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Sample records for include habitat prey

  1. Fine-scale habitat modeling of a top marine predator: do prey data improve predictive capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Leigh G; Read, Andrew J; Halpin, Patrick

    2008-10-01

    Predators and prey assort themselves relative to each other, the availability of resources and refuges, and the temporal and spatial scale of their interaction. Predictive models of predator distributions often rely on these relationships by incorporating data on environmental variability and prey availability to determine predator habitat selection patterns. This approach to predictive modeling holds true in marine systems where observations of predators are logistically difficult, emphasizing the need for accurate models. In this paper, we ask whether including prey distribution data in fine-scale predictive models of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) habitat selection in Florida Bay, Florida, U.S.A., improves predictive capacity. Environmental characteristics are often used as predictor variables in habitat models of top marine predators with the assumption that they act as proxies of prey distribution. We examine the validity of this assumption by comparing the response of dolphin distribution and fish catch rates to the same environmental variables. Next, the predictive capacities of four models, with and without prey distribution data, are tested to determine whether dolphin habitat selection can be predicted without recourse to describing the distribution of their prey. The final analysis determines the accuracy of predictive maps of dolphin distribution produced by modeling areas of high fish catch based on significant environmental characteristics. We use spatial analysis and independent data sets to train and test the models. Our results indicate that, due to high habitat heterogeneity and the spatial variability of prey patches, fine-scale models of dolphin habitat selection in coastal habitats will be more successful if environmental variables are used as predictor variables of predator distributions rather than relying on prey data as explanatory variables. However, predictive modeling of prey distribution as the response variable based on

  2. Northern goshawk and its prey in the Black Hills: Habitat assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell T. Graham; Shelley Bayard de Volo; Richard T. Reynolds

    2015-01-01

    The northern goshawk is classified as a Sensitive Species in all USDA Forest Service regions, including on the Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. An assessment was conducted of the quality of northern goshawk nesting and foraging habitat, along with the habitat quality of 22 of the goshawk’s prey species. A Delphi (expert...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Klečka, Jan; Boukal S., David

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 176, č. 1 (2014), s. 183-191 ISSN 0029-8549 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/0096 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 145/2010/P; EU Marie Curie European Grant(CZ) PERG04-GA-2008-239543 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : predation * predator-prey interactions * habitat complexity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology , Behaviour Impact factor: 3.093, year: 2014 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-014-3007-6

  4. Coral reef mesopredators switch prey, shortening food chains, in response to habitat degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hempson, Tessa N; Graham, Nicholas A J; MacNeil, M Aaron; Williamson, David H; Jones, Geoffrey P; Almany, Glenn R

    2017-04-01

    Diet specificity is likely to be the key predictor of a predator's vulnerability to changing habitat and prey conditions. Understanding the degree to which predatory coral reef fishes adjust or maintain prey choice, in response to declines in coral cover and changes in prey availability, is critical for predicting how they may respond to reef habitat degradation. Here, we use stable isotope analyses to characterize the trophic structure of predator-prey interactions on coral reefs of the Keppel Island Group on the southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia. These reefs, previously typified by exceptionally high coral cover, have recently lost much of their coral cover due to coral bleaching and frequent inundation by sediment-laden, freshwater flood plumes associated with increased rainfall patterns. Long-term monitoring of these reefs demonstrates that, as coral cover declined, there has been a decrease in prey biomass, and a shift in dominant prey species from pelagic plankton-feeding damselfishes to territorial benthic algal-feeding damselfishes, resulting in differences in the principal carbon pathways in the food web. Using isotopes, we tested whether this changing prey availability could be detected in the diet of a mesopredator (coral grouper, Plectropomus maculatus ). The δ 13 C signature in grouper tissue in the Keppel Islands shifted from a more pelagic to a more benthic signal, demonstrating a change in carbon sources aligning with the change in prey availability due to habitat degradation. Grouper with a more benthic carbon signature were also feeding at a lower trophic level, indicating a shortening in food chains. Further, we found a decline in the coral grouper population accompanying a decrease in total available prey biomass. Thus, while the ability to adapt diets could ameliorate the short-term impacts of habitat degradation on mesopredators, long-term effects may negatively impact mesopredator populations and alter the trophic structure of coral

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. Habitat or prey specialization in predatory ladybird beetles: a case study of two closely related species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ferrer, A.; Dixon, Anthony F. G.; Hemptinne, J. L.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 140, č. 3 (2016), s. 199-208 ISSN 0931-2048 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : aphids * habitat * ladybirds * prey * reproductive investment * specialization Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.641, year: 2016

  7. Model evaluation of the function of prey in non-crop habitats for biological control by ladybeetles in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Werf, van der W.

    2004-01-01

    The availability of alternative prey is considered to be an important factor for the conservation of predators in agro-ecosystems. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effect of prey availability in non-crop habitats on predator impact. We studied the potential of the

  8. The existence of Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae Pocock, 1929) and their prey in different forest habitat types in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra

    OpenAIRE

    YOAN DINATA; JITO SUGARDJITO

    2008-01-01

    A study on the relationships between prey animals and the occurence of sumatran tiger was conducted in Kerinci Seblat National Park, western Sumatra from May up to September 2001. The data have been collected from eight study sites based on the forest habitat types and its threats. The results showed that frequency of encounters with prey animals in different forest habitats were no difference. This might indicates that the prey animals were distributed fairly in all types of forest habitat. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey.

  10. African vultures don't follow migratory herds: scavenger habitat use is not mediated by prey abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinne J Kendall

    Full Text Available The ongoing global decline in vulture populations raises major conservation concerns, but little is known about the factors that mediate scavenger habitat use, in particular the importance of abundance of live prey versus prey mortality. We test this using data from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. The two hypotheses that prey abundance or prey mortality are the main drivers of vulture habitat use provide alternative predictions. If vultures select areas based only on prey abundance, we expect tracked vultures to remain close to herds of migratory wildebeest regardless of season. However, if vultures select areas where mortality rates are greatest then we expect vultures to select the driest regions, where animals are more likely to die of starvation, and to be attracted to migratory wildebeest only during the dry season when wildebeest mortality is greatest. We used data from GSM-GPS transmitters to assess the relationship between three vulture species and migratory wildebeest in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Results indicate that vultures preferentially cluster around migratory herds only during the dry season, when herds experience their highest mortality. Additionally during the wet season, Ruppell's and Lappet-faced vultures select relatively dry areas, based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, whereas White-backed vultures preferred wetter areas during the wet season. Differences in habitat use among species may mediate coexistence in this scavenger guild. In general, our results suggest that prey abundance is not the primary driver of avian scavenger habitat use. The apparent reliance of vultures on non-migratory ungulates during the wet season has important conservation implications for vultures in light of on-going declines in non-migratory ungulate species and use of poisons in unprotected areas.

  11. Dynamics of predator-prey models with refuge, harvesting and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The dynamics of predator-prey models with different prey harvesting functions and prey refuge is studied. This study includes a three-dimensional model to account for the dispersal of prey to a habitat where it is unavailable to the predator. Besides local stability analysis, one central question is how harvesting, refuge and ...

  12. Habitat heterogeneity as the key determinant of the abundance and habitat preference of prey species of tiger in the Chitwan National Park, Nepal

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bhattarai, Bishnu Prasad; Kindlmann, Pavel

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 1 (2012), s. 89-97 ISSN 0001-7051 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Ungulates * Prey * Heterogeneity * Habitat selection * Abundance * Preference * Resource selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.949, year: 2012

  13. Habitat selection of brood-rearing Northern Wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe and their invertebrate prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oosten, van H.; Burg, Van den A.B.; Versluijs, R.; Siepel, H.

    2014-01-01

    Birds consider both variation in prey abundance and accessibility in their decision of where to forage. Acidification and nitrogen deposition affect both prey abundance and accessibility by stimulating growth of nitrophilic grasses at the expense of forbs. Management practises such as mowing or

  14. The diet of otters ( Lutra lutra L.) in Danish freshwater habitats : comparisons of prey fish populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taastrom, H.M.; Jacobsen, Lene

    1999-01-01

    variations were found in the diet corresponding to the availability of prey. Non-fish prey categories, such as frogs, birds, mammals and invertebrates, were most frequently taken in spring and summer, but only frogs made an important contribution to the diet (0-21%). The results of analysing 978 otter......Otter spraints from five Danish freshwater localities were analysed. In all localities fish was the main prey (76-99% of estimated bulk), especially in winter. Depending on locality, the prey fish mainly consisted of cyprinids (Cyprinidae), percids (Percidae) or salmonids (Salmonidae). Seasonal...... spraints were compared with prey fish populations as estimated by electrofishing. It was concluded that the fish species composition in the otter diet generally reflected that of the foraging area, however, with the exception of a negative preference for trout (Salmo sp.) and a preference for sticklebacks...

  15. Long-term prairie falcon population changes in relation to prey abundance, weather, land uses, and habitat conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Carpenter, L.B.; Lehman, Robert N.

    1999-01-01

    We studied a nesting population of Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1974-1997 to identify factors that influence abundance and reproduction. Our sampling period included two major droughts and associated crashes in Townsend's ground squirrel (Spermophilus townsendii) populations. The number of Prairie Falcon pairs found on long-term survey segments declined significantly from 1976-1997. Early declines were most severe at the eastern end of the NCA, where fires and agriculture have changed native shrubsteppe habitat. More recent declines occurred in the portion of canyon near the Orchard Training Area (OTA), where the Idaho Army National Guard conducts artillery firing and tank maneuvers. Overall Prairie Falcon reproductive rates were tied closely to annual indexes of ground squirrel abundance, but precipitation before and during the breeding season was related inversely to some measures of reproduction. Most reproductive parameters showed no significant trends over time, but during the 1990s, nesting success and productivity were lower in the stretch of canyon near the OTA than in adjacent areas. Extensive shrub loss, by itself, did not explain the pattern of declines in abundance and reproduction that we observed. Recent military training activities likely have interacted with fire and livestock grazing to create less than favorable foraging opportunities for Prairie Falcons in a large part of the NCA. To maintain Prairie Falcon populations in the NCA, managers should suppress wildfires, restore native plant communities, and regulate potentially incompatible land uses.

  16. The existence of Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae Pocock, 1929 and their prey in different forest habitat types in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YOAN DINATA

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available A study on the relationships between prey animals and the occurence of sumatran tiger was conducted in Kerinci Seblat National Park, western Sumatra from May up to September 2001. The data have been collected from eight study sites based on the forest habitat types and its threats. The results showed that frequency of encounters with prey animals in different forest habitats were no difference. This might indicates that the prey animals were distributed fairly in all types of forest habitat. The frequency encounters of the sumatran tiger signs, however, have shown differently between locations. The encounters of tiger signs were more frequent in the forest habitats that close to the streams; in forest habitats with few animal huntings; and in forest habitats with no logging activities. This findings support the hypotheses that the existence of sumatran tiger as a predator is determined by the dense vegetations surrounding streams as hiding place used in an ambush; availability of prey animals as food, and habitat disturbances as shown by logging.

  17. Predicting predatory impact of juvenile invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) on a crustacean prey using functional response analysis: effects of temperature, habitat complexity and light regimes

    KAUST Repository

    South, Josie

    2017-07-01

    The ecological implications of biotic interactions, such as predator-prey relationships, are often context-dependent. Comparative functional responses analysis can be used under different abiotic contexts to improve understanding and prediction of the ecological impact of invasive species. Pterois volitans (Lionfish) [Linnaeus 1758] is an established invasive species in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, with a more recent invasion into the Mediterranean. Lionfish are generalist predators that impact a wide range of commercial and non-commercial species. Functional response analysis was employed to quantify interaction strength between lionfish and a generic prey species, the shrimp (Paleomonetes varians) [Leach 1814], under the contexts of differing temperature, habitat complexity and light wavelength. Lionfish have prey population destabilising Type II functional responses under all contexts examined. Significantly more prey were consumed at 26 °C than at 22 °C. Habitat complexity did not significantly alter the functional response parameters. Significantly more prey were consumed under white light and blue light than under red light. Attack rate was significantly higher under white light than under blue or red light. Light wavelength did not significantly change handling times. The impacts on prey populations through feeding rates may increase with concomitant temperature increase. As attack rates are very high at low habitat complexity this may elucidate the cause of high impact upon degraded reef ecosystems with low-density prey populations, although there was little protection conferred through habitat complexity. Only red light (i.e. dark) afforded any reduction in predation pressure. Management initiatives should account for these environmental factors when planning mitigation and prevention strategies.

  18. Do prey densities determine preferences of mammalian predators for habitat edges in an agricultural landscape?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Kreisinger, Jakub; Sedláček, František; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 98, č. 2 (2010), s. 86-91 ISSN 0169-2046 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA MŠk 1P05OC078 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520; CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : mammalian predators * fragmentation * small mammals * edge effect * predator–prey * distribution * Mustelids Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.004, year: 2010

  19. Landscape-level movement patterns by lions in western Serengeti: comparing the influence of inter-specific competitors, habitat attributes and prey availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittle, Andrew M; Bukombe, John K; Sinclair, Anthony R E; Mduma, Simon A R; Fryxell, John M

    2016-01-01

    Where apex predators move on the landscape influences ecosystem structure and function and is therefore key to effective landscape-level management and species-specific conservation. However the factors underlying predator distribution patterns within functional ecosystems are poorly understood. Predator movement should be sensitive to the spatial patterns of inter-specific competitors, spatial variation in prey density, and landscape attributes that increase individual prey vulnerability. We investigated the relative role of these fundamental factors on seasonal resource utilization by a globally endangered apex carnivore, the African lion (Panthera leo) in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Lion space use was represented by novel landscape-level, modified utilization distributions (termed "localized density distributions") created from telemetry relocations of individual lions from multiple neighbouring prides. Spatial patterns of inter-specific competitors were similarly determined from telemetry re-locations of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), this system's primary competitor for lions; prey distribution was derived from 18 months of detailed census data; and remote sensing data was used to represent relevant habitat attributes. Lion space use was consistently influenced by landscape attributes that increase individual prey vulnerability to predation. Wet season activity, when available prey were scarce, was concentrated near embankments, which provide ambush opportunities, and dry season activity, when available prey were abundant, near remaining water sources where prey occurrence is predictable. Lion space use patterns were positively associated with areas of high prey biomass, but only in the prey abundant dry season. Finally, at the broad scale of this analysis, lion and hyena space use was positively correlated in the comparatively prey-rich dry season and unrelated in the wet season, suggesting lion movement was unconstrained by the spatial patterns

  20. Habitat associations of vertebrate prey within the controlled area study zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marr, N.V.; Brandt, C.A.; Fitzner, R.E.; Poole, L.D.

    1988-03-01

    Twelve study locations were established in nine habitat types in the vicinity of the proposed reference repository location. Eight species of small mammals were captured. Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) comprised the majority of individuals captured, followed by deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), Northern pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides), Western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotus), Grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), Montane vole, (Microtus montanus), House mouse (Mus musculus), and the Bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea). Pocket mice were captured in all habitats sampled; deer mice were obtained in all habitats save hopsage and nearly pure cheatgrass stands. The highese capture rates were found in bitterbrush and riparian habitats. Capture sex ratios for both pocket mice and deer mice were significantly different from equality. Body weights for deer mice and pocket mice exhibited a great deal of heterogeneity across trap sites, although only the heterogeneity for pocket mice was significant. In general, body weights for both species were greater in the sagebrush habitats than elsewhere. These differences are interpreted in light of habitat evaluation methodologies. Six species of reptiles and one species of amphibian were captured. Side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) were by far the most frequently captured species. The predominant snakes captured were the yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor) and the Great Basin gopher snake (Pituophis melanoleucus). Two Great Basin spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus intermontanus) captured at the Rattlesnake Springs trap site. Species diversity was quite low (Shannon-Wiener H )equals) 1.03). Side-blotched lizards were found in all habitats save near the talus on Gable Mountain and on the gravel pad site. The only other lizard species (northern sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus) and short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii)) were obtained in bitterbrush habitat. 20 refs., 1 fig., 9 tabs.

  1. Habitat quality of the coastal southeastern Bering Sea for juvenile flatfishes from the relationships between diet, body condition and prey availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Cynthia; Yang, Mei-Sun

    2017-01-01

    The distribution and body condition of juvenile northern rock sole (NRS), Lepidopsetta polyxystra, and yellowfin sole (YFS), Limanda aspera, were studied in relation to prey availability across the coastal shelf at the Alaska Peninsula boundary of the eastern Bering Sea (EBS) to assess spatial variability in habitat quality. Juveniles of ≤ 20 cm and adults of ≥ 30 cm total length were collected from bottom trawl catch samples at stations located 10 to 120 km from the Alaska Peninsula coast, and in bottom depths of 28 to 85 m. Stomach contents and stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen from muscle tissue were analyzed to describe diet composition. The quantity and quality of prey did not significantly affect the distribution of juvenile NRS and YFS. Spatial mismatch between the diet composition and the infauna prey assemblage suggested that prey availability was not limiting across the area, allowing fish to select for prey, presumably to maximize net energy gain. The body condition of juvenile NRS was higher in the eastern section of the area (Bristol Bay) - where they shared spatial and dietary niches with juvenile YFS, than in the west section (Unimak Island) where juvenile YFS were largely absent. A difference in body condition suggests that habitat quality may be higher in Bristol Bay. For NRS, stomach contents and stable isotopes in muscle tissue indicated an ontogenetic diet shift from amphipods to polychaetes from juvenile to adult stages. In contrast, for YFS, amphipods seemed to remain the primary prey and polychaetes the least important prey from juvenile to adult stage. Given that the high prey availability found in this south coastal area of EBS extends to areas across the EBS shelf, favorable habitat for juvenile flatfishes should be extensive. However, much of this potential juvenile habitat is underutilized by NRS, which were mainly limited to Bristol Bay and the Alaska Peninsula, whereas YFS did extend north over 500 km from Bristol Bay along

  2. Marine prey processed with stone tools by Burmese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea) in intertidal habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumert, Michael D; Malaivijitnond, Suchinda

    2012-11-01

    Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) feed opportunistically in many habitats. The Burmese subspecies (M. f. aurea) inhabits coastal areas in southwestern Thailand and Myanmar, and some of their populations have adapted lithic customs for processing encased foods in intertidal habitats. We investigated the diet of such macaques in Laemson National Park, Thailand, and identified the variety of foods they processed with stones. We conducted 36 shore surveys to study tool sites following feeding activity, during which we counted the minimum number of individual (MNI) food items found at each site. We identified 47 food species (43 animals and four plants), from 37 genera. We counted 1,991 food items during surveys. Nearly all were mollusks (n = 1,924), with the small remainder primarily consisting of crustaceans and nuts. The two most common foods, rock oysters (Saccostrea cucullata; n = 1,062) and nerite snails (Nerita spp.; n = 538), composed 80.2% of our sample. Four prey species comprised 83.2% of the sample (MNI = 1,656), S. cucullata (n = 1,062), Nerita chamaeleon (n = 419), Thais bitubercularis (n = 95), and Monodonta labio (n = 80). Macaques selected a wide variety of foods. However, they heavily concentrated on those that were abundant, easy to access, and sufficiently sized. The Burmese long-tailed macaque stone-processed diet, which focuses on intertidal marine prey, differs from Sapajus and Pan, who use stones primarily for encased nuts and fruits. In terms of diversity of foods exploited, coastal stone-based predation by macaques resembles the diet of coastal-foraging humans (Homo sapiens sapiens). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. The effects of local and landscape-scale habitat characteristics and prey availability on corridor use by carnivores: A comparison of two contrasting farmlands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Červinka, J.; Šálek, Martin; Padyšáková, E.; Šmilauer, P.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 21, č. 2 (2013), s. 105-113 ISSN 1617-1381 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Agricultural landscape * Carnivores * Corridors * Czech Republic * Habitat characteristics * Prey availability Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.833, year: 2013

  4. The impact of vegetation characteristics and prey availability on breeding habitat use and diet of Little Owls Athene noctua in Central European farmland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, Martin; Riegert, J.; Křivan, V.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 2010, č. 57 (2010), s. 495-503 ISSN 0006-3657 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Central Europe * diet composition * habitat choice * insect prey Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.011, year: 2010

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Predators, Prey and Habitat Structure: Can Key Conservation Areas and Early Signs of Population Collapse Be Detected in Neotropical Forests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Thoisy, Benoit; Fayad, Ibrahim; Clément, Luc; Barrioz, Sébastien; Poirier, Eddy; Gond, Valéry

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests with a low human population and absence of large-scale deforestation provide unique opportunities to study successful conservation strategies, which should be based on adequate monitoring tools. This study explored the conservation status of a large predator, the jaguar, considered an indicator of the maintenance of how well ecological processes are maintained. We implemented an original integrative approach, exploring successive ecosystem status proxies, from habitats and responses to threats of predators and their prey, to canopy structure and forest biomass. Niche modeling allowed identification of more suitable habitats, significantly related to canopy height and forest biomass. Capture/recapture methods showed that jaguar density was higher in habitats identified as more suitable by the niche model. Surveys of ungulates, large rodents and birds also showed higher density where jaguars were more abundant. Although jaguar density does not allow early detection of overall vertebrate community collapse, a decrease in the abundance of large terrestrial birds was noted as good first evidence of disturbance. The most promising tool comes from easily acquired LiDAR data and radar images: a decrease in canopy roughness was closely associated with the disturbance of forests and associated decreasing vertebrate biomass. This mixed approach, focusing on an apex predator, ecological modeling and remote-sensing information, not only helps detect early population declines in large mammals, but is also useful to discuss the relevance of large predators as indicators and the efficiency of conservation measures. It can also be easily extrapolated and adapted in a timely manner, since important open-source data are increasingly available and relevant for large-scale and real-time monitoring of biodiversity. PMID:27828993

  7. Predators, Prey and Habitat Structure: Can Key Conservation Areas and Early Signs of Population Collapse Be Detected in Neotropical Forests?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benoit de Thoisy

    Full Text Available Tropical forests with a low human population and absence of large-scale deforestation provide unique opportunities to study successful conservation strategies, which should be based on adequate monitoring tools. This study explored the conservation status of a large predator, the jaguar, considered an indicator of the maintenance of how well ecological processes are maintained. We implemented an original integrative approach, exploring successive ecosystem status proxies, from habitats and responses to threats of predators and their prey, to canopy structure and forest biomass. Niche modeling allowed identification of more suitable habitats, significantly related to canopy height and forest biomass. Capture/recapture methods showed that jaguar density was higher in habitats identified as more suitable by the niche model. Surveys of ungulates, large rodents and birds also showed higher density where jaguars were more abundant. Although jaguar density does not allow early detection of overall vertebrate community collapse, a decrease in the abundance of large terrestrial birds was noted as good first evidence of disturbance. The most promising tool comes from easily acquired LiDAR data and radar images: a decrease in canopy roughness was closely associated with the disturbance of forests and associated decreasing vertebrate biomass. This mixed approach, focusing on an apex predator, ecological modeling and remote-sensing information, not only helps detect early population declines in large mammals, but is also useful to discuss the relevance of large predators as indicators and the efficiency of conservation measures. It can also be easily extrapolated and adapted in a timely manner, since important open-source data are increasingly available and relevant for large-scale and real-time monitoring of biodiversity.

  8. Plant carnivory beyond bogs: reliance on prey feeding in Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Drosophyllaceae) in dry Mediterranean heathland habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Cabeza, E.; Ojeda, F.

    2017-01-01

    Background and Aims In a cost–benefit framework, plant carnivory is hypothesized to be an adaptation to nutrient-poor soils in sunny, wetland habitats. However, apparent exceptions to this cost–benefit model exist, although they have been rarely studied. One of these exceptions is the carnivorous subshrub Drosophyllum lusitanicum, which thrives in Mediterranean heathlands on dry sandstone soils and has relatively well-developed, xeromorphic roots. Here, the roles of leaf (carnivory) and root (soil) nutrient uptake in growth promotion of this particular species were assessed. Methods In a greenhouse experiment, plants were fed with laboratory-reared fruit flies (Drosophila virilis) and received two concentrations of soil nutrients in a factorial design. Above-ground plant growth and final above- and below-ground dry biomass after 13 weeks were recorded. Nutrient uptake via roots was also evaluated, using stable nitrogen isotope analysis. Key Results Insect feeding resulted in significantly higher growth and above- and below-ground biomass compared with soil fertilization. No additional benefits of fertilization were discernable when plants were insect-fed, indicating that roots were not efficient in nutrient absorption. Conclusions The first evidence of strong reliance on insect prey feeding in a dry-soil carnivorous plant with well-developed roots is provided, suggesting that carnivory per se does not preclude persistence in dry habitats. Instead, the combination of carnivory and xeromorphic root features allows Drosophyllum to thrive on non-waterlogged soils. New evidence is added to recent research emphasizing the role of root systems of carnivorous plants in explaining their distribution, partly challenging the cost–benefit hypothesis. PMID:28065921

  9. Habitat associations of small mammals in southern Brazil and use of regurgitated pellets of birds of prey for inventorying a local fauna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheibler, D R; Christoff, A U

    2007-11-01

    We inventoried terrestrial small mammals in an agricultural area in southern Brazil by using trapping and prey consumed by Barn Owls (Tyto alba) and White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus). Small mammals were trapped in three habitat types: corn fields, uncultivated fields ("capoeiras"), and native forest fragments. A total of 1,975 small mammal specimens were trapped, another 2,062 identified from the diet of Barn Owls, and 2,066 from the diet of White-tailed Kites. Both trapping and prey in the predators' diet yielded 18 small mammal species: three marsupials (Didelphis albiventris, Gracilinanus agilis, and Monodelphis dimidiata) and 15 rodents (Akodon paranaensis, Bruceppatersonius iheringi, Calomys sp., Cavia aperea, Euryzygomatomys spinosus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Mus musculus, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys squamipes, Oligoryzomys nigripes, Oryzomys angouya, Oxymycterus sp.1, Oxymycterus sp.2, Rattus norvegicus, and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758)). The greatest richness was found in the uncultivated habitat. We concluded that the three methods studied for inventorying small mammals (prey in the diet of Barn Owls, White-tailed Kites, and trapping) were complementary, since together, rather than separately, they produced a better picture of local richness.

  10. Habitat associations of small mammals in southern Brazil and use of regurgitated pellets of birds of prey for inventorying a local fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DR. Scheibler

    Full Text Available We inventoried terrestrial small mammals in an agricultural area in southern Brazil by using trapping and prey consumed by Barn Owls (Tyto alba and White-tailed Kites (Elanus leucurus. Small mammals were trapped in three habitat types: corn fields, uncultivated fields ("capoeiras", and native forest fragments. A total of 1,975 small mammal specimens were trapped, another 2,062 identified from the diet of Barn Owls, and 2,066 from the diet of White-tailed Kites. Both trapping and prey in the predators' diet yielded 18 small mammal species: three marsupials (Didelphis albiventris, Gracilinanus agilis, and Monodelphis dimidiata and 15 rodents (Akodon paranaensis, Bruceppatersonius iheringi, Calomys sp., Cavia aperea, Euryzygomatomys spinosus, Holochilus brasiliensis, Mus musculus, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys squamipes, Oligoryzomys nigripes, Oryzomys angouya, Oxymycterus sp.1, Oxymycterus sp.2, Rattus norvegicus, and Rattus rattus (Linnaeus, 1758. The greatest richness was found in the uncultivated habitat. We concluded that the three methods studied for inventorying small mammals (prey in the diet of Barn Owls, White-tailed Kites, and trapping were complementary, since together, rather than separately, they produced a better picture of local richness.

