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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. Predator Arithmetic

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    Modern Hindu-Arabic numeration is the end result of a long period of evolution, and is clearly superior to any system that has gone before, but is it optimal? We compare it to a hypothetical base 5 system, which we dub Predator arithmetic, and judge which of the two systems is superior from a mathematics education point of view. We find that…

  3. 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)

  4. Interstellar Predation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cockell, C. S.; Lee, M.

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

  5. Predators and Prey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramm, Kenneth R.

    1975-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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)

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

    PubMed

    Přibylová, Lenka; Berec, Luděk

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Production of heteropteran predators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-08-07

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Tornberg, Risto; Helle, Pekka; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2011-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Predators of the Whitetail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagre, Daniel B.

    1994-01-01

    white-tailed deer have long been important prey for large predators. Before Europeans colonized North America, deer roaming the forested region east of the Great Plains and areas along the Gulf of Mexico were hunted by wolves and mountain lions, and by Native Americans for food and clothing materials. Today, wolves and mountain lions are largely gone from the white-tailed deer range of the eastern United States. Deer still face the threat of wolves in northern Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, and of mountain lions, to a limited extent, in Texas and south Florida. Relatively small populations of whitetails have expanded westward, showing up in the Great Plains and several areas west of the Continental Divide such as northwestern Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington. More than half the prey killed by recolonizing wolves in northwestern Montana are white-tailed deer. Although it has not been well documented, these western whitetails undoubtedly also are preyed on by mountain lions. Wolves and mountain lions have evolved as effective killers of deer but with very different physical characteristics and hunting behaviors. Of course, for their part, whitetails have found ways to protect themselves.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vance-Chalcraft, Heather D.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Adaptation of prey and predators between patches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendi; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2009-06-21

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

  6. 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.

  7. Behavioral refuges and predator-prey coexistence.

    PubMed

    Křivan, Vlastimil

    2013-12-21

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

  8. Geometric optimization for prey-predator strategies.

    PubMed

    Alshamary, Bader; Calin, Ovidiu

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Hunting cooperation and Allee effects in predators.

    PubMed

    Teixeira Alves, Mickaël; Hilker, Frank M

    2017-04-21

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

  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.

  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. Predators and the public trust.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  13. Intraguild Predation and Native Lady Beetle Decline

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Differential predation of forage seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  15. 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…

  16. OVIGENY IN SELECTED GENERALIST PREDATORS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Takizawa, Tadashi; Snyder, William E

    2011-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kauffman, M.J.; Varley, N.; Smith, D.W.; Stahler, D.R.; MacNulty, D.R.; Boyce, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Because some native ungulates have lived without top predators for generations, it has been uncertain whether runaway predation would occur when predators are newly restored to these systems. We show that landscape features and vegetation, which influence predator detection and capture of prey, shape large-scale patterns of predation in a newly restored predator-prey system. We analysed the spatial distribution of wolf (Canis lupus) predation on elk (Cervus elaphus) on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park over 10 consecutive winters. The influence of wolf distribution on kill sites diminished over the course of this study, a result that was likely caused by territorial constraints on wolf distribution. In contrast, landscape factors strongly influenced kill sites, creating distinct hunting grounds and prey refugia. Elk in this newly restored predator-prey system should be able to mediate their risk of predation by movement and habitat selection across a heterogeneous risk landscape. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  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. Age and sex-selective predation moderate the overall impact of predators.

    PubMed

    Hoy, Sarah R; Petty, Steve J; Millon, Alexandre; Whitfield, D Philip; Marquiss, Michael; Davison, Martin; Lambin, Xavier

    2015-05-01

    Currently, there is no general agreement about the extent to which predators impact prey population dynamics and it is often poorly predicted by predation rates and species abundances. This could, in part be caused by variation in the type of selective predation occurring. Notably, if predation is selective on categories of individuals that contribute little to future generations, it may moderate the impact of predation on prey population dynamics. However, despite its prevalence, selective predation has seldom been studied in this context. Using recoveries of ringed tawny owls (Strix aluco) predated by 'superpredators', northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) as they colonized the area, we investigated the extent to which predation was sex and age-selective. Predation of juvenile owls was disproportionately high. Amongst adults, predation was strongly biased towards females and predation risk appeared to increase with age. This implies age-selective predation may shape the decline in survival with age, observed in tawny owls. To determine whether selective predation can modulate the overall impact of predation, age-based population matrix models were used to simulate the impact of five different patterns of age-selective predation, including the pattern actually observed in the study site. The overall impact on owl population size varied by up to 50%, depending on the pattern of selective predation. The simulation of the observed pattern of predation had a relatively small impact on population size, close to the least harmful scenario, predation on juveniles only. The actual changes in owl population size and structure observed during goshawk colonization were also analysed. Owl population size and immigration were unrelated to goshawk abundance. However, goshawk abundance appeared to interact with owl food availability to have a delayed effect on recruitment into the population. This study provides strong evidence to suggest that predation of other predators is

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ford, John R; Swearer, Stephen E

    2013-06-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kang, Yun; Wedekin, Lauren

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Phase transitions in predator-prey systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagano, Seido; Maeda, Yusuke

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Berec, Ludek

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  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.

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

    PubMed

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Mingxin; Wu, Qiang

    2008-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-06-07

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

  7. 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

  8. Predation of caterpillars on understory saplings in an Ozark forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lichtenberg, J.S.; Lichtenberg, D.A.

    2003-01-01

    Predators of caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae) can indirectly enhance economic gains from plant resources by reducing herbivore damage to plants. For this study, we directly observed predation of caterpillars on understory trees in the Ozarks. Our objectives were to determine the relative importance of diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators, the time of day most diurnal predation events occur, and whether predators spend more time feeding in open or closed canopy areas. Once per month, June-September, we tethered caterpillars to understory saplings and recorded all predation events. Only invertebrate predators were observed feeding on caterpillars, and most predation events were attributed to ants and vespids (wasps, hornets and yellow jackets). Predation by vertebrate predators such as birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians was not observed. Most predation events took place at mid-day between 1200 and 1600 hrs. Predation pressure differed significantly over the four observation dates with peak ant predation in July and peak vespid predation in September. Canopy environment appeared to influence predation events as there was a trend towards higher vespid predation of caterpillars on open canopy as opposed to closed canopy saplings. Ants and vespids accounted for 90% of observed predation events; therefore they appear to be important predators of caterpillars during the summer months. Future studies at earlier sampling dates would be valuable in determining whether the relative importance of other diurnal guilds of caterpillar predators might be greater in the spring.

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

    PubMed 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-07

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

  14. A multiple phenotype predator-prey model with mutation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Antagonistic and synergistic interactions among predators.

    PubMed

    Huxel, Gary R

    2007-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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.

  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 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-07

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

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Exploiting interspecific olfactory communication to monitor predators.

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-01

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

  12. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. a Numerical Study on Predator Prey Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Predator-dependent species-area relationships.

    PubMed

    Ryberg, Wade A; Chase, Jonathan M

    2007-10-01

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

  2. Selective signalling by cuttlefish to predators.

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-18

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

  3. Techniques for identifying predators of goose nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Predator personality structures prey communities and trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Start, Denon; Gilbert, Benjamin

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Leroux, Shawn J; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Resetting predator baselines in coral reef ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-21

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

  16. Inducible defenses in prey intensify predator cannibalism.

    PubMed

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wendi

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Anthropogenic noise increases fish mortality by predation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-05

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

  2. 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

  3. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Fenton, A; Rands, S A

    2006-11-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yixin; Richardson, John S

    2007-06-22

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

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

    PubMed

    Morozov, Andrew Y; Li, Bai-Lian

    2006-08-01

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

  12. Does predation contribute to tree diversity?

    PubMed

    Beckage, Brian; Clark, James S

    2005-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Page, Rachel A

    2007-11-20

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Philpott, Stacy M; Bichier, Peter

    2017-01-13

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-17

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka

    2015-07-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Predators, prey, and natural disasters attract ecologists.

    PubMed

    Mlot, C

    1993-08-27

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

  4. 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.

  5. The sensory ecology of nonconsumptive predator effects.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W

    2012-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hemmi, Jan M; Pfeil, Andreas

    2010-05-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-22

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

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. Predator dispersal determines the effect of connectivity on prey diversity.

    PubMed

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  1. Cues of intraguild predators affect the distribution of intraguild prey.

    PubMed

    Choh, Yasuyuki; van der Hammen, Tessa; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2010-06-01

    Theory on intraguild (IG) predation predicts that coexistence of IG-predators and IG-prey is only possible for a limited set of parameter values, suggesting that IG-predation would not be common in nature. This is in conflict with the observation that IG-predation occurs in many natural systems. One possible explanation for this difference might be antipredator behaviour of the IG-prey, resulting in decreased strength of IG-predation. We studied the distribution of an IG-prey, the predatory mite Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae), in response to cues of its IG-predator, the predatory mite Iphiseius degenerans. Shortly after release, the majority of IG-prey was found on the patch without cues of IG-predators, suggesting that they can rapidly assess predation risk. IG-prey also avoided patches where conspecific juveniles had been killed by IG-predators. Because it is well known that antipredator behaviour in prey is affected by the diet of the predator, we also tested whether IG-prey change their distribution in response to the food of the IG-predators (pollen or conspecific juveniles), but found no evidence for this. The IG-prey laid fewer eggs on patches with cues of IG-predators than on patches without cues. Hence, IG-prey changed their distribution and oviposition in response to cues of IG-predators. This might weaken the strength of IG-predation, possibly providing more opportunities for IG-prey and IG-predators to co-exist.

  2. Predator Dispersal Determines the Effect of Connectivity on Prey Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Limberger, Romana; Wickham, Stephen A.

    2011-01-01

    Linking local communities to a metacommunity can positively affect diversity by enabling immigration of dispersal-limited species and maintenance of sink populations. However, connectivity can also negatively affect diversity by allowing the spread of strong competitors or predators. In a microcosm experiment with five ciliate species as prey and a copepod as an efficient generalist predator, we analysed the effect of connectivity on prey species richness in metacommunities that were either unconnected, connected for the prey, or connected for both prey and predator. Presence and absence of predator dispersal was cross-classified with low and high connectivity. The effect of connectivity on local and regional richness strongly depended on whether corridors were open for the predator. Local richness was initially positively affected by connectivity through rescue of species from stochastic extinctions. With predator dispersal, however, this positive effect soon turned negative as the predator spread over the metacommunity. Regional richness was unaffected by connectivity when local communities were connected only for the prey, while predator dispersal resulted in a pronounced decrease of regional richness. The level of connectivity influenced the speed of richness decline, with regional species extinctions being delayed for one week in weakly connected metacommunities. While connectivity enabled rescue of prey species from stochastic extinctions, deterministic extinctions due to predation were not overcome through reimmigration from predator-free refuges. Prey reimmigrating into these sink habitats appeared to be directly converted into increased predator abundance. Connectivity thus had a positive effect on the predator, even when the predator was not dispersing itself. Our study illustrates that dispersal of a species with strong negative effects on other community members shapes the dispersal-diversity relationship. When connections enable the spread of a

  3. Optimal Control In Predation Of Models And Mimics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsoularis, A.

    2007-09-01

    This paper examines optimal predation by a predator preying upon two types of prey, modes and mimics. Models are unpalatable prey and mimics are palatable prey resembling the models so as to derive some protection from predation. This biological phenomenon is known in Ecology as Batesian mimicry. An optimal control problem in continuous time is formulated with the sole objective to maximize the net energetic benefit to the predator from predation in the presence of evolving prey populations. The constrained optimal control is bang-bang with the scalar control taken as the probability of attacking prey. Conditions for the existence of singular controls are obtained.

  4. A non-autonomous stochastic predator-prey model.

    PubMed

    Buonocore, Aniello; Caputo, Luigia; Pirozzi, Enrica; Nobile, Amelia G

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this paper is to consider a non-autonomous predator-prey-like system, with a Gompertz growth law for the prey. By introducing random variations in both prey birth and predator death rates, a stochastic model for the predator-prey-like system in a random environment is proposed and investigated. The corresponding Fokker-Planck equation is solved to obtain the joint probability density for the prey and predator populations and the marginal probability densities. The asymptotic behavior of the predator-prey stochastic model is also analyzed.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of uniform rotational flow on predator-prey system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2012-12-01

    Rotational flow is often observed in lotic ecosystems, such as streams and rivers. For example, when an obstacle interrupts water flowing in a stream, energy dissipation and momentum transfer can result in the formation of rotational flow, or a vortex. In this study, I examined how rotational flow affects a predator-prey system by constructing a spatially explicit lattice model consisting of predators, prey, and plants. A predation relationship existed between the species. The species densities in the model were given as S (for predator), P (for prey), and G (for plant). A predator (prey) had a probability of giving birth to an offspring when it ate prey (plant). When a predator or prey was first introduced, or born, its health state was assigned an initial value of 20 that subsequently decreased by one with every time step. The predator (prey) was removed from the system when the health state decreased to less than zero. The degree of flow rotation was characterized by the variable, R. A higher R indicates a higher tendency that predators and prey move along circular paths. Plants were not affected by the flow because they were assumed to be attached to the streambed. Results showed that R positively affected both predator and prey survival, while its effect on plants was negligible. Flow rotation facilitated disturbances in individuals’ movements, which consequently strengthens the predator and prey relationship and prevents death from starvation. An increase in S accelerated the extinction of predators and prey.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Environmental signals can induce phenotypic changes that span multiple generations. Along with phenotypic responses that occur during development (i.e. ‘within-generation’ plasticity), such ‘transgenerational plasticity’ (TGP) has been documented in a diverse array of taxa spanning many environmental perturbations. New theory predicts that temporal stability is a key driver of the evolution of TGP. We tested this prediction using natural populations of zooplankton from lakes in Connecticut that span a large gradient in the temporal dynamics of predator-induced mortality. We reared more than 120 clones of Daphnia ambigua from nine lakes for multiple generations in the presence/absence of predator cues. We found that temporal variation in mortality selects for within-generation plasticity while consistently strong (or weak) mortality selects for increased TGP. Such results provide us the first evidence for local adaptation in TGP and argue that divergent ecological conditions select for phenotypic responses within and across generations. PMID:26817775

  15. 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.

  16. Climate change, keystone predation, and biodiversity loss.

    PubMed

    Harley, Christopher D G

    2011-11-25

    Climate change can affect organisms both directly via physiological stress and indirectly via changing relationships among species. However, we do not fully understand how changing interspecific relationships contribute to community- and ecosystem-level responses to environmental forcing. I used experiments and spatial and temporal comparisons to demonstrate that warming substantially reduces predator-free space on rocky shores. The vertical extent of mussel beds decreased by 51% in 52 years, and reproductive populations of mussels disappeared at several sites. Prey species were able to occupy a hot, extralimital site if predation pressure was experimentally reduced, and local species richness more than doubled as a result. These results suggest that anthropogenic climate change can alter interspecific interactions and produce unexpected changes in species distributions, community structure, and diversity.

  17. 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

  18. Hydrological disturbance diminishes predator control in wetlands.

    PubMed

    Dorn, Nathan J; Cook, Mark I

    2015-11-01

    Effects of predators on prey populations can be especially strong in aquatic ecosystems, but disturbances may mediate the strength of predator limitation and even allow outbreaks of some prey populations. In a two-year study we investigated the numerical responses of crayfish (Procambarus fallax) and small fishes (Poeciliidae and Fundulidae) to a brief hydrological disturbance in replicated freshwater wetlands with an experimental drying and large predatory fish reduction. The experiment and an in situ predation assay tested the component of the consumer stress model positing that disturbances release prey from predator limitation. In the disturbed wetlands, abundances of large predatory fish were seasonally reduced, similar to dynamics in the Everglades (southern Florida). Densities of small fish were unaffected by the disturbance, but crayfish densities, which were similar across all wetlands before drying, increased almost threefold in the year after the disturbance. Upon re-flooding, juvenile crayfish survival was inversely related to the abundance of large fish across wetlands, but we found no evidence for enhanced algal food quality. At a larger landscape scale (500 km2 of the Everglades), crayfish densities over eight years were positively correlated with the severity of local dry disturbances (up to 99 days dry) during the preceding dry season. In contrast, densities of small-bodied fishes in the same wetlands were seasonally depressed by dry disturbances. The results from our experimental wetland drought and the observations of crayfish densities in the Everglades represent a large-scale example of prey population release following a hydrological disturbance in a freshwater ecosystem. The conditions producing crayfish pulses in the Everglades appear consistent with the mechanics of the consumer stress model, and we suggest crayfish pulses may influence the number of nesting wading birds in the Everglades.

  19. Motional instabilities in prey-predator systems.

    PubMed

    Malchow, H

    2000-06-21

    Differential fluxes can destabilize the locally stable stationary density distributions in interaction systems with diffusion, advection, and/or locomotion of chemical or biological species. By this method they can cause the formation of stationary or travelling spatial structures. Different scenarios of this general mechanism of spatio-temporal pattern formation in reaction-diffusion-advection systems will be demonstrated, using a simple two-species predator-prey system as an example model.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonally Varying Predation Behavior and Climate Shifts Are Predicted to Affect Predator-Prey Cycles.

    PubMed

    Tyson, Rebecca; Lutscher, Frithjof

    2016-11-01

    The functional response of some predator species changes from a pattern characteristic for a generalist to that for a specialist according to seasonally varying prey availability. Current theory does not address the dynamic consequences of this phenomenon. Since season length correlates strongly with altitude and latitude and is predicted to change under future climate scenarios, including this phenomenon in theoretical models seems essential for correct prediction of future ecosystem dynamics. We develop and analyze a two-season model for the great horned owl (Bubo virginialis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). These species form a predator-prey system in which the generalist to specialist shift in predation pattern has been documented empirically. We study the qualitative behavior of this predator-prey model community as summer season length changes. We find that relatively small changes in summer season length can have a profound impact on the system. In particular, when the predator has sufficient alternative resources available during the summer season, it can drive the prey to extinction, there can be coexisting stable states, and there can be stable large-amplitude limit cycles coexisting with a stable steady state. Our results illustrate that the impacts of global change on local ecosystems can be driven by internal system dynamics and can potentially have catastrophic consequences.

