819) avoided laying eggs in the trap containing Ch. albiceps larvae. Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius, 1775) did not oviposit differently in each substrate but had overall low abundance. The prevalence of species on corpses may be influenced by the ability of the species to detect the presence of other species, mainly predators. In this sense, intraguild predation may result in misinterpretations of a crime scene and should be considered when assessing the minimum postmortem interval. PMID:26888288

  4. Susceptibility of Select Agents to Predation by Predatory Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Riccardo; Chae, Richard; Mukherjee, Somdatta; Singleton, Eric J.; Occi, James L.; Kadouri, Daniel E.; Connell, Nancy D.

    2015-01-01

    Select Agents are microorganisms and toxins considered to be exploitable as biological weapons. Although infections by many Select Agents can be treated by conventional antibiotics, the risk of an emerging or engineered drug resistant strain is of great concern. One group of microorganisms that is showing potential to control drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria are the predatory bacteria from the genera Bdellovibrio spp. and Micavibrio spp. In this study, we have examined the ability of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (B. bacteriovorus) strain 109J, HD100 and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus (M. aeruginosavorus) ARL-13 to prey on a variety of Select Agents. Our findings demonstrate that B. bacteriovorus and M. aeruginosavorus are able to prey efficiently on Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia mallei. Modest predation was also measured in co-cultures of B. bacteriovorus and Francisella tularensis. However, neither of the predators showed predation when Burkholderia pseudomallei and Brucella melitensis were used as prey.

  5. Varying predator personalities generates contrasting prey communities in an agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Royauté, Raphaël; Pruitt, Jonathan N

    2015-11-01

    Most taxa show consistent individual differences in behavior, a phenomenon often referred to as animal "personalities." While the links between individual personality and fitness have received considerable attention, little information is available on how animal personality impacts higher-order ecological processes, such as community dynamics. Using a mesocosm experiment, we subjected a representative community of alfalfa pests to different compositions of personality types of the wolf spider Pardosa milvina. We show that subtle variation in the personality composition of P. milvina populations generate wildly different prey communities, where a mixture of both active and sedentary individuals performs best at suppressing prey abundance. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that predator personality types can generate contrasting prey communities. Moreover, our results suggest that manipulating the representation of predator personality types may be a profitable avenue by which one can maximize the biocontrol potential of predator populations. PMID:27070010

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Personality-dependent dispersal cancelled under predation risk.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-22

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

  8. Susceptibility of Select Agents to Predation by Predatory Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Riccardo; Chae, Richard; Mukherjee, Somdatta; Singleton, Eric J.; Occi, James L.; Kadouri, Daniel E.; Connell, Nancy D.

    2015-01-01

    Select Agents are microorganisms and toxins considered to be exploitable as biological weapons. Although infections by many Select Agents can be treated by conventional antibiotics, the risk of an emerging or engineered drug resistant strain is of great concern. One group of microorganisms that is showing potential to control drug resistant Gram-negative bacteria are the predatory bacteria from the genera Bdellovibrio spp. and Micavibrio spp. In this study, we have examined the ability of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (B. bacteriovorus) strain 109J, HD100 and Micavibrio aeruginosavorus (M. aeruginosavorus) ARL-13 to prey on a variety of Select Agents. Our findings demonstrate that B. bacteriovorus and M. aeruginosavorus are able to prey efficiently on Yersinia pestis and Burkholderia mallei. Modest predation was also measured in co-cultures of B. bacteriovorus and Francisella tularensis. However, neither of the predators showed predation when Burkholderia pseudomallei and Brucella melitensis were used as prey. PMID:27682124