  11. Prey-capture efficiency between juveniles and adults, feeding habitat and abundance of Wattled Jacana foragers in northern Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LR Forti

    Full Text Available The choice of foraging strategies implies an attempt at gaining energy by predators. Supposedly, the difference in employing the "sit and wait" or "active foraging" behavior lays in hunter skills, experience and the kind of prey consumed. With the hypothesis that "active foraging" demands no learning, in this study we compared the prey capture efficiency among Wattled Jacana juveniles and adults, and also present descriptive information about feeding habitat and the abundance variation of foragers throughout the day in the northern Pantanal. Prey capture efficiency did not differ significantly among juveniles and adults, corroborating our initial hypothesis that "active foraging" is an instinctive behavior and demands no experience to be effective. However, future work is necessary to compare the energetic quality of consumed items by juveniles and adults, searching for differences explained by adults' experience. Foraging individuals were found at an average distance of 14 m ranging from 2 to 42 m from the margin of the sampled swamps, however 64% of the foragers were found closer to the margins. The average depth of foraging sites was 17 cm, ranging from 5 to 40 cm, although no preference for specific classes of depth was found (p > 0,05. Despite the accepted general pattern of birds being more active in the early morning, the largest number of individuals foraging was observed between 11:00 and 12:00 AM, but no significant difference was found in the abundance of foraging individuals among different periods of the day. Factors, which were not analyzed, such as food availability and presence of competitors and predators need to be studied to reveal the main factors of the spatial and temporal distribution of the Wattled Jacana.

  12. The Relationship Among Oceanography, Prey Fields, and Beaked Whale Foraging Habitat in the Tongue of the Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    D, McDonald M, Polovina J, Domokos R, Wiggins S, et al. (2008) Temporal patterns in the acoustic signals of beaked whales at Cross Seamount . Biology ...28,29,30]. A multi-directional bottom-mounted hydrophone was deployed at Cross seamount southwest of the Kona coast and found a high number of beaked whale...habitat- dependent resource utilisation by deep-sea fishes at the Great Meteor seamount : niche overlap and support for the sound scattering layer

  13. Management of Alluvial Forests Included in Natura 2000 91E0* Habitat Type in Maramureş Mountains Nature Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danci Oana

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Natura 2000 habitat type 91E0* Alluvial forests of Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae include three subtypes of forests. In the Maramureș Mountains Nature Park (MMNP the alluvial forests are represented by Alnus incana forest situated on the banks of mountain rivers. Starting from 2007, 70% of the MMNP is also a Natura 2000 site of community interest. In the standard form for the site are listed 18 Natura 2000 habitat types, but that of alluvial forests 91E0* is not listed either due to an error or lack of available research data. Our study seeks to provide information regarding this high conservation value habitat such as: structure, distribution,managementmeasures andmonitoring protocol. The purpose of this paper is to offer a management tool for this conservation value habitat which is also exposed to human impact more than any other priority habitat in MMNP.

  14. Human activity helps prey win the predator-prey space race.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhly, Tyler B; Semeniuk, Christina; Massolo, Alessandro; Hickman, Laura; Musiani, Marco

    2011-03-02

    Predator-prey interactions, including between large mammalian wildlife species, can be represented as a "space race", where prey try to minimize and predators maximize spatial overlap. Human activity can also influence the distribution of wildlife species. In particular, high-human disturbance can displace large carnivore predators, a trait-mediated direct effect. Predator displacement by humans could then indirectly benefit prey species by reducing predation risk, a trait-mediated indirect effect of humans that spatially decouples predators from prey. The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that high-human activity was displacing predators and thus indirectly creating spatial refuge for prey species, helping prey win the "space race". We measured the occurrence of eleven large mammal species (including humans and cattle) at 43 camera traps deployed on roads and trails in southwest Alberta, Canada. We tested species co-occurrence at camera sites using hierarchical cluster and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) analyses; and tested whether human activity, food and/or habitat influenced predator and prey species counts at camera sites using regression tree analysis. Cluster and NMS analysis indicated that at camera sites humans co-occurred with prey species more than predator species and predator species had relatively low co-occurrence with prey species. Regression tree analysis indicated that prey species were three times more abundant on roads and trails with >32 humans/day. However, predators were less abundant on roads and trails that exceeded 18 humans/day. Our results support the hypothesis that high-human activity displaced predators but not prey species, creating spatial refuge from predation. High-human activity on roads and trails (i.e., >18 humans/day) has the potential to interfere with predator-prey interactions via trait-mediated direct and indirect effects. We urge scientist and managers to carefully consider and quantify the

  15. Influence of primary prey on home-range size and habitat-use patterns of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cynthia J. Zabel; Kevin S. McKelvey; James P. Ward

    1995-01-01

    Correlations between the home-range size of northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) and proportion of their range in old-growth forest have been reported, but there are few data on the relationship between their home-range size and prey. The primary prey of spotted owls are wood rats and northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus). Wood...

  16. Autonomous video camera system for monitoring impacts to benthic habitats from demersal fishing gear, including longlines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilpatrick, Robert; Ewing, Graeme; Lamb, Tim; Welsford, Dirk; Constable, Andrew

    2011-04-01

    Studies of the interactions of demersal fishing gear with the benthic environment are needed in order to manage conservation of benthic habitats. There has been limited direct assessment of these interactions through deployment of cameras on commercial fishing gear especially on demersal longlines. A compact, autonomous deep-sea video system was designed and constructed by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) for deployment on commercial fishing gear to observe interactions with benthos in the Southern Ocean finfish fisheries (targeting toothfish, Dissostichus spp). The Benthic Impacts Camera System (BICS) is capable of withstanding depths to 2500 m, has been successfully fitted to both longline and demersal trawl fishing gear, and is suitable for routine deployment by non-experts such as fisheries observers or crew. The system is entirely autonomous, robust, compact, easy to operate, and has minimal effect on the performance of the fishing gear it is attached to. To date, the system has successfully captured footage that demonstrates the interactions between demersal fishing gear and the benthos during routine commercial operations. It provides the first footage demonstrating the nature of the interaction between demersal longlines and benthic habitats in the Southern Ocean, as well as showing potential as a tool for rapidly assessing habitat types and presence of mobile biota such as krill ( Euphausia superba).

  17. The Allometry of Prey Preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinkat, Gregor; Rall, Björn Christian; Vucic-Pestic, Olivera; Brose, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    The distribution of weak and strong non-linear feeding interactions (i.e., functional responses) across the links of complex food webs is critically important for their stability. While empirical advances have unravelled constraints on single-prey functional responses, their validity in the context of complex food webs where most predators have multiple prey remain uncertain. In this study, we present conceptual evidence for the invalidity of strictly density-dependent consumption as the null model in multi-prey experiments. Instead, we employ two-prey functional responses parameterised with allometric scaling relationships of the functional response parameters that were derived from a previous single-prey functional response study as novel null models. Our experiments included predators of different sizes from two taxonomical groups (wolf spiders and ground beetles) simultaneously preying on one small and one large prey species. We define compliance with the null model predictions (based on two independent single-prey functional responses) as passive preferences or passive switching, and deviations from the null model as active preferences or active switching. Our results indicate active and passive preferences for the larger prey by predators that are at least twice the size of the larger prey. Moreover, our approach revealed that active preferences increased significantly with the predator-prey body-mass ratio. Together with prior allometric scaling relationships of functional response parameters, this preference allometry may allow estimating the distribution of functional response parameters across the myriads of interactions in natural ecosystems. PMID:21998724

  18. The allometry of prey preferences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor Kalinkat

    Full Text Available The distribution of weak and strong non-linear feeding interactions (i.e., functional responses across the links of complex food webs is critically important for their stability. While empirical advances have unravelled constraints on single-prey functional responses, their validity in the context of complex food webs where most predators have multiple prey remain uncertain. In this study, we present conceptual evidence for the invalidity of strictly density-dependent consumption as the null model in multi-prey experiments. Instead, we employ two-prey functional responses parameterised with allometric scaling relationships of the functional response parameters that were derived from a previous single-prey functional response study as novel null models. Our experiments included predators of different sizes from two taxonomical groups (wolf spiders and ground beetles simultaneously preying on one small and one large prey species. We define compliance with the null model predictions (based on two independent single-prey functional responses as passive preferences or passive switching, and deviations from the null model as active preferences or active switching. Our results indicate active and passive preferences for the larger prey by predators that are at least twice the size of the larger prey. Moreover, our approach revealed that active preferences increased significantly with the predator-prey body-mass ratio. Together with prior allometric scaling relationships of functional response parameters, this preference allometry may allow estimating the distribution of functional response parameters across the myriads of interactions in natural ecosystems.

  19. 76 FR 7245 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Critical Habitat for the Arroyo Toad

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-09

    ... colonized by invasive weeds. In addition to rooting and habitat alteration, wild pigs prey on reptiles and... revised rule, we inadvertently included approximately 20 ac (8 ha) of land within Marine Corps Base Camp...

  20. Lake Ontario benthic prey fish assessment, 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidel, Brian C.; Walsh, Maureen; Holden, Jeremy P.; Connerton, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Benthic prey fishes are a critical component of the Lake Ontario food web, serving as energy vectors from benthic invertebrates to native and introduced piscivores. Since the late 1970’s, Lake Ontario benthic prey fish status was primarily assessed using bottom trawl observations confined to the lake’s south shore, in waters from 8 – 150 m (26 – 492 ft). In 2015, the Benthic Prey Fish Survey was cooperatively adjusted and expanded to address resource management information needs including lake-wide benthic prey fish population dynamics. Effort increased from 55 bottom trawl sites to 135 trawl sites collected in depths from 8 - 225m (26 – 738 ft). The spatial coverage of sampling was also expanded and occurred in all major lake basins. The resulting distribution of tow depths more closely matched the available lake depth distribution. The additional effort illustrated how previous surveys were underestimating lake-wide Deepwater Sculpin, Myoxocephalus thompsonii, abundance by not sampling in areas of highest density. We also found species richness was greater in the new sampling sites relative to the historic sites with 11 new fish species caught in the new sites including juvenile Round Whitefish, Prosopium cylindraceum, and Mottled sculpin, Cottus bairdii. Species-specific assessments found Slimy Sculpin, Cottus cognatus abundance increased slightly in 2015 relative to 2014, while Deepwater Sculpin and Round Goby, Neogobius melanostomus, dramatically increased in 2015, relative to 2014. The cooperative, lake-wide Benthic Prey Fish Survey expanded our understanding of benthic fish population dynamics and habitat use in Lake Ontario. This survey’s data and interpretations influence international resource management decision making, such as informing the Deepwater Sculpin conservation status and assessing the balance between sport fish consumption and prey fish populations. Additionally a significant Lake Ontario event occurred in May 2015 when a single

  1. Deep Mapping of Teuthivorous Whales and Their Prey Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    history characteristics, including habitat utilization, through applications of medium-term tags (days to months) for tracking surface locations and...of their species-typical echolocation clicks (Dave Moretti, pers. comm); these researches have deployed over 20 satellite-linked tracking tags on...2004) Beaked whales echolocate on prey. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 271:383-386 Kawakami T (1980) A review of sperm

  2. The relative influence of prey abundance and co-breeders on the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigates if the reproductive performance of polyandrous Pale Chanting-goshawks, Melierax canorus, is governed by the abundance of dominant rodent-prey species or a co-breeding male participating fully in prey being delivered to the female and young. Polyandrous trios in prey-rich habitat, the only habitat ...

  3. The effect of prey refuge in a patchy predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhihui; Wang, Shufan; Li, Weide; Li, Zizhen

    2013-05-01

    In this work, we proposed a patchy predator-prey model with one patch as refuge and the other as open habitat, and incorporated prey refuge in the considered model explicitly. We applied an analytical approach to study the dynamic consequences of the simplest forms of refuge used by prey and the migration efficiency. The results have shown that the refuge used by prey and the migration efficiency play an important role in the dynamic consequences of the interacting populations and the equilibrium density of two interacting populations. This work also proposed a new approach which can incorporate prey refuge in predator-prey system explicitly. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Predator diversity reduces habitat colonization by mosquitoes and midges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staats, Ethan G; Agosta, Salvatore J; Vonesh, James R

    2016-12-01

    Changes in predator diversity via extinction and invasion are increasingly widespread and can have important ecological and socio-economic consequences. Anticipating and managing these consequences requires understanding how predators shape ecological communities. Previous predator biodiversity research has focused on post-colonization processes. However, predators can also shape communities by altering patterns of prey habitat selection during colonization. The sensitivity of this non-consumptive top down mechanism to changes in predator diversity is largely unexamined. To address this gap, we examined patterns of dipteran oviposition habitat selection in experimental aquatic habitats in response to varied predator species richness while holding predator abundance constant. Caged predators were used in order to disentangle behavioural oviposition responses to predator cues from potential post-oviposition consumption of eggs and larvae. We hypothesized that because increases in predator richness often result in greater prey mortality than would be predicted from independent effects of predators, prey should avoid predator-rich habitats during colonization. Consistent with this hypothesis, predator-rich habitats received 48% fewer dipteran eggs than predicted, including 60% fewer mosquito eggs and 38% fewer midge eggs. Our findings highlight the potentially important links between predator biodiversity, prey habitat selection and the ecosystem service of pest regulation. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. Gauging resource exploitation by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in restoring estuarine habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Melanie; Ellings, Christopher S.; Woo, Isa; Hodgson, Sayre; Larsen, Kimberly A.; Nakai, Glynnis

    2018-01-01

    In the context of delta restoration and its impact on salmonid rearing, success is best evaluated based on whether out-migrating juvenile salmon can access and benefit from suitable estuarine habitat. Here, we integrated 3 years of post-restoration monitoring data including habitat availability, invertebrate prey biomass, and juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) physiological condition to determine whether individuals profited from the addition of 364 ha of delta habitat in South Puget Sound, Washington, United States. Productivity in the restored mudflat was comparable to reference sites 3 years after dike removal, surpassing a mean total of 6 million kJ energy from invertebrate prey. This resulted from the development of a complex network of tidal channels and a resurgence in dipteran biomass that was unique to the restoration area. Consequently, a notable shift in invertebrate consumption occurred between 2010 and 2011, whereby individuals switched from eating primarily amphipods to dipteran flies; however, dietary similarity to the surrounding habitat did not change from year to year, suggesting that this shift was a result of a change in the surrounding prey communities. Growth rates did not differ between restored and reference sites, but catch weight was positively correlated with prey biomass, where greater prey productivity appeared to offset potential density-dependent effects. These results demonstrate how the realized function of restoring estuarine habitat is functionally dependent. High prey productivity in areas with greater connectivity may support healthy juvenile salmon that are more likely to reach the critical size class for offshore survival.

  6. Ontogenetic prey size selection in snakes: predator size and functional limitations to handling minimum prey sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton, Paul M

    2018-02-01

    As body size increases, some predators eliminate small prey from their diet exhibiting an ontogenetic shift toward larger prey. In contrast, some predators show a telescoping pattern of prey size in which both large and small prey are consumed with increasing predator size. To explore a functional explanation for the two feeding patterns, I examined feeding effort as both handling time and number of upper jaw movements during ingestion of fish of consistent size. I used a range of body sizes from two snake species that exhibit ontogenetic shifts in prey size (Nerodia fasciata and N. rhombifer) and a species that exhibits telescoping prey size with increased body size (Thamnophis proximus). For the two Nerodia species, individuals with small or large heads exhibited greater difficulty in feeding effort compared to snakes of intermediate size. However, for T. proximus measures of feeding effort were negatively correlated with head length and snout-vent length (SVL). These data indicate that ontogenetic shifters of prey size develop trophic morphology large enough that feeding effort increases for disproportionately small prey. I also compared changes in body size among the two diet strategies for active foraging snake species using data gleaned from the literature to determine if increased change in body size and thereby feeding morphology is observable in snakes regardless of prey type or foraging habitat. Of the 30 species sampled from literature, snakes that exhibit ontogenetic shifts in prey size have a greater magnitude of change in SVL than species that have telescoping prey size patterns. Based upon the results of the two data sets above, I conclude that ontogenetic shifts away from small prey occur in snakes due, in part, to growth of body size and feeding structures beyond what is efficient for handling small prey. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  7. Variations in Carabidae assemblages across the farmland habitats in relation to selected environmental variables including soil properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beáta Baranová

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The variations in ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae assemblages across the three types of farmland habitats, arable land, meadows and woody vegetation were studied in relation to vegetation cover structure, intensity of agrotechnical interventions and selected soil properties. Material was pitfall trapped in 2010 and 2011 on twelve sites of the agricultural landscape in the Prešov town and its near vicinity, Eastern Slovakia. A total of 14,763 ground beetle individuals were entrapped. Material collection resulted into 92 Carabidae species, with the following six species dominating: Poecilus cupreus, Pterostichus melanarius, Pseudoophonus rufipes, Brachinus crepitans, Anchomenus dorsalis and Poecilus versicolor. Studied habitats differed significantly in the number of entrapped individuals, activity abundance as well as representation of the carabids according to their habitat preferences and ability to fly. However, no significant distinction was observed in the diversity, evenness neither dominance. The most significant environmental variables affecting Carabidae assemblages species variability were soil moisture and herb layer 0-20 cm. Another best variables selected by the forward selection were intensity of agrotechnical interventions, humus content and shrub vegetation. The other from selected soil properties seem to have just secondary meaning for the adult carabids. Environmental variables have the strongest effect on the habitat specialists, whereas ground beetles without special requirements to the habitat quality seem to be affected by the studied environmental variables just little.

  8. Biomechanics of predator-prey arms race in lion, zebra, cheetah and impala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Alan M.; Hubel, Tatjana Y.; Wilshin, Simon D.; Lowe, John C.; Lorenc, Maja; Dewhirst, Oliver P.; Bartlam-Brooks, Hattie L. A.; Diack, Rebecca; Bennitt, Emily; Golabek, Krystyna A.; Woledge, Roger C.; McNutt, J. Weldon; Curtin, Nancy A.; West, Timothy G.

    2018-02-01

    The fastest and most manoeuvrable terrestrial animals are found in savannah habitats, where predators chase and capture running prey. Hunt outcome and success rate are critical to survival, so both predator and prey should evolve to be faster and/or more manoeuvrable. Here we compare locomotor characteristics in two pursuit predator-prey pairs, lion-zebra and cheetah-impala, in their natural savannah habitat in Botswana. We show that although cheetahs and impalas were universally more athletic than lions and zebras in terms of speed, acceleration and turning, within each predator-prey pair, the predators had 20% higher muscle fibre power than prey, 37% greater acceleration and 72% greater deceleration capacity than their prey. We simulated hunt dynamics with these data and showed that hunts at lower speeds enable prey to use their maximum manoeuvring capacity and favour prey survival, and that the predator needs to be more athletic than its prey to sustain a viable success rate.

  9. To Kill, Stay or Flee: The Effects of Lions and Landscape Factors on Habitat and Kill Site Selection of Cheetahs in South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Rostro-Garc?a, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced populatio...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Sub-indicator: Prey fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidel, Brian C.; Dunlop, Erin

    2017-01-01

    Prey fish communities across the Great Lakes continue to change, although the direction and magnitude of those changes are not consistent across the lakes. The metrics used to categorize prey fish status in this and previous periods are based on elements that are common among each of the lake’s Fish Community Objectives and include diversity and the relative role of native species in the prey fish communities. The diversity index categorized three of lakes as ‘fair’, while Superior and Erie were ‘good’ (Table 1). The short term trend, from the previous period (2008-2010) to the current period (2011-2014) found diversity in Erie and Superior to be unchanging, but the other three lakes to be ‘deteriorating’, resulting in an overall trend categorization of ‘undetermined’ (Table 1). The long term diversity trend suggested Lakes Superior and Erie have the most diverse prey communities although the index for those prey fish have been quite variable over time (Figure 1). In Lake Huron, where non-native alewife have substantially declined, the diversity index has also declined. The continued dominance of alewife in Lake Ontario (96% of the prey fish biomass) resulted in the lowest diversity index value (Figure 1). The proportion of native species within the community was judged as ‘good’ in Lakes Superior and Huron, ‘fair’ in Michigan and Erie and ‘poor’ in Ontario (Table 2). The short term trend was improving in in all lakes except Michigan (‘deteriorating’) and Ontario (‘unchanging’), resulting in an overall short term trend of ‘undetermined’ (Table 2). Over the current period, Lake Superior consistently had the highest proportion native prey fish (87%) while Lake Ontario had the lowest (1%) (Figure 2). Lake Michigan’s percent native has declined as round goby increase and comprises a greater proportion of the community. Native prey fish make up 51% of Lake Erie, although basin-specific values differed (Figure 2). Most notably

  12. Movements of wintering surf scoters: predator responses to different prey landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Molly; Esler, Daniel; Iverson, Samuel A; Boyd, W Sean

    2008-04-01

    The distribution of predators is widely recognized to be intimately linked to the distribution of their prey. Foraging theory suggests that predators will modify their behaviors, including movements, to optimize net energy intake when faced with variation in prey attributes or abundance. While many studies have documented changes in movement patterns of animals in response to temporal changes in food, very few have contrasted movements of a single predator species naturally occurring in dramatically different prey landscapes. We documented variation in the winter movements, foraging range size, site fidelity, and distribution patterns of a molluscivorous sea duck, the surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), in two areas of coastal British Columbia with very different shellfish prey features. Baynes Sound has extensive tidal flats with abundant clams, which are high-quality and temporally stable prey for scoters. Malaspina Inlet is a rocky fjord-like inlet where scoters consume mussels that are superabundant and easily accessible in some patches but are heavily depleted over the course of winter. We used radio telemetry to track surf scoter movements in both areas and found that in the clam habitats of Baynes Sound, surf scoters exhibited limited movement, small winter ranges, strong foraging site fidelity, and very consistent distribution patterns. By contrast, in mussel habitats in the Malaspina Inlet, surf scoters displayed more movement, larger ranges, little fidelity to specific foraging sites, and more variable distribution patterns. We conclude that features associated with the different prey types, particularly the higher depletion rates of mussels, strongly influenced seasonal space use patterns. These findings are consistent with foraging theory and confirm that predator behavior, specifically movements, is environmentally mediated.

  13. Group-specific multiplex PCR detection systems for the identification of flying insect prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Sint

    Full Text Available The applicability of species-specific primers to study feeding interactions is restricted to those ecosystems where the targeted prey species occur. Therefore, group-specific primer pairs, targeting higher taxonomic levels, are often desired to investigate interactions in a range of habitats that do not share the same species but the same groups of prey. Such primers are also valuable to study the diet of generalist predators when next generation sequencing approaches cannot be applied beneficially. Moreover, due to the large range of prey consumed by generalists, it is impossible to investigate the breadth of their diet with species-specific primers, even if multiplexing them. However, only few group-specific primers are available to date and important groups of prey such as flying insects have rarely been targeted. Our aim was to fill this gap and develop group-specific primers suitable to detect and identify the DNA of common taxa of flying insects. The primers were combined in two multiplex PCR systems, which allow a time- and cost-effective screening of samples for DNA of the dipteran subsection Calyptratae (including Anthomyiidae, Calliphoridae, Muscidae, other common dipteran families (Phoridae, Syrphidae, Bibionidae, Chironomidae, Sciaridae, Tipulidae, three orders of flying insects (Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Plecoptera and coniferous aphids within the genus Cinara. The two PCR assays were highly specific and sensitive and their suitability to detect prey was confirmed by testing field-collected dietary samples from arthropods and vertebrates. The PCR assays presented here allow targeting prey at higher taxonomic levels such as family or order and therefore improve our ability to assess (trophic interactions with flying insects in terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

  14. Seabirds maintain offspring provisioning rate despite fluctuations in prey abundance: A multi-species functional response for guillemots in the North Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smout, Sophie; Rindorf, Anna; Wanless, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    1. Seabirds that consume more than one prey type may adjust their foraging to maintain provisioning rates for their chicks. How energetically effective are these strategies, and what are the implications for the management of seabirds and their marine habitat? 2. A multi-species functional response...... at a major North Sea colony from 1992 to 2005. 4. The fitted model reproduced changes in diet and consumption rate which were consistent with changes in local prey abundance including a long-term decline in sandeels.5. The model predicted that energy intake by chicks would be more sensitive to changes...... consumption rates so that these can be used as a metric of prey availability. Further, quantifying trophic links between marine prey and apex predators is needed to support the development of multi-species models in which the predators can be included. Such models are needed as tools to effectively manage...

  15. To Kill, Stay or Flee: The Effects of Lions and Landscape Factors on Habitat and Kill Site Selection of Cheetahs in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species’ habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa. PMID:25693067

  16. To kill, stay or flee: the effects of lions and landscape factors on habitat and kill site selection of cheetahs in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.

  17. To kill, stay or flee: the effects of lions and landscape factors on habitat and kill site selection of cheetahs in South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana Rostro-García

    Full Text Available Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.

  18. Suitability of Coastal Marshes as Whooping Crane Foraging Habitat in Southwest Louisiana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Sammy L.; Kang, Sung-Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Foraging habitat conditions (i.e., water depth, prey biomass, digestible energy density) can be a significant predictor of foraging habitat selection by wading birds. Potential foraging habitats of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) using marshes include ponds and emergent marsh, but the potential prey and energy availability in these habitat types have rarely been studied. In this study, we estimated daily digestible energy density for Whooping Cranes in different marsh and microhabitat types (i.e., pond, flooded emergent marsh). Also, indicator metrics of foraging habitat suitability for Whooping Cranes were developed based on seasonal water depth, prey biomass, and digestible energy density. Seasonal water depth (cm), prey biomass (g wet weight m-2), and digestible energy density (kcal g-1m-2) ranged from 0.0 to 50.2 ± 2.8, 0.0 to 44.8 ± 22.3, and 0.0 to 31.0 ± 15.3, respectively. With the exception of freshwater emergent marsh in summer, all available habitats were capable of supporting one Whooping Crane per 0.1 ha per day. All habitat types in the marshes had relatively higher suitability in spring and summer than in fall and winter. Our study indicates that based on general energy availability, freshwater marshes in the region can support Whooping Cranes in a relatively small area, particularly in spring and summer. In actuality, the spatial density of ponds, the flood depth of the emergent marsh, and the habitat conditions (e.g., vegetation density) between adjacent suitable habitats will constrain suitable habitat and Whooping Crane numbers.

  19. Behavior of prey links midwater and demersal piscivorous reef fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Auster

    Full Text Available Pelagic and demersal guilds of piscivorous fishes are linked by a variety of biological and physical processes that mediate interactions with common prey species. Understanding the behaviors of predators and prey can provide insight into the conditions that make such linkages possible. Here we report on the behaviors of mid-water piscivorous fishes and the responses of prey that produce feeding opportunities for demersal piscivorous fishes associated with "live bottom" ledge habitats off the coast of Georgia (northwest Atlantic Ocean. Prey taxa reduced nearest neighbor distances and retreated towards the seafloor during predatory attacks by mid-water fishes. Demersal fishes subsequently attacked and consumed prey in these ephemeral high density patches. No predation by demersal fishes was observed when prey species were at background densities. If the predator-prey interactions of demersal piscivorous fishes are commonly mediated by the predatory behavior of midwater piscivorous fishes and their prey, such indirect facilitative behaviors may be important in terms of the population processes (e.g., prey consumption and growth rates of these demersal fishes.