  3. Unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, Predator B in flight.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. ALTAIR/PREDATOR B -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., is developing the Altair version of its Predator B unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, shown here, under NASA's Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. NASA plans to use the Altair as a technology demonstrator testbed aircraft to validate a variety of command and control technologies for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as well as demonstrate the capability to perform a variety of Earth science missions. The Altair is designed to carry an 700-lb. payload of scientific instruments and imaging equipment for as long as 32 hours at up to 52,000 feet altitude. Ten-foot extensions have been added to each wing, giving the Altair an overall wingspan of 84 feet with an aspect ratio of 23. It is powered by a 700-hp. rear-mounted TPE-331-10 turboprop engine, driving a three-blade propeller. Altair is scheduled to begin flight tests in the fourth quarter of 2002, and be acquired by NASA following successful completion of those basic airworthiness tests in early 2003 for evaluation of over-the-horizon control, detect, see and avoid and other technologies required to allow UAVs to operate safely with other aircraft in the national airspace.

  4. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Top marine predators track Lagrangian coherent structures.

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-19

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

  6. Plant facilitation of a belowground predator.

    PubMed

    Preisser, Evan L; Dugaw, Christopher J; Dennis, Brian; Strong, Donald R

    2006-05-01

    Interest in facilitative predator plant interactions has focused upon above-ground systems. Underground physical conditions are distinctive, however, and we provide evidence that bush lupine, Lupinus arboreus, facilitates the survival of the predatory nematode Heterorhabditis marelatus. Because H. marelatus is prone to desiccation and lupines maintain a zone of moist soil around their taproots even during dry periods, we hypothesized that dry-season nematode survival under lupines might be higher than in the surrounding grasslands. We performed field surveys and measured nematode survival in lupine and grassland rhizospheres under wet- and dry-season conditions. Nematodes survived the crucial summer period better under lupines than in grasslands; however, this advantage disappeared in wet, winter soils. Modeling the probability of nematode population extinction showed that, while even large nematode cohorts were likely to go extinct in grasslands, even small cohorts in lupine rhizospheres were likely to survive until the arrival of the next prey generation. Because this nematode predator has a strong top-down effect on lupine survival via its effect on root-boring larvae of the ghost moth Hepialus californicus, this facilitative interaction may enable a belowground trophic cascade. Similar cases of predator facilitation in seasonally stressful environments are probably common in nature.

  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. Predator density and the functional responses of coral reef fish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stier, A. C.; White, J. W.

    2014-03-01

    Predation is a key process driving coral reef fish population dynamics, with higher per capita prey mortality rates on reefs with more predators. Reef predators often forage together, and at high densities, they may either cooperate or antagonize one another, thereby causing prey mortality rates to be substantially higher or lower than one would expect if predators did not interact. However, we have a limited mechanistic understanding of how prey mortality rates change with predator densities. We re-analyzed a previously published observational dataset to investigate how the foraging response of the coney grouper ( Cephalopholis fulva) feeding on the bluehead wrasse ( Thalassoma bifasciatum) changed with shifts in predator and prey densities. Using a model-selection approach, we found that per-predator feeding rates were most consistent with a functional response that declines as predator density increases, suggesting either antagonistic interactions among predators or a shared antipredator behavioral response by the prey. Our findings suggest that variation in predator density (natural or anthropogenic) may have substantial consequences for coral reef fish population dynamics.

  9. Predation by native brown shrimp on invasive Pacific oyster spat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weerman, E. J.; Eriksson, B. K.; Olff, H.; van der Heide, T.

    2014-01-01

    In the last decades, the invasive Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) increased dramatically in the Wadden Sea. One of the driving mechanisms for the success of the Pacific oyster could be a relatively low predation pressure by epibenthic predators and shore birds on oyster spat. Nevertheless, observations and experiments on predation rates on early life-stages of the Pacific oyster are rare. Therefore, we examined predation rates of brown shrimps on Pacific oyster spat in a number of laboratory experiments. Our results demonstrate that spat of Pacific oysters are most susceptible to predation by brown shrimps (Crangon crangon) in the first days after settlement, when attachment to the substrate (unglazed tiles in our study) is still absent or weak. At this stage the shell length of oyster spat is around ~ 300 μm, and around 50% of the individuals in the experiment were consumed in the two hour trials. Predation rates decreased rapidly as the spat grew larger and reached zero within 10 days after settlement of the spat (shell length > 700 μm). Additional experiments revealed that the attachment of oysters is probably limiting predation by brown shrimps rather than the size of the spat. This indicates that Pacific oyster spat may limit predation loss faster compared to native bivalves, which commonly depend on size to reduce predation rates. Overall, our results suggest that the invasive success of Pacific oysters may in part be explained by relatively low predation rates throughout their life stages.

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

    PubMed

    Vail, Alexander L; McCormick, Mark I

    2011-12-23

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Olfactory systems and neural circuits that modulate predator odor fear

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Lorey K.

    2014-01-01

    When prey animals detect the odor of a predator a constellation of fear-related autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses rapidly occur to facilitate survival. How olfactory sensory systems process predator odor and channel that information to specific brain circuits is a fundamental issue that is not clearly understood. However, research in the last 15 years has begun to identify some of the essential features of the sensory detection systems and brain structures that underlie predator odor fear. For instance, the main (MOS) and accessory olfactory systems (AOS) detect predator odors and different types of predator odors are sensed by specific receptors located in either the MOS or AOS. However, complex predator chemosignals may be processed by both the MOS and AOS, which complicate our understanding of the specific neural circuits connected directly and indirectly from the MOS and AOS to activate the physiological and behavioral components of unconditioned and conditioned fear. Studies indicate that brain structures including the dorsal periaqueductal gray (DPAG), paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, and the medial amygdala (MeA) appear to be broadly involved in predator odor induced autonomic activity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress hormone secretion. The MeA also plays a key role in predator odor unconditioned fear behavior and retrieval of contextual fear memory associated with prior predator odor experiences. Other neural structures including the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the ventral hippocampus (VHC) appear prominently involved in predator odor fear behavior. The basolateral amygdala (BLA), medial hypothalamic nuclei, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) are also activated by some but not all predator odors. Future research that characterizes how distinct predator odors are uniquely processed in olfactory systems and neural circuits will provide significant insights into the differences of how diverse predator

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Predator-induced morphological changes in an amphibian: predation by dragonflies affects tadpole shape and color.

    PubMed

    McCollum, S A; Leimberger, J D

    1997-02-01

    Predator-induced defenses are well studied in plants and invertebrate animals, but have only recently been recognized in vertebrates. Gray treefrog (Hylachrysoscelis) tadpoles reared with predatory dragonfly (Aeshnaumbrosa) larvae differ in shape and color from tadpoles reared in the absence of dragonflies. By exposing tadpoles to tail damage and the non-lethal presence of starved and fed dragonflies, we determined that these phenotypic differences are induced by non-contact cues present when dragonflies prey on Hyla. The induced changes in shape are in the direction that tends to increase swimming speed; thus, the induced morphology may help tadpoles evade predators. Altering morphology in response to predators is likely to influence interactions with other species in the community as well.

  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. Predator-prey interactions in a changing world: humic stress disrupts predator threat evasion in copepods.

    PubMed

    Santonja, Mathieu; Minguez, Laetitia; Gessner, Mark O; Sperfeld, Erik

    2016-12-29

    Increasing inputs of colored dissolved organic matter (cDOM), which is mainly composed of humic substances (HS), are a widespread phenomenon of environmental change in aquatic ecosystems. This process of brownification alters the chemical conditions of the environment, but knowledge is lacking of whether elevated cDOM and HS levels interfere with the ability of prey species to evade chemical predator cues and thus affect predator-prey interactions. We assessed the effects of acute and prolonged exposure to HS at increasing concentrations on the ability of freshwater zooplankton to avoid predator threat (imposed by fish kairomones) in laboratory trials with two calanoid copepods (Eudiaptomus gracilis and Heterocope appendiculata). Populations of both species clearly avoided water containing fish kairomones. However, the avoidance behavior weakened with increasing HS concentration, suggesting that HS affected the ability of copepods to perceive or respond to the predator cue. The behavioral responses of the two copepod populations to increasing HS concentrations differed, with H. appendiculata being more sensitive than E. gracilis in an acute exposure scenario, whereas E. gracilis responded more strongly after prolonged exposure. Both showed similar physiological impairment after prolonged exposure, as revealed by their oxidative balance as a stress indicator, but mortality increased more strongly for H. appendiculata when the HS concentration increased. These results indicate that reduced predator threat evasion in the presence of cDOM could make copepods more susceptible to predation in future, with variation in the strength of responses among populations leading to changes in zooplankton communities and lake food-web structure.

  2. 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

  3. Cascading top-down effects of changing oceanic predator abundances.

    PubMed

    Baum, Julia K; Worm, Boris

    2009-07-01

    1. Top-down control can be an important determinant of ecosystem structure and function, but in oceanic ecosystems, where cascading effects of predator depletions, recoveries, and invasions could be significant, such effects had rarely been demonstrated until recently. 2. Here we synthesize the evidence for oceanic top-down control that has emerged over the last decade, focusing on large, high trophic-level predators inhabiting continental shelves, seas, and the open ocean. 3. In these ecosystems, where controlled manipulations are largely infeasible, 'pseudo-experimental' analyses of predator-prey interactions that treat independent predator populations as 'replicates', and temporal or spatial contrasts in predator populations and climate as 'treatments', are increasingly employed to help disentangle predator effects from environmental variation and noise. 4. Substantial reductions in marine mammals, sharks, and piscivorous fishes have led to mesopredator and invertebrate predator increases. Conversely, abundant oceanic predators have suppressed prey abundances. Predation has also inhibited recovery of depleted species, sometimes through predator-prey role reversals. Trophic cascades have been initiated by oceanic predators linking to neritic food webs, but seem inconsistent in the pelagic realm with effects often attenuating at plankton. 5. Top-down control is not uniformly strong in the ocean, and appears contingent on the intensity and nature of perturbations to predator abundances. Predator diversity may dampen cascading effects except where nonselective fisheries deplete entire predator functional groups. In other cases, simultaneous exploitation of predator and prey can inhibit prey responses. Explicit consideration of anthropogenic modifications to oceanic foodwebs should help inform predictions about trophic control. 6. Synthesis and applications. Oceanic top-down control can have important socio-economic, conservation, and management implications as

  4. Maturation delay for the predators can enhance stable coexistence for a class of prey-predator models.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Malay; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2017-01-07

    Maturation time delay for the predators is introduced in prey-predator models to implicitly model the stage-structure of predators. Most of the prey-predator models with maturation delay are known to exhibit destabilization of coexistence steady-state. Discrete time delay induced destabilization is a common finding, however, this is due to the introduction of time delay with lack of ecological justification. The main objective of the present work is to show the stabilizing role of maturation delay for a class of delayed prey-predator model. To be specific, we consider prey-predator models with strong and weak Allee effects in prey growth and Michaelis-Menten type functional response. We provide ecological justification for the introduction of maturation delay parameter in predator's growth equation. We obtain the conditions for stable and oscillatory coexistence of prey and their specialist predator in case of strong as well as weak Allee effect for non-delayed and delayed models. Apart from the analytical results for the models under consideration, we perform extensive numerical simulations to construct the relevant bifurcation diagrams. Our analytical and supportive numerical findings reveal that delay is not always a destabilizing factor rather the stable coexistence in the presence of time delay depends upon the formulation of the delayed model. The biological implications of the current investigation are provided in the conclusion section. We also explain the validity of obtained results for other types of prey-predator models with a specialist predator.

  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.

  6. Mixed-mode oscillations and chaos in a prey-predator system with dormancy of predators.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka; Chiba, Hayato

    2009-12-01

    It is shown that the dormancy of predators induces mixed-mode oscillations and chaos in the population dynamics of a prey-predator system under certain conditions. The mixed-mode oscillations and chaos are shown to bifurcate from a coexisting equilibrium by means of the theory of fast-slow systems. These results may help to find experimental conditions under which one can demonstrate chaotic population dynamics in a simple phytoplankton-zooplankton (-resting eggs) community in a microcosm with a short duration.

  7. Mixed-mode oscillations and chaos in a prey-predator system with dormancy of predators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuwamura, Masataka; Chiba, Hayato

    2009-12-01

    It is shown that the dormancy of predators induces mixed-mode oscillations and chaos in the population dynamics of a prey-predator system under certain conditions. The mixed-mode oscillations and chaos are shown to bifurcate from a coexisting equilibrium by means of the theory of fast-slow systems. These results may help to find experimental conditions under which one can demonstrate chaotic population dynamics in a simple phytoplankton-zooplankton (-resting eggs) community in a microcosm with a short duration.

  8. 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

  9. Small cryptopredators contribute to high predation rates on coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goatley, Christopher H. R.; González-Cabello, Alonso; Bellwood, David R.

    2017-03-01

    Small fishes suffer high mortality rates on coral reefs, primarily due to predation. Although studies have identified the predators of early post-settlement fishes, the predators of small cryptobenthic fishes remain largely unknown. We therefore used a series of mesocosm experiments with natural habitat and cryptobenthic fish communities to identify the impacts of a range of small potential predators, including several invertebrates, on prey fish populations. While there was high variability in predation rates, many members of the cryptobenthic fish community act as facultative cryptopredators, being prey when small and piscivores when larger. Surprisingly, we also found that smashing mantis shrimps may be important fish predators. Our results highlight the diversity of the predatory community on coral reefs and identify previously unknown trophic links in these complex ecosystems.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24766277

  13. Predator-prey relationships among larval dragonflies, salamanders, and frogs.

    PubMed

    Caldwell, J P; Thorp, J H; Jervey, T O

    1980-09-01

    Tadpoles of the barking tree frog, Hyla gratiosa, are abundant in spring and summer in some ponds and Carolina bays on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina. To determine how these tadpoles survive in the presence of predaceous salamander larvae, Ambystoma talpoideum, and larvae of an aeshnid dragonfly, Anax junius, we determined fields densities and sizes of the predators and the prey and conducted predation experiments in the laboratory. Tadpoles rapidly grow to a size not captured by Ambystoma, although Anax larvae can capture slightly larger tadpoles. Differing habitat preferences among the tadpoles and the two predator species probably aid in reducing predation pressure. Preliminary work indicates that the tadpoles may have an immobility response to an attack by a predator. In addition, the smallest, most vulnerable tadpoles have a distinctive color pattern which may function to disrupt the body outline and make them indiscernable to predators.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. HUMAN IMPACTS. The unique ecology of human predators.

    PubMed

    Darimont, Chris T; Fox, Caroline H; Bryan, Heather M; Reimchen, Thomas E

    2015-08-21

    Paradigms of sustainable exploitation focus on population dynamics of prey and yields to humanity but ignore the behavior of humans as predators. We compared patterns of predation by contemporary hunters and fishers with those of other predators that compete over shared prey (terrestrial mammals and marine fishes). Our global survey (2125 estimates of annual finite exploitation rate) revealed that humans kill adult prey, the reproductive capital of populations, at much higher median rates than other predators (up to 14 times higher), with particularly intense exploitation of terrestrial carnivores and fishes. Given this competitive dominance, impacts on predators, and other unique predatory behavior, we suggest that humans function as an unsustainable "super predator," which—unless additionally constrained by managers—will continue to alter ecological and evolutionary processes globally.

  18. Defensive responses of cuttlefish to different teleost predators.

    PubMed

    Staudinger, Michelle D; Buresch, Kendra C; Mäthger, Lydia M; Fry, Charlie; McAnulty, Sarah; Ulmer, Kimberly M; Hanlon, Roger T

    2013-12-01

    We evaluated cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) responses to three teleost predators: bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), and black seabass (Centropristis striata). We hypothesized that the distinct body shapes, swimming behaviors, and predation tactics exhibited by the three fishes would elicit markedly different antipredator responses by cuttlefish. Over the course of 25 predator-prey behavioral trials, 3 primary and 15 secondary defense behaviors of cuttlefish were shown to predators. In contrast, secondary defenses were not shown during control trials in which predators were absent. With seabass-a benthic, sit-and-pursue predator-cuttlefish used flight and spent more time swimming in the water column than with other predators. With bluefish-an active, pelagic searching predator-cuttlefish remained closely associated with the substrate and relied more on cryptic behaviors. Startle (deimatic) displays were the most frequent secondary defense shown to seabass and bluefish, particularly the Dark eye ring and Deimatic spot displays. We were unable to evaluate secondary defenses by cuttlefish to flounder-a lie-and-wait predator-because flounder did not pursue cuttlefish or make attacks. Nonetheless, cuttlefish used primary defense during flounder trials, alternating between cryptic still and moving behaviors. Overall, our results suggest that cuttlefish may vary their behavior in the presence of different teleost predators: cryptic behaviors may be more important in the presence of active searching predators (e.g., bluefish), while conspicuous movements such as swimming in the water column and startle displays may be more prevalent with relatively sedentary, bottom-associated predators (e.g., seabass).

  19. A delayed prey-predator system with parasitic infection.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Debasis

    2006-08-01

    This paper analyzes a prey-predator system in which some members of the prey population and all predators are subjected to infection by a parasite. The predator functional response is a function of a weighted sum of prey abundances. Persistence and extinction criteria are derived. The stability of the interior equilibrium point is discussed. The role of delay is also addressed. Lastly the results are verified through computer simulation. Numerical simulation suggests that the delay has a destabilizing effect.

  20. Multiple predator effects in an intertidal food web.

    PubMed

    Van Son, Thijs Christiaan; Thiel, Martin

    2006-01-01

    1. We examined the effects of multiple predators from an intertidal boulder food web to test whether and how three different predator species affected the survival of a small amphipod species. 2. Predators were chosen because they differ in their foraging mode, two feeding at the bottom and in benthic refuges (nemertean and shrimp) and one in the water-column (juveniles of a fish). 3. Mortality of amphipods was not affected by nemerteans, but was high in the presence of shrimp or fish. Highest mortalities were observed in predator-combinations that contained both shrimp and fish. Amphipods responded to shrimp by escaping into the water column, while they avoided fish by remaining in the refuge. We conclude that predator-specific defence causes conflicts for prey when both shrimp and fish are present. 4. Comparing observed effects of multiple predators with expected effects revealed risk enhancement for the shrimp + fish combination. A comparison of different predictive models revealed that the multiplicative model was most appropriate, although additive models may work well under certain conditions. 5. Based on known consumption-ranges of the predators used, we conclude that nemerteans were saturated with prey while fish were far from their saturation point. A predator's functional response curve (prey consumption in relation to prey abundance) determines its impact on prey populations. This knowledge appears essential in order to predict whether prey organisms face risk enhancement, risk reduction or additive effects of multiple predators.