  9. Predator fitness increases with selectivity for odd prey.

    PubMed

    Rutz, Christian

    2012-05-01

    The fundamental currency of normative models of animal decision making is Darwinian fitness. In foraging ecology, empirical studies typically assess foraging strategies by recording energy intake rates rather than realized reproductive performance. This study provides a rare empirical link, in a vertebrate predator-prey system, between a predator's foraging behavior and direct measures of its reproductive fitness. Goshawks Accipiter gentilis selectively kill rare color variants of their principal prey, the feral pigeon Columba livia, presumably because targeting odd-looking birds in large uniform flocks helps them overcome confusion effects and enhances attack success. Reproductive performance of individual hawks increases significantly with their selectivity for odd-colored pigeons, even after controlling for confounding age effects. Older hawks exhibit more pronounced dietary preferences, suggesting that hunting performance improves with experience. Intriguingly, although negative frequency-dependent predation by hawks exerts strong selection against rare pigeon phenotypes, pigeon color polymorphism is maintained through negative assortative mating. PMID:22503502

  10. Predation of wild spider monkeys at La Macarena, Colombia.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Ikki; Izawa, Kosei

    2008-01-01

    The killing of an adult male spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth ) by a jaguar (Panthera onca) and a predation attempt by a puma (Felis concolor) on an adult female spider monkey have been observed at the CIEM (Centro de Investigaciones Ecológicas La Macarena), La Macarena, Colombia. These incidents occurred directly in front of an observer, even though it is said that predation under direct observation on any type of primate rarely occurs. On the basis of a review of the literature, and the observations reported here, we suggest that jaguars and pumas are likely to be the only significant potential predators on adult spider monkeys, probably because of their large body size.

  11. Intraguild predation influences oviposition behavior of blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

    PubMed

    Galindo, Luciane A; Moral, Rafael A; Moretti, Thiago C; Godoy, Wesley A C; Demétrio, Clarice G B

    2016-05-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are able to identify larvae of an intraguild predator species in the substrate and avoid laying eggs there. Blow flies oviposited in traps with different treatments: substrate only and substrate with larvae of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann, 1819), Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794), or Chrysomya putoria (Wiedemann, 1830). Ch. megacephala, Ch. putoria, and Lucilia eximia (Wiedemann, 1819) avoided laying eggs in the trap containing Ch. albiceps larvae. Cochliomyia macellaria (Fabricius, 1775) did not oviposit differently in each substrate but had overall low abundance. The prevalence of species on corpses may be influenced by the ability of the species to detect the presence of other species, mainly predators. In this sense, intraguild predation may result in misinterpretations of a crime scene and should be considered when assessing the minimum postmortem interval.

  12. Enhanced susceptibility to predation in corals of compromised condition

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Caitlin M.; Miller, Margaret W.

    2015-01-01

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

  13. The effect of predation on stunted and nonstunted white perch

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

    Predation is widely regarded as a means to prevent or minimise the establishment of a stunted (high density of slow growing individuals) population. We investigated the effect of predation on two different white perch Morone americana populations (stunted and nonstunted) by examining the stomach contents of piscivorous fishes. White perch and gizzard shad dominated piscivore diets in Branched Oak Lake, whereas white perch dominated piscivore diets in Pawnee Lake. White perch consumed in the stunted population (Branched Oak Lake) were larger and older than white perch consumed in the nonstunted population (Pawnee Lake). Many of the consumed white perch in the stunted population were sexually mature and had the opportunity to spawn at least once. In contrast, all of the consumed white perch in the nonstunted population were sexually immature. Predation may have reinforced the stunting of white perch in Branched Oak Lake through removal of the largest, oldest individuals. ?? 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  14. Persistence in nonautonomous predator-prey systems with infinite delays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, Zhidong; Rehim, Mehbuba

    2006-12-01

    This paper studies the general nonautonomous predator-prey Lotka-Volterra systems with infinite delays. The sufficient and necessary conditions of integrable form on the permanence and persistence of species are established. A very interesting and important property of two-species predator-prey systems is discovered, that is, the permanence of species and the existence of a persistent solution are each other equivalent. Particularly, for the periodic system with delays, applying these results, the sufficient and necessary conditions on the permanence and the existence of positive periodic solutions are obtained. Some well-known results on the nondelayed periodic predator-prey Lotka-Volterra systems are strongly improved and extended to the delayed case.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Behavioral responses associated with a human-mediated predator shelter.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Graeme; Cordes, Line S; Hardy, Amanda R; Angeloni, Lisa M; Crooks, Kevin R