  20. A specialized araneophagic predator's short-term nutrient utilization depends on the macronutrient content of prey rather than on prey taxonomic affiliation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft, Søren; Li, Daiqin; Mayntz, David

    2010-01-01

    contain more or less the same nutrients but the relative amounts of these substances are such that Portia perform better on a spider diet. These questions are addressed by testing the hypothesis that prey specialization includes metabolic adaptations that allow Portia an enhanced nutrient extraction......A specialist predator that has a specialized diet, prey-specific prey-capture behaviour and a preference for a particular type of prey may or may not be specialized metabolically. Previous studies have shown that jumping spiders of the genus Portia prey on other spiders using prey-specific prey...

  1. Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding Season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vafidis, James O; Vaughan, Ian P; Jones, T Hefin; Facey, Richard J; Parry, Rob; Thomas, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds face significant challenges across their annual cycle, including occupying an appropriate non-breeding home range with sufficient foraging resources. This can affect demographic processes such as over-winter survival, migration mortality and subsequent breeding success. In the Sahel region of Africa, where millions of migratory songbirds attempt to survive the winter, some species of insectivorous warblers occupy both wetland and dry-scrubland habitats, whereas other species are wetland or dry-scrubland specialists. In this study we examine evidence for strategic regulation of body reserves and competition-driven habitat selection, by comparing invertebrate prey activity-density, warbler body size and extent of fat and pectoral muscle deposits, in each habitat type during the non-breeding season. Invertebrate activity-density was substantially higher in wetland habitats than in dry-scrubland. Eurasian reed warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus occupying wetland habitats maintained lower body reserves than conspecifics occupying dry-scrub habitats, consistent with buffering of reserves against starvation in food-poor habitat. A similar, but smaller, difference in body reserves between wet and dry habitat was found among subalpine warblers Sylvia cantillans but not in chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita inhabiting dry-scrub and scrub fringing wetlands. Body reserves were relatively low among habitat specialist species; resident African reed warbler A. baeticatus and migratory sedge warbler A. schoenobaenus exclusively occupying wetland habitats, and Western olivaceous warblers Iduna opaca exclusively occupying dry habitats. These results suggest that specialists in preferred habitats and generalists occupying prey-rich habitats can reduce body reserves, whereas generalists occupying prey-poor habitats carry an increased level of body reserves as a strategic buffer against starvation.

  2. Numerical Response of Migratory Shorebirds to Prey Distribution in a Large Temperate Arid Wetland, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Li

    2016-01-01

    Wuliangsuhai Lake provides important breeding and stopover habitats for shorebirds. The health of this wetland ecosystem is rapidly deteriorating due to eutrophication and water pollution and environmental management is urgently needed. To explore the connections among ecosystem health, prey density, and shorebird populations, we conducted surveys of both the benthic macroinvertebrates and shorebirds in the shorebird habitat of the wetland during the 2011 autumn migration season. The abundance of both shorebirds and benthic macroinvertebrates varied significantly in both space and time. Our data showed a clear association between shorebird populations and the density of benthic macroinvertebrates, which explained 53.63% of the variation in shorebird abundance. The prey density was strongly affected by environmental factors, including water and sediment quality. Chironomidae were mainly found at sites with higher total phosphorus, but with lower sediment concentrations of Cu. Lymnaeidae were mainly found at sites with a higher pH, lower salinity, and lower concentrations of total phosphorus and Cu. Habitats with very high concentrations of total phosphorus, heavy metals, or salinity were not suitable for benthic macroinvertebrates. Our findings suggest that the reductions of nutrient and heavy metal loadings are crucial in maintaining the ecological function of Wuliangsuhai as a stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds. PMID:28070447

  3. Numerical Response of Migratory Shorebirds to Prey Distribution in a Large Temperate Arid Wetland, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yamian Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Wuliangsuhai Lake provides important breeding and stopover habitats for shorebirds. The health of this wetland ecosystem is rapidly deteriorating due to eutrophication and water pollution and environmental management is urgently needed. To explore the connections among ecosystem health, prey density, and shorebird populations, we conducted surveys of both the benthic macroinvertebrates and shorebirds in the shorebird habitat of the wetland during the 2011 autumn migration season. The abundance of both shorebirds and benthic macroinvertebrates varied significantly in both space and time. Our data showed a clear association between shorebird populations and the density of benthic macroinvertebrates, which explained 53.63% of the variation in shorebird abundance. The prey density was strongly affected by environmental factors, including water and sediment quality. Chironomidae were mainly found at sites with higher total phosphorus, but with lower sediment concentrations of Cu. Lymnaeidae were mainly found at sites with a higher pH, lower salinity, and lower concentrations of total phosphorus and Cu. Habitats with very high concentrations of total phosphorus, heavy metals, or salinity were not suitable for benthic macroinvertebrates. Our findings suggest that the reductions of nutrient and heavy metal loadings are crucial in maintaining the ecological function of Wuliangsuhai as a stopover habitat for migratory shorebirds.

  4. Habitat-specific foraging of prothonotary warblers: Deducing habitat quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Foraging behavior often reflects food availability in predictable ways. For example, in habitats where food availability is high, predators should attack prey more often and move more slowly than in habitats where food availability is low. To assess relative food availability and habitat quality, I studied the foraging behavior of breeding Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in two forest habitat types, cypress-gum swamp forest and coastal-plain levee forest. I quantified foraging behavior with focal animal sampling and continuous recording during foraging bouts. I measured two aspects of foraging behavior: 1) prey attack rate (attacks per minute), using four attack maneuvers (glean, sally, hover, strike), and 2) foraging speed (movements per minute), using three types of movement (hop, short flight [???1 m], long flight [>1 m]). Warblers attacked prey more often in cypress-gum swamp forest than in coastal-plain levee forest. Foraging speed, however, was not different between habitats. I also measured foraging effort (% time spent foraging) and relative frequency of attack maneuvers employed in each habitat; neither of these variables was influenced by forest type. I conclude that Prothonotary Warblers encounter more prey when foraging in cypress-gum swamps than in coastal-plain levee forest, and that greater food availability results in higher density and greater reproductive success for birds breeding in cypress-gum swamp.

  5. Shallow-Water Piscivore-Prey Dynamics in California's Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L. Nobriga

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Predation is one mechanism that could lead to low native fish abundance in macrophyte dominated shallow-water habitats in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. We used beach seine and gill net sampling to identify and compare the distribution and feeding ecology of three piscivores (striped bass, Morone saxatilis, largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, and Sacramento pikeminnow, Ptychocheilus grandis at five nearshore sites in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Sampling was conducted March-October 2001 and 2003. We addressed the following questions. What are the spatial and temporal distributions of age-1 and older striped bass, largemouth bass, and Sacramento pikeminnow? What prey are eaten by these predators? What is the relative importance of predator size versus seasonal prey availability on incidence of piscivory for these predators? What is the likely per capita impact of each piscivore on prey fishes, particularly native fishes? All 76 of our individual station visits yielded at least one of the three species, suggesting that piscivorous fishes frequently occur in Delta shallow-water habitats. All three piscivores had diverse diets.There were noticeable seasonal shifts in prey fish for each of the three piscivores. In general, most native fish were consumed during spring (March-May and the highest prey species richness occurred during summer (June-August. Largemouth bass likely have the highest per capita impact on nearshore fishes, including native fishes. Largemouth bass preyed on a greater diversity of native fishes than the other two piscivores and consumed native fishes farther into the season (July versus May. Based on binomial generalized additive models, incidence of piscivory was predominantly a function of size for largemouth bass and Sacramento pikeminnow. Largemouth bass became predominantly piscivorous at smaller sizes than Sacramento pikeminnow; about 115 mm versus about 190 mm respectively. In contrast, incidence of piscivory

  6. Following a foraging fish-finder: diel habitat use of Blainville's beaked whales revealed by echolocation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Arranz

    Full Text Available Simultaneous high resolution sampling of predator behavior and habitat characteristics is often difficult to achieve despite its importance in understanding the foraging decisions and habitat use of predators. Here we tap into the biosonar system of Blainville's beaked whales, Mesoplodon densirostris, using sound and orientation recording tags to uncover prey-finding cues available to echolocating predators in the deep-sea. Echolocation sounds indicate where whales search and encounter prey, as well as the altitude of whales above the sea-floor and the density of organisms around them, providing a link between foraging activity and the bio-physical environment. Tagged whales (n = 9 hunted exclusively at depth, investing most of their search time either in the lower part of the deep scattering layer (DSL or near the sea-floor with little diel change. At least 43% (420/974 of recorded prey-capture attempts were performed within the benthic boundary layer despite a wide range of dive depths, and many dives included both meso- and bentho-pelagic foraging. Blainville's beaked whales only initiate searching when already deep in the descent and encounter prey suitable for capture within 2 min of the start of echolocation, suggesting that these whales are accessing prey in reliable vertical strata. Moreover, these prey resources are sufficiently dense to feed the animals in what is effectively four hours of hunting per day enabling a strategy in which long dives to exploit numerous deep-prey with low nutritional value require protracted recovery periods (average 1.5 h between dives. This apparent searching efficiency maybe aided by inhabiting steep undersea slopes with access to both the DSL and the sea-floor over small spatial scales. Aggregations of prey in these biotopes are located using biosonar-derived landmarks and represent stable and abundant resources for Blainville's beaked whales in the otherwise food-limited deep-ocean.

  7. Linking Deep-Waer Prey Fields with Odontocete Population Structure and Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Linking deep -water prey fields with odontocete population...column to examine the coherence between surface and deep -water prey characteristics • Examine the relationship between historical beaked whale...ground- truthed with net tows. Beaked whale habitat use was quantified using a combination of synoptic visual observations from the ship and

  8. Prey detection and prey capture in copepod nauplii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bruno, Eleonora; Borg, Marc Andersen; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    numbers due to the thick viscous boundary layer surrounding the attacking nauplius. We use high-speed video to describe the detection and capture of phytoplankton prey by the nauplii of two ambush feeding species (Acartia tonsa and Oithona davisae) and by the nauplii of one feeding-current feeding species......Copepod nauplii are either ambush feeders that feed on motile prey or they produce a feeding current that entrains prey cells. It is unclear how ambush and feeding-current feeding nauplii perceive and capture prey. Attack jumps in ambush feeding nauplii should not be feasible at low Reynolds...... (Temora longicornis). We demonstrate that the ambush feeders both detect motile prey remotely. Prey detection elicits an attack jump, but the jump is not directly towards the prey, such as has been described for adult copepods. Rather, the nauplius jumps past the prey and sets up an intermittent feeding...

  9. L-shaped prey isocline in the Gause predator-prey experiments with a prey refuge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Priyadarshi, Anupam

    2015-04-07

    Predator and prey isoclines are estimated from data on yeast-protist population dynamics (Gause et al., 1936). Regression analysis shows that the prey isocline is best fitted by an L-shaped function that has a vertical and a horizontal part. The predator isocline is vertical. This shape of isoclines corresponds with the Lotka-Volterra and the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey models that assume a prey refuge. These results further support the idea that a prey refuge changes the prey isocline of predator-prey models from a horizontal to an L-shaped curve. Such a shape of the prey isocline effectively bounds amplitude of predator-prey oscillations, thus promotes species coexistence. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Prey detection and prey capture in copepod nauplii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleonora Bruno

    Full Text Available Copepod nauplii are either ambush feeders that feed on motile prey or they produce a feeding current that entrains prey cells. It is unclear how ambush and feeding-current feeding nauplii perceive and capture prey. Attack jumps in ambush feeding nauplii should not be feasible at low Reynolds numbers due to the thick viscous boundary layer surrounding the attacking nauplius. We use high-speed video to describe the detection and capture of phytoplankton prey by the nauplii of two ambush feeding species (Acartia tonsa and Oithona davisae and by the nauplii of one feeding-current feeding species (Temora longicornis. We demonstrate that the ambush feeders both detect motile prey remotely. Prey detection elicits an attack jump, but the jump is not directly towards the prey, such as has been described for adult copepods. Rather, the nauplius jumps past the prey and sets up an intermittent feeding current that pulls in the prey from behind towards the mouth. The feeding-current feeding nauplius detects prey arriving in the feeding current but only when the prey is intercepted by the setae on the feeding appendages. This elicits an altered motion pattern of the feeding appendages that draws in the prey.

  11. Habitat Management to Suppress Pest Populations: Progress and Prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurr, Geoff M; Wratten, Steve D; Landis, Douglas A; You, Minsheng

    2017-01-31

    Habitat management involving manipulation of farmland vegetation can exert direct suppressive effects on pests and promote natural enemies. Advances in theory and practical techniques have allowed habitat management to become an important subdiscipline of pest management. Improved understanding of biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships means that researchers now have a firmer theoretical foundation on which to design habitat management strategies for pest suppression in agricultural systems, including landscape-scale effects. Supporting natural enemies with shelter, nectar, alternative prey/hosts, and pollen (SNAP) has emerged as a major research topic and applied tactic with field tests and adoption often preceded by rigorous laboratory experimentation. As a result, the promise of habitat management is increasingly being realized in the form of practical worldwide implementation. Uptake is facilitated by farmer participation in research and is made more likely by the simultaneous delivery of ecosystem services other than pest suppression.

  12. Seasonal foraging ecology of non-migratory cougars in a system with migrating prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Mark Elbroch

    Full Text Available We tested for seasonal differences in cougar (Puma concolor foraging behaviors in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem, a multi-prey system in which ungulate prey migrate, and cougars do not. We recorded 411 winter prey and 239 summer prey killed by 28 female and 10 male cougars, and an additional 37 prey items by unmarked cougars. Deer composed 42.4% of summer cougar diets but only 7.2% of winter diets. Males and females, however, selected different proportions of different prey; male cougars selected more elk (Cervus elaphus and moose (Alces alces than females, while females killed greater proportions of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis, pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus and small prey than males. Kill rates did not vary by season or between males and females. In winter, cougars were more likely to kill prey on the landscape as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, 3 distance to large bodies of water decreased, and 4 steepness increased, whereas in summer, cougars were more likely to kill in areas as: 1 elevation decreased, 2 distance to edge habitat decreased, and 3 distance from large bodies of water increased. Our work highlighted that seasonal prey selection exhibited by stationary carnivores in systems with migratory prey is not only driven by changing prey vulnerability, but also by changing prey abundances. Elk and deer migrations may also be sustaining stationary cougar populations and creating apparent competition scenarios that result in higher predation rates on migratory bighorn sheep in winter and pronghorn in summer. Nevertheless, cougar predation on rare ungulates also appeared to be influenced by individual prey selection.

  13. Prey Selection of Scandinavian Wolves: Single Large or Several Small?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sand, Håkan; Eklund, Ann; Zimmermann, Barbara; Wikenros, Camilla; Wabakken, Petter

    2016-01-01

    Research on large predator-prey interactions are often limited to the predators' primary prey, with the potential for prey switching in systems with multiple ungulate species rarely investigated. We evaluated wolf (Canis lupus) prey selection at two different spatial scales, i.e., inter- and intra-territorial, using data from 409 ungulate wolf-kills in an expanding wolf population in Scandinavia. This expansion includes a change from a one-prey into a two-prey system with variable densities of one large-sized ungulate; moose (Alces alces) and one small-sized ungulate; roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Among wolf territories, the proportion of roe deer in wolf kills was related to both pack size and roe deer density, but not to moose density. Pairs of wolves killed a higher proportion of roe deer than did packs, and wolves switched to kill more roe deer as their density increased above a 1:1 ratio in relation to the availability of the two species. At the intra-territorial level, wolves again responded to changes in roe deer density in their prey selection whereas we found no effect of snow depth, time during winter, or other predator-related factors on the wolves' choice to kill moose or roe deer. Moose population density was only weakly related to intra-territorial prey selection. Our results show that the functional response of wolves on moose, the species hitherto considered as the main prey, was strongly dependent on the density of a smaller, alternative, ungulate prey. The impact of wolf predation on the prey species community is therefore likely to change with the composition of the multi-prey species community along with the geographical expansion of the wolf population.

  14. Prey Selection of Scandinavian Wolves: Single Large or Several Small?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eklund, Ann; Zimmermann, Barbara; Wikenros, Camilla; Wabakken, Petter

    2016-01-01

    Research on large predator-prey interactions are often limited to the predators’ primary prey, with the potential for prey switching in systems with multiple ungulate species rarely investigated. We evaluated wolf (Canis lupus) prey selection at two different spatial scales, i.e., inter- and intra-territorial, using data from 409 ungulate wolf-kills in an expanding wolf population in Scandinavia. This expansion includes a change from a one-prey into a two-prey system with variable densities of one large-sized ungulate; moose (Alces alces) and one small-sized ungulate; roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Among wolf territories, the proportion of roe deer in wolf kills was related to both pack size and roe deer density, but not to moose density. Pairs of wolves killed a higher proportion of roe deer than did packs, and wolves switched to kill more roe deer as their density increased above a 1:1 ratio in relation to the availability of the two species. At the intra-territorial level, wolves again responded to changes in roe deer density in their prey selection whereas we found no effect of snow depth, time during winter, or other predator-related factors on the wolves’ choice to kill moose or roe deer. Moose population density was only weakly related to intra-territorial prey selection. Our results show that the functional response of wolves on moose, the species hitherto considered as the main prey, was strongly dependent on the density of a smaller, alternative, ungulate prey. The impact of wolf predation on the prey species community is therefore likely to change with the composition of the multi-prey species community along with the geographical expansion of the wolf population. PMID:28030549

  15. Influence of vegetation on the nocturnal foraging behaviors and vertebrate prey capture by endangered Burrowing Owls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Marsh

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Restrictions in technology have limited past habitat selection studies for many species to the home-range level, as a finer-scale understanding was often not possible. Consequently, these studies may not identify the true mechanism driving habitat selection patterns, which may influence how such results are applied in conservation. We used GPS dataloggers with digital video recorders to identify foraging modes and locations in which endangered Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia captured prey. We measured the coarse and fine-scale characteristics of vegetation at locations in which owls searched for, versus where they caught, vertebrate prey. Most prey items were caught using hover-hunting. Burrowing Owls searched for, and caught, vertebrate prey in all cover types, but were more likely to kill prey in areas with sparse and less dense vegetative cover. Management strategies designed to increase Burrowing Owl foraging success in the Canadian prairies should try to ensure a mosaic of vegetation heights across cover types.

  16. Predicting the distributions of predator (snow leopard) and prey (blue sheep) under climate change in the Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aryal, Achyut; Shrestha, Uttam Babu; Ji, Weihong; Ale, Som B; Shrestha, Sujata; Ingty, Tenzing; Maraseni, Tek; Cockfield, Geoff; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya. Annual mean temperature is the major climatic factor responsible for the snow leopard and blue sheep distributions in the energy-deficient environments of high altitudes. Currently, about 15.32% and 15.93% area of the Nepal Himalaya are suitable for snow leopard and blue sheep habitats, respectively. The bioclimatic models show that the current suitable habitats of both snow leopard and blue sheep will be reduced under future climate change. The predicted suitable habitat of the snow leopard is decreased when blue sheep habitats is incorporated in the model. Our climate-only model shows that only 11.64% (17,190 km(2)) area of Nepal is suitable for the snow leopard under current climate and the suitable habitat reduces to 5,435 km(2) (reduced by 24.02%) after incorporating the predicted distribution of blue sheep. The predicted distribution of snow leopard reduces by 14.57% in 2030 and by 21.57% in 2050 when the predicted distribution of blue sheep is included as compared to 1.98% reduction in 2030 and 3.80% reduction in 2050 based on the climate-only model. It is predicted that future climate may alter the predator-prey spatial interaction inducing a lower degree of overlap and a higher degree of mismatch between snow leopard and blue sheep niches. This suggests increased energetic costs of finding preferred prey for snow leopards - a species already facing energetic constraints due to the

  17. Louisiana ESI: HABITATS (Habitat and Plant Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for coastal habitats in Louisiana. Vector polygons represent various habitats, including marsh types, other...

  18. Echolocating bats cry out loud to detect their prey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Surlykke, Annemarie; Kalko, Elisabeth K V

    2008-01-01

    Echolocating bats have successfully exploited a broad range of habitats and prey. Much research has demonstrated how time-frequency structure of echolocation calls of different species is adapted to acoustic constraints of habitats and foraging behaviors. However, the intensity of bat calls has...... been largely neglected although intensity is a key factor determining echolocation range and interactions with other bats and prey. Differences in detection range, in turn, are thought to constitute a mechanism promoting resource partitioning among bats, which might be particularly important...... for the species-rich bat assemblages in the tropics. Here we present data on emitted intensities for 11 species from 5 families of insectivorous bats from Panamá hunting in open or background cluttered space or over water. We recorded all bats in their natural habitat in the field using a multi-microphone array...

  19. Availability and abundance of prey for the red-cockaded woodpecker.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanula, James, L.; Horn, Scott

    2004-12-31

    Red-cockaded woodpecker; Road to Recovery. Proceedings of the 4th Red-cockaded woodpecker Symposium. Ralph Costa and Susan J. Daniels, eds. Savannah, Georgia. January, 2003. Chapter 11. Prey, Fire, and Community Ecology. Pp 633-645. Abstract: Over a 10-year period we investigated red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) prey use, sources of prey, prey distribution within trees and stands, and how forest management decisions affect prey abundance in South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Cameras were operated at 31 nest cavities to record nest visits with prey in 4 locations that ranged in foraging habitat from pine stands established in old fields to an old-growth stand in South Georgia. Examination of nearly 12,000 photographs recorded over 5 years revealed that, although red-cockaded woodpeckers used over 40 arthropods for food, the majority of the nestling diet is comprised of a relatively small number of common arthropods.

  20. Prey carriage varies with prey size in Cerceris fumipennis (Hymenoptera, Crabronidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Nalepa

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Exploitation of the hunting behavior of the solitary wasp Cerceris fumipennis is proving to be a useful method for detecting pest Buprestidae as well as for documenting buprestid diversity in eastern North America. Here we review prey carriage mechanisms in the species, and conclude that variation in prey carriage is correlated with the spectacular size range of their buprestid prey (4.9–22.3 mm length. Small prey items, including Agrilus species, are transported with the aid of a specialized morphological structure on the fifth metasomal sternite (“buprestid clamp”, resulting in a distinct curved posture during flight. Analysis of prey items from C. fumipennis in North Carolina in 2014 indicates that 30% of collected Agrilus spp. were not paralyzed prior to wasp arrival at the nest, and suggests that the buprestid clamp may function to prevent the escape of active small prey. Recognition that the curved flight posture of a female approaching her nest is a signal that she may be carrying a beetle in the genus Agrilus can improve efficiency of biosurveillance for pest Buprestidae.

  1. Factors Mediating co-occurrence of an economically valuable introduced fish and its native frog prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary Hartman; Karen Pope; Sharon Lawler

    2013-01-01

    Habitat characteristics mediate predator-prey coexistence in many ecological systemd but are seldom considered in species introductions. When economically important introduced predators are stocked despite known impacts on native species, understanding the role of refuges, landscape configurations, and community interactions can inform habitat management plans. We...

  2. Prey partitioning and use of insects by juvenile sockeye salmon and a potential competitor, threespine stickleback, in Afognak Lake, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Natura; Beaudreau, Anne H.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Finkle, Heather

    2017-01-01

    Freshwater growth of juvenile sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) depends upon the quality and quantity of prey and interactions with potential competitors in the foraging environment. To a large extent, knowledge about the ecology of lake-rearing juvenile sockeye salmon has emerged from studies of commercially important runs returning to deep nursery lakes, yet information from shallow nursery lakes (mean depth ≤ 10 m) is limited. We examined seasonal and ontogenetic variation in diets of juvenile sockeye salmon (N = 219, 30–85 mm) and an abundant potential competitor, threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus; N = 198, 42–67 mm), to understand their foraging ecology and potential trophic interactions in a shallow Alaska lake. This study revealed that adult insects made up 74% of all sockeye salmon diets by weight and were present in 98% of all stomachs in Afognak Lake during the summer of 2013. Diets varied temporally for all fishes, but small sockeye salmon (insects in late summer. We found significant differences in diet composition between sockeye salmon and threespine stickleback and the origin of their prey indicated that they also separated their use of habitat on a fine scale; however, the two species showed overlap in size selectivity of zooplankton prey. Considering that aquatic insects can be a primary resource for juvenile sockeye salmon in Afognak Lake, we encourage the development of nursery lake carrying capacity models that include aquatic insects as a prey source for sockeye salmon.

  3. Habitat complexity and sex-dependent predation of mosquito larvae in containers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griswold, Marcus W.; Lounibos, L. Philip

    2012-01-01

    Studies in aquatic systems have shown that habitat complexity may provide refuge or reduce the number of encounters prey have with actively searching predators. For ambush predators, habitat complexity may enhance or have no effect on predation rates because it conceals predators, reduces prey detection by predators, or visually impairs both predators and prey. We investigated the effects of habitat complexity and predation by the ambush predators Toxorhynchites rutilus and Corethrella appendiculata on their mosquito prey Aedes albopictus and Ochlerotatus triseriatus in container analogs of treeholes. As in other ambush predator-prey systems, habitat complexity did not alter the effects of T. rutilus or C. appendiculata whose presence decreased prey survivorship, shortened development time, and increased adult size compared to treatments where predators were absent. Faster growth and larger size were due to predator-mediated release from competition among surviving prey. Male and female prey survivorship were similar in the absence of predators, however when predators were present, survivorship of both prey species was skewed in favor of males. We conclude that habitat complexity is relatively unimportant in shaping predator-prey interactions in this treehole community, where predation risk differs between prey sexes. PMID:16041612

  4. Irreversible prey diapause as an optimal strategy of a physiologically extended Lotka-Volterra model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Staňková, K.; Abate, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    2013-01-01

    We propose an optimal control framework to describe intra-seasonal predator-prey interactions, which are characterized by a continuous-time dynamical model comprising predator and prey density, as well as the energy budget of the prey over the length of a season. The model includes a time-dependent

  5. Integrated Pest Management with Stochastic Birth Rate for Prey Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olcay eAkman

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available X. Song and Z. Xiang [5] developed an impulsive differential equations model for a two-prey one-predator model with stage structure for the predator. They demonstrate the conditions on the impulsiveperiod for which a globally asymptotically stable pest-eradication periodic solution exists, as well asconditions on the impulsive period for which the prey species is permanently maintained under aneconomically acceptable threshold. We extend their model by including stage structure for both predatorand prey as well as by adding stochastic elements in the birth rate of the prey. As in [5], we find theconditions under which a globally asymptotically stable pest eradication periodic solution exists. Inaddition, we numerically show the relationship between the stochastically varying birth rate of the preyand the necessary efficacy of the pesticide for which the probability of eradication of the prey speciesis above 90%. This is significant because the model recognizes varying environmental and climaticconditions which affect the resources needed for pest eradication.

  6. Modelling prey consumption and switching by UK grey seals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Smout, Sophie; Rindorf, Anna; Hammond, Philip S.