  1. Prey dynamics under generalist predator culling in stage structured models.

    PubMed

    Costa, Michel Iskin da S; Esteves, Pedro V; Faria, Lucas Del Bianco; Dos Anjos, Lucas

    2017-03-01

    In this paper, by means of mathematical dynamical models we investigate the impacts of predator culling on a prey population structured in two stage classes, juveniles and adults, assuming stage specific predation by two generalist predators with functional responses types 2 and 3 in all possible combinations. According to the chosen set of parameter values, these impacts can manifest through possible demographic Allee effects, sustained population oscillations, alternative stable states (e.g., predator-pit-like behavior) and Hydra effect, which are all discussed, in turn, in terms of species conservation, harvest yield and pest biological control.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Prey scan at random to evade observant predators.

    PubMed Central

    Scannell, J.; Roberts, G.; Lazarus, J.

    2001-01-01

    Anti-predator scans by animals occur with very irregular timing, so that the initiation of scans resembles a random, Poisson-like, process. At first sight, this seems both dangerous (predators could exploit the long intervals) and wastefull (scans after very short intervals are relatively uninformative). We explored vigilance timing using a new model that allows both predators and prey to vary their behaviour. Given predators that attack at random with respect to prey behaviour, constant inter-scan intervals minimize predation risk. However, if prey scan regularly to minimize their risk from randomly attacking predators, they become more vulnerable to predators that initiate attacks when the inter-scan intervals begin. If, in order to defeat this tactic, prey choose extremely variable inter-scan intervals, they become more vulnerable to predators who wait for long intervals before launching attacks. Only if predators can monitor the variability of inter-scan intervals and either attack immediately (if variability is too low) or wait for long intervals to attack (if variability is too high) does the empirically observed pattern of Poisson-like scanning become the optimal prey strategy. PMID:11296867

  6. 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.

  7. Oscillations in a size-structured prey-predator model.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Souvik; Martcheva, Maia

    2010-11-01

    This article introduces a predator-prey model with the prey structured by body size, based on reports in the literature that predation rates are prey-size specific. The model is built on the foundation of the one-species physiologically structured models studied earlier. Three types of equilibria are found: extinction, multiple prey-only equilibria and possibly multiple predator-prey coexistence equilibria. The stabilities of the equilibria are investigated. Comparison is made with the underlying ODE Lotka-Volterra model. It turns out that the ODE model can exhibit sustain oscillations if there is an Allee effect in the net reproduction rate, that is the net reproduction rate grows for some range of the prey's population size. In contrast, it is shown that the structured PDE model can exhibit sustain oscillations even if the net reproductive rate is strictly declining with prey population size. We find that predation, even size-non-specific linear predation can destabilize a stable prey-only equilibrium, if reproduction is size specific and limited to individuals of large enough size. Furthermore, we show that size-specific predation can also destabilize the predator-prey equilibrium in the PDE model. We surmise that size-specific predation allows for temporary prey escape which is responsible for destabilization in the predator-prey dynamics.

  8. Functional and numerical response in prey-predator system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasan, Y. Abu; Alebraheem, J.

    2015-03-01

    Two of the important terms describing the relationship in a prey-predator system of equations are the functional and numerical responses. The standard functional response used by theoretical and field ecologists is the Holling type-2 functional response. This function was later modified to take into account predator interference as a result of an increase in predator density. In this paper, we introduce a model that can take into account the predator interactions through the numerical response, without modifying the Holling functional response. The correctness of the model and its dynamical behaviour is discussed. Comparisons are made with model with a standard response.

  9. Factors influencing predation associated with visits to artificial goose nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vacca, M. Michele; Handel, Colleen M.

    1988-01-01

    Artificial goose nests were used to determine what factors might increase predation after visits to nests of Cackling Canada Geese (Branta canadensis minima). We tested whether leaving the nest uncovered, marking the nest location with a flag, or placing the nest on an island or peninsula would increase the rate of predation. Predators destroyed significantly more of the nests with eggs exposed to view (61%) than of the nests with eggs covered with goose down (35%) (P < 0.05). However, the rate of predation was only slightly higher among nests located on peninsulas than on islands and equal proportions of flagged and unflagged nests were destroyed. We also determined that investigators attracted predators to the study area and caused an increase in predation at uncovered nests immediately after the visit. Covering the eggs with down essentially negated the effect of attracting predators when visiting the nest. Among the 46 nests destroyed, 78% were destroyed by birds and 22% by mammals. Results of our study suggested that visibility of exposed eggs rather than nest markers provided important cues to avian predators and that islands probably provided some refuge from mammalian predators. Investigators can take steps to minimize their impact on nesting success and should incorporate a measure of that impact in their studies.

  10. 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

  11. Acquisition and Use of Nematocysts by Cnidarian Predators

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Paul G.

    2009-01-01

    Although toxic, physically destructive, and produced solely by cnidarians, cnidocysts are acquired, stored, and used by some predators of cnidarians. Despite knowledge of this phenomenon for well over a century, little empirical evidence details the mechanisms of how (and even why) these organisms use organelles of cnidarians. However, in the past twenty years a number of published experimental investigations address two of the fundamental questions of nematocyst acquisition and use by cnidarian predators: 1) how are cnidarian predators protected from cnidocyst discharge during feeding, and 2) how are the nematocysts used by the predator? PMID:19269306

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Keystone predation and molecules of keystone significance.

    PubMed

    Zimmer, Richard K; Ferrier, Graham A; Kim, Steven J; Ogorzalek Loo, Rachel R; Zimmer, Cheryl Ann; Loo, Joseph A

    2017-04-04

    Keystone species structure ecological communities and are major determinants of biodiversity. A synthesis of research on keystone species is nonetheless missing a critical component -NDASH- the sensory mechanisms for behavioral interactions that determine population- and community-wide attributes. Here, we establish the chemosensory basis for keystone predation by sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus) on mussels. This consumer-resource interaction is prototypic of top-down driven trophic cascades. Each mussel species (Mytilus californianus and M. galloprovincialis) secretes a glycoprotein orthologue (29.6 and 28.1 kDa, respectively) that acts, singularly, to evoke the sea star predatory response. The orthologues (named 'KEYSTONEin') are localized in the epidermis, extrapallial fluid, and organic shell coating (periostracum) of live, intact mussels. Thus, KEYSTONEin contacts chemosensory receptors on tube feet as sea stars crawl over rocky surfaces in search of prey. The complete nucleotide sequences reveal that KEYSTONEin shares 87% (M. californianus) or 98% (M. galloprovincialis) homology with a calcium-binding protein in the shell matrix of a closely related congener, M. edulis. All three molecules cluster tightly within the Complement Component 1 Domain Containing (C1qDC) protein family; each exhibits a large globular domain, low complexity region(s), coiled coil, and at least four of five histidine-aspartic acid tandem motifs. Collective results support the hypothesis that KEYSTONEin evolved ancestrally in immunological, and later, in biomineralization roles. More recently, the substance has become exploited by sea stars as a contact cue for prey recognition. As the first identified compound to evoke keystone predation, KEYSTONEin provides valuable sensory information, promotes biodiversity, and shapes community structure and function. Without this molecule, there would be no predation by sea stars on mussels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights

  15. 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).

  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. 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.

  18. 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.…

  19. Invasive toads shift predator-prey densities in animal communities by removing top predators.

    PubMed

    Doody, J Sean; Soanes, Rebekah; Castellano, Christina M; Rhind, David; Green, Brian; McHenry, Colin R; Clulow, Simon

    2015-09-01

    Although invasive species can have substantial impacts on animal communities, cases of invasive species facilitating native species by removing their predators have rarely been demonstrated across vertebrate trophic linkages. The predictable spread of the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina), however, offered a unique opportunity to quantify cascading effects. In northern Australia, three species of predatory monitor lizards suffered severe population declines due to toad-induced lethal toxic ingestion (yellow-spotted monitor (Varanus panoptes), Mertens' water monitor (V. mertensi), Mitchell's water monitor (V. mitchelli). We, thus, predicted subsequent increases in the abundance and recruitment of prey species due to the reduction of those predators. Toad-induced population-level declines in the water monitor species approached 50% over a five-year period spanning the toad invasion, apparently causing fledging success of the Crimson Finch (Neochmia.phaeton) to increase from 55% to 81%. The consensus of our original and published long-term data is that invasive cane toads are causing predators to lose a foothold on top-down regulation of their prey, triggering shifts in the relative densities of predator and prey in the Australian tropical savannah ecosystem.

  20. Predation: Prey plumage adaptation against falcon attack.

    PubMed

    Palleroni, Alberto; Miller, Cory T; Hauser, Marc; Marler, Peter

    2005-04-21

    Several plumage types are found in feral pigeons (Columba livia), but one type imparts a clear survival advantage during attacks by the swiftest of all predators--the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Here we use quantitative field observations and experiments to demonstrate both the selective nature of the falcon's choice of prey and the effect of plumage coloration on the survival of feral pigeons. This plumage colour is an independently heritable trait that is likely to be an antipredator adaptation against high-speed attacks in open air space.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Habitat complexity influences cascading effects of multiple predators.

    PubMed

    Grabowski, Jonathan H; Hughes, A Randall; Kimbro, David L

    2008-12-01

    Although multiple predator effects and trophic cascades have both been demonstrated in a wide variety of ecosystems, ecologists have yet to incorporate these studies into an experimental framework that also manipulates a common and likely important factor, spatial heterogeneity. We manipulated habitat complexity, the presence of two top predators (toadfish and blue crabs), and one intermediate predator (mud crabs) to determine whether habitat complexity influences the strength of multiple predator interactions across multiple trophic levels in experimental oyster reef communities. In the absence of toadfish, blue crabs caused significant mud crab mortality. Despite also directly consuming mud crabs, toadfish indirectly benefited this intermediate predator by decreasing blue crab consumption of mud crabs. Toadfish suppression of mud crab foraging activity, and thus decreased mud crab encounters with blue crabs, is likely responsible for this counterintuitive result. Contrary to previous investigations which suggest that more complex habitats reduce interference interactions among predators, reef complexity strengthened emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs) on mud crabs. The degree to which these MPEs cascaded down to benefit juvenile oysters (basal prey) depended on both habitat complexity and nonconsumptive effects derived from predator-predator interactions. Habitat complexity reduced the foraging efficiency of each crab species individually but released crab interference interactions when together, so that the two crabs collectively consumed more oysters on complex reefs. Regardless of reef complexity, toadfish consistently decreased consumption of oysters by both crab species individually and when together. Therefore, interactions between predator identity and habitat complexity structure trophic cascades on oyster reefs. Furthermore, these cascading effects of multiple predators were largely mediated by nonconsumptive effects in this system.

  5. Functional responses: a question of alternative prey and predator density.

    PubMed

    Tschanz, Britta; Bersier, Louis-Felix; Bacher, Sven

    2007-05-01

    Throughout the study of ecology, there has been a growing realization that indirect effects among species cause complexity in food webs. Understanding and predicting the behavior of ecosystems consequently depends on our ability to identify indirect effects and their mechanisms. The present study experimentally investigates indirect interactions arising between two prey species that share a common predator. In a natural field experiment, we introduced different densities of mealworms (Tenebrio molitor), an alternative prey, to a previously studied predator-prey system in which paper wasps (Polistes dominulus) preyed on shield beetle larvae (Cassida rubiginosa). We tested if alternative prey affects predation on the first prey (i.e., the predator-dependent functional response of paper wasps) by modifying either interference among predators or the effective number of predators foraging on shield beetles. Presence of mealworms significantly reduced the effective number of predators, whereas predator interference was not affected. In this way, the experimentally introduced alternative prey altered the wasps' functional response and thereby indirectly influenced C. rubiginosa density. In all prey-density combinations offered, paper wasps constantly preferred T. molitor. This led to an asymmetrical, indirect interaction between both prey species: an increase in mealworm density significantly relaxed predation on C. rubiginosa, whereas an increase in C. rubiginosa density intensified predation on mealworms. Such asymmetrical outcomes of a fixed food preference can significantly affect the population dynamics of the species involved. In spite of the repeated finding of a Type III functional response in this system, our experiment did not reveal switching behavior in paper wasps. The variety of mechanisms underlying direct and indirect interactions within our study system exemplifies the importance of incorporating alternative prey when investigating the impact of a

  6. Getting out alive: how predators affect the decision to metamorphose.

    PubMed

    Relyea, Rick A

    2007-06-01

    Metamorphosis has intrigued biologists for a long time as an extreme form of complex life cycles that are ubiquitous in animals. While investigated from a variety of perspectives, the ecological focus has been on identifying and understanding the ecological factors that affect an individual's decision on when, and at what size, to metamorphose. Predation is a major factor that affects metamorphic decisions and a recent review by Benard (Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:651-673, 2004)) documented how predator cues induce metamorphic changes relative to model predictions. Importantly, however, real predators affect larval prey via several mechanisms beyond simple induction. In this paper, I contrast the leading models of metamorphosis, provide an overview of the multiple ways that predators can directly and indirectly affect larval growth and development (via induction, thinning, and selection), and identify how each process should affect the time to and size at metamorphosis. With this mechanistic foundation established, I then turn to the well-studied model system of larval amphibians to synthesize studies on: (1) caged predators (which cause only induction), and (2) lethal predators (which cause induction, thinning, and selection). Among the caged-predator studies, the chemical cues emitted by predators rarely induce a smaller size at metamorphosis or a shorter time to metamorphosis, which is in direct contrast to theoretical predictions but in agreement with Benard's (Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:651-673, 2004) review based on a considerably smaller dataset. Among the lethal-predator studies, there is a diversity of outcomes depending upon the relative importance of induction versus thinning with the relative importance of the two processes appearing to change with larval density. Finally, I review the persistent effects of larval predators after metamorphosis including both phenotypic and fitness effects. At the end, I outline a number of future directions to allow

  7. Modelling the fear effect in predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoying; Zanette, Liana; Zou, Xingfu

    2016-11-01

    A recent field manipulation on a terrestrial vertebrate showed that the fear of predators alone altered anti-predator defences to such an extent that it greatly reduced the reproduction of prey. Because fear can evidently affect the populations of terrestrial vertebrates, we proposed a predator-prey model incorporating the cost of fear into prey reproduction. Our mathematical analyses show that high levels of fear (or equivalently strong anti-predator responses) can stabilize the predator-prey system by excluding the existence of periodic solutions. However, relatively low levels of fear can induce multiple limit cycles via subcritical Hopf bifurcations, leading to a bi-stability phenomenon. Compared to classic predator-prey models which ignore the cost of fear where Hopf bifurcations are typically supercritical, Hopf bifurcations in our model can be both supercritical and subcritical by choosing different sets of parameters. We conducted numerical simulations to explore the relationships between fear effects and other biologically related parameters (e.g. birth/death rate of adult prey), which further demonstrate the impact that fear can have in predator-prey interactions. For example, we found that under the conditions of a Hopf bifurcation, an increase in the level of fear may alter the direction of Hopf bifurcation from supercritical to subcritical when the birth rate of prey increases accordingly. Our simulations also show that the prey is less sensitive in perceiving predation risk with increasing birth rate of prey or increasing death rate of predators, but demonstrate that animals will mount stronger anti-predator defences as the attack rate of predators increases.

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Embryonic exposure to predator odour modulates visual lateralization in cuttlefish.

    PubMed

    Jozet-Alves, Christelle; Hébert, Marie

    2013-02-07

    Predation pressure acts on the behaviour and morphology of prey species. In fish, the degree of lateralization varies between high- and low-predation populations. While lateralization appears to be widespread in invertebrates, we do not know whether heredity and early experience interact during development as in vertebrates. Here we show, for the first time, that an exposure to predator odour prior to hatching modulates visual lateralization in newly hatched cuttlefish. Only cuttlefish that have been exposed to predator odour display a left-turning bias when tested with blank seawater in a T-shaped apparatus. Exposure to predator odour all the incubation long could appear as an acute predictor of a high-predation surrounding environment. In addition, cuttlefish of all groups display a left-turning preference when tested with predator odour in the apparatus. This suggests the ability of cuttlefish to innately recognize predator odour. To our knowledge, this is the first clear demonstration that lateralization is vulnerable to ecological challenges encountered during embryonic life, and that environmental stimulation of the embryo through the olfactory system could influence the development of subsequent visual lateralization.

  15. Reproductive biology and predation by the ladybeetle, Delphastus catalinae (Coleoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ladybeetle, Delphastus catalinae, is an important insect predator of the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii. This whitefly pest causes damage to plants through direct feeding and transmission of plant diseases. D. catalinae is a voracious predator of whiteflies in various plants such as v...

  16. Effects of predator functional diversity on grassland ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2009-09-01

    Predator species individually are known to have important effects on plant communities and ecosystem functions such as production, decomposition, and elemental cycling, the nature of which is determined by a key functional trait, predator hunting mode. However, it remains entirely uncertain how predators with different hunting modes combine to influence ecosystem function. I report on an experiment conducted in a New England grassland ecosystem that quantified the net effects of a sit-and-wait and an actively hunting spider species on the plant composition and functioning of a New England grassland ecosystem. I manipulated predator functional diversity by varying the dominance ratio of the two predator species among five treatments using a replacement series design. Experimentation revealed that predator functional diversity effects propagated down the live plant-based chain to affect the levels of plant diversity, and plant litter quality, elemental cycling, and production. Moreover, many of these effects could be approximately by the weighted average of the individual predator species effects, suggesting that this kind of predator diversity effect on ecosystems is not highly nonlinear.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. Influence of stochastic perturbation on prey-predator systems.

    PubMed

    Rudnicki, Ryszard; Pichór, Katarzyna

    2007-03-01

    We analyse the influence of various stochastic perturbations on prey-predator systems. The prey-predator model is described by stochastic versions of a deterministic Lotka-Volterra system. We study long-time behaviour of both trajectories and distributions of the solutions. We indicate the differences between the deterministic and stochastic models.

  20. Global stability of predator-prey system with alternative prey.

    PubMed

    Sahoo, Banshidhar

    2013-01-01

    A predator-prey model in presence of alternative prey is proposed. Existence and local stability conditions for interior equilibrium points are derived. Global stability conditions for interior equilibrium points are also found. Bifurcation analysis is done with respect to predator's searching rate and handling time. Bifurcation analysis confirms the existence of global stability in presence of alternative prey.

  1. 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.

  2. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators.