    2014-01-01

    Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral activity budget data collected from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and elk (Cervus elephus) in Grand Teton National Park, USA to test whether predictable patterns of human presence can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Daily behavioral scans were conducted along two parallel sections of road that differed in traffic volume--with the main Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use that was approximately thirty-fold greater than the River Road. At the busier Teton Park Road, both species of ungulate engaged in higher levels of feeding (27% increase in the proportion of pronghorn feeding and 21% increase for elk), lower levels of alert behavior (18% decrease for pronghorn and 9% decrease for elk) and formed smaller groups. These responses are commonly associated with reduced predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited a 30% increase in the proportion of individuals moving at the River Road as would be expected under greater exposure to predation risk. Our findings concur with the 'predator shelter hypothesis', suggesting that ungulates in GTNP use human presence as a potential refuge from predation risk, adjusting their behavior accordingly. Human activity has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and drive trophic-mediated effects that could ultimately impact ecosystem function and biodiversity. PMID:24718624

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Vulnerability to mild predator stress in serotonin transporter knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Adamec, Robert; Burton, Paul; Blundell, Jacqueline; Murphy, Dennis L; Holmes, Andrew

    2006-06-01

    Effect of predator stress on rat and mouse anxiety-like behavior may model aspects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A single cat exposure of wild type (C57, CFW) mice can produce lasting anxiety-like effects in the elevated plus maze, light/dark box tests and startle. In addition, female but not male C57 mice are made more anxious in the plus maze by exposure to predator odors alone, suggesting differential vulnerability to predator stressors of differing intensity. There is a link between genetic variation in the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) and anxiety in humans. This prompted the generation of SERT knockout mice [see Holmes A, Murphy DL, Crawley, JN. Biol Psychiatry 2003;54(10):953-9]. Present work used these mice to determine if there was a link between vulnerability to the anxiogenic effects of predator odors and abnormalities of 5-HT transmission induced by a life long reduction in 5-HT reuptake. Wild type (WT, C57 background), heterozygous (SERT +/-, HET) mice and homozygous knockout (SERT -/-, KO) were assigned to handled control groups or groups exposed for 10 min to a large testing room rich in cat odor. One week after handling or room exposure, anxiety testing took place in the dark phase of the light/dark cycle, in red light. Predator odor exposure was selectively anxiogenic in the plus maze and light/dark box tests in SERT -/- mice. Exposure to predator odor did not potentiate startle. Findings suggest a role for abnormalities in 5-HT transmission in vulnerability to some of the lasting anxiogenic effects of species relevant stressors and possibly in vulnerability to PTSD. PMID:16546269

  19. Behavioral Responses Associated with a Human-Mediated Predator Shelter

    PubMed Central

    Shannon, Graeme; Cordes, Line S.; Hardy, Amanda R.; Angeloni, Lisa M.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife populations in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement and vigilance, shifts in habitat use and changes in group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that in certain situations ungulate species may actually utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral activity budget data collected from pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and elk (Cervus elephus) in Grand Teton National Park, USA to test whether predictable patterns of human presence can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Daily behavioral scans were conducted along two parallel sections of road that differed in traffic volume - with the main Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use that was approximately thirty-fold greater than the River Road. At the busier Teton Park Road, both species of ungulate engaged in higher levels of feeding (27% increase in the proportion of pronghorn feeding and 21% increase for elk), lower levels of alert behavior (18% decrease for pronghorn and 9% decrease for elk) and formed smaller groups. These responses are commonly associated with reduced predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited a 30% increase in the proportion of individuals moving at the River Road as would be expected under greater exposure to predation risk. Our findings concur with the ‘predator shelter hypothesis’, suggesting that ungulates in GTNP use human presence as a potential refuge from predation risk, adjusting their behavior accordingly. Human activity has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and drive trophic-mediated effects that could ultimately impact ecosystem function and biodiversity. PMID:24718624