    2014-01-01

    Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) are adaptable generalist predatorswhose diet includes commercial fish species such as cod. Consumption by the seals may reduce the size of some fish stocks or have an adverse effect on stock recovery programmes, especially because predation may trap sparse prey...... populations in a “predator pit”. To assess the likely impact of such effects, it is important to know how consumption and consequent predation mortality respond to the changing availability of prey.Wepresent a model of grey seal consumption as a function of the availability of multiple prey types [a Multi......-Species Functional Response (MSFR)]. We fit this MSFR to data on seal diet and prey availability (based on the overlap between the distributions of predators and prey). Bayesian methodology was employed to account for uncertainties in both dependent and independent variables, improve estimation convergence...

  7. The Range of Prey Size of the Royal Bengal Tiger of Sundarbans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subrat Mukherjee

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Relatively little is known about the feeding habit of the Royal Bengal Tiger of Sundarbans and the relative biomass of individual prey base species that the predator consumes during each kill. This is the first attempt to collect such data from the study area. Data sets of two phases have been used. Identification of undigested remains of 214 tiger scat samples was carried out. A comparison with Sundarbans tigers in zoo has been made. In its natural habitat, the tiger consumes more of spotted deer, followed by wild boar, rhesus monkey, and water monitor. Though the tiger consumes a relatively low proportion of small prey species to meet its dietary requirements, it gains importance in the present perspective. Significant increase is noted in the relative number of prey species consumed in the second phase, which correlates well with increased prey availability. Hypotheses formulated to find the difference in prey biomass and relative number of prey consumed have been tested statistically. A significant difference in terms of relative number of prey consumed only was derived which has been qualitatively correlated with the positive effect of increased vigilance, as revealed by secondary data, on conserving tiger habitat vis-a-vis the increased prey availability in Sundarbans.

  8. Behavioural and developmental responses of predatory coral reef fish to variation in the abundance of prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beukers-Stewart, B. D.; Beukers-Stewart, J. S.; Jones, G. P.

    2011-09-01

    Ecological theory suggests that the behaviour, growth and abundance of predators will be strongly influenced by the abundance of prey. Predators may in turn play an important role in structuring prey populations and communities. Responses of predators to variation in prey abundance have most commonly been demonstrated in low-diversity communities where food webs are relatively simple. How predators respond in highly diverse assemblages such as in coral reef habitats is largely unknown. This study describes an experiment that examined how the movement, diet and growth of the coral reef piscivore, Cephalopholis boenak (Serranidae) responded to variation in the abundance of its prey. Predator densities were standardised on small patch reefs made from the lagoonal reef-building coral, Porites cylindrica. These patch reefs exhibited natural variation in the abundance and community structure of multiple species of prey. However, our experiment generated a relatively simple predator-prey relationship, with C. boenak primarily responding to the most abundant species of prey. Three responses of predators were observed: aggregative, functional and developmental. Thirty-one per cent of individuals moved between patch reefs during the experiment, all from areas of relatively low to high prey density. Feeding rates were higher on patch reefs of high prey density, while growth rates of fish that remained on low prey density reefs throughout the experiment were lower. Growth rates of C. boenak on the experimental reefs were also much higher than for those living on natural patch reefs over the same time period, corresponding with overall differences in prey abundance. These results suggest that local abundance, feeding rate and growth of C. boenak were closely linked to the abundance of their main prey. This combination of predatory responses is a potential mechanism behind recent observations of density-dependent mortality and population regulation of prey in coral reef fish

  9. The Peculiarities of Territorial Distribution and Abundance of Birds of Prey in Kharkiv Region, Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav G. Viter

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the features of the spatial distribution and abundance of birds of prey in the Kharkov region, Ukraine. Investigations were carried out in 2003–2013 years. Totaly we found 1569 nest sites of Falconiformes. There are 29 species of raptors in avifauna of Kharkiv region. Nine of them are wintering species and 16 – nesting. The highest number of nest sites we found in agricultural landscapes – 677 pairs. However, population density here is low, and high number of nest sites can be explained by large extension of this type of habitat. Also significant populations of birds of prey inhabit forest-steppe areas of Central Russian Upland (East European Plain – 468 pairs, steppe areas of Central Russian Upland – at least 279 pairs (notable that the size of steppe areas are 4 times smaller then forest-steppe areas, and gully forests on the spurs of Donets Ridge – 205 pairs (the size of this habitat in Kharkiv region is no more than 3 000 km2. The other habitats includes highlands in the forest-steppe zone covered with oak forests – 431 pairs, and floodplain forests in the valley of river Siverskyi Donets – 148 pairs (with rather small area of this habitat. These last two habitats are refuge for local populations of Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennata and Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus because these areas held the most stable nest sites and the highest density of these two species. The same could be said about gully forests on the spurs of Donets Ridge. The estimate number of breeding pairs of Falconiformes in gully forests is around 290 pairs. In this study, we also assessed the total number of breeding Birds of Prey in Kharkiv region. Here are our estimates: Honey Buzzard – 142–156 pairs, Black Kite (Milvus migrans – 133–148 pairs, White-Tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla – 26–28 pairs, Montagu’s Harrier (Circus pygargus – 174–191, Marsh Harrier (C. aeruginosus – 344–359, Northern Goshawk

  10. Birds of Prey of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamerstrom, Frances

    This copiously illustrated document is designed to be a field quide to birds of prey that are common to Wisconsin, as well as to some that enter the state occasionally. An introduction discusses birds of prey with regard to migration patterns, the relationship between common names and the attitudes of people toward certain birds, and natural signs…

  11. Revealing the role of predator interference in a predator-prey system with disease in prey population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chakraborty, Subhendu; Kooi, B.W.; Biswas, B.

    2015-01-01

    Predation on a species subjected to an infectious disease can affect both the infection level and the population dynamics. There is an ongoing debate about the act of managing disease in natural populations through predation. Recent theoretical and empirical evidence shows that predation...... on infected populations can have both positive and negative influences on disease in prey populations. Here, we present a predator-prey system where the prey population is subjected to an infectious disease to explore the impact of predator on disease dynamics. Specifically, we investigate how...... on the strength of interference among predators, predators enhance or control disease outbreaks and population persistence. Moreover, the presence of multistable regimes makes the system very sensitive to perturbations and facilitates a number of regime shifts. Since, the habitat structure and the choice...

  12. Wolves on the hunt: The behavior of wolves hunting wild prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L. David; Smith, Douglas W.; MacNulty, Daniel R.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions between apex predators and their prey are some of the most awesome and meaningful in nature—displays of strength, endurance, and a deep coevolutionary history. And there is perhaps no apex predator more impressive and important in its hunting—or more infamous, more misjudged—than the wolf. Because of wolves’ habitat, speed, and general success at evading humans, researchers have faced great obstacles in studying their natural hunting behaviors. The first book to focus explicitly on wolf hunting of wild prey, Wolves on the Hunt seeks to fill these gaps in our knowledge and understanding. Combining behavioral data, thousands of hours of original field observations, research in the literature, a wealth of illustrations, and—in the e-book edition and online—video segments from cinematographer Robert K. Landis, the authors create a compelling and complex picture of these hunters. The wolf is indeed an adept killer, able to take down prey much larger than itself. While adapted to hunt primarily hoofed animals, a wolf—or especially a pack of wolves—can kill individuals of just about any species. But even as wolves help drive the underlying rhythms of the ecosystems they inhabit, their evolutionary prowess comes at a cost: wolves spend one-third of their time hunting—the most time consuming of all wolf activities—and success at the hunt only comes through traveling long distances, persisting in the face of regular failure, detecting and taking advantage of deficiencies in the physical condition of individual prey, and through ceaseless trial and error, all while risking injury or death. By describing and analyzing the behaviors wolves use to hunt and kill various wild prey—including deer, moose, caribou, elk, Dall sheep, mountain goats, bison, musk oxen, arctic hares, beavers, and others—Wolves on the Hunt provides a revelatory portrait of one of nature’s greatest hunters.

  13. The visually controlled prey-capture behaviour of the European mantispid Mantispa styriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kral, K; Vernik, M; Devetak, D

    2000-07-01

    Mantispids (Mantispa styriaca) are predatory insects; on bright sunny days, they wait in ambush for insect prey. The prey is captured as soon as it is within reach by means of lightning-speed strikes with the powerful forelegs. The strikes can take less than 60 ms. The mantispid accomplishes this almost as effectively as the larger praying mantis, which occupies a similar habitat, even though the praying mantis has apposition eyes with a high-resolution fovea, whereas the mantispid has unspecialized optical superposition eyes. Mantispa styriaca reacts to an item of prey when the latter covers a critical visual angle. The detection of prey immediately triggers adjustment reactions in the mantispid, which attempts to position the prey item in the visual field of both eyes and in the capture zone. Irrespective of the size of the prey, the capture reaction of the mantispid is always triggered if the distance to the prey falls below a certain critical value. As indicated by the analysis of individual video frames, immediately before an aimed strike, the item of prey is always positioned exactly in the centre of the binocular field of vision in the extended midsagittal plane of the mantispid's head. The strike may be triggered by the ommatidia of the left and right eyes, the lines of sight of which converge precisely on this region. The principal conclusion to be drawn is that the prey-capture behaviour of the mantispid appears to be based on a triangulation mechanism.

  14. Survey of wildlife, including aquatic mammals, associated with riparian habitat on the Syncrude Canada Ltd. Aurora Mine environmental impact assessment local study area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surrendi, D.C.

    1996-01-01

    A general overview of the wildlife associated with riparian habitats at Syncrude's proposed Aurora Mine, located 70 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta on the east side of the Athabasca River, was presented. The area is underlain by bitumen and is being considered for bitumen extraction and production of synthetic crude oil. Two surveys were conducted with the help of experienced trappers from the community at Fort McKay. One was an aerial survey on November 3, 1995, the other a ground survey on November 29-30, 1995. The two surveys yielded 248 observed tracks on four 500 metre transects. The study area was comprised of boreal forest with natural drainage via Stanley Creek into the Muskeg River and via Fort Creek into the Athabasca River. Beavers, fox, weasel, mink, rabbit, wolf, moose, deer, ptarmigan, sharp-tailed grouse and ruffed grouse, lynx, coyote, river otter and mice were associated with riparian habitat on the study area. There was no sign of muskrat in the study area. It was concluded that in order to develop an understanding of reclamation alternatives for mined areas in the region, future detailed examination of the site should be approached through the integration of traditional ecological knowledge and conventional scientific methodology. 26 refs., 12 tabs., 2 figs

  15. Survey of wildlife, including aquatic mammals, associated with riparian habitat on the Syncrude Canada Ltd. Aurora Mine environmental impact assessment local study area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Surrendi, D.C.

    1996-12-31

    A general overview of the wildlife associated with riparian habitats at Syncrude`s proposed Aurora Mine, located 70 km northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta on the east side of the Athabasca River, was presented. The area is underlain by bitumen and is being considered for bitumen extraction and production of synthetic crude oil. Two surveys were conducted with the help of experienced trappers from the community at Fort McKay. One was an aerial survey on November 3, 1995, the other a ground survey on November 29-30, 1995. The two surveys yielded 248 observed tracks on four 500 metre transects. The study area was comprised of boreal forest with natural drainage via Stanley Creek into the Muskeg River and via Fort Creek into the Athabasca River. Beavers, fox, weasel, mink, rabbit, wolf, moose, deer, ptarmigan, sharp-tailed grouse and ruffed grouse, lynx, coyote, river otter and mice were associated with riparian habitat on the study area. There was no sign of muskrat in the study area. It was concluded that in order to develop an understanding of reclamation alternatives for mined areas in the region, future detailed examination of the site should be approached through the integration of traditional ecological knowledge and conventional scientific methodology. 26 refs., 12 tabs., 2 figs.

  16. Vacant Nests and Other Factors Influencing Nest Site Selection of Birds of Prey Based on Case Studies in Forest Habitats in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe Zones of Eastern Ukraine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanislav G. Viter

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Our study was conducted in 2003–2012 in Eastern Ukraine, in the basin of the Seversky Donets river. The total surveyed area was ca. 900 km2 of nesting habitats suitable for raptors. A total of 69 vacant nests were found, i.e. 33.2 % of the total number of nests (208. Nests occupied by recipient species, i.e. the so-called ‘effective nest pool’, were 23–24, i.e. 33.3–34.7 % of the pool of available nests. Up to 25 % of all pairs of raptors depend on the availability of vacant nests of heterospecifics. Ravens (Corvus corax are the most significant donors of nests: 42.5 % of the pool of available nests is built by this species, and more than 60 % of them are occupied by recipient species. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo comes second with 26.09 and 58.3 %, respectively. The most common recipients of nests are Hobbies (Falco subbuteo, Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus and Booted Eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus. The most significant factors that govern occupation of vacant nests by recipient species are: availability of nests in the marginal zone of forest plots, i.e. within 500 m from the forest edge, large distance from human settlements (>1500 m, presence of nests located on trees in the canopy storey, and mature and submature age of forest stands. For seven species considered in our research (n=227, the most important factors were position of nests, in the forest canopy layer, no logging activity within300 m of the nest, no regular human disturbance, and presence of “windows” in the canopy made by fallen trees.

  17. Habitat preferences of baleen whales in a mid-latitude habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, Rui; Tobeña, Marta; Silva, Mónica A.

    2017-07-01

    Understanding the dynamics of baleen whale distribution is essential to predict how environmental changes can affect their ecology and, in turn, ecosystem functioning. Recent work showed that mid-latitude habitats along migratory routes may play an important role on the feeding ecology of baleen whales. This study aimed to investigate the function of a mid-latitude habitat for blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and sei (Balaenoptera borealis) whales occurring in sympatry during spring and summer months and to what extent their environmental niches overlap. We addressed those questions by developing environmental niche models (ENM) for each species and then making pairwise comparisons of niche overlap and relative habitat patch importance among the three species. ENMs were created using sightings from the Azorean Fisheries Observer Program from May to November, between 2004 and 2009, and a set of 18 predictor environmental variables. We then assessed monthly (April-July) overlap among ENMs using a modified Hellinger's distance metric (I). Results show that the habitat niches of blue and fin whales are strongly influenced by primary productivity and sea surface temperature and are highly dynamic both spatially and temporally due to the oceanography of the region. Niche overlap analyses show that blue and fin whale environmental niches are similar and that the suitable habitats for the two species have high degree of spatial coincidence. These results in combination suggest that this habitat may function as a mid-latitude feeding ground to both species while conditions are adequate. The sei whale model, on the other hand, did not include variables considered to be proxies for prey distribution and little environmental niche overlap was found between this species and the other two. We argue that these results suggest that the region holds little importance as a foraging habitat for the sei whale.

  18. Development of tiger habitat suitability model using geospatial tools-a case study in Achankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS), Chhattisgarh India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R; Joshi, P K; Kumar, M; Dash, P P; Joshi, B D

    2009-08-01

    Geospatial tools supported by ancillary geo-database and extensive fieldwork regarding the distribution of tiger and its prey in Anchankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS) were used to build a tiger habitat suitability model. This consists of a quantitative geographical information system (GIS) based approach using field parameters and spatial thematic information. The estimates of tiger sightings, its prey sighting and predicted distribution with the assistance of contextual environmental data including terrain, road network, settlement and drainage surfaces were used to develop the model. Eight variables in the dataset viz., forest cover type, forest cover density, slope, aspect, altitude, and distance from road, settlement and drainage were seen as suitable proxies and were used as independent variables in the analysis. Principal component analysis and binomial multiple logistic regression were used for statistical treatments of collected habitat parameters from field and independent variables respectively. The assessment showed a strong expert agreement between the predicted and observed suitable areas. A combination of the generated information and published literature was also used while building a habitat suitability map for the tiger. The modeling approach has taken the habitat preference parameters of the tiger and potential distribution of prey species into account. For assessing the potential distribution of prey species, independent suitability models were developed and validated with the ground truth. It is envisaged that inclusion of the prey distribution probability strengthens the model when a key species is under question. The results of the analysis indicate that tiger occur throughout the sanctuary. The results have been found to be an important input as baseline information for population modeling and natural resource management in the wildlife sanctuary. The development and application of similar models can help in better management of the protected

  19. Dynamic habitat selection by two wading bird species with divergent foraging strategies in a seasonally fluctuating wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Gawlik, Dale E.; Herring, Garth; Cook, Mark I.

    2011-01-01

    Seasonal and annual variation in food availability during the breeding season plays an influential role in the population dynamics of many avian species. In highly dynamic ecosystems like wetlands, finding and exploiting food resources requires a flexible behavioral response that may produce different population trends that vary with a species' foraging strategy. We quantified dynamic foraging-habitat selection by breeding and radiotagged White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) and Great Egrets (Ardea alba) in the Florida Everglades, where fluctuation in food resources is pronounced because of seasonal drying and flooding. The White Ibis is a tactile “searcher” species in population decline that specializes on highly concentrated prey, whereas the Great Egret, in a growing population, is a visual “exploiter” species that requires lower prey concentrations. In a year with high food availability, resource-selection functions for both species included variables that changed over multiannual time scales and were associated with increased prey production. In a year with low food availability, resource-selection functions included short-term variables that concentrated prey (e.g., water recession rates and reversals in drying pattern), which suggests an adaptive response to poor foraging conditions. In both years, the White Ibis was more restricted in its use of habitats than the Great Egret. Real-time species—habitat suitability models were developed to monitor and assess the daily availability and quality of spatially explicit habitat resources for both species. The models, evaluated through hindcasting using independent observations, demonstrated that habitat use of the more specialized White Ibis was more accurately predicted than that of the more generalist Great Egret.

  20. Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, Olwyn C; Roth, James D

    2016-09-01

    Predators affect prey populations not only through direct predation, but also by acting as definitive hosts for their parasites and completing parasite life cycles. Understanding the affects of parasitism on prey population dynamics requires knowing how their predators' parasite community is affected by diet and prey availability. Ungulates, such as moose (Alces americanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), are often important prey for wolves (Canis lupus), but wolves also consume a variety of alternative prey, including beaver (Castor canadensis) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The use of alternative prey, which may host different or fewer parasites than ungulates, could potentially reduce overall abundance of ungulate parasites within the ecosystem, benefiting both wolves and ungulate hosts. We examined parasites in wolf carcasses from eastern Manitoba and estimated wolf diet using stable isotope analysis. Taeniidae cestodes were present in most wolves (75%), reflecting a diet primarily comprised of ungulates, but nematodes were unexpectedly rare. Cestode abundance was negatively related to the wolf's δ(13) C value, indicating diet affects parasite abundance. Wolves that consumed a higher proportion of beaver and caribou (Rangifer tarandus), estimated using Bayesian mixing models, had lower cestode abundance, suggesting the use of these alternative prey can reduce parasite loads. Long-term consumption of beavers may lower the abundance of adult parasites in wolves, eventually lowering parasite density in the region and ultimately benefiting ungulates that serve as intermediate hosts. Thus, alternative prey can affect both predator-prey and host-parasite interactions and potentially affect food web dynamics. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  1. Bottom-up resource limitation: the ecosystem energy balance predicts the quality of nutrition in a herbivore prey population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Nestor; Garcia, Monica; Gil, Esperanza

    2014-01-01

    of the herbivore diet has been insufficiently tested. We hypothesized that in drylands, where water availability is a prime control of ecosystem functioning, remote sensing indicators of vegetation drought stress are critical to predict the nutritional quality of herbivore habitats. This hypothesis was analyzed...... by measuring the dynamics in diet quality for the European rabbit, a key prey in Mediterranean communities. Rabbit nutrition was measured in six habitats throughout a year using faecal nitrogen (FN) content, an indicator of the levels of ingested protein. Then we tested the accuracy for predicting diet quality...... contributed to explain the dynamics of diet quality: models including either TVDI or Hr shower a better fit than those exclusively based in EVI (R2 = 0.43—0.60). Whereas FN showed a positive relationship with EVI, the effect of TVDI and Hr was negative. Extracting the temporal component further allowed us...

  2. Responses to river inundation pressures control prey selection of riparian beetles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt J O'Callaghan

    Full Text Available Riparian habitats are subjected to frequent inundation (flooding and are characterised by food webs that exhibit variability in aquatic/terrestrial subsidies across the ecotone. The strength of this subsidy in active riparian floodplains is thought to underpin local biodiversity. Terrestrial invertebrates dominate the fauna, exhibiting traits that allow exploitation of variable aquatic subsidies while reducing inundation pressures, leading to inter-species micro-spatial positioning. The effect these strategies have on prey selection is not known. This study hypothesised that plasticity in prey choice from either aquatic or terrestrial sources is an important trait linked to inundation tolerance and avoidance.We used hydrological, isotopic and habitat analyses to investigate the diet of riparian Coleoptera in relation to inundation risk and relative spatial positioning in the floodplain. The study examined patch scale and longitudinal changes in utilisation of the aquatic subsidy according to species traits. Prey sourced from terrestrial or emerging/stranded aquatic invertebrates varied in relation to traits for inundation avoidance or tolerance strategies. Traits that favoured rapid dispersal corresponded with highest proportions of aquatic prey, with behavioural traits further predicting uptake. Less able dispersers showed minimal use of aquatic subsidy and switched to a terrestrial diet under moderate inundation pressures. All trait groups showed a seasonal shift in diet towards terrestrial prey in the early spring. Prey selection became exaggerated towards aquatic prey in downstream samples.Our results suggest that partitioning of resources and habitat creates overlapping niches that increase the processing of external subsidies in riparian habitats. By demonstrating functional complexity, this work advances understanding of floodplain ecosystem processes and highlights the importance of hydrological variability. With an increasing interest

  3. Relating wolf scat content to prey consumed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floyd, T.J.; Mech, L.D.; Jordan, P.A.

    1978-01-01

    In 9 trials, captive wolves (Canis lupus) were fed prey varying in size from snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) to adult deer (Odocoileus virginianus), and the resulting scats were counted. Field-collectible scats were distinguished from liquid, noncollectible stools. I n collectible scats, the remains of small prey occurred in greater proportion relative to the prey's weight, and in lesser proportion relative to the prey's numbers, than did the remains of larger prey. A regression equation with an excellent, fit to the data (r2 = 0.97) was derived to estimate the weight of prey eaten per collectible scat for any prey. With this information and average prey weights, the relative numbers of different prey eaten also can be calculated.

  4. Habitat Restoration as a Key Conservation Lever for Woodland Caribou: A review of restoration programs and key learnings from Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Bentham

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The Recovery Strategy for the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou, Boreal Population in Canada (EC, 2012, identifies coordinated actions to reclaim woodland caribou habitat as a key step to meeting current and future caribou population objectives. Actions include restoring industrial landscape features such as roads, seismic lines, pipelines, cut-lines, and cleared areas in an effort to reduce landscape fragmentation and the changes in caribou population dynamics associated with changing predator-prey dynamics in highly fragmented landscapes. Reliance on habitat restoration as a recovery action within the federal recovery strategy is high, considering all Alberta populations have less than 65% undisturbed habitat, which is identified in the recovery strategy as a threshold providing a 60% chance that a local population will be self-sustaining. Alberta’s Provincial Woodland Caribou Policy also identifies habitat restoration as a critical component of long-term caribou habitat management. We review and discuss the history of caribou habitat restoration programs in Alberta and present outcomes and highlights of a caribou habitat restoration workshop attended by over 80 representatives from oil and gas, forestry, provincial and federal regulators, academia and consulting who have worked on restoration programs. Restoration initiatives in Alberta began in 2001 and have generally focused on construction methods, revegetation treatments, access control programs, and limiting plant species favourable to alternate prey. Specific treatments include tree planting initiatives, coarse woody debris management along linear features, and efforts for multi-company and multi-stakeholder coordinated habitat restoration on caribou range. Lessons learned from these programs have been incorporated into large scale habitat restoration projects near Grande Prairie, Cold Lake, and Fort McMurray. A key outcome of our review is the opportunity to provide a

  5. Principles of wildlife habitat management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ernie P. Wiggers

    1989-01-01

    Simply stated, habitat is where an animal lives and must include all the resources an animal needs to survive and reproduce. An animal's habitat has to provide five essential factors: food, cover, water, space, and interspersion. Habitat management is identifying which factors are scarce enough to limit populations, and then improving the habitat to remove the...

  6. Integrated pest management with stochastic birth rate for prey species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akman, Olcay; Comar, Timothy D.; Hrozencik, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Song and Xiang (2006) developed an impulsive differential equations model for a two-prey one-predator model with stage structure for the predator. They demonstrate the conditions on the impulsive period for which a globally asymptotically stable pest-eradication periodic solution exists, as well as conditions on the impulsive period for which the prey species is permanently maintained under an economically acceptable threshold. We extend their model by including stage structure for both predator and prey as well as by adding stochastic elements in the birth rate of the prey. As in Song and Xiang (2006), we find the conditions under which a globally asymptotically stable pest eradication periodic solution exists. In addition, we numerically show the relationship between the stochastically varying birth rate of the prey and the necessary efficacy of the pesticide for which the probability of eradication of the prey species is above 90%. This is significant because the model recognizes varying environmental and climatic conditions which affect the resources needed for pest eradication. PMID:23964194

  7. How Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina Adjust Their Fine Scale Horizontal Movement and Diving Behaviour in Relation to Prey Encounter Rate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yves Le Bras

    Full Text Available Understanding the diving behaviour of diving predators in relation to concomitant prey distribution could have major practical applications in conservation biology by allowing the assessment of how changes in fine scale prey distribution impact foraging efficiency and ultimately population dynamics. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina, hereafter SES, the largest phocid, is a major predator of the southern ocean feeding on myctophids and cephalopods. Because of its large size it can carry bio-loggers with minimal disturbance. Moreover, it has great diving abilities and a wide foraging habitat. Thus, the SES is a well suited model species to study predator diving behaviour and the distribution of ecologically important prey species in the Southern Ocean. In this study, we examined how SESs adjust their diving behaviour and horizontal movements in response to fine scale prey encounter densities using high resolution accelerometers, magnetometers, pressure sensors and GPS loggers. When high prey encounter rates were encountered, animals responded by (1 diving and returning to the surface with steeper angles, reducing the duration of transit dive phases (thus improving dive efficiency, and (2 exhibiting more horizontally and vertically sinuous bottom phases. In these cases, the distance travelled horizontally at the surface was reduced. This behaviour is likely to counteract horizontal displacement from water currents, as they try to remain within favourable prey patches. The prey encounter rate at the bottom of dives decreased with increasing diving depth, suggesting a combined effect of decreased accessibility and prey density with increasing depth. Prey encounter rate also decreased when the bottom phases of dives were spread across larger vertical extents of the water column. This result suggests that the vertical aggregation of prey can regulate prey density, and as a consequence impact the foraging success of SESs. To our knowledge

  8. AFSC/RACE/SAP/Daly: Juvenile red and blue king crab prey preference experiment conducted in the Kodiak Lab in 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is part of a laboratory experiment, which evaluated how varying ratios of prey species (year-0 blue and red king crabs) and habitat type (shell and...

  9. Interspecific variation in prey capture behavior by co-occurring Nepenthes pitcher plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Lijin; Chung, Arthur YC; Clarke, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes. PMID:24481246

  10. Prey choice and habitat use of people exploiting intertidal resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Blijdenstein, A.F.; Longamane, F.