    PubMed

    Gemmell, Brad J; Jiang, Houshuo; Strickler, J Rudi; Buskey, Edward J

    2012-07-22

    The marine environment associated with the air-water interface (neuston) provides an important food source to pelagic organisms where subsurface prey is limited. However, studies on predator-prey interactions within this environment are lacking. Copepods are known to produce strong escape jumps in response to predators, but must contend with a low-Reynolds-number environment where viscous forces limit escape distance. All previous work on copepod interaction with predators has focused on a liquid environment. Here, we describe a novel anti-predator behaviour in two neustonic copepod species, where individuals frequently exit the water surface and travel many times their own body length through air to avoid predators. Using both field recordings with natural predators and high-speed laboratory recordings, we obtain detailed kinematics of this behaviour, and estimate energetic cost associated with this behaviour. We demonstrate that despite losing up to 88 per cent of their initial kinetic energy, copepods that break the water surface travel significantly further than those escaping underwater and successfully exit the perceptive field of the predator. This behaviour provides an effective defence mechanism against subsurface-feeding visual predators and the results provide insight into trophic interactions within the neustonic environment.

  3. The influence of turbulence on plankton predation strategies.

    PubMed

    Lewis, D M; Pedley, T J

    2001-06-07

    The importance of predation in regulating the size of competing plankton and larval fish populations has long been appreciated. However, it has only recently been recognized that turbulence must have a significant influence on predator-prey interactions because most rival species of microorganisms co-exist in oceanic or fast moving fresh water flows. Turbulence is likely to influence predation strategies in two ways. The extra energy imparted to a micro-organism from the flow field will enhance the number of encounters or "contacts" between predators and prey. At the same time, because the velocity of a predator relative to its potential prey will be increased, the time-scale over which a capture must be completed is reduced. Balancing the benefits of extra encounters with the drawbacks of more difficult captures, will dictate an optimal predation strategy, either foraging behaviour or ambush feeding, on the predator. This will depend on its own and the prey's swimming capabilities, as well as the characteristics of the turbulent environment. In this paper some previous work, examining the increased encounter rate in turbulence, will be extended to look at the capture problem. The main proposal is that the capture event should be encapsulated in a capture probability function, from which the optimal predation strategy can be derived. As an illustration, plausible capture probability functions will be postulated and the resulting predictions tested against numerical simulations carried out in a turbulent-like flow field. Good agreement between the predictions and the simulations is demonstrated.

  4. Ecology of aphidophagous predators in pomegranate ecosystem in India.

    PubMed

    Sreedevi, K; Verghese, Abraham

    2007-01-01

    The aphid, Aphis punicae Passerini (Homoptera : Aphididae) is a serious pest attacking pomegranate (Punica granatum L.), an important semi arid fruit crop grown widely in most parts of the country. The major predators found preying on A. punicae in pomegranate ecosystem were Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Fabricius), Scymnus sp., Pseudaspidemerus circumflexo (Motsch.), Paragus serratus (Fabricius), Ischiodon scutellaris (Fabricius) and Chrysopa sp. The population dynamics and spatial distribution of these predators in an unsprayed pomegranate ecosystem were studied at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore (12 degrees 58' N; 77 degrees 35'E), India during 2000-2002. The predators were found to be distributed uniformly among different tree quadrants and followed the same distributional pattern of A. punicae during their peak in January and February. The predator density was relatively higher in lower canopies than upper canopies. The spatial distribution of predators showed aggregate distribution pattern at higher mean densities and exhibited regular or under-dispersed distribution at lower mean densities. The temporal distribution of aphidophagous predators on A. punicae showed two peaks one during January - February and second during August - September The population of predators started building up along with aphid population and reached maximum at high aphid densities and declined as the prey availability declined. This indicated that predators followed the same trend of their prey, A. punicae, showing a clear numerical response.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ecological competition and the role of an apex predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camargo-Gamboa, G.; Huerta-Quintanilla, R.; Rodríguez-Achach, M.

    2010-10-01

    In this work we propose an agent-based model to study the process of ecological competition between two species coexisting with a common predator, including inter and intra-specific competition. Without the predator, the ecosystem always reaches a configuration in which one of the prey species faces extinction and the other survives, as is well known. However, we find that there is an optimum value for the amount of food consumed by the prey species for which the mean extinction time (MET) is maximum. In the presence of predators, the average extinction time may increase or decrease with respect to the non-predator case, depending on the food availability. It is also observed that the average extinction time has an optimum value depending on the efficiency of prey of the predator.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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,...

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Sustainability and optimal control of an exploited prey predator system through provision of alternative food to predator.

    PubMed

    Kar, T K; Ghosh, Bapan

    2012-08-01

    In the present paper, we develop a simple two species prey-predator model in which the predator is partially coupled with alternative prey. The aim is to study the consequences of providing additional food to the predator as well as the effects of harvesting efforts applied to both the species. It is observed that the provision of alternative food to predator is not always beneficial to the system. A complete picture of the long run dynamics of the system is discussed based on the effort pair as control parameters. Optimal augmentations of prey and predator biomass at final time have been investigated by optimal control theory. Also the short and large time effects of the application of optimal control have been discussed. Finally, some numerical illustrations are given to verify our analytical results with the help of different sets of parameters.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21825166

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Predation of Threespine Stickleback by Dragonfly Naiads.

    PubMed

    Lescak, Emily A; von Hippel, Frank A; Lohman, Brian K; Sherbick, Mary L

    2012-10-01

    Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations that have evolved pelvic girdle reduction are most commonly found in lakes with low dissolved ion concentration, a lack of piscivorous fishes, and abundant macroinvertebrate predators. Researchers have speculated that macroinvertebrates have a propensity to consume prey with pelvic spines. If this is true, perhaps macroinvertebrates use the stickleback's spines to facilitate capture and manipulation. This study tested whether dragonfly naiads differentially prey upon stickleback possessing either a complete or reduced pelvis and documented naiad hunting and capturing behavior. Results from an arena experiment suggest that naiads do not prey more heavily upon individuals with one pelvic phenotype over the other. However, results from trials where the naiads were presented with one stickleback with pelvic spines and another without suggest that naiads prey more heavily upon small stickleback with pelvic spines and large stickleback without pelvic spines and that they adjust their predatory behavior based upon the pelvic phenotype of the prey.

  2. Predation of Threespine Stickleback by Dragonfly Naiads

    PubMed Central

    Lescak, Emily A.; von Hippel, Frank A.; Lohman, Brian K.; Sherbick, Mary L.

    2015-01-01

    Threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations that have evolved pelvic girdle reduction are most commonly found in lakes with low dissolved ion concentration, a lack of piscivorous fishes, and abundant macroinvertebrate predators. Researchers have speculated that macroinvertebrates have a propensity to consume prey with pelvic spines. If this is true, perhaps macroinvertebrates use the stickleback’s spines to facilitate capture and manipulation. This study tested whether dragonfly naiads differentially prey upon stickleback possessing either a complete or reduced pelvis and documented naiad hunting and capturing behavior. Results from an arena experiment suggest that naiads do not prey more heavily upon individuals with one pelvic phenotype over the other. However, results from trials where the naiads were presented with one stickleback with pelvic spines and another without suggest that naiads prey more heavily upon small stickleback with pelvic spines and large stickleback without pelvic spines and that they adjust their predatory behavior based upon the pelvic phenotype of the prey. PMID:26412938

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Plant species composition alters the sign and strength of an emergent multi-predator effect by modifying predator foraging behaviour.

    PubMed

    Wilby, Andrew; Anglin, Linda Anderson; Nesbit, Christopher M

    2013-01-01

    The prediction of pest-control functioning by multi-predator communities is hindered by the non-additive nature of species functioning. Such non-additivity, commonly termed an emergent multi-predator effect, is known to be affected by elements of the ecological context, such as the structure and composition of vegetation, in addition to the traits of the predators themselves. Here we report mesocosm experiments designed to test the influence of plant density and species composition (wheat monoculture or wheat and faba bean polyculture) on the emergence of multi-predator effects between Adalia bipunctata and Chrysoperla carnea, in their suppression of populations of the aphid Metopolophium dirhodum. The mesocosm experiments were followed by a series of behavioural observations designed to identify how interactions among predators are modified by plant species composition and whether these effects are consistent with the observed influence of plant species composition on aphid population suppression. Although plant density was shown to have no influence on the multi-predator effect on aphid population growth, plant composition had a marked effect. In wheat monoculture, Adalia and Chrysoperla mixed treatments caused greater suppression of M. dirhodum populations than expected. However this positive emergent effect was reversed to a negative multi-predator effect in wheat and faba bean polyculture. The behavioural observations revealed that although dominant individuals did not respond to the presence of faba bean plants, the behaviour of sub-dominants was affected markedly, consistent with their foraging for extra-floral nectar produced by the faba bean. This interaction between plant composition and predator community composition on the foraging behaviour of sub-dominants is thought to underlie the observed effect of plant composition on the multi-predator effect. Thus, the emergence of multi-predator effects is shown to be strongly influenced by plant species

  6. Fortune favours the bold: a higher predator reduces the impact of a native but not an invasive intermediate predator.

    PubMed

    Barrios-O'Neill, Daniel; Dick, Jaimie T A; Emmerson, Mark C; Ricciardi, Anthony; MacIsaac, Hugh J; Alexander, Mhairi E; Bovy, Helene C

    2014-05-01

    Emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs) might radically alter predictions of predatory impact that are based solely on the impact of individuals. In the context of biological invasions, determining if and how the individual-level impacts of invasive predators relates to their impacts in multiple-individual situations will inform understanding of how such impacts might propagate through recipient communities. Here, we use functional responses (the relationship between prey consumption rate and prey density) to compare the impacts of the invasive freshwater mysid crustacean Hemimysis anomala with a native counterpart Mysis salemaai when feeding on basal cladoceran prey (i) as individuals, (ii) in conspecific groups and (iii) in conspecific groups in the presence of a higher fish predator, Gasterosteus aculeatus. In the absence of the higher predator, the invader consumed significantly more basal prey than the native, and consumption was additive for both mysid species - that is, group consumption was predictable from individual-level consumption. Invaders and natives were themselves equally susceptible to predation when feeding with the higher fish predator, but an MPE occurred only between the natives and higher predator, where consumption of basal prey was significantly reduced. In contrast, consumption by the invaders and higher predator remained additive. The presence of a higher predator serves to exacerbate the existing difference in individual-level consumption between invasive and native mysids. We attribute the mechanism responsible for the MPE associated with the native to a trait-mediated indirect interaction, and further suggest that the relative indifference to predator threat on the part of the invader contributes to its success and impacts within invaded communities.

  7. 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.

  8. Effects of stream predator richness on the prey community and ecosystem attributes.

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Erika; Olsson, Karin; Persson, Anders; Nyström, Per; Svensson, Gustav; Nilsson, Ulf

    2008-10-01

    It is important to understand the role that different predators can have to be able to predict how changes in the predator assemblage may affect the prey community and ecosystem attributes. We tested the effects of different stream predators on macroinvertebrates and ecosystem attributes, in terms of benthic algal biomass and accumulation of detritus, in artificial stream channels. Predator richness was manipulated from zero to three predators, using two fish and one crayfish species, while density was kept equal (n = 6) in all treatments with predators. Predators differed in their foraging strategies (benthic vs. drift feeding fish and omnivorous crayfish) but had overlapping food preferences. We found effects of both predator species richness and identity, but the direction of effects differed depending on the response variable. While there was no effect on macroinvertebrate biomass, diversity of predatory macroinvertebrates decreased with increasing predator species richness, which suggests complementarity between predators for this functional feeding group. Moreover, the accumulation of detritus was affected by both predator species richness and predator identity. Increasing predator species richness decreased detritus accumulation and presence of the benthic fish resulted in the lowest amounts of detritus. Predator identity (the benthic fish), but not predator species richness had a positive effect on benthic algal biomass. Furthermore, the results indicate indirect negative effects between the two ecosystem attributes, with a negative correlation between the amount of detritus and algal biomass. Hence, interactions between different predators directly affected stream community structure, while predator identity had the strongest impact on ecosystem attributes.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Skate Bathyraja spp. egg predation in the eastern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Hoff, G R

    2009-01-01

    Predation on skate eggs by snails was examined for three skate species at seven nursery sites in three regions (north, middle and south) of the eastern Bering Sea. Mean predation levels were 6.46% for the Alaska skate Bathyraja parmifera, 2.65% for the Aleutian skate Bathyraja aleutica and 22.25% for the Bering skate Bathyraja interrupta. Predation levels were significantly higher at the middle and north sites than the south sites for all species combined. Predation levels decreased with increasing egg-case densities at all nursery sites, and the highest predation levels occurred where egg-case densities were very low. Predated egg-case density increased with increasing snail densities across all nursery sites examined. The Oregon triton Fusitriton oregonensis was the most abundant snail species at all nursery sites and displayed ability to drill holes in the egg case of B. parmifera. Holes left by predatory snails in egg cases of B. parmifera were significantly larger, and of different shape at the middle site compared to the south site. Holes in B. parmifera were also significantly larger than those in egg cases of B. interrupta across all sites examined. Egg cases of B. aleutica possess surface spines that cover the egg case and may inhibit predation by snails at a greater rate than that of the B. parmifera and B. interrupta, which have a smoother egg-case surface.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Selective habituation shapes acoustic predator recognition in harbour seals.

    PubMed

    Deecke, Volker B; Slater, Peter J B; Ford, John K B

    2002-11-14

    Predation is a major force in shaping the behaviour of animals, so that precise identification of predators will confer substantial selective advantages on animals that serve as food to others. Because experience with a predator can be lethal, early researchers studying birds suggested that predator recognition does not require learning. However, a predator image that can be modified by learning and experience will be advantageous in situations where cues associated with the predator are highly variable or change over time. In this study, we investigated the response of harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) to the underwater calls of different populations of killer whales (Orcinus orca). We found that the seals responded strongly to the calls of mammal-eating killer whales and unfamiliar fish-eating killer whales but not to the familiar calls of the local fish-eating population. This demonstrates that wild harbour seals are capable of complex acoustic discrimination and that they modify their predator image by selectively habituating to the calls of harmless killer whales. Fear in these animals is therefore focused on local threats by learning and experience.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-07

    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.

  16. Developmental thermal plasticity of prey modifies the impact of predation.

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Grigaltchik, Veronica S

    2015-05-01

    Environmental conditions during embryonic development can influence the mean expression of phenotypes as well as phenotypic responses to environmental change later in life. The resulting phenotypes may be better matched to their environment and more resilient to environmental change, including human-induced climate change. However, whether plasticity does improve success in an ecological context is unresolved. In a microcosm experiment, we show that developmental plasticity in embryos of the frog Limnodynastes peronii is beneficial by increasing survivorship of tadpoles in the presence of predators when egg incubation (15 or 25°C) and tadpole acclimation temperature in microcosms (15 or 25°C) coincided at 15°C. Tadpoles that survived predation were smaller, and had faster burst swimming speeds than those kept in no-predator control conditions, but only at high (25°C) egg incubation or subsequent microcosm temperatures. Metabolic rates were determined by a three-way interaction between incubation and microcosm temperatures and predation; maximal glycolytic and mitochondrial metabolic capacities (enzyme activities) were lower in survivors from predation compared with controls, particularly when eggs were incubated at 25°C. We show that thermal conditions experienced during early development are ecologically relevant by modulating survivorship from predation. Importantly, developmental thermal plasticity also impacts population phenotypes indirectly by modifying species interactions and the selection pressure imposed by predation.

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

    PubMed

    Eklöv, Peter; Svanbäck, Richard

    2006-03-01

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

  18. Coupled predator-prey oscillations in a chaotic food web.

    PubMed

    Benincà, Elisa; Jöhnk, Klaus D; Heerkloss, Reinhard; Huisman, Jef

    2009-12-01

    Coupling of several predator-prey oscillations can generate intriguing patterns of synchronization and chaos. Theory predicts that prey species will fluctuate in phase if predator-prey cycles are coupled through generalist predators, whereas they will fluctuate in anti-phase if predator-prey cycles are coupled through competition between prey species. Here, we investigate predator-prey oscillations in a long-term experiment with a marine plankton community. Wavelet analysis of the species fluctuations reveals two predator-prey cycles that fluctuate largely in anti-phase. The phase angles point at strong competition between the phytoplankton species, but relatively little prey overlap among the zooplankton species. This food web architecture is consistent with the size structure of the plankton community, and generates highly dynamic food webs. Continued alternations in species dominance enable coexistence of the prey species through a non-equilibrium 'killing-the-winner' mechanism, as the system shifts back and forth between the two predator-prey cycles in a chaotic fashion.

  19. Owl predation on snowshoe hares: consequences of antipredator behaviour.

    PubMed

    Rohner, Christoph; Krebs, Charles J

    1996-10-01

    We show evidence of differential predation on snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) by great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) and ask whether predation mortality is related to antipredator behaviour in prey. We predicted higher predation on (1) young and inexperienced hares, (2) hares in open habitats lacking cover to protect from owl predation, and (3) hares in above average condition assuming that rich food patches are under highest risk of predation. Information on killed hares was obtained at nest sites of owls and by monitoring hares using radio-telemetry. The availability of age classes within the hare population was established from live-trapping and field data on reproduction and survival. Great horned owls preferred juvenile over adult hares. Juveniles were more vulnerable to owl predation before rather than after dispersal, suggesting that displacement or increased mobility were not causes for this increased mortality. Owls killed ratio-collared hares more often in open than in closed forest types, and they avoided or had less hunting success in habitats with dense shrub cover. Also, owls took hares in above average condition, although it is unclear whether samples from early spring are representative for other seasons. In conclusion, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that variation in antipredator behaviours of snowshoe hares leads to differential predation by great horned owls.

  20. 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.

  1. Endocrine regulation of predator-induced phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Dennis, Stuart R; LeBlanc, Gerald A; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2014-11-01

    Elucidating the developmental and genetic control of phenotypic plasticity remains a central agenda in evolutionary ecology. Here, we investigate the physiological regulation of phenotypic plasticity induced by another organism, specifically predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in the model ecological and evolutionary organism Daphnia pulex. Our research centres on using molecular tools to test among alternative mechanisms of developmental control tied to hormone titres, receptors and their timing in the life cycle. First, we synthesize detail about predator-induced defenses and the physiological regulation of arthropod somatic growth and morphology, leading to a clear prediction that morphological defences are regulated by juvenile hormone and life-history plasticity by ecdysone and juvenile hormone. We then show how a small network of genes can differentiate phenotype expression between the two primary developmental control pathways in arthropods: juvenoid and ecdysteroid hormone signalling. Then, by applying an experimental gradient of predation risk, we show dose-dependent gene expression linking predator-induced plasticity to the juvenoid hormone pathway. Our data support three conclusions: (1) the juvenoid signalling pathway regulates predator-induced phenotypic plasticity; (2) the hormone titre (ligand), rather than receptor, regulates predator-induced developmental plasticity; (3) evolution has favoured the harnessing of a major, highly conserved endocrine pathway in arthropod development to regulate the response to cues about changing environments (risk) from another organism (predator).