  20. Perceptual advertisement by the prey of stalking or ambushing predators.

    PubMed

    Broom, Mark; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2012-12-21

    There has been previous theoretical explorations of the stability of signals by prey that they have detected a stalking or ambush predator, where such perceptual advertisement dissuades the predator from attacking. Here we use a game theoretical model to extend the theory to consider some empirically-motivated complexities: (i) many perceptual advertisement signals appear to have the potential to vary in intensity, (ii) higher intensity signals are likely to be most costly to produce, and (iii) some high-cost signals (such as staring directly at the predator) can only be utilised if the prey is very confident of the existence of a nearby predator (that is, there are reserved or unfakable signals). We demonstrate that these complexities still allow for stable signalling. However, we do not find solutions where prey use a range of signal intensities to signal different degrees of confidence in the proximity of a predator; with prey simply adopting a binary response of not signalling or always signalling at the same fixed level. However this fixed level will not always be the cheapest possible signal, and we predict that prey that require more certainty about proximity of a predator will use higher-cost signals. The availability of reserved signals does not prohibit the stability of signalling based on lower-cost signals, but we also find circumstances where only the reserved signal is used. We discuss the potential to empirically test our model predictions, and to develop theory further to allow perceptual advertisement to be combined with other signalling functions. PMID:22960570

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Ribeiroia ondatrae cercariae are consumed by aquatic invertebrate predators.

    PubMed

    Schotthoefer, Anna M; Labak, K Marie; Beasley, Val R

    2007-10-01

    Trematodes amplify asexually in their snail intermediate hosts, resulting in the potential release of hundreds to thousands of free-living cercariae per day for the life of the snail. The high number of cercariae released into the environment undoubtedly increases the probability of transmission. Although many individual cercariae successfully infect another host in their life cycle, most fail. Factors that prevent successful transmission of cercariae are poorly understood. Microcrustaceans and fish have been observed to eat cercariae of some species, although the possibility that predation represents a significant source of mortality for cercariae has been largely unexplored. We tested the cercariophagic activity of several freshwater invertebrates on Ribeiroia ondatrae, a trematode that causes limb deformities in amphibians. Individuals of potential predators were placed into wells of multiwell plates with 10-15 cercariae, and numbers of cercariae remaining over time were recorded and compared with numbers in control wells that contained no predators. Of the species tested, Hydra sp., damselfly (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) larvae, dragonfly (Odonata, Libellulidae), larvae, and copepods (Cyclopoida) consumed cercariae. In some cases, 80-90% of the cercariae offered to damselfly and dragonfly larvae were consumed within 10 min. In most cases, predators continued to consume cercariae at the same average rates when offered cercariae together with individuals of an alternate prey item. Hydra sp. ate fewer cercariae in these trials. Our findings suggest the need for field and laboratory studies to further explore the effects of predators on transmission of R. ondatrae to amphibian larvae. In addition, the results suggest that conservation of the biodiversity and numbers of aquatic predators may limit adverse impacts of trematode infections in vertebrate hosts.

  3. Strike mechanics of an ambush predator: the spearing mantis shrimp.

    PubMed

    deVries, M S; Murphy, E A K; Patek, S N

    2012-12-15

    Ambush predation is characterized by an animal scanning the environment from a concealed position and then rapidly executing a surprise attack. Mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda) consist of both ambush predators ('spearers') and foragers ('smashers'). Spearers hide in sandy burrows and capture evasive prey, whereas smashers search for prey away from their burrows and typically hammer hard-shelled, sedentary prey. Here, we examined the kinematics, morphology and field behavior of spearing mantis shrimp and compared them with previously studied smashers. Using two species with dramatically different adult sizes, we found that strikes produced by the diminutive species, Alachosquilla vicina, were faster (mean peak speed 5.72±0.91 m s(-1); mean duration 3.26±0.41 ms) than the strikes produced by the large species, Lysiosquillina maculata (mean peak speed 2.30±0.85 m s(-1); mean duration 24.98±9.68 ms). Micro-computed tomography and dissections showed that both species have the spring and latch structures that are used in other species for producing a spring-loaded strike; however, kinematic analyses indicated that only A. vicina consistently engages the elastic mechanism. In the field, L. maculata ambushed evasive prey primarily at night while hidden in burrows, striking with both long and short durations compared with laboratory videos. We expected ambush predators to strike with very high speeds, yet instead we found that these spearing mantis shrimp struck more slowly and with longer durations than smashers. Nonetheless, the strikes of spearers occurred at similar speeds and durations to those of other aquatic predators of evasive prey. Although counterintuitive, these findings suggest that ambush predators do not actually need to produce extremely high speeds, and that the very fastest predators are using speed to achieve other mechanical feats, such as producing large impact forces. PMID:23175528