    2002-01-01

    The impact of human exploitation depends mostly on the size of the catch and the species targeted. The value of a species is an important explanatory variable in understanding human impact. Co-management of resources should take into account these different resource values, when evaluating

  11. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

  12. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Kumar, N.S.; Link, W.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  13. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K Ullas; Nichols, James D; Kumar, N Samba; Link, William A; Hines, James E

    2004-04-06

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  14. How Do Density Fronts Interact with Zooplankton Distributions to Create Baleen Whale Prey-Fields in Roseway Basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruckdeschel, G.; Ross, T.; Davies, K. T. A.

    2016-02-01

    On the Scotian Shelf in the northwest Atlantic, Roseway Basin is a feeding ground for several species of large baleen whales, including the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale. In this habitat, aggregations of zooplankton must be present at concentrations high enough for baleen whales to obtain an energetic benefit. Regions of highly concentrated zooplankton are formed within the habitat through various biophysical interactions, such as fontal accumulation and retention. In Roseway Basin, humpback and fin whales prey on accumulated euphausiids, while right and sei whales forage for deep layers of Calanoid copepods. Right whales are found most often along the southeastern basin margin in Roseway, and this is also where density fronts occur and are associated with zooplankton patches that can form and disaggregate at tidal scales. The temporal persistence and biophysical mechanisms behind the observed interactions of zooplankton and frontal features have not been assessed. To understand how density fronts impact zooplankton distributions at the scale of feeding whales, we deployed Slocum gliders equipped with conductivity-temperature-depth sensors and echosounders in a series of cross-isobath transects along the sloped southeastern margin of Roseway Basin during August to November 2015. By looking for the presence of density fronts that are also regions of elevated acoustic backscatter (primarily from copepods and euphausiids) and quantifying their persistence over time, we aim to determine how these biophysical interactions create whale prey-fields.

  15. Avian gametologs as molecular tags for sex identification in birds of prey of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valadan, Reza; Nejatollahi, Foroogh; Ehsani-Nori, Hoda; Habibi, Hassan; Amini, Hamid; Aliabadian, Mansour

    2017-07-01

    Global environmental change and rapid destruction of natural habitats necessitate the conservation of endangered and threatened birds of prey. Recently, molecular sex identification methods based on amplification of introns of chromodomain-helicase DNA binding protein1 (CHD1) have provided valuable tools for ecological study and conservation breeding programs of birds. These methods employ a primer pair flanking an intron which varies considerably in length between the avian gametologs CHD1Z and CHD1W. Herein, we test the applicability of CHD1Z and CHD1W as universal tags for molecular sex identification in birds of prey of Iran. We showed successful sex identification in 22 species of birds of prey using feathers as the source of DNA. The results suggest that the regions of CHD1W and CHD1Z amplified in this study are conserved among most of Falconiformes, enabling accurate sex identification in birds of prey. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Attraction of two lacewing species to volatiles produced by host plants and aphid prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, J.; Obrycki, J. J.; Ochieng, Samuel A.; Baker, Thomas C.; Pickett, J. A.; Smiley, D.

    2005-06-01

    It is well documented that host-related odors enable many species of parasitoids and predatory insects to locate their prey and prey habitats. This study reports the first characterization of prey and prey host odor reception in two species of lacewings, Chrysoperla carnea (Say) and Chrysopa oculata L. 2-Phenylethanol, one of the volatiles emitted from their prey’s host plants (alfalfa and corn) evoked a significant EAG response from antennae of C. carnea. Traps baited with this compound attracted high numbers of adult C. carnea, which were predominantly females. One of the sex pheromone components (1R,4aS,7S,7aR)-nepetalactol of an aphid species, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) attracted only C. oculata adults. Single sensillum recordings showed that the olfactory neurons of C. carnea responded to both 2-phenylethanol and aphid sex pheromone components, but those of C. oculata only responded to the latter.

  17. Top carnivores increase their kill rates on prey as a response to human-induced fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Justine A; Wang, Yiwei; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2015-03-07

    The fear induced by predators on their prey is well known to cause behavioural adjustments by prey that can ripple through food webs. Little is known, however, about the analogous impacts of humans as perceived top predators on the foraging behaviour of carnivores. Here, we investigate the influence of human-induced fear on puma foraging behaviour using location and prey consumption data from 30 tagged individuals living along a gradient of human development. We observed strong behavioural responses by female pumas to human development, whereby their fidelity to kill sites and overall consumption time of prey declined with increasing housing density by 36 and 42%, respectively. Females responded to this decline in prey consumption time by increasing the number of deer they killed in high housing density areas by 36% over what they killed in areas with little residential development. The loss of food from declines in prey consumption time paired with increases in energetic costs associated with killing more prey may have consequences for puma populations, particularly with regard to reproductive success. In addition, greater carcass availability is likely to alter community dynamics by augmenting food resources for scavengers. In light of the extensive and growing impact of habitat modification, our study emphasizes that knowledge of the indirect effects of human activity on animal behaviour is a necessary component in understanding anthropogenic impacts on community dynamics and food web function. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  18. The effect of habitat fragmentation on cyclic population dynamics: a numerical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strohm, S; Tyson, R

    2009-08-01

    Through four spatially explicit models, we investigate how habitat fragmentation affects cyclic predator-prey population dynamics. We use a Partial Differential Equation (PDE) framework to describe the dispersal of predators and prey in a heterogeneous landscape made of high quality and low quality habitat patches, subject to increasing fragmentation through habitat separation and/or habitat loss. Our results show that habitat fragmentation decreases the amplitude of the predator-prey population cycles while average population density is not as strongly affected in general. Beyond these simple trends however, the four models show differing responses to fragmentation, indicating that when making predictions about population survival and persistence in the face of habitat fragmentation, the choice of model is important. Our results may inform conservation efforts in fragmented habitats for cyclic species such as the snowshoe hare and Canada lynx.

  19. Functional invertebrate prey groups reflect dietary responses to phenology and farming activity and pest control services in three sympatric species of aerially foraging insectivorous birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Orłowski

    Full Text Available Farming activity severely impacts the invertebrate food resources of farmland birds, with direct mortality to populations of above-ground arthropods thorough mechanical damage during crop harvests. In this study we assessed the effects of phenological periods, including the timing of harvest, on the composition and biomass of prey consumed by three species of aerial insectivorous birds. Common Swifts Apus apus, Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and House Martins Delichon urbica breed sympatrically and most of their diet is obtained from agricultural sources of invertebrate prey, especially from oil-seed rape crops. We categorized invertebrate prey into six functional groups, including oil-seed rape pests; pests of other arable crops; other crop-provisioned taxa; coprophilous taxa; and taxa living in non-crop and mixed crop/non-crop habitats. Seasonality impacted functional groups differently, but the general direction of change (increase/decrease of all groups was consistent as indexed by prey composition of the three aerial insectivores studied here. After the oil-seed rape crop harvest (mid July, all three species exhibited a dietary shift from oil-seed rape insect pests to other aerial invertebrate prey groups. However, Common Switfts also consumed a relative large quantity of oil-seed rape insect pests in the late summer (August, suggesting that they could reduce pest insect emigration beyond the host plant/crop. Since these aerially foraging insectivorous birds operate in specific conditions and feed on specific pest resources unavailable to foliage/ground foraging avian predators, our results suggest that in some crops like oil-seed rape cultivations, the potential integration of the insectivory of aerial foraging birds into pest management schemes might provide economic benefits. We advise further research into the origin of airborne insects and the role of aerial insectivores as agents of the biological control of crop insect pests

  20. PATTERNS OF PREY BIOMASS CONSUMPTION BY SMALL ODONTOCETES IN THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF VENEZUELA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lenin E. Oviedo Correa

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Trophic relationships are conditioned by population dynamics of interacting species in the community (species present, food web connections among them, and the strength of interactions, and on the consequences of these species interactions depend various ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient flux. Odontocetes target a wide range of prey items and are adapted to feeding at different depths. The aim of this report is to describe the patterns of prey consumption by small odontocetes, incorporating natural predatory patterns into a potential management scheme of strategic food sources, for both human and marine predators. Using the geo-statistical analysis tool of ArcGIS 9.2, maps illustrating the intensity and location of prey consumption were made for species with a sighting index (SPUE > 0.15. The biomass consumption emphasized the differences in habitat use by species. The trends in distribution of prey biomass removal by odontocetes particularly suggest a stratification of prey consumption primarily in shelf waters, with a prey biomass that is comprised basically by demersal fish and small pelagics (including Sardinella aurita, and into transition-oceanic depths where most of the predatory pattern would potentially rely on pelagic - mesopelagic squid and myctophids. Overall the spatial tendencies in regionalization presented in this contribution will serve as a base-line to assess ecosystem health and evaluate management scenarios.   Las relaciones tróficas son reguladas por la dinámica poblacional de las especies que interactúan dentro de la comunidad (especies presentes, conexiones interespecíficas, y nivel de interacción y de las consecuencias de esas interacciones para procesos del ecosistema como la productividad y el flujo de nutrientes. El objetivo de este reporte es evaluar el patrón de consumo de biomasa por odontocetos de menor tamaño en la costa Nororiental de Venezuela, incorporando patrones de depredaci

  1. Limits to benthic feeding by eiders in a vital Arctic migration corridor due to localized prey and changing sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovvorn, James R.; Rocha, Aariel R.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Dasher, Douglas; Oppel, Steffen; Powell, Abby N.

    2015-08-01

    Four species of threatened or declining eider ducks that nest in the Arctic migrate through the northeast Chukchi Sea, where anticipated industrial development may require prioritizing areas for conservation. In this nearshore corridor (10-40 m depth), the eiders' access to benthic prey during the spring is restricted to variable areas of open water within sea ice. For the most abundant species, the king eider (Somateria spectabilis), stable isotopes in blood cells, muscle, and potential prey indicate that these eiders ate mainly bivalves when traversing this corridor. Bivalves there were much smaller than the same taxa in deeper areas of the northern Bering Sea, possibly due to higher mortality rates caused by ice scour in shallow water; future decrease in seasonal duration of fast ice may increase this effect. Computer simulations suggested that if these eiders forage for >15 h/day, they can feed profitably at bivalve densities >200 m-2 regardless of water depth or availability of ice for resting. Sampling in 2010-2012 showed that large areas of profitable prey densities occurred only in certain locations throughout the migration corridor. Satellite data in April-May over 13 years (2001-2013) indicated that access to major feeding areas through sea ice in different segments of the corridor can vary from 0% to 100% between months and years. In a warming and increasingly variable climate, unpredictability of access may be enhanced by greater effects of shifting winds on unconsolidated ice. Our results indicate the importance of having a range of potential feeding areas throughout the migration corridor to ensure prey availability in all years. Spatial planning of nearshore industrial development in the Arctic, including commercial shipping, pipeline construction, and the risk of released oil, should consider these effects of high environmental variability on the adequacy of habitats targeted for conservation.

  2. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  3. Echolocating Bats Cry Out Loud to Detect Their Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surlykke, Annemarie; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.

    2008-01-01

    Echolocating bats have successfully exploited a broad range of habitats and prey. Much research has demonstrated how time-frequency structure of echolocation calls of different species is adapted to acoustic constraints of habitats and foraging behaviors. However, the intensity of bat calls has been largely neglected although intensity is a key factor determining echolocation range and interactions with other bats and prey. Differences in detection range, in turn, are thought to constitute a mechanism promoting resource partitioning among bats, which might be particularly important for the species-rich bat assemblages in the tropics. Here we present data on emitted intensities for 11 species from 5 families of insectivorous bats from Panamá hunting in open or background cluttered space or over water. We recorded all bats in their natural habitat in the field using a multi-microphone array coupled with photographic methods to assess the bats' position in space to estimate emitted call intensities. All species emitted intense search signals. Output intensity was reduced when closing in on background by 4–7 dB per halving of distance. Source levels of open space and edge space foragers (Emballonuridae, Mormoopidae, Molossidae, and Vespertilionidae) ranged between 122–134 dB SPL. The two Noctilionidae species hunting over water emitted the loudest signals recorded so far for any bat with average source levels of ca. 137 dB SPL and maximum levels above 140 dB SPL. In spite of this ten-fold variation in emitted intensity, estimates indicated, surprisingly, that detection distances for prey varied far less; bats emitting the highest intensities also emitted the highest frequencies, which are severely attenuated in air. Thus, our results suggest that bats within a local assemblage compensate for frequency dependent attenuation by adjusting the emitted intensity to achieve comparable detection distances for prey across species. We conclude that for bats with similar

  4. Echolocating bats cry out loud to detect their prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annemarie Surlykke

    Full Text Available Echolocating bats have successfully exploited a broad range of habitats and prey. Much research has demonstrated how time-frequency structure of echolocation calls of different species is adapted to acoustic constraints of habitats and foraging behaviors. However, the intensity of bat calls has been largely neglected although intensity is a key factor determining echolocation range and interactions with other bats and prey. Differences in detection range, in turn, are thought to constitute a mechanism promoting resource partitioning among bats, which might be particularly important for the species-rich bat assemblages in the tropics. Here we present data on emitted intensities for 11 species from 5 families of insectivorous bats from Panamá hunting in open or background cluttered space or over water. We recorded all bats in their natural habitat in the field using a multi-microphone array coupled with photographic methods to assess the bats' position in space to estimate emitted call intensities. All species emitted intense search signals. Output intensity was reduced when closing in on background by 4-7 dB per halving of distance. Source levels of open space and edge space foragers (Emballonuridae, Mormoopidae, Molossidae, and Vespertilionidae ranged between 122-134 dB SPL. The two Noctilionidae species hunting over water emitted the loudest signals recorded so far for any bat with average source levels of ca. 137 dB SPL and maximum levels above 140 dB SPL. In spite of this ten-fold variation in emitted intensity, estimates indicated, surprisingly, that detection distances for prey varied far less; bats emitting the highest intensities also emitted the highest frequencies, which are severely attenuated in air. Thus, our results suggest that bats within a local assemblage compensate for frequency dependent attenuation by adjusting the emitted intensity to achieve comparable detection distances for prey across species. We conclude that for bats

  5. Arthropod prey for riparian associated birds in headwater forests of the Oregon Coast Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Li, Judith; Sobota, Janel; Jenkins, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Headwater riparian areas occupy a large proportion of the land base in Pacific Northwest forests, and thus are ecologically and economically important. Although a primary goal of management along small headwater streams is the protection of aquatic resources, streamside habitat also is important for many terrestrial wildlife species. However, mechanisms underlying the riparian associations of some terrestrial species have not been well studied, particularly for headwater drainages. We investigated the diets of and food availability for four bird species associated with riparian habitats in montane coastal forests of western Oregon, USA. We examined variation in the availability of arthropod prey as a function of distance from stream. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that (1) emergent aquatic insects were a food source for insectivorous birds in headwater riparian areas, and (2) the abundances of aquatic and terrestrial arthropod prey did not differ between streamside and upland areas during the bird breeding season. We found that although adult aquatic insects were available for consumption throughout the study period, they represented a relatively small proportion of available prey abundance and biomass and were present in only 1% of the diet samples from only one of the four riparian-associated bird species. Nonetheless, arthropod prey, comprised primarily of insects of terrestrial origin, was more abundant in streamside than upland samples. We conclude that food resources for birds in headwater riparian areas are primarily associated with terrestrial vegetation, and that bird distributions along the gradient from streamside to upland may be related to variation in arthropod prey availability. Because distinct vegetation may distinguish riparian from upland habitats for riparian-associated birds and their terrestrial arthropod prey, we suggest that understory communities be considered when defining management zones for riparian habitat.

  6. Prey detection in a cruising copepod

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjellerup, Sanne; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    . Yet, direct interception has been proposed to explain how rapidly cruising, blind copepods feed on non-motile phytoplankton prey. Here, we demonstrate a novel mechanism for prey detection in a cruising copepod, and describe how motile and non-motile prey are discovered by hydromechanical and tactile...

  7. Modeling of Iranian Cheetah Habitat using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (Case Study: Dare Anjir Wildlife Refuge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir  wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of  habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.

  8. Habitat structure effects on size selection of snail kites ( Rostrhamus sociabilis ) and limpkins ( Aramus guarauna ) when feeding on apple snails ( Pomacea spp.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Marcel O.; Souza, Andréa L. T.; Módena, Érica S.

    2006-07-01

    Consumer density can influence foraging patterns such as prey-size selection, but few studies have evaluated its effects in field conditions. Here we evaluate the hypothesis that habitat structure influences forager density, and that this in turn influences the size of prey consumed by two avian predators. The sizes of two apple snail species available to, and consumed by, snail kites and limpkins were determined at sites with high and low densities of snail kite foraging perches. Sites with more perches had higher densities of snail kites, but not of limpkins. Both predators consumed prey larger than those available in the marshes, but habitat structure influenced the probability of consumption of different prey sizes. Limpkins consumed larger prey at low-density sites when compared with high-density sites, in contrast to other studies that found no size selection. Thus, limpkins can present prey-size selectivity but the presence of other predators can influence the range of prey sizes consumed. When a wider range of prey sizes is available, limpkins can select larger prey; alternatively, higher densities of other predators can result in higher foraging risk, favoring the capture of smaller, easier to handle prey. Snail kites incorporated smaller prey to their diet at low-density sites than at high-density ones, probably due to the higher costs of carrying large prey, differential age distribution, or lower foraging risks. Thus, habitat structure can influence consumer density and foraging patterns in complex ways, influencing predator-prey interactions in natural systems.

  9. Process-based models of feeding and prey selection in larval fish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fiksen, O.; MacKenzie, Brian

    2002-01-01

    believed to be important to prey selectivity and environmental regulation of feeding in fish. We include the sensitivity of prey to the hydrodynamic signal generated by approaching larval fish and a simple model of the potential loss of prey due to turbulence whereby prey is lost if it leaves...... jig dry wt l(-1). The spatio-temporal fluctuation of turbulence (tidal cycle) and light (sun height) over the bank generates complex structure in the patterns of food intake of larval fish, with different patterns emerging for small and large larvae....

  10. Toward a community ecology of landscapes: predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Oswald J; Miller, Jennifer R B; Trainor, Anne M; Abrahms, Briana

    2017-09-01

    Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species' geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons, it has become divided into two enterprises: one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining patterns across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain. Habitat domain describes the spatial extent of habitat space that predators and prey use while foraging, which differs from home range, the spatial extent used by an animal to meet all of its daily needs. This conceptual theory can be used to predict how different spatial relations of predators and prey could lead to different emergent multiple predator-prey interactions such as whether predator consumptive or non-consumptive effects should dominate, and whether intraguild predation, predator interference or predator complementarity are expected. We then review the literature on studies of large predator-prey interactions that make conclusions about the nature of multiple predator-prey interactions. This analysis reveals that while many studies provide sufficient information

  11. Vulnerability of the mosquito larvae to the guppies (Poecilia reticulata) in the presence of alternative preys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manna, Barnali; Aditya, Gautam; Banerjee, Samir

    2008-09-01

    The predatory potential of the larvivorous fishes can be affected by the presence of alternative preys. In the present study the predation pattern of the sewage dwelling Poecilia reticulata (Peters 1872) on the larvae of Culex quinquefasciatus Say 1823 (Diptera: Culicidae) was evaluated in the presence of alternative preys. The predation of Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae by different size groups of R. reticulata fishes was evaluated. In addition to this, the niche breadth (N) and diet breadth (B) were measured following Manly's selectivity index (Si) as an indicator of variation of such predation pattern in the presence of alternative prey types, like chironomid larvae and tubificid worms. The consumption of IV instar Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae by individual P. reticulata ranged between 65 and 84 in a 3 h feeding period and varied with the size of fish (F2,33 = 34.91; p < 0.001). The selectivity coefficient revealed a significantly low preference for the Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae (0.16, CL: 0.05-0.27; p < 0.05) compared to the chironomid larvae and tubificid worms, when all the three prey types were present. The niche breadth (N) and diet breadth (B) ranged from 0.77 to 0.92 and 0.69 to 0.93, respectively. The total consumption of all the prey types varied with the predator density, but the selectivity index for the mosquito larvae was significantly low in all the instances. P. reticulata can consume a good number of mosquito larvae, with the consumption rate varying with the body size. P. reticulata fishes exhibit low preference for mosquito larvae as prey in the presence of alternative controphic preys like chironomid larvae and tubificid worms. Though establishment and sustenance of P. reticulata in new habitats will be favoured by the presence of alternative preys, but vulnerability of mosquito larvae may be reduced with availability of multiple preys in natural conditions.

  12. Indicators: Shallow Water Habitat/In-stream Fish Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shallow water habitat, also referred to as in-stream fish habitat, refers to areas that fish and other aquatic organisms need for concealment, breeding and feeding. This includes large woody snags, boulders, rock ledges, and undercut banks.

  13. Orthopteran insects as potential and preferred preys of the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus in Hungary

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    Szövényi Gergely

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Orthopterans play an important role in Red-footed Falcon diet, however, most studies focus only on its qualitative food composition, and less on quantitative composition and preferences of the taxa identified as prey. During the present research, an extensive orthopterological investigation was carried out in the Red-footed Falcon study area, Vásárhelyi Plain (SE-Hungary between 2006 and 2008. Grasshoppers were sampled in their main habitats by sweep netting and pitfall trapping, and orthopterans were identified in the food remnants collected from the nests, both artificial and natural ones. 26 species were detected during the field works, 18 species from the food remnants. Altogether 32 species were identified. Prey preference values for all species for each year were calculated. More than two thirds of the identified preys were Decticus verrucivorus, and nearly 20% were Tettigonia viridissima. Other common prey species were Melanogryllus desertus, Platycleis affinis, Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa, Calliptamus italicus and Gryllus campestris. Based on the prey preference analysis, the most preferred species was Decticus verrucivorus with extreme high values, and the other preferred ones, overlapping with the previous list, were Platycleis affinis, Bicolorana bicolor, Tettigonia viridissima, Calliptamus italicus and Roeseliana roeselii. These results may help in the development of Red-footed Falcon-friendly habitats through the application of habitat management favourable for the preferred prey species.

  14. When attempts at robbing prey turn fatal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dejean, Alain; Corbara, Bruno; Azémar, Frédéric; Carpenter, James M.

    2012-07-01

    Because group-hunting arboreal ants spread-eagle insect prey for a long time before retrieving them, these prey can be coveted by predatory flying insects. Yet, attempting to rob these prey is risky if the ant species is also an effective predator. Here, we show that trying to rob prey from Azteca andreae workers is a fatal error as 268 out of 276 potential cleptobionts (97.1 %) were captured in turn. The ant workers hunt in a group and use the "Velcro®" principle to cling firmly to the leaves of their host tree, permitting them to capture very large prey. Exceptions were one social wasp, plus some Trigona spp. workers and flies that landed directly on the prey and were able to take off immediately when attacked. We conclude that in this situation, previously captured prey attract potential cleptobionts that are captured in turn in most of the cases.

  15. Seasonal variation in coastal marine habitat use by the European shag: Insights from fine scale habitat selection modeling and diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe

    2017-07-01

    Studies of habitat selection by higher trophic level species are necessary for using top predator species as indicators of ecosystem functioning. However, contrary to terrestrial ecosystems, few habitat selection studies have been conducted at a fine scale for coastal marine top predator species, and fewer have coupled diet data with habitat selection modeling to highlight a link between prey selection and habitat use. The aim of this study was to characterize spatially and oceanographically, at a fine scale, the habitats used by the European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis in the Special Protection Area (SPA) of Houat-Hœdic in the Mor Braz Bay during its foraging activity. Habitat selection models were built using in situ observation data of foraging shags (transect sampling) and spatially explicit environmental data to characterize marine benthic habitats. Observations were first adjusted for detectability biases and shag abundance was subsequently spatialized. The influence of habitat variables on shag abundance was tested using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). Diet data were finally confronted to habitat selection models. Results showed that European shags breeding in the Mor Braz Bay changed foraging habitats according to the season and to the different environmental and energetic constraints. The proportion of the main preys also varied seasonally. Rocky and coarse sand habitats were clearly preferred compared to fine or muddy sand habitats. Shags appeared to be more selective in their foraging habitats during the breeding period and the rearing of chicks, using essentially rocky areas close to the colony and consuming preferentially fish from the Labridae family and three other fish families in lower proportions. During the post-breeding period shags used a broader range of habitats and mainly consumed Gadidae. Thus, European shags seem to adjust their feeding strategy to minimize energetic costs, to avoid intra-specific competition and to maximize access

  16. Prey preference follows phylogeny: evolutionary dietary patterns within the marine gastropod group Cladobranchia (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Nudibranchia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodheart, Jessica A; Bazinet, Adam L; Valdés, Ángel; Collins, Allen G; Cummings, Michael P

    2017-10-26

    The impact of predator-prey interactions on the evolution of many marine invertebrates is poorly understood. Since barriers to genetic exchange are less obvious in the marine realm than in terrestrial or freshwater systems, non-allopatric divergence may play a fundamental role in the generation of biodiversity. In this context, shifts between major prey types could constitute important factors explaining the biodiversity of marine taxa, particularly in groups with highly specialized diets. However, the scarcity of marine specialized consumers for which reliable phylogenies exist hampers attempts to test the role of trophic specialization in evolution. In this study, RNA-Seq data is used to produce a phylogeny of Cladobranchia, a group of marine invertebrates that feed on a diverse array of prey taxa but mostly specialize on cnidarians. The broad range of prey type preferences allegedly present in two major groups within Cladobranchia suggest that prey type shifts are relatively common over evolutionary timescales. In the present study, we generated a well-supported phylogeny of the major lineages within Cladobranchia using RNA-Seq data, and used ancestral state reconstruction analyses to better understand the evolution of prey preference. These analyses answered several fundamental questions regarding the evolutionary relationships within Cladobranchia, including support for a clade of species from Arminidae as sister to Tritoniidae (which both preferentially prey on Octocorallia). Ancestral state reconstruction analyses supported a cladobranchian ancestor with a preference for Hydrozoa and show that the few transitions identified only occur from lineages that prey on Hydrozoa to those that feed on other types of prey. There is strong phylogenetic correlation with prey preference within Cladobranchia, suggesting that prey type specialization within this group has inertia. Shifts between different types of prey have occurred rarely throughout the evolution of

  17. Selection of habitat by the jaguar, Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae, in the upper Paraná River, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laury Cullen Junior

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available We used data from VHF and GPS radio-tagged jaguars, Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758 to quantify jaguar habitat selection and how adult individuals in the Upper Paraná River region selected among the available habitat types. We followed the framework in which animals make decisions about resource use at hierarchical stages, namely selection of home range within a study area (second-order selection and selection of patches within a home range (third-order selection. We quantified habitat preferences at two orders of selection with respect to habitat types and to test the null hypothesis that habitat utilization by jaguars was random at both study sites. Using compositional analysis, we assessed habitat selection by jaguars at second- and third-orders of selection. Jaguars consistently preferred dense marshes and primary forests, and avoided human-dominated areas such as intensively managed open pastures. Although the avoidance of disturbed and developed habitat types by jaguars is not surprising, this is the first study to document it. If small protected areas, such as the ones already existing in the Upper Paraná region, are to sustain jaguar populations they, must include and protect as many primary forests and marshlands as possible, so that jaguars can disperse, hunt wild prey and take care of their cubs without being disturbed. What is urgently needed in these jaguar-protected areas is the creation of larger protected areas that can sustain jaguars in their favored habitat.

  18. 3-D Printed Habitat - Design Competition

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge seeks to develop the fundamental technologies necessary to manufacture habitats using indigenous materials, including recycled...