  2. 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

  3. Plankton reach new heights in effort to avoid predators

    PubMed Central

    Gemmell, Brad J.; Jiang, Houshuo; Strickler, J. Rudi; Buskey, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    The marine environment associated with the air–water interface (neuston) provides an important food source to pelagic organisms where subsurface prey is limited. However, studies on predator–prey interactions within this environment are lacking. Copepods are known to produce strong escape jumps in response to predators, but must contend with a low-Reynolds-number environment where viscous forces limit escape distance. All previous work on copepod interaction with predators has focused on a liquid environment. Here, we describe a novel anti-predator behaviour in two neustonic copepod species, where individuals frequently exit the water surface and travel many times their own body length through air to avoid predators. Using both field recordings with natural predators and high-speed laboratory recordings, we obtain detailed kinematics of this behaviour, and estimate energetic cost associated with this behaviour. We demonstrate that despite losing up to 88 per cent of their initial kinetic energy, copepods that break the water surface travel significantly further than those escaping underwater and successfully exit the perceptive field of the predator. This behaviour provides an effective defence mechanism against subsurface-feeding visual predators and the results provide insight into trophic interactions within the neustonic environment. PMID:22438496

  4. Prey behavior, age-dependent vulnerability, and predation rates.

    PubMed

    Lingle, Susan; Feldman, Alex; Boyce, Mark S; Wilson, W Finbarr

    2008-11-01

    Variation in the temporal pattern of vulnerability can provide important insights into predator-prey relationships and the evolution of antipredator behavior. We illustrate these points with a system that has coyotes (Canis latrans) as a predator and two species of congeneric deer (Odocoileus spp.) as prey. The deer employ different antipredator tactics (aggressive defense vs. flight) that result in contrasting patterns of age-dependent vulnerability in their probability of being captured when encountered by coyotes. We use long-term survival data and a simple mathematical model to show that (1) species differences in age-dependent vulnerability are reflected in seasonal predation rates and (2) seasonal variation in prey vulnerability and predator hunt activity, which can be associated with the availability of alternative prey, interact to shape seasonal and annual predation rates for each prey species. Shifting hunt activity from summer to winter, or vice versa, alleviated annual mortality on one species and focused it on the other. Our results indicate that seasonal variation in prey vulnerability and hunt activity interact to influence the impact that a predator has on any particular type of prey. Furthermore, these results indicate that seasonal variation in predation pressure is an important selection pressure shaping prey defenses.

  5. 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.

  6. Desert bighorn sheep lambing habitat: Parturition, nursery, and predation sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karsch, Rebekah C.; Cain, James W.; Rominger, Eric M.; Goldstein, Elise J.

    2016-01-01

    Fitness of female ungulates is determined by neonate survival and lifetime reproductive success. Therefore, adult female ungulates should adopt behaviors and habitat selection patterns that enhance survival of neonates during parturition and lactation. Parturition site location may play an important role in neonatal mortality of desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis mexicana) when lambs are especially vulnerable to predation, but parturition sites are rarely documented for this species. Our objectives were to assess environmental characteristics at desert bighorn parturition, lamb nursery, and predation sites and to assess differences in habitat characteristics between parturition sites and nursery group sites, and predation sites and nursery group sites. We used vaginal implant transmitters (VITs) to identify parturition sites and capture neonates. We then compared elevation, slope, terrain ruggedness, and visibility at parturition, nursery, and lamb predation sites with paired random sites and compared characteristics of parturition sites and lamb predation sites to those of nursery sites. When compared to random sites, odds of a site being a parturition site were highest at intermediate slopes and decreased with increasing female visibility. Odds of a site being a predation site increased with decreasing visibility. When compared to nursery group sites, odds of a site being a parturition site had a quadratic relationship with elevation and slope, with odds being highest at intermediate elevations and intermediate slopes. When we compared predation sites to nursery sites, odds of a site being a predation were highest at low elevation areas with high visibility and high elevation areas with low visibility likely because of differences in hunting strategies of coyote (Canis latrans) and puma (Puma concolor). Parturition sites were lower in elevation and slope than nursery sites. Understanding selection of parturition sites by adult females and how habitat

  7. 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

  8. Predator-prey interactions, flight initiation distance and brain size.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Erritzøe, J

    2014-01-01

    Prey avoid being eaten by assessing the risk posed by approaching predators and responding accordingly. Such an assessment may result in prey-predator communication and signalling, which entail further monitoring of the predator by prey. An early antipredator response may provide potential prey with a selective advantage, although this benefit comes at the cost of disturbance in terms of lost foraging opportunities and increased energy expenditure. Therefore, it may pay prey to assess approaching predators and determine the likelihood of attack before fleeing. Given that many approaching potential predators are detected visually, we hypothesized that species with relatively large eyes would be able to detect an approaching predator from afar. Furthermore, we hypothesized that monitoring of predators by potential prey relies on evaluation through information processing by the brain. Therefore, species with relatively larger brains for their body size should be better able to monitor the intentions of a predator, delay flight for longer and hence have shorter flight initiation distances than species with smaller brains. Indeed, flight initiation distances increased with relative eye size and decreased with relative brain size in a comparative study of 107 species of birds. In addition, flight initiation distance increased independently with size of the cerebellum, which plays a key role in motor control. These results are consistent with cognitive monitoring as an antipredator behaviour that does not result in the fastest possible, but rather the least expensive escape flights. Therefore, antipredator behaviour may have coevolved with the size of sense organs, brains and compartments of the brain involved in responses to risk of predation.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kain, Morgan P; McCoy, Michael W

    2016-10-28

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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.

  17. 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.

  18. Density of an intraguild predator mediates feeding group size, intraguild egg predation, and intra- and interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Burley, Louise A; Moyer, Anna T; Petranka, James W

    2006-07-01

    Intraguild predation (IGP) is common in most communities, but many aspects of density-dependent interactions of IG predators with IG prey are poorly resolved. Here, we examine how the density of an IG predator can affect feeding group size, IG egg predation, and the growth responses of IG prey. We used laboratory feeding trials and outdoor mesocosm experiments to study interactions between a social intraguild predator (larvae of the wood frog; Rana sylvatica) and its prey (spotted salamander; Ambystoma maculatum). Larvae of R. sylvatica could potentially affect A. maculatum by consuming shared larval food resources or by consuming eggs and hatchlings. However, successful egg predation requires group feeding by schooling tadpoles. We established from five to 1,190 hatchlings of R. sylvatica in mesocosms, then added either 20 A. maculatum hatchlings to study interspecific competition, or a single egg mass to examine IGP. Crowding strongly suppressed the growth of R. sylvatica, and IGP was restricted to the egg stage. In the larval competition experiment, growth of A. maculatum was inversely proportional to R. sylvatica density. In the predation experiment, embryonic mortality of A. maculatum was directly proportional to the initial density of R. sylvatica and the mean number of tadpoles foraging on egg masses. IGP on eggs reduced A. maculatum hatchling density, which accelerated larval growth. Surprisingly, the density of R. sylvatica had no overall effect on A. maculatum growth because release from intraspecific competition via egg predation was balanced by increased interspecific competition. Our results demonstrate that the density of a social IG predator can strongly influence the nature and intensity of interactions with a second guild member by simultaneously altering the intensity of IGP and intra- and interspecific competition.

  19. 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.

  20. Interactions of multiple predators with different foraging modes in an aquatic food web.

    PubMed

    Carey, Michael P; Wahl, David H

    2010-02-01

    Top predators can have different foraging modes that may alter their interactions and effects on food webs. Interactions between predators may be non-additive resulting from facilitation or interference, whereas their combined effects on a shared prey may result in emergent effects that are risk enhanced or risk reduced. To test the importance of multiple predators with different foraging modes, we examined the interaction between a cruising predator (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides) and an ambush predator (muskellunge, Esox masquinongy) foraging on a shared prey (bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus) with strong anti-predator defense behaviors. Additive and substitution designs were used to compare individual to combined predator treatments in experimental ponds. The multiple predator interaction facilitated growth of the cruising predator in the combined predator treatments, whereas predator species had substitutable effects on the growth of the ambush predator. The combined predator treatments created an emergent effect on the prey; however, the direction was dependent on the experimental design. The additive design found a risk-reducing effect, whereas the substitution design found a risk-enhancing effect for prey fish. Indirect effects from the predators weakly extended to lower trophic levels (i.e., zooplankton community). Our results highlight the need to consider differences in foraging mode of top predators, interactions between predators, and emergent effects on prey to understand food webs.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Colour Polymorphism Protects Prey Individuals and Populations Against Predation.

    PubMed

    Karpestam, Einat; Merilaita, Sami; Forsman, Anders

    2016-02-23

    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.

  4. Titi monkey call sequences vary with predator location and type

    PubMed Central

    Cäsar, Cristiane; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Young, Robert J.; Byrne, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Animal alarm calls can encode information about a predator's category, size, distance or threat level. In non-human primates, alarm calls typically refer to broad classes of disturbances, in some instances to specific predators. Here, we present the results of a field experiment with a New World primate, the black-fronted titi monkey (Callicebus nigrifrons), designed to explore the information conveyed by their alarm call system. Adults produced sequences consisting of two main alarm call types that conveyed, in different parts of the utterance, information about a predator's type and location. In particular, sequence compositions differed depending on whether the predator was a mammalian carnivore or a raptor, and whether it was detected in a tree or on the ground. This is the first demonstration of a sequence-based alarm call system in a non-human animal that has the capacity to encode both location and type of predatory threat. PMID:24004492

  5. Temporal learning of predation risk by embryonic amphibians.

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-23

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

  6. 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.

  7. Unique coevolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    PubMed

    Mougi, Akihiko; Iwasa, Yoh

    2011-05-21

    In this paper, we study the predator-prey coevolutionary dynamics when a prey's defense and a predator's offense change in an adaptive manner, either by genetic evolution or phenotypic plasticity, or by behavioral choice. Results are: (1) The coevolutionary dynamics are more likely to be stable if the predator adapts faster than the prey. (2) The prey population size can be nearly constant but the predator population can show very large amplitude fluctuations. (3) Both populations may oscillate in antiphase. All of these are not observed when the handling time is short and the prey's density dependence is weak. (4) The population dynamics and the trait dynamics show resonance: the amplitude of the population fluctuation is the largest when the speed of adaptation is intermediate. These results may explain experimental studies with microorganisms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-07

    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.

  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. 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.

  11. Land cover diversity increases predator aggregation and consumption of prey.

    PubMed

    Penn, Hannah J; Athey, Kacie J; Lee, Brian D

    2017-03-28

    A lower diversity of land cover types is purported to decrease arthropod diversity in agroecosystems and is dependent on patterns of land use and fragmentation. Ants, important providers of ecosystem services such as biological control, are susceptible to landscape-level changes. We determined the relationships between land cover diversity and fragmentation on the within-field spatial associations of ants to pests and resulting predation events by combining mapping and molecular tools. Increased land cover diversity and decreased fragmentation increased ant abundance, spatial association to pests and predation. Land cover diversity and fragmentation were more explanatory than land cover types. Even so, specific land cover types, such as deciduous forest, influenced ant and pest diversity more so than abundance. These results indicate that geospatial techniques and molecular gut content analysis can be combined to determine the role of land use in influencing predator-prey interactions and resulting predation events in agroecosystems.

  12. Predation on crown-of-thorns starfish larvae by damselfishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowan, Zara-Louise; Dworjanyn, Symon A.; Caballes, Ciemon F.; Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2016-12-01

    Examining the functional response of predators can provide insight into the role of predation in structuring prey populations and ecological communities. This study explored feeding behaviour and functional responses of planktivorous damselfishes when offered captive reared larvae of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster sp., with the aim of determining whether these predators could ever play a role in moderating outbreaks of Acanthaster sp. We examined predatory behaviour of 11 species of planktivorous damselfish, testing: (1) the relationship between predator size and predation rate, both within and among fish species; (2) consumption rates on larvae of Acanthaster sp. versus larvae of a common, co-occurring coral reef asteroid Linckia laevigata; (3) maximal feeding rates upon both Acanthaster sp. and L. laevigata; and (4) functional responses of planktivorous fishes to increasing densities of Acanthaster sp. Consumption rates of crown-of-thorns larvae by damselfishes were independent of predator size; however, there was a significant negative relationship between predator size and consumption rate of L. laevigata, when pooling across all predatory species. Some damselfishes, including Acanthochromis polyacanthus and Amblyglyphidodon curacao, consumed larval Acanthaster sp. at a greater rate than for L. laevigata. Most predatory species (all except A. curacao and Pomacentrus amboinensis) exhibited a Type II functional response whereby the increasing feeding rate decelerated with increasing prey density. In addition to revealing that a wide range of planktivorous fishes can prey upon larvae of Acanthaster sp., these data suggest that planktivorous damselfishes may have the capacity to buffer against population fluctuations of Acanthaster sp. Importantly, predators with Type II functional responses often contribute to stability of prey populations, though planktivorous fishes may be swamped by an abnormally high influx of larvae, potentially contributing to the

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Red queen dynamics in specific predator-prey systems.

    PubMed

    Harris, Terence; Cai, Anna Q

    2015-10-01

    The dynamics of a predator-prey system are studied, with a comparison of discrete and continuous strategy spaces. For a [Formula: see text] system, the average strategies used in the discrete and continuous case are shown to be the same. It is further shown that the inclusion of constant prey switching in the discrete case can have a stabilising effect and reduce the number of available predator types through extinction.

  17. 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.

  18. Why ratio dependence is (still) a bad model of predation.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Peter A

    2015-08-01

    The history of the idea that predation rates are functions of the ratio of prey density to predator density, known as ratio dependence, is reviewed and updated. When the term was introduced in 1989, it was already known that higher predator abundance often reduced an individual predator's average intake rate of prey. However, the idea that this effect was a universally applicable inverse proportionality was new. That idea was widely criticized in many articles in the early 1990s, and many of these criticisms have never been addressed. Nevertheless, ratio dependence seems to be gaining in popularity and is the subject of a recent monograph by the originators. This article revisits the most important objections to this theory, and assesses to what extent they have been answered by the theory's proponents. In this process, several new objections are raised. The counterarguments begin with the lack of a plausible, generally applicable mechanism that could produce ratio dependence. They include the fact that ratio dependence is a special case of predator-density effects, which, in turn, are only one of many non-prey species effects that influence the consumption rate of a particular prey. The proclaimed simplicity advantage of ratio dependence is at best small and is outweighed by its disadvantages; it predicts biologically implausible phenomena, and cannot easily be extended to describe multi-species systems, trait-mediated interactions, coevolution, and a number of other important ecological phenomena. Any potential small simplicity advantage disappears with corrections to remove unrealistic low-density dynamics caused by ratio dependence. The frequent occurrence of strong predator dependence does not make ratio dependence a better 'default' model of predation than prey dependence, and empirical studies of the full range of non-prey species effects on the consumption rates of predators are needed.

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

    PubMed

    Heiling, A M; Herberstein, M E

    2004-05-07

    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.

  20. Dispersal-mediated coexistence of competing predators.

    PubMed

    Namba, Toshiyuki; Hashimoto, Chiemi

    2004-08-01

    Models of metapopulations have often ignored local community dynamics and spatial heterogeneity among patches. However, persistence of a community as a whole depends both on the local interactions and the rates of dispersal between patches. We study a mathematical model of a metacommunity with two consumers exploiting a resource in a habitat of two different patches. They are the exploitative competitors or the competing predators indirectly competing through depletion of the shared resource. We show that they can potentially coexist, even if one species is sufficiently inferior to be driven extinct in both patches in isolation, when these patches are connected through diffusive dispersal. Thus, dispersal can mediate coexistence of competitors, even if both patches are local sinks for one species because of the interactions with the other species. The spatial asynchrony and the competition-colonization trade-off are usual mechanisms to facilitate regional coexistence. However, in our case, two consumers can coexist either in synchronous oscillation between patches or in equilibrium. The higher dispersal rate of the superior prompts rather than suppresses the inferior. Since differences in the carrying capacity between two patches generate flows from the more productive patch to the less productive, loss of the superior by emigration relaxes competition in the former, and depletion of the resource by subsidized consumers decouples the local community in the latter.

  1. 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"

  2. 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

  3. Responses of beaver (Castor canadensis Kuhl) to predator chemicals.

    PubMed

    Engelhart, A; Müller-Schwarze, D

    1995-09-01

    Free-ranging beaver (Castor canadensis) in two different beaver populations in New York State were exposed to predator chemicals to test feeding inhibition. Solvent extracts of feces were applied to stem sections of aspen, the preferred food tree of beavers, permitting smelling and tasting the samples. Predator odors were from wolf (Canis lupus), coyote (Canis latrans), dog (Canis familiaris), black bear (Ursus americanus), river otter (Lutra canadensis), lynx (Lynx canadensis), and African lion (Panthera leo). The experiment was repeated. The predator odors reduced feeding compared to untreated or solvent-treated controls. One population consumed 17.0% of the samples with predator odor and 27.0% of the controls in summer, and 48.4% and 60.0%, respectively, in autumn. The other population accepted 3.15% of the predator odor samples and 11.05% of the controls in summer. Coyote, lynx, and river otter odors had the strongest effects. Diesel oil and bitter-tasting neem extract had weaker effects. Predator odors are promising as feeding repellents for beaver.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. Evolution of dispersal in a predator-prey metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Pradeep; Gonzalez, Andrew; Loreau, Michel

    2012-02-01

    Dispersal is crucial to allowing species inhabiting patchy or spatially subdivided habitats to persist globally despite the possibility of frequent local extinctions. Theoretical studies have repeatedly demonstrated that species that exhibit a regional metapopulation structure and are subject to increasing rates of local patch extinctions should experience strong selective pressures to disperse more rapidly despite the costs such increased dispersal would entail in terms of decreased local fitness. We extend these studies to consider how extinctions arising from predator-prey interactions affect the evolution of dispersal for species inhabiting a metacommunity. Specifically, we investigate how increasing a strong extinction-prone interaction between a predator and prey within local patches affects the evolution of each species' dispersal. We found that for the predator, as expected, evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) dispersal rates increased monotonically in response to increasing local extinctions induced by strong predator top-down effects. Unexpectedly for the prey, however, ESS dispersal rates displayed a nonmonotonic response to increasing predator-induced extinction rates-actually decreasing for a significant range of values. These counterintuitive results arise from how extinctions resulting from trophic interactions play out at different spatial scales: interactions that increase extinction rates of both species locally can, at the same time, decrease the frequency of interaction between the prey and predator at the metacommunity scale.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-07

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Response of predators to Western Sandpiper nest exclosures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Niehaus, Amanda C.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; McCaffery, Brian J.