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Decomposing predation: testing for parameters that correlate with predatory performance by a social bacterium.

    PubMed

    Mendes-Soares, Helena; Velicer, Gregory J

    2013-02-01

    Predator-prey interactions presumably play major roles in shaping the composition and dynamics of microbial communities. However, little is understood about the population biology of such interactions or how predation-related parameters vary or correlate across prey environments. Myxococcus xanthus is a motile soil bacterium that feeds on a broad range of other soil microbes that vary greatly in the degree to which they support M. xanthus growth. In order to decompose predator-prey interactions at the population level, we quantified five predation-related parameters during M. xanthus growth on nine phylogenetically diverse bacterial prey species. The horizontal expansion rate of swarming predator colonies fueled by prey lawns served as our measure of overall predatory performance, as it incorporates both the searching (motility) and handling (killing and consumption of prey) components of predation. Four other parameters-predator population growth rate, maximum predator yield, maximum prey kill, and overall rate of prey death-were measured from homogeneously mixed predator-prey lawns from which predator populations were not allowed to expand horizontally by swarming motility. All prey species fueled predator population growth. For some prey, predator-specific prey death was detected contemporaneously with predator population growth, whereas killing of other prey species was detected only after cessation of predator growth. All four of the alternative parameters were found to correlate significantly with predator swarm expansion rate to varying degrees, suggesting causal interrelationships among these diverse predation measures. More broadly, our results highlight the importance of examining multiple parameters for thoroughly understanding the population biology of microbial predation.

  7. Interactions among predators and the cascading effects of vertebrate insectivores on arthropod communities and plants.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-20

    Theory on trophic interactions predicts that predators increase plant biomass by feeding on herbivores, an indirect interaction called a trophic cascade. Theory also predicts that predators feeding on predators, or intraguild predation, will weaken trophic cascades. Although past syntheses have confirmed cascading effects of terrestrial arthropod predators, we lack a comprehensive analysis for vertebrate insectivores-which by virtue of their body size and feeding habits are often top predators in these systems-and of how intraguild predation mediates trophic cascade strength. We report here on a meta-analysis of 113 experiments documenting the effects of insectivorous birds, bats, or lizards on predaceous arthropods, herbivorous arthropods, and plants. Although vertebrate insectivores fed as intraguild predators, strongly reducing predaceous arthropods (38%), they nevertheless suppressed herbivores (39%), indirectly reduced plant damage (40%), and increased plant biomass (14%). Furthermore, effects of vertebrate insectivores on predatory and herbivorous arthropods were positively correlated. Effects were strongest on arthropods and plants in communities with abundant predaceous arthropods and strong intraguild predation, but weak in communities depauperate in arthropod predators and intraguild predation. The naturally occurring ratio of arthropod predators relative to herbivores varied tremendously among the studied communities, and the skew to predators increased with site primary productivity and in trees relative to shrubs. Although intraguild predation among arthropod predators has been shown to weaken herbivore suppression, we find this paradigm does not extend to vertebrate insectivores in these communities. Instead, vertebrate intraguild preda-tion is associated with strengthened trophic cascades, and insectivores function as dominant predators in terrestrial plant-arthropod communities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Freinschlag, Julia; Schausberger, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Predation risk is a strong selective force shaping prey morphology, physiology, life history and/or behavior. As a prime stressor, predation risk may even induce trans-