  19. Prey and mound disassembly, manipulation and transport by fire ant collectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Bahnisikha; Monaenkova, Daria; Goodisman, Michael A.; Goldman, Daniel

    Fire ants inhabit subterranean nests covered by a hemispherical mound of soil permeated by narrow ( 1 body length diameter) tunnels. Fire ants can use their mound for long-term food storage [Gayahan &Tschinkel, J. Insect Sci.,2008]. Since mound tunnels are narrow, we expect that in addition to prey manipulation, mound reconfiguration could also be an important aspect of the food storage strategy. Ant colonies collected from wild were allowed to build nests in containers filled with clay soil in the laboratory. These colonies were offered diverse prey embedded with lead markers, including mealworms, crickets and shrimp. Ant-prey-soil interactions on the nest surface were recorded using overhead video and subsurface using x-ray imaging. Individual ants involved in prey storage exhibited three distinct behaviors: prey maneuvering, prey dissection and mound reconfiguration. Small prey (e.g. mealworms) were collectively carried intact into the mound through a tunnel, and then disassembled within the mound. Larger prey (e.g. shrimp) were dismantled into small pieces above the surface and carried to mound tunnels. The bodies of hard medium-sized prey (e.g. crickets) were buried after limb removal and then disassembled and moved into tunnels. Soil reconfiguration occurred in all cases.

  20. Prey diversity effects on ecosystem functioning depend on consumer identity and prey composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlgemuth, Daniel; Filip, Joanna; Hillebrand, Helmut; Moorthi, Stefanie D

    2017-07-01

    Consumer diversity effects on ecosystem functioning are highly context dependent and are determined by consumer specialization and other consumer and prey specific traits such as growth and grazing rates. Despite complex reciprocal interactions between consumers and their prey, few experimental studies have focused on prey diversity effects on consumer dynamics and trophic transfer. In microbial microcosms, we investigated effects of algal prey diversity (one, two and four species) on the production, evenness and grazing rates of 4 ciliate consumers, differing in grazing preferences and rates. Prey diversity increased prey biovolume in the absence of consumers and had opposing effects on different consumers, depending on their specialization and their preferred prey. Consumers profited from prey mixtures compared to monocultures of non-preferred prey, but responded negatively if preferred prey species were offered together with other species. Prey diversity increased consumer evenness by preventing dominance of specific consumers, demonstrating that the loss of prey species may have cascading effects resulting in reduced consumer diversity. Our study emphasizes that not only the degree of specialization but also the selectivity for certain prey species within the dietary niche may alter the consequences of changing prey diversity in a food web context.

  1. From rainforest to oil palm plantations: Shifts in predator population and prey communities, but resistant interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Konopik

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic habitat change can dramatically alter biotic communities in tropical landscapes. Species that persist in human dominated landscapes are therefore likely to modify the way they interact. Although human impacts on community composition are relatively well studied, changes in species interactions are less well documented. Here we assess how logging of rainforest and conversion to oil palm plantations affects the populations of the ant-specialist giant river toad (Phrynoidis juxtaspera, and the availability and composition of its ant prey. We measured canopy cover as an estimate for the degree of disturbance and found that toad abundance decreased with increasing disturbance, and that retaining riparian vegetation should therefore help conserve this species. Both abundance and species richness of local ground-foraging ants increased with disturbance, and ant community composition was altered. Despite these changes, composition of ants consumed by toads was only weakly affected by habitat change, with the exception of the invasive yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes, which was positively selected in oil palm plantations. This suggests that predator–prey interactions can be mostly maintained with habitat disturbance despite shifts in the community composition of potential prey, and even that some predators are capable of exploiting new prey sources in novel ecosystems.

  2. A spatial theory for emergent multiple predator-prey interactions in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northfield, Tobin D; Barton, Brandon T; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2017-09-01

    Predator-prey interaction is inherently spatial because animals move through landscapes to search for and consume food resources and to avoid being consumed by other species. The spatial nature of species interactions necessitates integrating spatial processes into food web theory and evaluating how predators combine to impact their prey. Here, we present a spatial modeling approach that examines emergent multiple predator effects on prey within landscapes. The modeling is inspired by the habitat domain concept derived from empirical synthesis of spatial movement and interactions studies. Because these principles are motivated by synthesis of short-term experiments, it remains uncertain whether spatial contingency principles hold in dynamical systems. We address this uncertainty by formulating dynamical systems models, guided by core habitat domain principles, to examine long-term multiple predator-prey spatial dynamics. To describe habitat domains, we use classical niche concepts describing resource utilization distributions, and assume species interactions emerge from the degree of overlap between species. The analytical results generally align with those from empirical synthesis and present a theoretical framework capable of demonstrating multiple predator effects that does not depend on the small spatial or temporal scales typical of mesocosm experiments, and help bridge between empirical experiments and long-term dynamics in natural systems.

  3. Prey diversity is associated with weaker consumer effects in a meta-analysis of benthic marine experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Kyle F; Aquilino, Kristin M; Best, Rebecca J; Sellheim, Kirsten L; Stachowicz, John J

    2010-02-01

    A rapidly accumulating body of research has shown that species diversity consistently affects the functioning of ecosystems. The incorporation of trophic complexity and the extension of this research to larger scales and natural ranges in species diversity remain as important challenges for understanding the true magnitude of these effects in natural systems. Here, we test whether the diversity of prey communities affects the magnitude of aggregate consumer effects. We conducted a meta-analysis of 57 consumer removal field experiments from a range of intertidal and subtidal hard substrate marine communities. We found that the richness of the prey community was the strongest predictor of the magnitude of consumer effects while controlling for habitat type, taxonomic composition, and other variables. Consumer removal increased aggregate prey abundance on average by 1200% at the lower limit of prey diversity (two species), but only 200% at the upper limit of 37 species. Importantly, compositional change was substantial at both high and low prey diversity, suggesting predation intensity did not vary with prey richness. Rather diverse prey communities appear to be more capable of maintaining abundance via compensatory responses, by containing prey species that are resistant to (or tolerant of) predators. These results suggest that the effects of species diversity on trophic interactions may scale consistently from small-scale manipulations to cross-community comparisons.

  4. The economics of protecting tiger populations: Linking household behavior to poaching and prey depletion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damania, R.; Stringer, R.; Karanth, K.U.; Stith, B.

    2003-01-01

    The tiger (Panthera tigris) is classified as endangered and populations continue to decline. This paper presents a formal economic analysis of the two most imminent threats to the survival of wild tigers: poaching tigers and hunting their prey. A model is developed to examine interactions between tigers and farm households living in and around tiger habitats. The analysis extends the existing literature on tiger demography, incorporating predator-prey interactions and exploring the sensitivity of tiger populations to key economic parameters. The analysis aims to contribute to policy debates on how best to protect one of the world's most endangered wild cats.

  5. Comparing prey composition and prey size delivered to nestlings by great tits, Parus major, and blue tits, Cyanistes caeruleus, in a Mediterranean sclerophyllous mixed forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Navalpotro, H.; Pagani-Nuñez, E.; Hernandez-Gomez, S.; Senar, J.C.

    2016-07-01

    Resource partitioning is a central issue in ecology because it can establish to which point similar species can coexist in the same habitat. Great tits and blue tits have been classical model species in studies of trophic competence. However, most studies on the topic have been conducted at localities where caterpillars are by far the most relevant prey brought to the nestlings. In Mediterranean mixed forests, nevertheless, the abundance of caterpillars is relatively low and it is spiders that play a key role in the diet of great tits, at least for nestlings. The aim of this paper was to study nest food provisioning to establish the degree of diet overlap of these two tit species in a Mediterranean forest. Our results showed that blue tit feeding rates were higher than those of great tits, probably to compensate for the smaller prey delivered to nestlings by blue tits. Blue tits brought more spiders than great tits, while grey tits brought larger prey and more caterpillars. This may be because larger great tits can prey upon larger prey items than blue tits. As a main result, this study supports the view of resource partitioning by great and blue tits in sclerophyllous Mediterranean forest ecosystem. (Author)

  6. Snake (Colubridae: Thamnophis) predatory responses to chemical cues from native and introduced prey species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mullin, S.J.; Imbert, H.; Fish, J.M.; Ervin, E.L.; Fisher, R.N.

    2004-01-01

    Several aquatic vertebrates have been introduced into freshwater systems in California over the past 100 years. Some populations of the two-striped garter snake (Thamnophis hammondii) have lived in sympatry with these species since their introduction; other populations have never encountered them. To assess the possible adaptation to a novel prey, we tested the predatory responses of T. hammondii from different populations to different chemosensory cues from native and introduced prey species. We presented chemical extracts from potential prey types and 2 control odors to individual snakes on cotton swabs and recorded the number of tongue flicks and attacks directed at each swab. Subject response was higher for prey odors than control substances. Odors from introduced centrarchid fish (Lepomis) elicited higher response levels than other prey types, including native anuran larvae (Pseudacris regilla). The pattern of response was similar for both populations of snakes (experienced and nai??ve, with respect to the introduced prey). We suggest that the generalist aquatic lifestyle of T. hammondii has allowed it to take advantage of increasing populations of introduced prey. Decisions on the management strategies for some of these introduced prey species should include consideration of how T. hammondii populations might respond in areas of sympatry.

  7. Visibility conditions and diel period affect small-scale spatio-temporal behaviour of pike Esox lucius in the absence of prey and conspecifics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, P A; Baktoft, Henrik; Boel, Mikkel

    2012-01-01

    Pike Esox lucius in the absence of prey and conspecifics were shown to have the highest habitat-change activity during dusk and to decrease preference for complex habitats in turbid water. As the behaviours indicate routine responses in the absence of behavioural interactions, E. lucius spatio-te...

  8. Migration and habitat preferences of Swainson's Hawks at an autumn stopover site in northwestern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Littlefield, Carroll D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2013-01-01

    Unlike most raptors, the Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) migrates long distances between breeding and wintering ranges, which elevates the importance of stopover sites for foraging. We conducted three years of fall surveys in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Migrant Swainson's Hawks moved through the area mostly between July and mid-October, peaking in September. Subadults tended to migrate earlier than adults, and light morphs before dark morphs. Favored foraging habitats included silage corn, green beans, and alfalfa, but the hawks foraged primarily where ongoing agricultural activities disturbed prey and made them more available.

  9. Campylobacter spp. and birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dipineto, Ludovico; De Luca Bossa, Luigi Maria; Russo, Tamara Pasqualina; Cutino, Eridania Annalisa; Gargiulo, Antonio; Ciccarelli, Francesca; Raia, Pasquale; Menna, Lucia Francesca; Fioretti, Alessandro

    2014-06-01

    A total of 170 birds of prey admitted to two Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centers of Italy were examined. Birds were divided by diurnal (n = 15) and nocturnal (n = 7) species, sampled by cloacal swabs, and examined for Campylobacter spp. by cultural and molecular methods. Campylobacter spp. were isolated in 43 out of the 170 (25.3%) birds of prey examined. Among these, 43/43 (100%) were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 10/43 (23.3%) were identified as Campylobacter coli recovered from mixed infections. Diurnal birds of prey showed a significantly higher prevalence value (P = 0.0006) for Campylobacter spp. than did nocturnal birds of prey.

  10. Designated Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as...

  11. "Prey Play": Learning about Predators and Prey through an Interactive, Role-Play Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deaton, Cynthia C. M.; Dodd, Kristen; Drennon, Katherine; Nagle, Jack

    2012-01-01

    "Prey Play" is an interactive role-play activity that provides fifth-grade students with opportunities to examine predator-prey interactions. This four-part, role-play activity allows students to take on the role of a predator and prey as they reflect on the behaviors animals exhibit as they collect food and interact with one another, as well as…

  12. Optimal foraging on perilous prey: risk of bill damage reduces optimal prey size in oystercatchers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutten, A.L.; Oosterbeek, K.H.; Ens, B.J.; Verhulst, S.

    2006-01-01

    Intake rate maximization alone is not always sufficient in explaining prey size selection in predators. For example, bivalve-feeding oystercatchers regularly select smaller prey than expected if they aimed to maximize their intake rate. It has been proposed that to these birds large prey are

  13. Optimal foraging on perilous prey : risk of bill damage reduces optimal prey size in oystercatchers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rutten, AL; Oosterbeek, K; Ens, Bruno J.; Verhulst, S

    2006-01-01

    Intake rate maximization alone is not. always sufficient in explaining prey size selection in predators. For example, bivalve-feeding oystercatchers regularly select. smaller prey than expected if they aimed to maximize their intake rat-C. It has been proposed that. to these birds large prey are

  14. Inter-cohort cannibalism of early benthic phase blue king crabs (Paralithodes platypus: alternate foraging strategies in different habitats lead to different functional responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Daly

    Full Text Available Blue king crabs (Paralithodes platypus are commercially and ecologically important in Alaska, USA, but population abundances have fluctuated over the past several decades likely resulting from a combination of environmental and biological factors, including recruitment variability. Cannibalism between cohorts may be a source of mortality limiting recruitment success in the wild, but the degree of inter-cohort cannibalism is unknown for early benthic phase blue king crabs. In laboratory experiments, we evaluated the effects of habitat type (sand and shell on the predator functional response and foraging behavior of year-1 blue king crabs as predators of year-0 conspecifics and examined the effects of predator presence on crypsis of prey crabs. In sand, consumption rates increased with predator size and prey density until satiation, while predation rates in shell were low regardless of predator size or prey density. These differential predation rates yielded a type III functional response in sand but a type I functional response in shell habitat. Crypsis of prey crabs was generally high and did not change in the presence of predators. Predator foraging activity was reduced in shell and may be an adaptive behavior to balance foraging efficiency and susceptibility to larger predators. Our results demonstrate that early benthic phase blue king crabs are cannibalistic between cohorts in the laboratory and that shell material is extremely effective for reducing encounter rates with conspecific predators. The distribution and abundance of such habitat may be important for recruitment success in some populations. Future studies should compare benthic habitat and species assemblages in areas with variable abundances, such as the Pribilof Islands and Saint Matthew Island in the eastern Bering Sea, to better understand possible mechanisms for recruitment variability.

  15. Alien Mink Predation and Colonisation Processes of Rodent Prey on Small Islands of the Baltic Sea: Does Prey Naivete Matter?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fey, K.; Korpimaki, E.; Banks, P.B.

    2010-01-01

    Colonisation, an important part of meta-population dynamics of fragmented populations, depends on both the dispersal ability and the ability to establish in the new habitat. Predation can hinder successful establishment of prey, and where the predation pressure comes from an alien predator, the effects on colonisation might be devastating. We studied the establishment of field voles (Microtus agrestis) inhabiting small islands of the archipelago of the Baltic Sea, SW Finland, under presence and absence of the alien American mink (Mustela vison). We translocated experienced voles from islands with mink, and inexperienced voles from islands from which mink had been removed, to other islands where mink was present or absent. By radio-tracking we studied survival, space and micro habitat use of voles within four weeks after translocation. Survival of voles on mink islands was significantly lower than on mink-free islands, but experienced voles did not survive better than inexperienced voles. Experienced voles were more often located in juniper habitats than inexperienced voles, but they appeared not to gain any survival benefit from altered micro habitat use. This study provides novel evidence, that alien mink predation inhibits establishment of colonising field voles and may thus ultimately induce extinction of voles from the outer archipelago.

  16. Tadpoles of three common anuran species from Thailand do not prey on mosquito larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weterings, Robbie

    2015-12-01

    Tadpoles are often considered to be predators of mosquito larvae and are therefore beneficial for the control of certain disease vectors. Nevertheless, only a few species have actually been recorded to prey on mosquito larvae. The mosquito larvae predation rates of tadpoles of three common Thai anuran species (Bufo melanostictus, Kaloula pulchra and Hylarana raniceps) were experimentally tested. Tadpoles in varying developmental stages were used to assess a size/age effect on the predation rate. In addition, different instars of Culex quinquefasciatus were used in order to assess a prey size effect on the predation rates. All three species failed to show any evidence of mosquito larvae predation. Neither small nor large tadpoles fed on mosquito larvae. Prey size also did not affect predation. Although tadpoles do not feed on mosquito larvae, there may be other direct or indirect inter-specific interactions that adversely impact the development of larvae in shared habitats with tadpoles. © 2015 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  17. Is the red spotted green frog Hypsiboas punctatus (Anura: Hylidae) selecting its preys? The importance of prey availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Javier A; Scarabotti, Pablo A; Medrano, María C; Ghirardi, Romina

    2009-09-01

    generalist feeder, foraging on their main food item and some secondary preys in similar proportion to their environmental availability; even though other secondary preys are being selectively preferred or ignored by frogs. Our data illustrate the importance of including the resource availability data on diet studies to improve the understanding of amphibian feeding ecology.

  18. Co-distribution of seabirds and their polar cod prey near the ice edge in southern Baffin Bay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    LeBlanc, Mathieu; Gauthier, S; Mosbech, Anders

    species, and age-1 polar cod found in bird stomachs were likely individuals associated to ice. At a large scale of hundreds of kilometers, seabirds and age-0 polar cod were more abundant in ice-covered habitats (30 to 100% ice concentration). At medium and small scale of 12.5 and 1 km respectively...... fish. The ongoing climate warming and the decrease in sea-ice extent may lead to the confinement of sympagic age-1 polar cod in northernmost regions of the Arctic and force seabirds to travel farther to reach more productive ice edges.......Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) is the main prey of several arctic predators including many seabird species. Ice edges are known as important feeding locations for seabirds. How polar cod density affects arctic seabird distribution around offshore ice edges is still unclear. We tested the hypothesis...

  19. Zebra mussel beds: an effective feeding ground for Ponto-Caspian gobies or suitable shelter for their prey?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jarosław Kobak

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Aggregations of the Ponto-Caspian invasive zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha constitute a suitable habitat for macroinvertebrates, considerably increasing their abundance and providing effective antipredator protection. Thus, the overall effect of a mussel bed on particular predator species may vary from positive to negative, depending on both prey density increase and predator ability to prey in a structurally complex habitat. Alien Ponto-Caspian goby fish are likely to be facilitated when introduced into new areas by zebra mussels, provided that they are capable of utilizing mussel beds as habitat and feeding grounds. We ran laboratory experiments to find which prey (chironomid larvae densities (from ca. 500 to 2,000 individuals m−2 in a mussel bed make it a more beneficial feeding ground for the racer goby Babka gymnotrachelus (RG and western tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris (WTG compared to sandy and stone substrata (containing the basic prey density of 500 ind. m−2. Moreover, we checked how food availability affects habitat selection by fish. Mussel beds became more suitable for fish than alternative mineral substrata when food abundance was at least two times higher (1,000 vs. 500 ind. m−2, regardless of fish size and species. WTG was associated with mussel beds regardless of its size and prey density, whereas RG switched to this habitat when it became a better feeding ground than alternative substrata. Larger RG exhibited a stronger affinity for mussels than small individuals. WTG fed more efficiently from a mussel bed at high food abundances than RG. A literature review has shown that increasing chironomid density, which in our study was sufficient to make a mussel habitat an attractive feeding ground for the gobies, is commonly observed in mussel beds in the field. Therefore, we conclude that zebra mussels may positively affect the alien goby species and are likely to facilitate their establishment in novel areas

  20. Multi-trophic resource selection function enlightens the behavioural game between wolves and their prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courbin, Nicolas; Fortin, Daniel; Dussault, Christian; Fargeot, Viviane; Courtois, Réhaume

    2013-09-01

    1. Habitat selection strategies translate into movement tactics, which reckon with the predator-prey spatial game. Strategic habitat selection analysis can therefore illuminate behavioural games. Cover types at potential encounter sites (i.e. intersections between movement paths of predator and prey) can be compared with cover types available (i) within the area of home-range-overlap (HRO) between predator and prey; and (ii) along the path (MP) of each species. Unlike the HRO scale, cover-type availability at MP scale differs between interacting species due to species-specific movement decisions. Scale differences in selection could therefore inform on divergences in fitness rewarding actions between predators and prey. 2. We used this framework to evaluate the spatial game between GPS-collared wolves (Canis lupus) versus caribou (Rangifer tarandus), and wolf versus moose (Alces alces). 3. Changes in cover-type availability between HRO and MP revealed differences in how each species fine-tuned its movements to habitat features. In contrast to caribou, wolves increased their encounter rate with regenerating cuts along their paths (MP) relative to the HRO level. As a consequence, wolves were less likely to cross caribou paths in areas with higher percentage of regenerating cuts than expected based on the availability along their paths, whereas caribou had a higher risk of intersecting wolf paths by crossing these areas, relative to random expectation along their paths. Unlike for caribou, availability of mixed and deciduous areas decreased from HRO to MP level for wolves and moose. Overall, wolves displayed stronger similarities in movement decisions with moose than with caribou, thereby revealing the focus of wolves on moose. 4. Our study reveals how differences in fine-scale movement tactics between species create asymmetric relative encounter probabilities between predators and prey, given their paths. Increase in relative risk of encounter for prey and decrease

  1. Relating marten scat contents to prey consumed

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski

    1986-01-01

    A European ferret, Mustela putorius furo, was fed typical marten food items to discover the relationship between prey weight and number of scats produced per unit weight of prey. A correction factor was derived that was used in the analysis of pine marten, Martes americana, scats to produce a method capable of comparing foods on a...

  2. Predators and resources influence phosphorus transfer along an invertebrate food web through changes in prey behaviour.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edoardo Calizza

    Full Text Available Predators play a fundamental role in prey trophic behaviour, with indirect consequences for species coexistence and ecosystem functioning. Resource quality and availability also influence prey trophic behaviour, with potential effects on predator-prey dynamics. Although many studies have addressed these topics, little attention has been paid to the combined effects of predators and resources on prey species coexistence and nutrient transfer along food chains, especially in detritus-based systems. To determine the influence of predators and resource quality on the movement and P uptake of detritivores, we carried out a field experiment on the River Kelvin (Scotland using (32P to test the hypothesis of reduced prey vagility among resource patches as a strategy to avoid predation. Thirty leaf sacks containing alder leaves and two detritivore prey populations (Asellus aquaticus and Lymnaea peregra were placed in cages, half of them with two predator species (Dendrocoelum lacteum and Erpobdella octoculata and the other half without predators. Five alder leaf bags, each individually inoculated with a different fungus strain to simulate a patchy habitat, were placed inside each leaf sack. One bag in each sack was labelled with (32P, in order to assess the proportion of detritivores using it as food and thus their movement among the five resource patches. Three replicates for each labelled fungus and each predation treatment (i.e. with and without predators were left on the riverbed for 7 days. The presence of predators had negligible effects on the number of detritivores in the leaf bags, but it did reduce the proportion of (32P-labelled detritivores and their P uptake. The most strongly affected species was A. aquaticus, whose vagility, trophic overlap with L. peregra and P uptake were all reduced. The results confirm the importance of bottom-up and top-down forces acting simultaneously to regulate nutrient transfer along food chains in patchy

  3. Wolves adapt territory size, not pack size to local habitat quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kittle, Andrew M; Anderson, Morgan; Avgar, Tal; Baker, James A; Brown, Glen S; Hagens, Jevon; Iwachewski, Ed; Moffatt, Scott; Mosser, Anna; Patterson, Brent R; Reid, Douglas E B; Rodgers, Arthur R; Shuter, Jen; Street, Garrett M; Thompson, Ian D; Vander Vennen, Lucas M; Fryxell, John M

    2015-09-01

    1. Although local variation in territorial predator density is often correlated with habitat quality, the causal mechanism underlying this frequently observed association is poorly understood and could stem from facultative adjustment in either group size or territory size. 2. To test between these alternative hypotheses, we used a novel statistical framework to construct a winter population-level utilization distribution for wolves (Canis lupus) in northern Ontario, which we then linked to a suite of environmental variables to determine factors influencing wolf space use. Next, we compared habitat quality metrics emerging from this analysis as well as an independent measure of prey abundance, with pack size and territory size to investigate which hypothesis was most supported by the data. 3. We show that wolf space use patterns were concentrated near deciduous, mixed deciduous/coniferous and disturbed forest stands favoured by moose (Alces alces), the predominant prey species in the diet of wolves in northern Ontario, and in proximity to linear corridors, including shorelines and road networks remaining from commercial forestry activities. 4. We then demonstrate that landscape metrics of wolf habitat quality - projected wolf use, probability of moose occupancy and proportion of preferred land cover classes - were inversely related to territory size but unrelated to pack size. 5. These results suggest that wolves in boreal ecosystems alter territory size, but not pack size, in response to local variation in habitat quality. This could be an adaptive strategy to balance trade-offs between territorial defence costs and energetic gains due to resource acquisition. That pack size was not responsive to habitat quality suggests that variation in group size is influenced by other factors such as intraspecific competition between wolf packs. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2015 British Ecological Society.

  4. Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the U.S. Pacific Reefs from 2000 to 2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat...

  5. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of American Samoa from 2015-02-15 to 2015-03-23 (NCEI Accession 0157566)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat...

  6. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the Hawaiian Archipelago from 2016-07-13 to 2016-09-26 (NCEI Accession 0157565)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat...

  7. National Coral Reef Monitoring Program: Towed-diver Surveys of Benthic Habitat, Key Benthic Species, including Marine Debris Sightings, of the Pacific Remote Island Areas from 2015-01-26 to 2015-04-26 (NCEI Accession 0157564)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The towed-diver method is used to conduct benthic surveys, assessing large-scale disturbances (e.g., bleaching) and quantifying benthic components such as habitat...

  8. The response of spider (Araneae assemblages to structural heterogeneity and prey abundance in sub-montane vegetation modified by conservation grazing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effect of experimental livestock grazing regimens (4 treatments×6 replicates on spiders via habitat structure and prey abundance was investigated on sub-montane habitats in the Southern Highlands of Scotland. The study, 2002–2004 included a baseline survey under the prior, commercial sheep grazing regimen and two assessments of spider assemblages post-treatment: commercial stocking density of sheep; 1/3 stocking density with sheep; 1/3 stocking density cattle with sheep; and no grazing. Spiders were sampled with a suction sampler, five sucks at each of 25 sample units by 24 plots (600 samples in 2003 and 2004, ca. 320 in 2002. Spider abundance and species richness increased under reduced stocking density, mixed herbivore and ungrazed treatments indirectly via changes in vegetation structure and prey abundance. The results refuted a meta-analysis that concluded species richness of spiders is unaffected by grazing. Grazing regimens caused turnover in species composition more than the net difference in species richness suggested, implying that no single, optimal grazing regimen will support as many species as a patchwork under varied grazing management. Conservation grazing benefits spiders and will have significant benefits for food webs in sub-montane ecosystems but the period to equilibrium after changes to grazing requires further investigation.