    2004-01-01

    In 2001, predator exclosures were used to protect nests of the Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) in western Alaska. During the exclosure experiment, nest contents in exclosures had significantly higher daily survival rates than control nests, however, late in the study predators began to cue in on exclosures and predate the nest contents. An Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) dug under one exclosure and took the newly hatched chicks, and Long-tailed Jaegers (Stercorarius longicaudus) learned to associate exclosures with active nests and repeatedly visited them. The jaegers attempted to gain access to exclosed nests and pursued adult sandpipers as they emerged from the exclosures. The exclosures were removed to reduce potential mortality to adult and young sandpipers, but subsequently, post-exclosure nests had lower daily survival rates than controls during the same time period. Predation of post-exclosure eggs and chicks highlighted the lasting influence of the exclosure treatment on offspring survival because predators probably remembered nest locations. Researchers are urged to use caution when considering use of predator exclosures in areas where jaegers occur.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  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.

  17. 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.

  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. Evaluating the effects of trophic complexity on a keystone predator by disassembling a partial intraguild predation food web.

    PubMed

    Davenport, Jon M; Chalcraft, David R

    2012-01-01

    1. Many taxa can be found in food webs that differ in trophic complexity, but it is unclear how trophic complexity affects the performance of particular taxa. In pond food webs, larvae of the salamander Ambystoma opacum occupy the intermediate predator trophic position in a partial intraguild predation (IGP) food web and can function as keystone predators. Larval A. opacum are also found in simpler food webs lacking either top predators or shared prey. 2. We conducted an experiment where a partial IGP food web was simplified, and we measured the growth and survival of larval A. opacum in each set of food webs. Partial IGP food webs that had either a low abundance or high abundance of total prey were also simplified by independently removing top predators and/or shared prey. 3. Removing top predators always increased A. opacum survival, but removal of shared prey had no effect on A. opacum survival, regardless of total prey abundance. 4. Surprisingly, food web simplification had no effect on the growth of A. opacum when present in food webs with a low abundance of prey but had important effects on A. opacum growth in food webs with a high abundance of prey. Simplifying a partial IGP food web with a high abundance of prey reduced A. opacum growth when either top predators or shared prey were removed from the food web and the loss of top predators and shared prey influenced A. opacum growth in a non-additive fashion. 5. The non-additive response in A. opacum growth appears to be the result of supplemental prey availability augmenting the beneficial effects of top predators. Top predators had a beneficial effect on A. opacum populations by reducing the abundance of A. opacum present and thereby reducing the intensity of intraspecific competition. 6. Our study indicates that the effects of food web simplification on the performance of A. opacum are complex and depend on both how a partial IGP food web is simplified and how abundant prey are in the food web. These

  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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lagos, Patricio A; Herberstein, Marie E

    2017-02-03

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

  3. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Julie M; Limpus, Colin J; Hofmeister, Kate M; Allen, Benjamin L; Burnett, Scott E

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland's southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19-52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0-4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches.

  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. Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Julie M.; Limpus, Colin J.; Hofmeister, Kate M.; Allen, Benjamin L.; Burnett, Scott E.

    2017-01-01

    The problem of how to protect sea turtle nests from terrestrial predators is of worldwide concern. On Queensland’s southern Sunshine Coast, depredation of turtle nests by the introduced European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been recorded as the primary terrestrial cause of egg and hatchling mortality. We investigated the impact of foxes on the nests of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and occasional green turtle (Chelonia mydas) over ten nesting seasons. Meshing of nests with fox exclusion devices (FEDs) was undertaken in all years accompanied by lethal fox control in the first five-year period, but not in the second five-year period. Lethal fox control was undertaken in the study area from 2005 to February 2010, but foxes still breached 27% (range19–52%) of turtle nests. In the second five-year period, despite the absence of lethal fox control, the average percentage of nests breached was less than 3% (range 0–4%). Comparison of clutch depredation rates in the two five-year periods demonstrated that continuous nest meshing may be more effective than lethal fox control in mitigating the impact of foxes on turtle nests. In the absence of unlimited resources available for the eradication of exotic predators, the use of FEDs and the support and resourcing of a dedicated volunteer base can be considered an effective turtle conservation tool on some beaches. PMID:28187181

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Warmer temperatures reduce the influence of an important keystone predator.

    PubMed

    Bonaviri, Chiara; Graham, Michael; Gianguzza, Paola; Shears, Nick T

    2017-01-11

    Predator-prey interactions may be strongly influenced by temperature variations in marine ecosystems. Consequently, climate change may alter the importance of predators with repercussions for ecosystem functioning and structure. In North-eastern Pacific kelp forests, the starfish Pycnopodia helianthoides is known to be an important predator of the purple sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Here we investigated the influence of water temperature on this predator-prey interaction by: (i) assessing the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of both species across a temperature gradient in the northern Channel Islands, California, and (ii) investigating how the feeding rate of P. helianthoides on S. purpuratus is affected by temperature in laboratory tests. On average, at sites where mean annual temperatures were <14 °C, P. helianthoides were common, S. purpuratus was rare and kelp was persistent, whereas where mean annual temperatures exceeded 14 °C, P. helianthoides and kelp were rare and S. purpuratus abundant. Temperature was found to be the primary environmental factor influencing P. helianthoides abundance, and in turn P. helianthoides was the primary determinant of S. purpuratus abundance. In the laboratory, temperatures >16 °C (equivalent to summer temperatures at sites where P. helianthoides were rare) reduced predation rates regardless of predator and prey sizes, although larger sea urchins were consumed only by large starfishes. These results clearly demonstrate that the effect of P. helianthoides on S. purpuratus is strongly mediated by temperature, and that the local abundance and predation rate of P. helianthoides on sea urchins will likely decrease with future warming. A reduction in top-down control on sea urchins, combined with other expected impacts of climate change on kelp, poses significant risks for the persistence of kelp forests in the future.

  12. 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.

  13. Evolution of sprint speed in African savannah herbivores in relation to predation.

    PubMed

    Bro-Jørgensen, Jakob

    2013-11-01

    Predator-prey arms races are widely speculated to underlie fast speed in terrestrial mammals. However, due to lack of empirical testing, both the specificity of any evolutionary coupling between particular predator and prey species, and the relevance of alternative food-based hypotheses of speed evolution, remain obscure. Here I examine the ecological links between the sprint speed of African savannah herbivores, their vulnerability to predators, and their diet. I show that sprint speed is strongly predicted by the vulnerability of prey to their main predators; however, the direction of the link depends on the hunting style of the predator. Speed increases with vulnerability to pursuit predators, whereas vulnerability to ambush predators is associated with particularly slow speed. These findings suggest that differential vulnerability to specific predators can indeed drive interspecific variation in speed within prey communities, but that predator hunting style influences the intensity and consistency with which selection on speed is coupled between particular species.

  14. Effects of an infectious fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on amphibian predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Han, Barbara A; Searle, Catherine L; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2011-02-02

    The effects of parasites and pathogens on host behaviors may be particularly important in predator-prey contexts, since few animal behaviors are more crucial for ensuring immediate survival than the avoidance of lethal predators in nature. We examined the effects of an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, on anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of four frog species. We also investigated whether amphibian predators consumed infected prey, and whether B. dendrobatidis caused differences in predation rates among prey in laboratory feeding trials. We found differences in anti-predator behaviors among larvae of four amphibian species, and show that infected tadpoles of one species (Anaxyrus boreas) were more active and sought refuge more frequently when exposed to predator chemical cues. Salamander predators consumed infected and uninfected tadpoles of three other prey species at similar rates in feeding trials, and predation risk among prey was unaffected by B. dendrobatidis. Collectively, our results show that even sub-lethal exposure to B. dendrobatidis can alter fundamental anti-predator behaviors in some amphibian prey species, and suggest the unexplored possibility that indiscriminate predation between infected and uninfected prey (i.e., non-selective predation) could increase the prevalence of this widely distributed pathogen in amphibian populations. Because one of the most prominent types of predators in many amphibian systems is salamanders, and because salamanders are susceptible to B. dendrobatidis, our work suggests the importance of considering host susceptibility and behavioral changes that could arise from infection in both predators and prey.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-07

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26538541

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Increased predation of nutrient-enriched aposematic prey.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-22

    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.

  8. Predator functional response changed by induced defenses in prey.

    PubMed

    Hammill, Edd; Petchey, Owen L; Anholt, Bradley R

    2010-12-01

    Functional responses play a central role in the nature and stability of predator-prey population dynamics. Here we investigate how induced defenses affect predator functional responses. In experimental communities, prey (Paramecium) expressed two previously undocumented inducible defenses--a speed reduction and a width increase--in response to nonlethal exposure to predatory Stenostomum. Nonlethal exposure also changed the shape of the predator's functional response from Type II to Type III, consistent with changes in the density dependence of attack rates. Handling times were also affected by prey defenses, increasing at least sixfold. These changes show that induced changes in prey have a real defensive function. At low prey densities, induction led to lower attack success; at high prey densities, attack rates were actually higher for induced prey. However, induction increased handling times sufficiently that consumption rates of defended prey were lower than those of undefended prey. Modification of attack rate and handling time has important potential consequences for population dynamics; Type III functional responses can increase the stability of population dynamics and persistence because predation on small populations is low, allowing a relict population to survive. Simulations of a predator-prey population dynamic model revealed the stabilizing potential of the Type III response.

  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.

  10. 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.

  11. Relative importance of predators and parasitoids for cereal aphid control.

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Martin H; Lauer, Andreas; Purtauf, Tobias; Thies, Carsten; Schaefer, Matthias; Tscharntke, Teja

    2003-01-01

    Field experiments with manipulations of natural enemies of plant-feeding insects may show how a diverse enemy group ensures an important ecosystem function such as naturally occurring biological pest control. We studied cereal aphid populations in winter wheat under experimentally reduced densities of: (i) ground-dwelling generalist predators (mostly spiders, carabid and staphylinid beetles); (ii) flying predators (coccinellid beetles, syrphid flies, gall midges, etc.) and parasitoids (aphidiid wasps), and a combination of (i) and (ii), compared with open controls. Aphid populations were 18% higher at reduced densities of ground-dwelling predators, 70% higher when flying predators and parasitoids were removed, and 172% higher on the removal of both enemy groups. Parasitoid wasps probably had the strongest effect, as flying predators occurred only in negligible densities. The great importance of parasitism is a new finding for aphid control in cereal fields. In conclusion, a more detailed knowledge of the mechanisms of natural pest control would help to develop environmentally sound crop management with reduced pesticide applications. PMID:14561303

  12. 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).

  13. A study of prey-predator relations for mammals.

    PubMed

    Khan, Q J A; Ghaleb, A F

    2003-07-21

    In this paper, we present a prey-predator nonlinear model for mammals, consisting of large- and small-size prey species with group defence, in a partially protected habitat. If the prey size is small, then it is more prone to the predator at higher densities. Conversely, large prey size at higher densities tend to develop group defence. Therefore, the predator will be attracted towards that area where prey are less in number. A new physical constant has been introduced into the radiation-type condition on that part of the boundary where interaction between prey and predator takes place. This constant allows us to efficiently model group defence capabilities of the herds and its numerical values have to be determined for different pairs of prey-predator species from field observations. A way of measuring the constants involved in the model is suggested. Numerical results are provided and thoroughly discussed for a habitat of circular shape. The obtained results show that in the region away from the protected area, the density of large-size prey species is higher than that of small-size prey species, a fact that is in accordance with observations.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-07

    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.

  15. Unusual predator-prey dynamics under reciprocal phenotypic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mougi, Akihiko

    2012-07-21

    Recent theories and experiments have shown that plasticity, such as an inducible defense or an inducible offense in predator-prey interactions, strongly influences the stability of the population dynamics. However, such plastic adaptation has not been expected to cause unusual dynamics such as antiphase cycles, which occur in experimental predator-prey systems with evolutionary adaptation in the defensive trait of prey. Here I show that antiphase cycles and cryptic cycles (a large population fluctuation in one species with almost no change in the population of the other species) can occur in a predator-prey system when both member species can change their phenotypes through adaptive plasticity (inducible defenses and offenses). I consider a familiar type of predator-prey system in which both species can change their morphology or behavior through phenotypic plasticity. The plasticity, that is, the ability to change between distinct phenotypes, is assumed to occur so as to maximize their fitness. I examined how the reciprocal adaptive plasticity influences the population dynamics. The results show that unusual dynamics such as antiphase population cycles and cryptic cycles can occur when both species show inducible plasticity. The unusual dynamics are particularly likely to occur when the carrying capacity of the prey is small (the density dependence of the prey's growth is strong). The unusual predator-prey dynamics may be induced by phenotypic plasticity as long as the phenotypic change occurs to maximize fitness.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Parasitised caterpillars suffer reduced predation: potential implications for intra-guild predation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-Bin; Vasseur, Liette; You, Min-Sheng; Li, Jian-Yu; Wang, Cheng-Xiang; Meng, Ruo-Xue; Gurr, Geoff M

    2017-02-23

    Intra-guild predation (IGP) is an important phenomenon structuring ecological communities and affects the success of biological control. Here we show that parasitism by the koinobiont wasp Cotesia vestalis is associated with behavioural changes in its larval host (diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella) that reduce risk of IGP. Compared with unparasitised caterpillars, parasitised P. xylostella moved less frequently to new feeding patches on plants and were less likely to fall from the plant. Wolf spiders killed significantly fewer parasitised larvae. Reflecting their reduced movement and capacity to select plant tissue of optimal quality, parasitised caterpillars fed at a lower rate and exhibited delayed development suggesting a trade-off between IGP avoidance and nutrient intake by the host. This change in behaviour to reduce risk may cascade to the first trophic level and help explain the stability of IGP systems.

  3. Parasitised caterpillars suffer reduced predation: potential implications for intra-guild predation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wen-bin; Vasseur, Liette; You, Min-sheng; Li, Jian-yu; Wang, Cheng-xiang; Meng, Ruo-xue; Gurr, Geoff M.

    2017-01-01

    Intra-guild predation (IGP) is an important phenomenon structuring ecological communities and affects the success of biological control. Here we show that parasitism by the koinobiont wasp Cotesia vestalis is associated with behavioural changes in its larval host (diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella) that reduce risk of IGP. Compared with unparasitised caterpillars, parasitised P. xylostella moved less frequently to new feeding patches on plants and were less likely to fall from the plant. Wolf spiders killed significantly fewer parasitised larvae. Reflecting their reduced movement and capacity to select plant tissue of optimal quality, parasitised caterpillars fed at a lower rate and exhibited delayed development suggesting a trade-off between IGP avoidance and nutrient intake by the host. This change in behaviour to reduce risk may cascade to the first trophic level and help explain the stability of IGP systems. PMID:28230205

  4. Biological conservation of a prey-predator system incorporating constant prey refuge through provision of alternative food to predators: a theoretical study.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Kunal; Das, Sankha Subhra

    2014-06-01

    We describe a prey-predator system incorporating constant prey refuge through provision of alternative food to predators. The proposed model deals with a problem of non-selective harvesting of a prey-predator system in which both the prey and the predator species obey logistic law of growth. The long-run sustainability of an exploited system is discussed through provision of alternative food to predators. We have analyzed the variability of the system in presence of constant prey refuge and examined the stabilizing effect on predator-prey system. The steady states of the system are derived and dynamical behavior of the system is extensively analyzed around steady states. The optimal harvesting policy is formulated and solved with the help of Pontryagin's maximal principle. Our objective is to maximize the monetary social benefit through protecting the predator species from extinction, keeping the ecological balance. Results finally illustrated with the help of numerical examples.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Predator-prey oscillations can shift when diseases become endemic.

    PubMed

    Bate, Andrew M; Hilker, Frank M

    2013-01-07

    In epidemiology, knowing when a disease is endemic is important. This is usually done by finding the basic reproductive number, R(0), using equilibrium-based calculations. However, oscillatory dynamics are common in nature. Here, we model a disease with density dependent transmission in an oscillating predator-prey system. The condition for disease persistence in predator-prey cycles is based on the time-average density of the host and not the equilibrium density. Consequently, the time-averaged basic reproductive number R(0)¯ is what determines whether a disease is endemic, and not on the equilibrium-based basic reproductive number R(0)(*). These findings undermine any R(0) analysis based solely on steady states when predator-prey oscillations exist for density dependent diseases.

  10. 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.

  11. Plastic Responses of a Sessile Prey to Multiple Predators: A Field and Experimental Study

    PubMed Central

    Hirsch, Philipp Emanuel; Cayon, David; Svanbäck, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Background Theory predicts that prey facing a combination of predators with different feeding modes have two options: to express a response against the feeding mode of the most dangerous predator, or to express an intermediate response. Intermediate phenotypes protect equally well against several feeding modes, rather than providing specific protection against a single predator. Anti-predator traits that protect against a common feeding mode displayed by all predators should be expressed regardless of predator combination, as there is no need for trade-offs. Principal Findings We studied phenotypic anti-predator responses of zebra mussels to predation threat from a handling-time-limited (crayfish) and a gape-size-limited (roach) predator. Both predators dislodge mussels from the substrate but diverge in their further feeding modes. Mussels increased expression of a non-specific defense trait (attachment strength) against all combinations of predators relative to a control. In response to roach alone, mussels showed a tendency to develop a weaker and more elongated shell. In response to crayfish, mussels developed a harder and rounder shell. When exposed to either a combination of predators or no predator, mussels developed an intermediate phenotype. Mussel growth rate was positively correlated with an elongated weaker shell and negatively correlated with a round strong shell, indicating a trade-off between anti-predator responses. Field observations of prey phenotypes revealed the presence of both anti-predator phenotypes and the trade-off with growth, but intra-specific population density and bottom substrate had a greater influence than predator density. Conclusions Our results show that two different predators can exert both functionally equivalent and inverse selection pressures on a single prey. Our field study suggests that abiotic factors and prey population density should be considered when attempting to explain phenotypic diversity in the wild. PMID

  12. Predator diversity and identity drive interaction strength and trophic cascades in a food web.

    PubMed

    Otto, Sonja B; Berlow, Eric L; Rank, Nathan E; Smiley, John; Brose, Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Declining predator diversity may drastically affect the biomass and productivity of herbivores and plants. Understanding how changes in predator diversity can propagate through food webs to alter ecosystem function is one of the most challenging ecological research topics today. We studied the effects of predator removal in a simple natural food web in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California (USA). By excluding the predators of the third trophic level of a food web in a full-factorial design, we monitored cascading effects of varying predator diversity and composition on the herbivorous beetle Chrysomela aeneicollis and the willow Salix orestera, which compose the first and second trophic levels of the food web. Decreasing predator diversity increased herbivore biomass and survivorship, and consequently increased the amount of plant biomass consumed via a trophic cascade. Despite this simple linear mean effect of diversity on the strength of the trophic cascade, we found additivity, compensation, and interference in the effects of multiple predators on herbivores and plants. Herbivore survivorship and predator-prey interaction strengths varied with predator diversity, predator identity, and the identity of coexisting predators. Additive effects of predators on herbivores and plants may have been driven by temporal niche separation, whereas compensatory effects and interference occurred among predators with a similar phenology. Together, these results suggest that while the general trends of diversity effects may appear linear and additive, other information about species identity was required to predict the effects of removing individual predators. In a community that is not temporally well-mixed, predator traits such as phenology may help predict impacts of species loss on other species. Information about predator natural history and food web structure may help explain variation in predator diversity effects on trophic cascades and ecosystem function.

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

    PubMed

    Freinschlag, Julia; Schausberger, Peter

    2016-05-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Mary I; Bruno, John F

    2009-07-01

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

  16. Evaluating predation pressure on green treefrog larvae across a habitat gradient.

    PubMed

    Gunzburger, Margaret S; Travis, Joseph

    2004-08-01

    The effect of a predator on the abundance of a prey species depends upon the predator's abundance and its ability to capture that prey. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the community structure of predators of green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) tadpoles across habitat types and evaluate the effectiveness of individual predators on H. cinerea tadpoles. Correspondence and cluster analyses of predator frequencies across 23 aquatic habitats indicated that the majority of variance in predator communities was due to a division between permanent and temporary habitats. Experimental work demonstrated that survival of the smallest H. cinerea tadpoles was significantly lower than survival of medium and large tadpoles with the most effective predators, indicating that H. cinerea tadpoles attain a refuge from predation at larger body sizes. We combined the effectiveness of predators in experiments with the abundance of each predator species from the predator community survey to demonstrate that predation pressure on H. cinerea tadpoles is higher in temporary ponds. This pattern may explain in part why this species generally breeds successfully only in permanent habitats. It also confirms that discussions about an increasing gradient of predation pressure from temporary to permanent aquatic habitats should be restricted to individual prey species for which such a gradient has been demonstrated.

  17. The effect of habitat structure on prey mortality depends on predator and prey microhabitat use.

    PubMed

    Klecka, Jan; Boukal, David S

    2014-09-01

    Structurally complex habitats provide cover and may hinder the movement of animals. In predator-prey relationships, habitat structure can decrease predation risk when it provides refuges for prey or hinders foraging activity of predators. However, it may also provide shelter, supporting structures and perches for sit-and-wait predators and hence increase their predation rates. We tested the effect of habitat structure on prey mortality in aquatic invertebrates in short-term laboratory predation trials that differed in the presence or absence of artificial vegetation. The effect of habitat structure on prey mortality was context dependent as it changed with predator and prey microhabitat use. Specifically, we observed an 'anti-refuge' effect of added vegetation: phytophilous predators that perched on the plants imposed higher predation pressure on planktonic prey, while mortality of benthic prey decreased. Predation by benthic and planktonic predators on either type of prey remained unaffected by the presence of vegetation. Our results show that the effects of habitat structure on predator-prey interactions are more complex than simply providing prey refuges or cover for predators. Such context-specific effects of habitat complexity may alter the coupling of different parts of the ecosystem, such as pelagic and benthic habitats, and ultimately affect food web stability through cascading effects on individual life histories and trophic link strengths.

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

    PubMed

    Satake, Akiko; Bjørnstad, Ottar N

    2004-04-01

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

  19. Food webs and intraguild predation: community interactions of a native mesocarnivore.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Craig M; Gese, Eric M

    2007-02-01

    Trophic level interactions between predators create complex relationships such as intraguild predation. Theoretical research has predicted two possible paths to stability in intraguild systems: intermediate predators either outcompete higher-order predators for shared resources or select habitat based on security. The effects of intraguild predation on intermediate mammalian predators such as swift foxes (Vulpes velox) are not well understood. We examined the relationships between swift foxes and both their predators and prey, as well the effect of vegetation structure on swift fox-coyote (Canis latrans) interactions, between August 2001 and August 2004. In a natural experiment created by the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site in southeastern Colorado, USA, we documented swift fox survival and density in a variety of landscapes and compared these parameters in relation to prey availability, coyote abundance, and vegetation structure. Swift fox density varied significantly between study sites, while survival did not. Coyote abundance was positively related to the basal prey species and vegetation structure, while swift fox density was negatively related to coyote abundance, basal prey species, and vegetation structure. Our results support the prediction that, under intraguild predation in terrestrial systems, top predator distribution matches resource availability (resource match), while intermediate predator distribution inversely matches predation risk (safety match). While predation by coyotes may be the specific cause of swift fox mortality in this system, the more general mechanism appears to be exposure to predation moderated by shrub density.

  20. Inundative Field Releases and Evaluation of Three Predators for Bemisia tabasi (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Management in Three Vegetable Crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is a global pest on numerous crops, including vegetables. Weekly inundative releases of a coccinellid predator (Coccinella undecimpunctata L.), a mirid predator [Macrophillus caliginosus (Wagner)] and a neuropteran predator [Chrysoperla carnea S...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kersch-Becker, Mônica F; Thaler, Jennifer S

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Predator localization by sensory hairs in free-swimming arthropods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Daisuke; Hartline, Daniel K.

    2016-11-01

    Free-swimming arthropods such as copepods rely on minute deflections of cuticular hairs (or "setae") for local flow sensing that is needed to detect food and escape from predators. We present a simple hydrodynamic model to analyze how the location, speed, and size of an approaching distant predator can be inferred from local flow deformation alone. The model informs suitable strategies of escape from an imminent predatory attack. The sensory capabilities of aquatic arthropods could inspire the design of flow sensors in technological applications.

  6. Predator-prey interactions, resource depression and patch revisitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    Generalist predators may be confronted by different types of prey in different patches: sedentary and conspicuous, cryptic (with or without refugia), conspicuous and nonsocial, or conspicuous and social. I argue that, where encounter rates with prey are of most importance, patch revisitation should be a profitable tactic where prey have short 'recovery' times (conspicuous, nonsocial prey), or where anti-predator response (e.g. shoaling) may increase conspicuousness. Predictions are made for how temporal changes in prey encounter rates should affect revisit schedules and feeding rates for the 4 different prey types.

  7. Oscillatory behavior in a lattice prey-predator system.

    PubMed

    Lipowski, A

    1999-11-01

    Using Monte Carlo simulations we study a lattice model of a prey-predator system. We show that in the three-dimensional model populations of preys and predators exhibit coherent periodic oscillations but such a behavior is absent in lower-dimensional models. Finite-size analysis indicate that amplitude of these oscillations is finite even in the thermodynamic limit. This is an example of a microscopic model with stochastic dynamics which exhibits oscillatory behavior without any external driving force. We suggest that oscillations in our model are induced by some kind of stochastic resonance.

  8. Predator-prey system with strong Allee effect in prey.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinfeng; Shi, Junping; Wei, Junjie

    2011-03-01

    Global bifurcation analysis of a class of general predator-prey models with a strong Allee effect in prey population is given in details. We show the existence of a point-to-point heteroclinic orbit loop, consider the Hopf bifurcation, and prove the existence/uniqueness and the nonexistence of limit cycle for appropriate range of parameters. For a unique parameter value, a threshold curve separates the overexploitation and coexistence (successful invasion of predator) regions of initial conditions. Our rigorous results justify some recent ecological observations, and practical ecological examples are used to demonstrate our theoretical work.

  9. Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation in a predator-prey model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhihua; Magal, Pierre; Xiao, Dongmei

    2016-12-01

    In this paper, we investigate a class of predator-prey model with age structure and discuss whether the model can undergo Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation. The analysis is based on the normal form theory and the center manifold theory for semilinear equations with non-dense domain combined with integrated semigroup theory. Qualitative analysis indicates that there exist some parameter values such that this predator-prey model has an unique positive equilibrium which is Bogdanov-Takens singularity. Moreover, it is shown that under suitable small perturbation, the system undergoes the Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation in a small neighborhood of this positive equilibrium.

  10. Predator-prey quasicycles from a path-integral formalism.

    PubMed

    Butler, Thomas; Reynolds, David

    2009-03-01

    The existence of beyond mean-field quasicycle oscillations in a simple spatial model of predator-prey interactions is derived from a path-integral formalism. The results agree substantially with those obtained from analysis of similar models using system size expansions of the master equation. In all of these analyses, the discrete nature of predator-prey populations and finite-size effects lead to persistent oscillations in time, but spatial patterns fail to form. The path-integral formalism goes beyond mean-field theory and provides a focus on individual realizations of the stochastic time evolution of population not captured in the standard master-equation approach.

  11. Cannibalism in discrete-time predator-prey systems.

    PubMed

    Chow, Yunshyong; Jang, Sophia R-J

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we propose and investigate a two-stage population model with cannibalism. It is shown that cannibalism can destabilize and lower the magnitude of the interior steady state. However, it is proved that cannibalism has no effect on the persistence of the population. Based on this model, we study two systems of predator-prey interactions where the prey population is cannibalistic. A sufficient condition based on the nontrivial boundary steady state for which both populations can coexist is derived. It is found via numerical simulations that introduction of the predator population may either stabilize or destabilize the prey dynamics, depending on cannibalism coefficients and other vital parameters.

  12. Rich Global Dynamics in a Prey-Predator Model with Allee Effect and Density Dependent Death Rate of Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sen, Moitri; Banerjee, Malay

    In this work we have considered a prey-predator model with strong Allee effect in the prey growth function, Holling type-II functional response and density dependent death rate for predators. It presents a comprehensive study of the complete global dynamics for the considered system. Especially to see the effect of the density dependent death rate of predator on the system behavior, we have presented the two parametric bifurcation diagrams taking it as one of the bifurcation parameters. In course of that we have explored all possible local and global bifurcations that the system could undergo, namely the existence of transcritical bifurcation, saddle node bifurcation, cusp bifurcation, Hopf-bifurcation, Bogdanov-Takens bifurcation and Bautin bifurcation respectively.

  13. Herbivore and predator diversity interactively affect ecosystem properties in an experimental marine community.

    PubMed

    Douglass, James G; Duffy, J Emmett; Bruno, John F

    2008-06-01

    Interacting changes in predator and prey diversity likely influence ecosystem properties but have rarely been experimentally tested. We manipulated the species richness of herbivores and predators in an experimental benthic marine community and measured their effects on predator, herbivore and primary producer performance. Predator composition and richness strongly affected several community and population responses, mostly via sampling effects. However, some predators survived better in polycultures than in monocultures, suggesting complementarity due to stronger intra- than interspecific interactions. Predator effects also differed between additive and substitutive designs, emphasizing that the relationship between diversity and abundance in an assemblage can strongly influence whether and how diversity effects are realized. Changing herbivore richness and predator richness interacted to influence both total herbivore abundance and predatory crab growth, but these interactive diversity effects were weak. Overall, the presence and richness of predators dominated biotic effects on community and ecosystem properties.

  14. Effect of resource subsidies on predator-prey population dynamics: a mathematical model.

    PubMed

    Nevai, Andrew L; Van Gorder, Robert A

    2012-01-01

    The influence of a resource subsidy on predator-prey interactions is examined using a mathematical model. The model arises from the study of a biological system involving arctic foxes (predator), lemmings (prey), and seal carcasses (subsidy). In one version of the model, the predator, prey and subsidy all occur in the same location; in a second version, the predator moves between two patches, one containing only the prey and the other containing only the subsidy. Criteria for feasibility and stability of the different equilibrium states are studied both analytically and numerically. At small subsidy input rates, there is a minimum prey carrying capacity needed to support both predator and prey. At intermediate subsidy input rates, the predator and prey can always coexist. At high subsidy input rates, the prey cannot persist even at high carrying capacities. As predator movement increases, the dynamic stability of the predator-prey-subsidy interactions also increases.

  15. To Learn Is To Grow, I: Aldo Leopold, Predator Eradication, and Games Refuges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolph, Gary E.

    1998-01-01

    Follows the evolution in the thinking of Aldo Leopold, a game manager who was initially an advocate of predator eradication but who came to see predators as playing an important role in normally functioning ecosystems. (DDR)

  16. Demographic parameters of the insecticide-exposed predator Podisus nigrispinus: implications for IPM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predator Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) shows potential for Integrated Pest Management programs of defoliating caterpillars in agricultural and forestry systems. Insecticides can indirectly affect caterpillar predators through consumption of contaminated prey. We examin...

  17. Intense predation cannot always be detected experimentally: A case study of shorebird predation on nereid polychaetes in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kalejta, B.

    The effect of predation by curlew sandpipers Calidris ferruginea L. and grey plovers Pluvialis squatarola (L.) on populations of nereid worms Ceratonereis keiskama (Day) and C. erythraeensis (Fauvel) was studied at the Berg River estuary, South Africa, by comparing observations of shorebird-foraging intensity with the results of a population study of two species of nereid worms within and outside bird exclosures. The study was carried out during the four-month period prior to northward migration of shorebirds. Population structure of the two nereid species differed considerably. Ceratonereis keiskama reproduced earlier than C. erythraeensis and only young individuals were present during the study. By contrast, old C. erythraeensis were available to the birds at the start of the experiment and young animals entered the population during the experiment. Despite selective predation on certain size classes of nereids by the birds, no significant changes in the population structure of either nereid were detected by the cage experiment. Numbers and biomass of both Ceratonereis spp. in paired controls and cages tracked each other and did not diverge as predicted. A consistent difference in the depth stratification of the two nereids may, however, have been due to predation pressure. Curlew sandpipers were calculated to remove 3112 nereids per m 2 during the three months, equivalent to 4.4. g (dry weight) per m 2. This represents 58% of the initial numbers and 77% of the initial biomass of nereids. Although predation on nereids by waders was exceptionally high at the Berg River estuary, any depletion in numbers or biomass of nereids caused by these predators was masked by the reproduction of the nereids. The fact that the predators' high energy requirements prior to northward migration coincide with the period of peak production of invertebrate prey makes the Berg River estuary an exceptionally favourable wintering area.

  18. The roles of predator maturation delay and functional response in determining the periodicity of predator-prey cycles.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hao; Nagy, John D; Gilg, Olivier; Kuang, Yang

    2009-09-01

    Population cycles in small mammals have attracted the attention of several generations of theoretical and experimental biologists and continue to generate controversy. Top-down and bottom-up trophic regulations are two recent competing hypotheses. The principal purpose of this paper is to explore the relative contributions of a variety of ecological factors to predator-prey population cycles. Here we suggest that for some species - collared lemmings, snowshoe hares and moose in particular - maturation delay of predators and the functional response of predation appear to be the primary determinants. Our study suggests that maturation delay alone almost completely determines the cycle period, whereas the functional response greatly affects its amplitude and even its existence. These results are obtained from sensitivity analysis of all parameters in a mathematical model of the lemming-stoat delayed system, which is an extension of Gilg's model. Our result may also explain why lemmings have a 4-year cycle whereas snowshoe hares have a 10-year cycle. Our parameterized model supports and extends May's assertion that time delay impacts cycle period and amplitude. Furthermore, if maturation periods of predators are too short or too long, or the functional response resembles Holling Type I, then population cycles do not appear; however, suitable intermediate predator maturation periods and suitable functional responses can generate population cycles for both prey and predators. These results seem to explain why some populations are cyclic whereas others are not. Finally, we find parameterizations of our model that generate a 38-year population cycle consistent with the putative cycles of the moose-wolf interactions on Isle Royale, Michigan.

  19. Trade-offs of predation and foraging explain sexual segregation in African buffalo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hay, C.T.; Cross, P.C.; Funston, P.J.

    2008-01-01

    1. Many studies have investigated why males and females segregate spatially in sexually dimorphic species. These studies have focused primarily on temperate zone ungulates in areas lacking intact predator communities, and few have directly assessed predation rates in different social environments. 2. Data on the movement, social affiliation, mortality and foraging of radio-collared African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) were collected from 2001-06 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. The vast majority of mortality events were due to lion (Panthera leo) predation, and the mortality hazard associated with being an adult male buffalo in a male-only 'bachelor' group was almost four times higher than for adult females in mixed herds. The mortality rates of adult males and females within mixed herds were not statistically different. Mortality sites of male and female buffalo were in areas of low visibility similar to those used by bachelor groups, while mixed herds tended to use more open habitats. 4. Males in bachelor groups ate similar or higher quality food (as indexed by percentage faecal nitrogen), and moved almost a third less distance per day compared with mixed herds. As a result, males in bachelor groups gained more body condition than did males in breeding herds. 5. Recent comparative analyses suggest the activity-budget hypothesis as a common underlying cause of social segregation. However, our intensive study, in an area with an intact predator community showed that male and female buffalo segregated by habitat and supported the predation-risk hypothesis. Male African buffalo appear to trade increased predation risk for additional energy gains in bachelor groups, which presumably leads to increased reproductive success. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  20. Trade-offs of predation and foraging explain sexual segregation in African buffalo.