  9. Response of pumas (Puma concolor) to migration of their primary prey in Patagonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelin, Maria L; Branch, Lyn C; Thornton, Daniel H; Novaro, Andrés J; Gould, Matthew J; Caragiulo, Anthony

    2017-01-01

    Large-scale ungulate migrations result in changes in prey availability for top predators and, as a consequence, can alter predator behavior. Migration may include entire populations of prey species, but often prey populations exhibit partial migration with some individuals remaining resident and others migrating. Interactions of migratory prey and predators have been documented in North America and some other parts of the world, but are poorly studied in South America. We examined the response of pumas (Puma concolor) to seasonal migration of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in La Payunia Reserve in northern Patagonia Argentina, which is the site of the longest known ungulate migration in South America. More than 15,000 guanacos migrate seasonally in this landscape, and some guanacos also are resident year-round. We hypothesized that pumas would respond to the guanaco migration by consuming more alternative prey rather than migrating with guanacos because of the territoriality of pumas and availability of alternative prey throughout the year at this site. To determine whether pumas moved seasonally with the guanacos, we conducted camera trapping in the summer and winter range of guanacos across both seasons and estimated density of pumas with spatial mark-resight (SMR) models. Also, we analyzed puma scats to assess changes in prey consumption in response to guanaco migration. Density estimates of pumas did not change significantly in the winter and summer range of guanacos when guanacos migrated to and from these areas, indicating that pumas do not follow the migration of guanacos. Pumas also did not consume more alternative native prey or livestock when guanaco availability was lower, but rather fed primarily on guanacos and some alternative prey during all seasons. Alternative prey were most common in the diet during summer when guanacos also were abundant on the summer range. The response of pumas to the migration of guanacos differs from sites in the western North

  10. Response of pumas (Puma concolor to migration of their primary prey in Patagonia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria L Gelin

    Full Text Available Large-scale ungulate migrations result in changes in prey availability for top predators and, as a consequence, can alter predator behavior. Migration may include entire populations of prey species, but often prey populations exhibit partial migration with some individuals remaining resident and others migrating. Interactions of migratory prey and predators have been documented in North America and some other parts of the world, but are poorly studied in South America. We examined the response of pumas (Puma concolor to seasonal migration of guanacos (Lama guanicoe in La Payunia Reserve in northern Patagonia Argentina, which is the site of the longest known ungulate migration in South America. More than 15,000 guanacos migrate seasonally in this landscape, and some guanacos also are resident year-round. We hypothesized that pumas would respond to the guanaco migration by consuming more alternative prey rather than migrating with guanacos because of the territoriality of pumas and availability of alternative prey throughout the year at this site. To determine whether pumas moved seasonally with the guanacos, we conducted camera trapping in the summer and winter range of guanacos across both seasons and estimated density of pumas with spatial mark-resight (SMR models. Also, we analyzed puma scats to assess changes in prey consumption in response to guanaco migration. Density estimates of pumas did not change significantly in the winter and summer range of guanacos when guanacos migrated to and from these areas, indicating that pumas do not follow the migration of guanacos. Pumas also did not consume more alternative native prey or livestock when guanaco availability was lower, but rather fed primarily on guanacos and some alternative prey during all seasons. Alternative prey were most common in the diet during summer when guanacos also were abundant on the summer range. The response of pumas to the migration of guanacos differs from sites in the

  11. Algal subsidies enhance invertebrate prey for threatened shorebirds: A novel conservation tool on ocean beaches?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlacher, Thomas A.; Hutton, Briony M.; Gilby, Ben L.; Porch, Nicholaus; Maguire, Grainne S.; Maslo, Brooke; Connolly, Rod M.; Olds, Andrew D.; Weston, Michael A.

    2017-05-01

    Birds breeding on ocean beaches are threatened globally, often requiring significant investments in species conservation and habitat management. Conservation actions typically encompass spatial and temporal threat reductions and protection of eggs and broods. Still, populations decline or recover only slowly, calling for fresh approaches in beach-bird conservation. Because energetic demands are critically high during the nesting and chick rearing phases, and chick survival is particularly low, supplementing prey to breeding birds and their offspring is theoretically attractive as a means to complement more traditional conservation measures. Prey for plovers and similar species on ocean beaches consists of invertebrates (e.g. small crustaceans, insects) many of which feed on stranded masses of plant material (e.g. kelp and seagrass) and use this 'wrack' as habitat. We added wrack to the upper beach where plovers nest and their chicks forage to test whether algal subsidies promote the abundance and diversity of their invertebrate prey. Adding wrack to the upper beach significantly increased the abundance and diversity of invertebrate prey items. At wrack subsidies greater than 50% of surface cover invertebrate assemblages became highly distinct compared with those that received smaller additions of wrack. Substantial (2-4 fold) increases in the abundance amphipods and isopods that are principal prey items for plovers drove these shifts. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the feasibility of food provisioning for birds on ocean shores. Whilst novel, it is practicable, inexpensive and does not introduce further restrictions or man-made structures. Thus, it can meaningfully add to the broader arsenal of conservation tools for threatened species that are wholly reliant on sandy beaches as breeding and foraging habitats.

  12. Surplus Killing by Predatory Larvae of Corethrella appendiculata: Prepupal Timing and Site-Specific Attack on Mosquito Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lounibos, L. P.; Makhni, S.; Alto, B. W.; Kesavaraju, B.

    2008-01-01

    Surplus or ‘wasteful’ killing of uneaten prey has been documented in the fourth larval instar of various species of the mosquito genus Toxorhynchites that occur in treeholes and other phytotelmata. Here we document surplus killing by the predatory midge Corethrella appendiculata, which in Florida cohabits treeholes and artificial containers with larvae of Toxorhynchites rutilus. Provided with a surfeit of larval mosquito prey, surplus killing was observed only in the fourth instar of C. appendiculata, peaking in intensity in the final 24 h prior to pupation, as observed for Toxorhynchites spp. Attack sites identified from videotaped encounters with mosquito prey were divided among head, thorax, abdomen, and siphon. Consumed mosquito larvae (n = 70) were attacked primarily on the head (46%) or siphon (34%), but surplus-killed prey (n = 30) were attacked predominantly on the thorax (83%). Despite its independent evolution among different insect species in aquatic container habitats, the functional significance of prepupal surplus killing remains unclear. PMID:19081802

  13. Optimal intermittent search strategies: smelling the prey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Revelli, J A; Wio, H S; Rojo, F; Budde, C E

    2010-01-01

    We study the kinetics of the search of a single fixed target by a searcher/walker that performs an intermittent random walk, characterized by different states of motion. In addition, we assume that the walker has the ability to detect the scent left by the prey/target in its surroundings. Our results, in agreement with intuition, indicate that the prey's survival probability could be strongly reduced (increased) if the predator is attracted (or repelled) by the trace left by the prey. We have also found that, for a positive trace (the predator is guided towards the prey), increasing the inhomogeneity's size reduces the prey's survival probability, while the optimal value of α (the parameter that regulates intermittency) ceases to exist. The agreement between theory and numerical simulations is excellent.

  14. Interactions Among Behavioral Responses of Baleen Whales to Acoustic Stimuli, Oceanographic Features, and Prey Availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-05-31

    obtain empirical synoptic measurements of the fine-scale prey distribution and whale diving and foraging behavior in order to understand baleeen whale...including military sonar, on these animals. OBJECTIVES The overall objectives of this multi-year study are to obtain empirical synoptic measurements of...whales and 1 fin whale in 2014 (including controls). Table 1. Species tagged and prey-mapping type through 2014. Largest data gaps include real Naw

  15. Does colour polymorphism enhance survival of prey populations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wennersten, Lena; Forsman, Anders

    2009-01-01

    That colour polymorphism may protect prey populations from predation is an old but rarely tested hypothesis. We examine whether colour polymorphic populations of prey exposed to avian predators in an ecologically valid visual context were exposed to increased extinction risk compared with monomorphic populations. We made 2976 artificial pastry prey, resembling Lepidoptera larvae, in four different colours and presented them in 124 monomorphic and 124 tetramorphic populations on tree trunks and branches such that they would be exposed to predation by free-living birds, and monitored their ‘survival’. Among monomorphic populations, there was a significant effect of prey coloration on survival, confirming that coloration influenced susceptibility to visually oriented predators. Survival of polymorphic populations was inferior to that of monomorphic green populations, but did not differ significantly from monomorphic brown, yellow or red populations. Differences in survival within polymorphic populations paralleled those seen among monomorphic populations; the red morph most frequently went extinct first and the green morph most frequently survived the longest. Our findings do not support the traditional protective polymorphism hypothesis and are in conflict with those of earlier studies. As a possible explanation to our findings, we offer a competing ‘giveaway cue’ hypothesis: that polymorphic populations may include one morph that attracts the attention of predators and that polymorphic populations therefore may suffer increased predation compared with some monomorphic populations. PMID:19324729

  16. Native and non-native plants provide similar refuge to invertebrate prey, but less than artificial plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grutters, Bart; Pollux, B.J.A.; Verberk, W.C.E.P.; Bakker, E.S.

    2015-01-01

    Non-native species introductions are widespread and can affect ecosystem functioning by altering the structure of food webs. Invading plants often modify habitat structure, which may affect the suitability of vegetation as refuge and could thus impact predator-prey dynamics. Yet little is known

  17. Factors associated with grassland bird species richness: The relative roles of grassland area, landscape structure, and prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tammy L. Hamer; Curtis H. Flather; Barry R. Noon

    2006-01-01

    The factors responsible for widespread declines of grassland birds in the United States are not well understood. This study, conducted in the short-grass prairie of eastern Wyoming, was designed to investigate the relationship between variation in habitat amount, landscape heterogeneity, prey resources, and spatial variation in grassland bird species richness. We...

  18. Resource management planning efforts on the Bureau of Land Management's Snake River birds of prey national conservation area

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Sullivan

    2005-01-01

    In 1993, Congress passed Public Law 103-64, which established the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) for the purpose of conserving, protecting, and enhancing raptor populations and habitats. The NCA encompasses over 485,000 acres of public land along 130 km of the Snake River in southwest Idaho, and is located within a 30-minute drive of Boise...

  19. Revisiting the Stability of Spatially Heterogeneous Predator-Prey Systems Under Eutrophication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farkas, J Z; Morozov, A Yu; Arashkevich, E G; Nikishina, A

    2015-10-01

    We employ partial integro-differential equations to model trophic interaction in a spatially extended heterogeneous environment. Compared to classical reaction-diffusion models, this framework allows us to more realistically describe the situation where movement of individuals occurs on a faster time scale than on the demographic (population) time scale, and we cannot determine population growth based on local density. However, most of the results reported so far for such systems have only been verified numerically and for a particular choice of model functions, which obviously casts doubts about these findings. In this paper, we analyse a class of integro-differential predator-prey models with a highly mobile predator in a heterogeneous environment, and we reveal the main factors stabilizing such systems. In particular, we explore an ecologically relevant case of interactions in a highly eutrophic environment, where the prey carrying capacity can be formally set to 'infinity'. We investigate two main scenarios: (1) the spatial gradient of the growth rate is due to abiotic factors only, and (2) the local growth rate depends on the global density distribution across the environment (e.g. due to non-local self-shading). For an arbitrary spatial gradient of the prey growth rate, we analytically investigate the possibility of the predator-prey equilibrium in such systems and we explore the conditions of stability of this equilibrium. In particular, we demonstrate that for a Holling type I (linear) functional response, the predator can stabilize the system at low prey density even for an 'unlimited' carrying capacity. We conclude that the interplay between spatial heterogeneity in the prey growth and fast displacement of the predator across the habitat works as an efficient stabilizing mechanism. These results highlight the generality of the stabilization mechanisms we find in spatially structured predator-prey ecological systems in a heterogeneous environment.

  20. Effect of pitcher age on trapping efficiency and natural prey capture in carnivorous Nepenthes rafflesiana plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Ulrike; Willmes, Christoph; Federle, Walter

    2009-06-01

    Nepenthes pitchers are sophisticated traps that employ a variety of mechanisms to attract, capture and retain prey. The underlying morphological structures and physiological processes are subject to change over the lifetime of a pitcher. Here an investigation was carried out on how pitcher properties and capture efficiency change over the first 2 weeks after pitcher opening. Prey capture, trapping efficiency, extrafloral nectar secretion, pitcher odour, as well as pH and viscoelasticity of the digestive fluid in N. rafflesiana pitchers were monitored in the natural habitat from pitcher opening up to an age of 2 weeks. Pitchers not only increased their attractiveness over this period by becoming more fragrant and secreting more nectar, but also gained mechanical trapping efficiency via an enhanced wettability of the upper pitcher rim (peristome). Consistently, natural prey capture was initially low and increased 3-6 d after opening. It was, however, highly variable within and among pitchers. At the same time, the pH and viscoelasticity of the digestive fluid decreased, suggesting that the latter is not essential for effective prey capture. Prey capture and attraction by Nepenthes are dynamic processes strongly influenced by the changing properties of the pitcher. The results confirm insect aquaplaning on the peristome as the main capture mechanism in N. rafflesiana.

  1. Cephalopod Experimental Projected Habitat (CEPH: Virtual Reality for Underwater Organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noam Josef

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Cephalopods' visually driven, dynamic, and diverse skin display makes them a key animal model in sensory ethology and camouflage research. Development of novel methods is critically important in order to monitor and objectively quantify cephalopod behavior. In this work, the development of Cephalopod Experimental Projected Habitat (CEPH is described. This newly developed experimental design bridges computational and ethological sciences, providing a visually controlled arena which requires limited physical space and minimal previous technical background. Created from relatively inexpensive and readily available materials, the experimental apparatus utilizes reflected light which closely resembles natural settings. Preliminary results suggest the experimental design reproducibly challenges marine organisms with visually dynamic surroundings, including videos of prey and predator. This new approach should offer new avenues for marine organism sensory research and may serve researchers from various fields.

  2. Linking Dynamic Habitat Selection with Wading Bird Foraging Distributions across Resource Gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James M Beerens

    Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDM link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba, White Ibis (Eudocimus albus, and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches.

  3. Linking dynamic habitat selection with wading bird foraging distributions across resource gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beerens, James M.; Noonberg, Erik G.; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches.

  4. New England wildlife: management forested habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Mariko Yamasaki; William B. Leak; John W. Lanier

    1992-01-01

    Presents silvicultural treatments for six major cover-type groups in New England to produce stand conditions that provide habitat opportunities for a wide range of wildlife species. Includes matrices for species occurrence and utilization by forested and nonforested habitats, habitat breadth and size class, and structural habitat features for the 338 wildlife species...

  5. Invasive lionfish had no measurable effect on prey fish community structure across the Belizean Barrier Reef

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    Serena Hackerott

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Invasive lionfish are assumed to significantly affect Caribbean reef fish communities. However, evidence of lionfish effects on native reef fishes is based on uncontrolled observational studies or small-scale, unrepresentative experiments, with findings ranging from no effect to large effects on prey density and richness. Moreover, whether lionfish affect populations and communities of native reef fishes at larger, management-relevant scales is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lionfish on coral reef prey fish communities in a natural complex reef system. We quantified lionfish and the density, richness, and composition of native prey fishes (0–10 cm total length at sixteen reefs along ∼250 km of the Belize Barrier Reef from 2009 to 2013. Lionfish invaded our study sites during this four-year longitudinal study, thus our sampling included fish community structure before and after our sites were invaded, i.e., we employed a modified BACI design. We found no evidence that lionfish measurably affected the density, richness, or composition of prey fishes. It is possible that higher lionfish densities are necessary to detect an effect of lionfish on prey populations at this relatively large spatial scale. Alternatively, negative effects of lionfish on prey could be small, essentially undetectable, and ecologically insignificant at our study sites. Other factors that influence the dynamics of reef fish populations including reef complexity, resource availability, recruitment, predation, and fishing could swamp any effects of lionfish on prey populations.

  6. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, R; Johnson, A J; Sankar, S; Hussain, A A; Sathish Kumar, C; Sabulal, B

    2013-05-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire most of their nutrients by capturing ants, insects and other arthropods through their leaf-evolved biological traps. So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Here, fresh prey traps of 14 Nepenthes, five Sarracenia, five Drosera, two Pinguicula species/hybrids, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris were scanned at UV 366 nm. Fluorescence emissions of major isolates of fresh Nepenthes khasiana pitcher peristomes were recorded at an excitation wavelength of 366 nm. N. khasiana field pitcher peristomes were masked by its slippery zone extract, and prey capture rates were compared with control pitchers. We found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the capture spots of Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Dionaea prey traps at UV 366 nm. These alluring blue emissions gradually developed with the growth of the prey traps and diminished towards their death. On excitation at 366 nm, N. khasiana peristome 3:1 CHCl3–MeOH extract and its two major blue bands showed strong fluorescence emissions at 430–480 nm. Masking of blue emissions on peristomes drastically reduced prey capture in N. khasiana pitchers. We propose these molecular emissions as a critical factor attracting arthropods and other visitors to these carnivorous traps. Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia prey traps showed only red chlorophyll emissions at 366 nm.

  7. Prey preferences of the jaguar Panthera onca reflect the post-Pleistocene demise of large prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt W Hayward

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Documenting the impacts of the Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions on predator-prey interactions is a challenge because of the incomplete fossil record and depauperate extant community structure. We used a comparative ecological approach to investigate whether the existing prey preference patterns of jaguars Panthera onca were potentially affected by the Pleistocene extinctions in the Americas compared with large felids in Africa and Asia. We reviewed the literature and found 25 studies reporting 3214 jaguar kills recorded throughout the species’ distribution. We found that jaguars significantly preferred capybara Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and giant anteater Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and avoided agoutis, carnivorans, primates, black-eared opossum Didelphis marsupialis and tapirs. Generalised linear models showed that jaguars select prey primarily based on socio-ecological and behavioural traits (abundance and herd size, rather than morphological characteristics (body size. Nonetheless, their accessible prey weight range was 6-60 kg, preferred prey weight range was 45-85 kg, and mean mass of significantly preferred prey was 32 ± 13 kg leading to a predator to prey body mass ratio of 1:0.53, which is much less than that of other solitary felids. Compared with other large, solitary felids, jaguars have an unusual predator to prey body mass ratio, show limited effect of prey morphology as a driver of prey selection, lack evidence of optimal foraging beyond their preferred prey, and an absence of preferentially hunting on Cetartiodactyla herbivores. These features, coupled with the reduction in jaguar body mass since the Pleistocene, suggest that the loss of larger potential prey items within the preferred and accessible weight ranges at the end-Pleistocene still affects jaguar predatory behaviour. It may be that jaguars survived this mass extinction event by preferentially preying on relatively small species.

  8. Prey size and availability limits maximum size of rainbow trout in a large tailwater: insights from a drift-foraging bioenergetics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodrill, Michael J.; Yackulic, Charles B.; Kennedy, Theodore A.; Haye, John W

    2016-01-01

    The cold and clear water conditions present below many large dams create ideal conditions for the development of economically important salmonid fisheries. Many of these tailwater fisheries have experienced declines in the abundance and condition of large trout species, yet the causes of these declines remain uncertain. Here, we develop, assess, and apply a drift-foraging bioenergetics model to identify the factors limiting rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) growth in a large tailwater. We explored the relative importance of temperature, prey quantity, and prey size by constructing scenarios where these variables, both singly and in combination, were altered. Predicted growth matched empirical mass-at-age estimates, particularly for younger ages, demonstrating that the model accurately describes how current temperature and prey conditions interact to determine rainbow trout growth. Modeling scenarios that artificially inflated prey size and abundance demonstrate that rainbow trout growth is limited by the scarcity of large prey items and overall prey availability. For example, shifting 10% of the prey biomass to the 13 mm (large) length class, without increasing overall prey biomass, increased lifetime maximum mass of rainbow trout by 88%. Additionally, warmer temperatures resulted in lower predicted growth at current and lower levels of prey availability; however, growth was similar across all temperatures at higher levels of prey availability. Climate change will likely alter flow and temperature regimes in large rivers with corresponding changes to invertebrate prey resources used by fish. Broader application of drift-foraging bioenergetics models to build a mechanistic understanding of how changes to habitat conditions and prey resources affect growth of salmonids will benefit management of tailwater fisheries.

  9. Native and non-native plants provide similar refuge to invertebrate prey, but less than artificial plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bart M C Grutters

    Full Text Available Non-native species introductions are widespread and can affect ecosystem functioning by altering the structure of food webs. Invading plants often modify habitat structure, which may affect the suitability of vegetation as refuge and could thus impact predator-prey dynamics. Yet little is known about how the replacement of native by non-native vegetation affects predator-prey dynamics. We hypothesize that plant refuge provisioning depends on (1 the plant's native status, (2 plant structural complexity and morphology, (3 predator identity, and (4 prey identity, as well as that (5 structurally similar living and artificial plants provide similar refuge. We used aquatic communities as a model system and compared the refuge provided by plants to macroinvertebrates (Daphnia pulex, Gammarus pulex and damselfly larvae in three short-term laboratory predation experiments. Plant refuge provisioning differed between plant species, but was generally similar for native (Myriophyllum spicatum, Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton perfoliatus and non-native plants (Vallisneria spiralis, Myriophyllum heterophyllum, Cabomba caroliniana. However, plant refuge provisioning to macroinvertebrate prey depended primarily on predator (mirror carp: Cyprinus carpio carpio and dragonfly larvae: Anax imperator and prey identity, while the effects of plant structural complexity were only minor. Contrary to living plants, artificial plant analogues did improve prey survival, particularly with increasing structural complexity and shoot density. As such, plant rigidity, which was high for artificial plants and one of the living plant species evaluated in this study (Ceratophyllum demersum, may interact with structural complexity to play a key role in refuge provisioning to specific prey (Gammarus pulex. Our results demonstrate that replacement of native by structurally similar non-native vegetation is unlikely to greatly affect predator-prey dynamics. We propose that

  10. Integration of woodland caribou habitat management and forest management in northern Ontario - current status and issues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted (E.R Armstrong

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Woodland caribou {Rangifer tarandus caribou range across northern Ontario, occurring in both the Hudson Bay Lowlands and the Boreal Forest. Woodland caribou extend south well into the merchantable forest, occurring in licensed and/or actively managed Forest Management Units (FMU's across the province. Caribou range has gradually but continuously receded northward over the past century. Since the early 1990's, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR has been developing and implementing a woodland caribou habitat management strategy in northwestern Ontario. The purpose of the caribou habitat strategy is to maintain woodland caribou occupancy of currently occupied range in northwestern Ontario. Long-term caribou habitat needs and predator-prey dynamics form the basis of this strategy, which requires the development of a landscape-level caribou habitat mosaic across the region within caribou range. This represents a significant change from traditional forest management approaches, which were based partially upon moose (Alces alces habitat management principles. A number of issues and concerns regarding implications of caribou management to the forest industry are being addressed, including short-term and long-term reductions in wood supply and wood quality, and increased access costs. Other related concerns include the ability to regenerate forests to pre-harvest stand conditions, remote tourism concerns, implications for moose populations, and required information on caribou biology and habitat. The forest industry and other stakeholders have been actively involved with the OMNR in attempting to address these concerns, so that caribou habitat requirements are met while ensuring the maintenance of a viable timber industry, other forest uses and the forest ecosystem.

  11. Perception of silent and motionless prey on vegetation by echolocation in the gleaning bat Micronycteris microtis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geipel, Inga; Jung, Kirsten; Kalko, Elisabeth K V

    2013-03-07

    Gleaning insectivorous bats that forage by using echolocation within dense forest vegetation face the sensorial challenge of acoustic masking effects. Active perception of silent and motionless prey in acoustically cluttered environments by echolocation alone has thus been regarded impossible. The gleaning insectivorous bat Micronycteris microtis however, forages in dense understory vegetation and preys on insects, including dragonflies, which rest silent and motionless on vegetation. From behavioural experiments, we show that M. microtis uses echolocation as the sole sensorial modality for successful prey perception within a complex acoustic environment. All individuals performed a stereotypical three-dimensional hovering flight in front of prey items, while continuously emitting short, multi-harmonic, broadband echolocation calls. We observed a high precision in target localization which suggests that M. microtis perceives a detailed acoustic image of the prey based on shape, surface structure and material. Our experiments provide, to our knowledge, the first evidence that a gleaning bat uses echolocation alone for successful detection, classification and precise localization of silent and motionless prey in acoustic clutter. Overall, we conclude that the three-dimensional hovering flight of M. microtis in combination with a frequent emission of short, high-frequency echolocation calls is the key for active prey perception in acoustically highly cluttered environments.

  12. Gluttonous predators: how to estimate prey size when there are too many prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MS. Araújo

    Full Text Available Prey size is an important factor in food consumption. In studies of feeding ecology, prey items are usually measured individually using calipers or ocular micrometers. Among amphibians and reptiles, there are species that feed on large numbers of small prey items (e.g. ants, termites. This high intake makes it difficult to estimate prey size consumed by these animals. We addressed this problem by developing and evaluating a procedure for subsampling the stomach contents of such predators in order to estimate prey size. Specifically, we developed a protocol based on a bootstrap procedure to obtain a subsample with a precision error of at the most 5%, with a confidence level of at least 95%. This guideline should reduce the sampling effort and facilitate future studies on the feeding habits of amphibians and reptiles, and also provide a means of obtaining precise estimates of prey size.

  13. Why plankton modellers should reconsider using rectangular hyperbolic (Michaelis-Menten, Monod descriptions of predator-prey interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin John Flynn

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rectangular hyperbolic type 2 (RHt2; Michaelis-Menten or Monod -like functions are commonly used to describe predation kinetics in plankton models, either alone or together with a prey selectivity algorithm deploying the same half-saturation constant for all prey types referenced to external prey biomass abundance. We present an analysis that indicates that such descriptions are liable to give outputs that are not plausible according to encounter theory. This is especially so for multi-prey type applications or where changes are made to the maximum feeding rate during a simulation. The RHt2 approach also gives no or limited potential for descriptions of events such as true de-selection of prey, effects of turbulence on encounters, or changes in grazer motility with satiation. We present an alternative, which carries minimal parameterisation effort and computational cost, linking allometric algorithms relating prey abundance and encounter rates to a prey-selection function controlled by satiation. The resultant Satiation-Controlled-Encounter-Based (SCEB function provides a flexible construct describing numeric predator-prey interactions with biomass-feedback control of grazing. The SCEB function includes an attack component similar to that in the Holling disk equation but SCEB differs in having only a single (satiation-based handling constant and an explicit maximum grazing rate. We argue that there is no justification for continuing to deploy RHt2 functions to describe plankton predator-prey interactions.

  14. Behavioral aspects of captive birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, M P

    2001-09-01

    This article describes concepts of raptor behavior in captive birds of prey with inferences from the behavior of their wild counterparts that will assist the veterinarian in understanding the causes of managing abnormal behaviors.

  15. Feeding, prey selection and prey encounter mechanisms in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Titelman, J.

    1998-01-01

    by modeling N.scintillans both as a spherical and as a cylindrical collector. The latter model assumes that prey particles are collected on the string of mucus that may form at the tip of the tentacle. Feeding, growth and prey selection experiments all demonstrated that diatoms are cleared at substantially....... Noctiluca scintillans can survive starvation for long periods (>3 weeks), it can grow at low concentrations of prey (similar to 15 mu g C l(-1)), but growth saturates only at very high prey concentrations of 500-1000 mu g C l(-1) or more. We demonstrate how the functional biology of N...