    PubMed

    Hay, C T; Cross, P C; Funston, P J

    2008-09-01

    1. Many studies have investigated why males and females segregate spatially in sexually dimorphic species. These studies have focused primarily on temperate zone ungulates in areas lacking intact predator communities, and few have directly assessed predation rates in different social environments. 2. Data on the movement, social affiliation, mortality and foraging of radio-collared African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) were collected from 2001-06 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. The vast majority of mortality events were due to lion (Panthera leo) predation, and the mortality hazard associated with being an adult male buffalo in a male-only 'bachelor' group was almost four times higher than for adult females in mixed herds. The mortality rates of adult males and females within mixed herds were not statistically different. Mortality sites of male and female buffalo were in areas of low visibility similar to those used by bachelor groups, while mixed herds tended to use more open habitats. 4. Males in bachelor groups ate similar or higher quality food (as indexed by percentage faecal nitrogen), and moved almost a third less distance per day compared with mixed herds. As a result, males in bachelor groups gained more body condition than did males in breeding herds. 5. Recent comparative analyses suggest the activity-budget hypothesis as a common underlying cause of social segregation. However, our intensive study, in an area with an intact predator community showed that male and female buffalo segregated by habitat and supported the predation-risk hypothesis. Male African buffalo appear to trade increased predation risk for additional energy gains in bachelor groups, which presumably leads to increased reproductive success.

  1. Native predators reduce harvest of reindeer by Sámi pastoralists.

    PubMed

    Hobbs, N Thompson; Andrén, Henrik; Persson, Jens; Aronsson, Malin; Chapron, Guillaume

    2012-07-01

    Contemporary efforts to protect biological diversity recognize the importance of sustaining traditional human livelihoods, particularly uses of the land that are compatible with intact landscapes and ecologically complete food webs. However, these efforts often confront conflicting goals. For example, conserving native predators may harm pastoralist economies because predators consume domestic livestock that sustain people. This potential conflict must be reconciled by policy, but such reconciliation requires a firm understanding of the effects of predators on the prey used by people. We used a long-term, large-scale database and Bayesian models to estimate the impacts of lynx (Lynx lynx), wolverine (Gulo gulo), and brown bear (Ursus arctos) on harvest of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) by Sami pastoralists in Sweden. The average annual harvest of reindeer averaged 25% of the population (95% credible interval = 19, 31). Annual harvest declined by 96.6 (31, 155) reindeer for each lynx family group (the surveyed segment of the lynx population) in a management unit and by 94.3 (20, 160) for each wolverine reproduction (the surveyed segment of the wolverine population). We failed to detect effects of predation by brown bear. The mechanism for effects of predation on harvest was reduced population growth rate. The rate of increase of reindeer populations declined with increasing abundance of lynx and wolverine. The density of reindeer, latitude, and weather indexed by the North Atlantic Oscillation also influenced reindeer population growth rate. We conclude that there is a biological basis for compensating the Sámi reindeer herders for predation on reindeer.

  2. Predator-prey interactions between Synbranchus marmoratus (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) and Hypsiboas pulchellus tadpoles (Amphibia: Hylidae): importance of lateral line in nocturnal predation and effects of fenitrothion exposure.

    PubMed

    Junges, Celina M; Lajmanovich, Rafael C; Peltzer, Paola M; Attademo, Andres M; Bassó, Agustín

    2010-11-01

    Environmental contaminants can disrupt interactions between aquatic species by altering community structure. We explored predator-prey interactions between marbled swamp juvenile eels (Synbranchus marmoratus; predator) and anuran tadpoles (Hypsiboas pulchellus; prey) in relation to two aspects: the importance of lateral line in the predator and whether the absence of light modifies predation rates; and the effect of a sub-lethal concentration of fenitrothion on both predator and prey. Eels were tested under two sensory conditions (lateral line intact and lateral line blocked by cobalt chloride) in dark conditions. Predation rates were evaluated using different treatments that combined predator and prey exposed or not to insecticide. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities were also measured in muscle samples of eels and tadpoles to explore whether fenitrothion affects predator and prey differentially. Marbled swamp eels were more efficient in feeding on tadpoles during the night than during the day, showing that lateral line makes an important contribution to prey detection and capture. Regarding pesticide effects, short-term (6 h) exposure to an ecologically relevant fenitrothion dose of 2.5 mg L(-1) altered the predator-prey relationship by changing prey behaviour, reducing prey detection and therefore increasing tadpole survival. At this concentration, the outcome of the predator-prey relationship appears biased in favor of the exposed tadpoles, which were released from predation risk, despite their altered behaviour and the higher inhibition percentages of tail BChE (70%) and AChE (51%) than in control individuals. Our study involving these model species and agrochemicals demonstrates that fenitrothion affected the outcome of a predator-prey relationship. Further studies are needed, in these species and other native amphibians, to investigate the nature of the mechanisms responsible for the adverse effects of pesticides on

  3. Plankton predation rates in turbulence: a study of the limitations imposed on a predator with a non-spherical field of sensory perception.

    PubMed

    Lewis, D M; Bala, S I

    2006-09-07

    This paper presents an extension to previously published work which studied encounter rates of planktonic predators with restricted perception fields, to examine the related problems of prey capture and predation rates. Small-scale turbulence influences planktonic predation in two ways: the extra energy of the flow enhances the number of encounter events between individual predator and prey meso/micro-zooplankton, but it lowers the capture probability (because the time spent by the predator and prey in close proximity is reduced). Typically, an 'encounter' has usually been defined as an event when a potential prey swims (or is advected) to within a distance R of the predator in any direction. However, there is a considerable body of experimental evidence showing that predators perception fields are far from spherical; often they are wedge shaped (e.g. fish larvae), or strongly aligned with the directions of sensory antennae (e.g. copepods); and this is certain to influence optimal predation strategies. This paper presents a theoretical model which for the first time examines the combined problems of both encounter and capture for a predator with a restricted perception field swimming in a turbulent flow. If such a predator adopts a cruising strategy (continuous swimming, possibly with direction changes) the model predictions suggest that predation rates actually vary little with swimming speed, in contrast to predictions made for spherical perception fields. Consequently, cruising predators are predicted to swim at relatively low speeds whilst foraging. However, application of the model to examine the net energy gain of a typical pause-travel predator (the Atlantic cod larva), does predict the existence of an optimal ratio of the length of pauses to time spent swimming (specifically one pause phase to every two travel phases), in line with experimental observations. Kinematic simulations are presented which support these findings.

  4. Plastic Hatching Timing by Red-Eyed Treefrog Embryos Interacts with Larval Predator Identity and Sublethal Predation to Affect Prey Morphology but Not Performance

    PubMed Central

    Touchon, Justin C.; Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2014-01-01

    Many animals respond to predation risk by altering their morphology, behavior, or life-history. We know a great deal about the cues prey respond to and the changes to prey that can be induced by predation risk, but less is known about how plastic responses to predators may be affected by separate plastic responses occurring earlier in life, particularly during the embryonic period. Embryos of a broad array of taxa can respond to egg- or larval-stage risks by altering hatching timing, which may alter the way organisms respond to future predators. Using the red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas), a model for understanding the effects of plasticity across life-stages, we assessed how the combined effects of induced variation in the timing of embryo hatching and variation in the larval predator community impacted tadpole morphology, pigmentation and swimming performance. We found that A. callidryas tadpoles developed deeper tail muscles and fins and darker pigmentation in response to fish predators, either when alone or in diverse community with other predators. Tadpoles altered morphology much less so to dragonfly naiads or water bugs. Interestingly, morphological responses to predators were also affected by induced differences in hatching age, with early and late-hatched tadpoles exhibiting different allometric relationships between tail height and body length in different predator environments. Beyond induced morphological changes, fish predators often damaged tadpoles’ tails without killing them (i.e., sublethal predation), but these tadpoles swam equally quickly to those with fully intact tails. This was due to the fact that tadpoles with more damaged tails increased tail beats to achieve equal swimming speed. This study demonstrates that plastic phenotypic responses to predation risk can be influenced by a complex combination of responses to both the embryo and larval environments, but also that prey performance can be highly resilient to sublethal predation

  5. A minimum model of prey-predator system with dormancy of predators and the paradox of enrichment.

    PubMed

    Kuwamura, Masataka; Nakazawa, Takefumi; Ogawa, Toshiyuki

    2009-03-01

    In this paper, a mathematical model of a prey-predator system is proposed to resolve the paradox of enrichment in ecosystems. The model is based on the natural strategy that a predator takes, i.e, it produces resting eggs in harsh environment. Our result gives a criterion for a functional response, which ensures that entering dormancy stabilizes the population dynamics. It is also shown that the hatching of resting eggs can stabilize the population dynamics when the switching between non-resting and resting eggs is sharp. Furthermore, the bifurcation structure of our model suggests the simultaneous existence of a stable equilibrium and a large amplitude cycle in natural enriched environments.

  6. Evolution of juvenile growth rates in female guppies (Poecilia reticulata): predator regime or resource level?

    PubMed

    Arendt, Jeffrey D; Reznick, David N

    2005-02-07

    Recent theoretical and empirical work argues that growth rate can evolve and be optimized, rather than always being maximized. Chronically low resource availability is predicted to favour the evolution of slow growth, whereas attaining a size-refuge from mortality risk is predicted to favour the evolution of rapid growth. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) evolve differences in behaviour, morphology and life-history traits in response to predation, thus demonstrating that predators are potent agents of selection. Predators in low-predation environments prey preferentially on small guppies, but those in high-predation environments appear to be non-selective. Because guppies can outgrow their main predator in low- but not high-predation localities, we predict that predation will select for higher growth rates in the low-predation environments.However, low-predation localities also tend to have lower productivity than high-predation localities, yield-ing the prediction that guppies from these sites should have slower growth rates. Here we compare the growth rates of the second laboratory-born generation of guppies from paired high- and low-predation localities from four different drainages. In two out of four comparisons, guppies from high-predation sites grew significantly faster than their low-predation counterparts. We also compare laboratory born descendants from a field introduction experiment and show that guppies introduced to a low-predation environment evolved slower growth rates after 13 years, although this was evident only at the high food level. The weight of the evidence suggests that resource availability plays a more important role than predation in shaping the evolution of growth rates.

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

    PubMed

    Rudolf, Volker H W

    2008-06-01

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

  8. Specialist predator in a multi-species prey community: boreal voles and weasels.

    PubMed

    Sundell, Janne; Ylönen, Hannu

    2008-03-01

    Dissimilar vulnerabilities of different prey types and preferences of predators are factors likely to contribute to community dynamics. This may happen via differential individual properties of prey animals (e.g. vigilance, escape) or via habitat effects making hunting by a predator easier and more rewarding in some habitats, or both. Furthermore, community dynamics may be influenced by predator mediated apparent competition, in which an increase in one prey type has negative effects on another prey type indirectly via the shared predator. We summarize the current knowledge from the field in a model predator-prey system consisting of sympatric boreal vole species and their common specialist predator and review field studies using predator manipulation and studies on the responses of individuals in the laboratory and in outdoor enclosures. The vole species studied represent different prey types that are thought to have different vulnerabilities. Our observations on the main resident specialist predator, the least weasel (Mustela nivalis nivalis L.), show that it hunts according to prey availability and suitability of the hunting habitat. Prey voles respond to the presence of the predator behaviorally in various ways to avoid predation. We conclude that even if the least weasel is a specialized predator of small rodents it acts like a generalist predator within the small rodent guild and may facilitate the coexistence of prey species via predator switching. This may lead to interspecific synchrony between prey populations, which has often been observed. We suggest that the processes determining the community impact of predator-prey interactions are driven by the behavioral arms race between the predator and the prey, together with the habitat-dependent density of prey and net gain for the predator.

  9. Magnitude and Dynamics of Predation on Juvenile Salmonids in Columbia and Snake River Reservoirs, Annual Report of Research, 1989-1990.

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, J.H.

    1990-07-01

    Three aspects of predation upon juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River are addressed in this report: (1) Indexing predator consumption. During 1989--1990, two indices of northern squawfish consumption upon juvenile salmonids were developed for use throughout the Columbia River Basin. The direct Consumption Index (CI) is based upon the concept of meal turnover time and takes into account number of salmonids, temperature, total gut content weight and predator weight. A Bioenergetics Index (BI) for consumption indexing was also developed to complement the direct CI. In the BI, growth, consumption, excretion/evacuation and respiration processes are modeled to predict the consumption required to produce an observed growth increment. (2) Studies on predator-smolt dynamics. Northern squawfish consumption data were collected in the McNary Dam tailrace during nine days in July 1988 to improve our understanding of the predator-smolt functional response. (3) Selective predation by northern squawfish. Laboratory and field protocols were developed to evaluate northern squawfish selection and prey vulnerability. Results from laboratory studies suggest that northern squawfish prefer dead over live prey and that descaled prey may be more vulnerable to predation than non-descaled prey. Stressed and unstressed prey were consumed in equal proportions when predation occurred for 6 or 24 h. Physiological and behavioral effects of stress on juvenile salmon are presented. 100 refs., 13 figs., 12 tabs.

  10. Predator in First: A prophylactic biological control strategy for management of multiple pests of pepper

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The establishment of biocontrol agents is critical for success of biological control strategies. Predator-In-First (PIF) is a prophylactic control strategy that aims to establish predators before the appearance of pests in an agro-ecosystem. Predator-In-First uses the characteristics of generalist p...

  11. Along Came a Spider: Using Live Arthropods in a Predator-Prey Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Matthew L.; Hari, Janice

    2011-01-01

    We developed a predator-prey activity with eighth-grade students in which they used wolf spiders ("Lycosa carolinensis"), house crickets ("Acheta domestica"), and abiotic factors to address how (1) adaptations in predators and prey shape their interaction and (2) abiotic factors modify the interaction between predators and…

  12. Nonselective Harvesting of a Prey-Predator Fishery with Gompertz Law of Growth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Purohit, D.; Chaudhuri, K. S.

    2002-01-01

    This paper develops a mathematical model for the nonselective harvesting of a prey-predator system in which both the prey and the predator obey the Gompertz law of growth and some prey avoid predation by hiding. The steady states of the system are determined, and the dynamical behaviour of both species is examined. The possibility of existence of…

  13. Predation of Indianmeal moth larvae by Lyctocoris campestris(F.) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) in different stored commodities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predation rates for the anthocorid predator Lyctocoris campestris (F.) against varying densities of late-instar Plodia interpunctello (Hubner) were compared in whole corn, whole wheat, or folled oat stored commodities. More prey were attacked in corn and wheat than in oats, and female predators gene...

  14. Predator experience overrides learned aversion to heterospecifics in stickleback species pairs

    PubMed Central

    Kozak, Genevieve M.; Boughman, Janette W.

    2015-01-01

    Predation risk can alter female mating decisions because the costs of mate searching and selecting attractive mates increase when predators are present. In response to predators, females have been found to plastically adjust mate preference within species, but little is known about how predators alter sexual isolation and hybridization among species. We tested the effects of predator exposure on sexual isolation between benthic and limnetic threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus spp.). Female discrimination against heterospecific mates was measured before and after females experienced a simulated attack by a trout predator or a control exposure to a harmless object. In the absence of predators, females showed increased aversion to heterospecifics over time. We found that predator exposure made females less discriminating and precluded this learned aversion to heterospecifics. Benthic and limnetic males differ in coloration, and predator exposure also affected sexual isolation by weakening female preferences for colourful males. Predator effects on sexual selection were also tested but predators had few effects on female choosiness among conspecific mates. Our results suggest that predation risk may disrupt the cognitive processes associated with mate choice and lead to fluctuations in the strength of sexual isolation between species. PMID:25808887

  15. Controllability and Optimal Harvesting of a Prey-Predator Model Incorporating a Prey Refuge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kar, Tapan Kumar

    2006-01-01

    This paper deals with a prey-predator model incorporating a prey refuge and harvesting of the predator species. A mathematical analysis shows that prey refuge plays a crucial role for the survival of the species and that the harvesting effort on the predator may be used as a control to prevent the cyclic behaviour of the system. The optimal…

  16. On local(ly) ESS of a pair of prey-predator system with predatory switching.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, D; Roy, A B

    1998-08-01

    This paper concentrates on the study of ecological stability for guaranteeing evolutionary stable strategies (ESS) in a two pre-predator system taking into consideration of handling time, with predatory switching. Here predators are polyphagous in nature. The conditions for ESS of the model system are obtained at the equivalence point. We also derive the invasion conditions of a mutant predator.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Referential calls signal predator behavior in a group-living bird species.

    PubMed

    Griesser, Michael

    2008-01-08

    Predation is a powerful agent of natural selection, driving the evolution of antipredator calls [1]. These calls have been shown to communicate predator category [2-4] and/or predator distance to conspecifics [5-7]. However, the risk posed by predators depends also on predator behavior [8], and the ability of prey to communicate predator behavior to conspecifics would be a selective advantage reducing their predation risk. I tested this idea in Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus), a group-living bird species. Predation by hawks, and to a lesser extent by owls, is substantial and the sole cause of mortality in adult jays [9]. By using field data and predator-exposure experiments, I show here that jays used antipredator calls for hawks depending on predator behavior. A playback experiment demonstrated that these prey-to-prey calls were specific to hawk behavior (perch, prey search, attack) and elicited distinct, situation-specific escape responses. This is the first study to demonstrate that prey signals convey information about predator behavior to conspecifics. Given that antipredator calls in jays aim at protecting kin group members [10, 11], consequently lowering their mortality [9], kin-selected benefits could be an important factor for the evolution of predator-behavior-specific antipredator calls in such systems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Bdellovibrio exovorus sp. nov., a novel predator of Caulobacter crescentus.

    PubMed

    Koval, Susan F; Hynes, Sandra H; Flannagan, Ronald S; Pasternak, Zohar; Davidov, Yaacov; Jurkevitch, Edouard

    2013-01-01

    The life cycle, prey range and taxonomic status of a Bdellovibrio-like organism, strain JSS(T), were studied. Strain JSS(T) was isolated from sewage in London, Ontario, Canada, in enrichment culture with Caulobacter crescentus prey cells. During predation, this strain remained attached to the outside of a stalked C. crescentus cell. No periplasmic growth stage was observed and no bdelloplast was formed. The stalked cells of C. crescentus retained their shape and, after predation, were devoid of cytoplasmic content, as shown by transmission electron microscopy. A periplasmic growth stage has been a definitive character in the description of members of the genera Bdellovibrio, Bacteriovorax, Bacteriolyticum and Peredibacter. This is the first description of an epibiotic predator in this group of prokaryotic predators. The G+C content of the genomic DNA of strain JSS(T) was 46.1 mol%. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed that this strain was related to Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus strains HD100(T), 109J, 114 and 127 (90-93 % similarity). Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences grouped strain JSS(T) with the Bdellovibrio cluster, but at a distance from other Bdellovibrio isolates. On the basis of features of the life cycle and phylogenetic data, it was concluded that strain JSS(T) merits classification as the type strain of a novel species, for which the name Bdellovibrio exovorus sp. nov. is proposed (type strain JSS(T) =ATCC BAA-2330(T) = DSM 25223(T)).

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