  16. Visual illusions in predator-prey interactions: birds find moving patterned prey harder to catch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hämäläinen, Liisa; Valkonen, Janne; Mappes, Johanna; Rojas, Bibiana

    2015-09-01

    Several antipredator strategies are related to prey colouration. Some colour patterns can create visual illusions during movement (such as motion dazzle), making it difficult for a predator to capture moving prey successfully. Experimental evidence about motion dazzle, however, is still very scarce and comes only from studies using human predators capturing moving prey items in computer games. We tested a motion dazzle effect using for the first time natural predators (wild great tits, Parus major). We used artificial prey items bearing three different colour patterns: uniform brown (control), black with elongated yellow pattern and black with interrupted yellow pattern. The last two resembled colour patterns of the aposematic, polymorphic dart-poison frog Dendrobates tinctorius. We specifically tested whether an elongated colour pattern could create visual illusions when combined with straight movement. Our results, however, do not support this hypothesis. We found no differences in the number of successful attacks towards prey items with different patterns (elongated/interrupted) moving linearly. Nevertheless, both prey types were significantly more difficult to catch compared to the uniform brown prey, indicating that both colour patterns could provide some benefit for a moving individual. Surprisingly, no effect of background (complex vs. plain) was found. This is the first experiment with moving prey showing that some colour patterns can affect avian predators' ability to capture moving prey, but the mechanisms lowering the capture rate are still poorly understood.

  17. Native prey distribution and migration mediates wolf (Canis lupus) predation on domestic livestock in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail A.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, A.D.; Jimenez, M.D.; McWhirter, D. E.; Gerow, K.

    2016-01-01

    Little research has evaluated how the migration and distribution of native prey influence patterns of livestock depredation by large carnivores. Previous research suggests that the presence of native prey can increase depredation rates by attracting predators (prey tracking hypothesis). Alternatively, the absence of native prey may facilitate predation on livestock (prey scarcity hypothesis). In this study, we evaluated support for these competing hypotheses through analysis of 4 years of cattle (Bos taurus L., 1758) depredation data (n = 39 kills), 2 years of summer and fall wolf (Canis lupus L., 1758) predation and tracking data (n = 4 wolves), and 3 years of elk (Cervus elaphus L., 1758) movement data (n = 70 elk). We used logistic regression to compare the relative influence of landscape features and elk distribution on the risk of livestock depredation in areas with migratory and resident elk. Cattle depredations occurred in habitats with increased encounter rates between wolves and livestock. In resident elk areas, depredation sites were associated with elk distribution and open roads. In migratory elk areas, depredation sites were associated with wolf dens, streams, and open habitat. Patterns of carnivore–livestock conflicts are complex, and using ungulate distribution data can predict and minimize such instances.

  18. Prey-handling and the evolutionary ecology of sand-swimming lizards (Lerista : Scincidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pough, F Harvey; Preest, Marion R; Fusari, Margaret H

    1997-10-01

    Fossorial lizards differ in morphology from their surface-dwelling relatives. The Australian sphenomorphine skink genus Ctenotus consists of surface-dwelling species, and is closely related to the genus Lerista, which includes both surface-dwelling and fossorial species. Sand-swimming represents the derived condition and has evolved independently in several lineages of Lerista. The heads of lizards in the two genera differ in shape (blunt snout for Ctenotus versus wedge-shaped for Lerista) and in length relative to the body (approximately 20% of snout-vent length for Ctenotus versus 12% for sand-swimming Lerista). Do these specializations affect the sizes or types of prey that can be consumed by Lerista? We compared prey-handling by Ctenotus and Lerista to correlate morphological differences with differences in prey-handling ability, and to distinguish the effects of snout shape and head length. Feeding trials included three categories of insect prey that the lizards normally eat: soft-bodied larvae (Lepidoptera), hard-bodied larvae (Coleoptera), and roaches (Blatoidea). In comparisons based on the mass of a prey item relative to the mass of a lizard, Lerista had longer handling times for all prey categories and were limited to smaller prey than were Ctenotus. However, when comparisons were based on the length of prey relative to the length of a lizard's head, Lerista ate some elongate prey as fast or faster than did Ctenotus, and both genera successfully swallowed prey more than twice the length of their own head. Thus, the differences in prey-handling performance of Ctenotus and Lerista probably result from the fact that Lerista have a relatively shorter head than Ctenotus. All Lerista species, surface-dwelling and fossorial, have short heads compared to primitive sphenomorphine lizards. Fossorial species of Lerista have elongate trunks, and consequently their heads are shorter in proportion to trunk length than those of surface-dwelling Lerista. However, most

  19. Phylogeny of nematodes from birds of prey

    OpenAIRE

    Honisch, Michaela

    2010-01-01

    Birds of prey host a wide variety of endoparasites. The majority of these endoparasites are nematodes. They can be found mainly in the digestive and respiratory system. The current accepted phylogeny of nematodes found in birds of prey is based on morphological traits. In this study molecular data were used to assess phylogenetic relationships in this group of parasitic nematodes. The aim of the study was to evaluate a method for rapid species identification, to construct a phylogeny of paras...

  20. Sabretoothed carnivores and the killing of large prey.

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    Ki Andersson

    Full Text Available Sabre-like canines clearly have the potential to inflict grievous wounds leading to massive blood loss and rapid death. Hypotheses concerning sabretooth killing modes include attack to soft parts such as the belly or throat, where biting deep is essential to generate strikes reaching major blood vessels. Sabretoothed carnivorans are widely interpreted as hunters of larger and more powerful prey than that of their present-day nonsabretoothed relatives. However, the precise functional advantage of the sabretooth bite, particularly in relation to prey size, is unknown. Here, we present a new point-to-point bite model and show that, for sabretooths, depth of the killing bite decreases dramatically with increasing prey size. The extended gape of sabretooths only results in considerable increase in bite depth when biting into prey with a radius of less than ∼10 cm. For sabretooths, this size-reversed functional advantage suggests predation on species within a similar size range to those attacked by present-day carnivorans, rather than "megaherbivores" as previously believed. The development of the sabretooth condition appears to represent a shift in function and killing behaviour, rather than one in predator-prey relations. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how sabretoothed carnivorans are likely to have evolved along a functionally continuous trajectory: beginning as an extension of a jaw-powered killing bite, as adopted by present-day pantherine cats, followed by neck-powered biting and thereafter shifting to neck-powered shear-biting. We anticipate this new insight to be a starting point for detailed study of the evolution of pathways that encompass extreme specialisation, for example, understanding how neck-powered biting shifts into shear-biting and its significance for predator-prey interactions. We also expect that our model for point-to-point biting and bite depth estimations will yield new insights into the behaviours of a broad range of

  1. Traps of carnivorous pitcher plants as a habitat: composition of the fluid, biodiversity and mutualistic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Peroutka, Marianne; Lendl, Thomas

    2011-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants (CPPs) use cone-shaped leaves to trap animals for nutrient supply but are not able to kill all intruders of their traps. Numerous species, ranging from bacteria to vertrebrates, survive and propagate in the otherwise deadly traps. This paper reviews the literature on phytotelmata of CPPs. Fluid as a Habitat The volumes of pitchers range from 0·2 mL to 1·5 L. In Nepenthes and Cephalotus, the fluid is secreted by the trap; the other genera collect rain water. The fluid is usually acidic, rich in O(2) and contains digestive enzymes. In some taxa, toxins or detergents are found, or the fluid is extremely viscous. In Heliamphora or Sarracenia, the fluid differs little from pure water. Diversity Pitcher inquilines comprise bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The dominant groups are protists and Dipteran larvae. The various species of CPPs host different sets of inquilines. Sarracenia purpurea hosts up to 165 species of inquilines, followed by Nepenthes ampullaria with 59 species, compared with only three species from Brocchinia reducta. Reasons for these differences include size, the life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid. MUTUALISTIC: Activities Inquilines closely interact with their host. Some live as parasites, but the vast majority are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding on the plant's prey and successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, mechanical break up of the prey, removal of excessive prey and assimilation of atmospheric N(2). There is strong evidence that CPPs influence their phytotelm. Two strategies can be distinguished: (1) Nepenthes and Cephalotus produce acidic, toxic or digestive fluids and host a limited diversity of inquilines. (2) Genera without efficient enzymes such as Sarracenia or Heliamphora host diverse organisms and depend to a large extent on their symbionts for prey utilization.

  2. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayley S Clements

    Full Text Available Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point. When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah, 82±3% (leopard, 81±2% (lion, 97±2% (spotted hyaena and 96±2% (wild dog of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore

  3. Protection zone in a diffusive predator-prey model with Beddington-DeAngelis functional response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xiao; Zheng, Sining

    2017-07-01

    In any reaction-diffusion system of predator-prey models, the population densities of species are determined by the interactions between them, together with the influences from the spatial environments surrounding them. Generally, the prey species would die out when their birth rate is too low, the habitat size is too small, the predator grows too fast, or the predation pressure is too high. To save the endangered prey species, some human interference is useful, such as creating a protection zone where the prey could cross the boundary freely but the predator is prohibited from entering. This paper studies the existence of positive steady states to a predator-prey model with reaction-diffusion terms, Beddington-DeAngelis type functional response and non-flux boundary conditions. It is shown that there is a threshold value [Formula: see text] which characterizes the refuge ability of prey such that the positivity of prey population can be ensured if either the prey's birth rate satisfies [Formula: see text] (no matter how large the predator's growth rate is) or the predator's growth rate satisfies [Formula: see text], while a protection zone [Formula: see text] is necessary for such positive solutions if [Formula: see text] with [Formula: see text] properly large. The more interesting finding is that there is another threshold value [Formula: see text], such that the positive solutions do exist for all [Formula: see text]. Letting [Formula: see text], we get the third threshold value [Formula: see text] such that if [Formula: see text], prey species could survive no matter how large the predator's growth rate is. In addition, we get the fourth threshold value [Formula: see text] for negative [Formula: see text] such that the system admits positive steady states if and only if [Formula: see text]. All these results match well with the mechanistic derivation for the B-D type functional response recently given by Geritz and Gyllenberg (J Theoret Biol 314:106-108, 2012

  4. Time Delayed Stage-Structured Predator-Prey Model with Birth Pulse and Pest Control Tactics

    OpenAIRE

    Yan, Mei; Li, Yongfeng; Xiang, Zhongyi

    2014-01-01

    Normally, chemical pesticides kill not only pests but also their natural enemies. In order to better control the pests, two-time delayed stage-structured predator-prey models with birth pulse and pest control tactics are proposed and analyzed by using impulsive differential equations in present work. The stability threshold conditions for the mature prey-eradication periodic solutions of two models are derived, respectively. The effects of key parameters including killing efficiency rate, pul...

  5. Comparative functional responses of native and high impacting invasive fishes: impact predictions for native prey populations

    OpenAIRE

    Guo, Z.; Sheath, D.; Amat Trigo, F.; Britton, R.J.

    2017-01-01

    Comparative functional responses (FRs) can predict impacts of invasive species,including piscivorous fishes, via quantifying their depletion of native food resources as a function of prey density. The utility of FRs for predicting impacts on prey populations by invasive fishes of different trophic guilds was tested here by\\ud comparing the FRs of the invaders Cyprinus carpio and Carassius auratus, with three native, trophically analogous fishes, Barbus barbus, Squalius cephalus and Tinca tinc...

  6. Antipredator responses by native mosquitofish to non-native cichlids: An examination of the role of prey naiveté

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehage, Jennifer S.; Dunlop, Katherine L.; Loftus, William F.

    2009-01-01

    The strong impact of non-native predators in aquatic systems is thought to relate to the evolutionary naiveté of prey. Due to isolation and limited dispersal, this naiveté may be relatively high in freshwater systems. In this study, we tested this notion by examining the antipredator response of native mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, to two non-native predators found in the Everglades, the African jewelfish,Hemichromis letourneuxi, and the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus. We manipulated prey naiveté by using two mosquitofish populations that varied in their experience with the recent invader, the African jewelfish, but had similar levels of experience with the longer-established Mayan cichlid. Specifically, we tested these predictions: (1) predator hunting modes differed between the two predators, (2) predation rates would be higher by the novel jewelfish predator, (3) particularly on the naive population living where jewelfish have not invaded yet, (4) antipredator responses would be stronger to Mayan cichlids due to greater experience and weaker and/or ineffective to jewelfish, and (5) especially weakest by the naive population. We assayed prey and predator behavior, and prey mortality in lab aquaria where both predators and prey were free-ranging. Predator hunting modes and habitat domains differed, with jewelfish being more active search predators that used slightly higher parts of the water column and less of the habitat structure relative to Mayan cichlids. In disagreement with our predictions, predation rates were similar between the two predators, antipredator responses were stronger to African jewelfish (except for predator inspections), and there was no difference in response between jewelfish-savvy and jewelfish-naive populations. These results suggest that despite the novelty of introduced predators, prey may be able to respond appropriately if non-native predator archetypes are similar enough to those of native predators, if prey rely

  7. Estimating the Effects of Habitat and Biological Interactions in an Avian Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert M Dorazio

    Full Text Available We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether other habitat variables or interactions with other species needed to be considered. In the community that we studied, habitat appeared to be more influential than biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of most avian species. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that abundances of forest specialists are negatively affected by forest fragmentation. Our results also suggest that many species were associated with particular types of vegetation as measured by structural attributes of the forests. The abundances of 6 of the 73 species observed in our study were strongly correlated. These species included large birds (American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus that forage on the ground in open habitats and small birds (Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus, House Wren (Troglodytes aedon, Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina, and Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor that are associated with dense shrub cover. Species abundances were positively correlated within each size group and negatively correlated between groups. Except for the American Crow, which preys on eggs and nestlings of small song birds, none of the other 5 species is known to display direct interactions, so we

  8. Estimating the effects of habitat and biological interactions in an avian community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorazio, Robert M.; Connor, Edward F.; Askins, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether other habitat variables or interactions with other species needed to be considered. In the community that we studied, habitat appeared to be more influential than biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of most avian species. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that abundances of forest specialists are negatively affected by forest fragmentation. Our results also suggest that many species were associated with particular types of vegetation as measured by structural attributes of the forests. The abundances of 6 of the 73 species observed in our study were strongly correlated. These species included large birds (American Crow and Red-winged Blackbird) that forage on the ground in open habitats and small birds (Red-eyed Vireo, House Wren, Hooded Warbler, and Prairie Warbler) that are associated with dense shrub cover. Species abundances were positively correlated within each size group and negatively correlated between groups. Except for the American Crow, which preys on eggs and nestlings of small song birds, none of the other 5 species is known to display direct interactions, so we suspect that the correlations may have been associated with species-specific responses to habitat components not adequately measured by

  9. Diet and foraging habitats of non-breeding white storks (Ciconia ciconia in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milchev Boyan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The diet of non-breeding White Storks was studied by pellet analysis and included mainly insects (99.9%, n=28947 with a predominance of grasshoppers (Orthoptera, 76.1%, and beetles (Coleoptera, 26.1%. The bush crickets Decticus albifrons/verrucivorus were the most numerous prey (29.9% by items, occurring in almost all pellets (98% occurrence in pellets, n=147 and predominating in half of them (49.7%. The grasshopper associations in the pellets specify foraging mainly in mesophytic grasslands that usually replace abandoned fields and overgrown pastures with a low level of grazing. The xerophytic grass-shrubby habitats, not rare on stony terrains, were of less importance, providing around 20% by prey. The typical aquatic inhabitants and the use of carrion around villages were exceptions in the study diet. The number of innutritious materials in the pellets rose when the White Storks hunted on nippy and agile grasshoppers and decreased when the main pray was slower beetles taken from the ground. The roosting of non-breeding White Storks disappeared when their preferred feeding habitats were ploughed up in the following years.

  10. Time Delayed Stage-Structured Predator-Prey Model with Birth Pulse and Pest Control Tactics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei Yan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Normally, chemical pesticides kill not only pests but also their natural enemies. In order to better control the pests, two-time delayed stage-structured predator-prey models with birth pulse and pest control tactics are proposed and analyzed by using impulsive differential equations in present work. The stability threshold conditions for the mature prey-eradication periodic solutions of two models are derived, respectively. The effects of key parameters including killing efficiency rate, pulse period, the maximum birth effort per unit of time of natural enemy, and maturation time of prey on the threshold values are discussed in more detail. By comparing the two threshold values of mature prey-extinction, we provide the fact that the second control tactic is more effective than the first control method.

  11. The role of early sensory experience in the prey catching responses of Salamandra salamandra to stationary prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, G; Luthardt, G

    1980-01-01

    Two groups of newly metamorphosed Salamandra salamandra (L.) were raised with living and with stationary prey, respectively. One year later, the group which had experience exclusively with stationary prey was significantly better in responding to stationary prey than the group which only had experience with moving prey. This was the case both under light and dark conditions. The experiments show that prey-catching behavior in salamanders can be considerably modified by experience.

  12. Intense habitat-specific fisheries-induced selection at the molecular Pan I locus predicts imminent collapse of a major cod fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnason, Einar; Hernandez, Ubaldo Benitez; Kristinsson, Kristján

    2009-05-27

    Predation is a powerful agent in the ecology and evolution of predator and prey. Prey may select multiple habitats whereby different genotypes prefer different habitats. If the predator is also habitat-specific the prey may evolve different habitat occupancy. Drastic changes can occur in the relation of the predator to the evolved prey. Fisheries exert powerful predation and can be a potent evolutionary force. Fisheries-induced selection can lead to phenotypic changes that influence the collapse and recovery of the fishery. However, heritability of the phenotypic traits involved and selection intensities are low suggesting that fisheries-induced evolution occurs at moderate rates at decadal time scales. The Pantophysin I (Pan I) locus in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), representing an ancient balanced polymorphism predating the split of cod and its sister species, is under an unusual mix of balancing and directional selection including current selective sweeps. Here we show that Pan I alleles are highly correlated with depth with a gradient of 0.44% allele frequency change per meter. AA fish are shallow-water and BB deep-water adapted in accordance with behavioral studies using data storage tags showing habitat selection by Pan I genotype. AB fish are somewhat intermediate although closer to AA. Furthermore, using a sampling design covering space and time we detect intense habitat-specific fisheries-induced selection against the shallow-water adapted fish with an average 8% allele frequency change per year within year class. Genotypic fitness estimates (0.08, 0.27, 1.00 of AA, AB, and BB respectively) predict rapid disappearance of shallow-water adapted fish. Ecological and evolutionary time scales, therefore, are congruent. We hypothesize a potential collapse of the fishery. We find that probabilistic maturation reaction norms for Atlantic cod at Iceland show declining length and age at maturing comparable to changes that preceded the collapse of northern cod at

  13. Prey size spectra and prey availability of larval and small juvenile cod

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Peter

    1997-01-01

    . Prey size spectra had the expected relationship to larval cod size, and preference for given copepod species could be ascribed to their relative size; Additional species-specific preferences were evident, for example the larger Pseudocalanus and the larger Calanus spp. were highly preferred. Available......The aim of the present study is to describe the prey preference characteristics of cod larvae and assess preference variability in relation to species and size composition of copepod prey. A further aim is to examine the hypothesis that dietary prey size spectra remain the same during the larval...... stage when viewed on a relative predator/prey size scale. The study is based on stomach analysis of larval/juvenile cod in the size range 10-35 mm from nursery grounds in the North Sea. Stomach contents (species, size) were compared to environmental composition and preference indices were calculated...

  14. Feeding, prey selection and prey encounter mechanisms in the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Titelman, J.

    1998-01-01

    /or that microscale shear brings it into contact with prey. Noctiluca scintillans has a specific carbon content 1-2 orders of magnitude less than that typical for protists and, thus, an inflated volume. It also has a density slightly less than that of the ambient water and therefore ascends at high velocities...... by modeling N.scintillans both as a spherical and as a cylindrical collector. The latter model assumes that prey particles are collected on the string of mucus that may form at the tip of the tentacle. Feeding, growth and prey selection experiments all demonstrated that diatoms are cleared at substantially....... Noctiluca scintillans can survive starvation for long periods (>3 weeks), it can grow at low concentrations of prey (similar to 15 mu g C l(-1)), but growth saturates only at very high prey concentrations of 500-1000 mu g C l(-1) or more. We demonstrate how the functional biology of N...

  15. Testing the nutritional-limitation, predator-avoidance, and storm-avoidance hypotheses for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Nathan L.; Konar, Brenda; Tinker, M. Tim

    2015-01-01

    Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) inhabiting the Aleutian Islands have stabilized at low abundance levels following a decline and currently exhibit restricted habitat-utilization patterns. Possible explanations for restricted habitat use by sea otters can be classified into two fundamentally different processes, bottom-up and top-down forcing. Bottom-up hypotheses argue that changes in the availability or nutritional quality of prey resources have led to the selective use of habitats that support the highest quality prey. In contrast, top-down hypotheses argue that increases in predation pressure from killer whales have led to the selective use of habitats that provide the most effective refuge from killer whale predation. A third hypothesis suggests that current restricted habitat use is based on a need for protection from storms. We tested all three hypotheses for restricted habitat use by comparing currently used and historically used sea otter foraging locations for: (1) prey availability and quality, (2) structural habitat complexity, and (3) exposure to prevailing storms. Our findings suggest that current use is based on physical habitat complexity and not on prey availability, prey quality, or protection from storms, providing further evidence for killer whale predation as a cause for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands.

  16. Increased autumn rainfall disrupts predator-prey interactions in fragmented boreal forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terraube, Julien; Villers, Alexandre; Poudré, Léo; Varjonen, Rauno; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2017-04-01

    There is a pressing need to understand how changing climate interacts with land-use change to affect predator-prey interactions in fragmented landscapes. This is particularly true in boreal ecosystems facing fast climate change and intensification in forestry practices. Here, we investigated the relative influence of autumn climate and habitat quality on the food-storing behaviour of a generalist predator, the pygmy owl, using a unique data set of 15 850 prey items recorded in western Finland over 12 years. Our results highlighted strong effects of autumn climate (number of days with rainfall and with temperature trends in body condition, as the scaled mass index of smaller males increased while the scaled mass index of larger females decreased over the study period, probably due to sex-specific foraging strategies and energy requirements. Long-term temporal stability in local vole abundance refutes the hypothesis of climate-driven change in vole abundance and suggests that rainier autumns could reduce the vulnerability of small mammals to predation by pygmy owls. As small rodents are key prey species for many predators in northern ecosystems, our findings raise concern about the impact of global change on boreal food webs through changes in main prey vulnerability. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Wolf spider feeding strategies: optimality of prey consumption in Pardosa hortensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samu, F

    1993-05-01

    Feeding behaviour of the wolf spider Pardosa hortensis Thorell (Araneae, Lycosidae) was studied in the laboratory. Characteristics of feeding were measured while prey availability was increased and the results were compared with the predictions of three models: the marginal value theorem (MVT), gut limitation theory (GLT) and the digestion rate limitation model (DRL). As a result of more frequent encounters with prey, the wolf spiders were able to modify their feeding behaviour so that their net energy intake rate increased substantially. Handling time decreased by 30%, and consumption rate increased by 40%. Partial consumption of prey did not occur until the spiders became nearly satiated. This indicated that spiders did not reach the optimum predicted by MVT. The most plausible mechanism for the increased efficiency was prey-stimulated digestive enzyme production as suggested in DRL. The predictions of GLT were not applicable for most of the feeding session, though gut satiation had an influence on the final stages of feeding. P. hortensis seemed to apply a "responsive but cautious" strategy: (i) spiders improved feeding efficiency on entering the higher quality habitat, but (ii) feeding times appeared to be sub-optimal and (iii) spiders were also willing to continue feeding when, as they approached satiation, the previously high efficiency could not be maintained. Such feeding behaviour optimizes long-term energy intake when food is scarce and unpredictable, which corresponds well with the known degree of natural food limitation of these animals.

  18. Fungal diseases of birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deem, Sharon L

    2003-05-01

    Aspergillosis and candidiasis are ranked among the most common infectious diseases in birds of prey. The prevention of these fungal diseases is often easier than treatment. Thus the clinician should strive to prevent infection by minimizing stress, maintaining a healthy environment, limiting long-term use of antibiotics and corticosteroids, and reducing exposure to fungal organisms. Although less commonly diagnosed among wild, free-ranging birds of prey, a high incidence in a free-ranging population should make the clinician think of an immunocompromising factor (i.e., toxins, human encroachment or low prey base) that may be contributing to infection. The diagnosis of aspergillosis and candidiasis often requires more than just the identification of the agent, as these ubiquitous organisms often are cultured from healthy birds of prey. In those birds of prey in which a fungal infection is highly suspected or proven, antifungal drugs remain the mainstay of treatment, although available drugs and modes of delivery have improved in recent years.

  19. Selective Predation of a Stalking Predator on Ungulate Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Heurich

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Factors mediating co-occurrence of an economically valuable introduced fish and its native frog prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Rosemary; Pope, Karen; Lawler, Sharon

    2014-06-01

    Habitat characteristics mediate predator-prey coexistence in many ecological systems but are seldom considered in species introductions. When economically important introduced predators are stocked despite known negative impacts on native species, understanding the role of refuges, landscape configurations, and community interactions can inform habitat management plans. We measured these factors in basins with introduced trout (Salmonidae) and the Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) to determine, which are responsible for observed patterns of co-occurrence of this economically important predator and its native prey. Large, vegetated shallows were strongly correlated to co-occurrence, and R. cascadae larvae occur in shallower water when fish are present, presumably to escape predation. The number of nearby breeding sites of R. cascadae was also correlated to co-occurrence, but only when the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) was present. Because A. boreas larvae are unpalatable to fish and resemble R. cascadae, they may provide protection from trout via Batesian mimicry. Although rescue-effect dispersal from nearby populations may maintain co-occurrence, within-lake factors proved more important for predicting co-occurrence. Learning which factors allow co-occurrence between economically important introduced species and their native prey enables managers to make better-informed stocking decisions. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  2. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Habitats Database, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_habitats_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for coastal habitats in Louisiana. Vector polygons represent various habitats, including marsh types, other...

  3. Sea urchins, their predators and prey in SW Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuno Mamede

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Sea urchins play a key role structuring benthic communities of rocky shores through an intense herbivory. The most abundant sea urchin species on shallow rocky subtidal habitats of the SW coast of Portugal is Paracentrotus lividus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea. It is considered a key species in various locations throughout its geographical distribution by affecting the structure of macroalgae communities and may cause the abrupt transformation of habitats dominated by foliose algae to habitats dominated by encrusting algae - the urchin barrens. The removal of P. lividus predators by recreational and commercial fishing is considered a major cause of this phenomenon by affecting the trophic relationships between predators, sea urchins and algae communities. Marine protected areas (MPAs usually lead to the recovery of important predator species that control sea urchin populations and restore habitats dominated by foliose macroalgae. Therefore, MPAs provide a good opportunity to test cascading effects and indirect impacts of fishing at the ecosystem level. The ecological role of P. lividus was studied on rocky subtidal habitats of the SW coast of Portugal (Alentejo considering three trophic levels: population of P. lividus, their predators (fish and shellfish and their prey (macroalgae communities. Several studies were conducted: (1 a non-destructive observational study on the abundance and distribution patterns of P. lividus, their predators and preys, comparing areas with different protection; (2 a manipulative in situ study with cages to assess the role of P. lividus as an herbivore and the influence of predation; (3 a descriptive study of P. lividus predators based on underwater filming; (4 and a study of human perception on these trophic relationships and other issues on sea urchin ecology and fishery, based on surveys made to fishermen and divers. Subtidal studies were performed with SCUBA diving at 3-12 m deep. Results indicate that in the

  4. An unprecedented role reversal: ground beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae lure amphibians and prey upon them.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gil Wizen

    Full Text Available Amphibians often feed on beetle larvae, including those of ground beetles (Carabidae. Preliminary reports have detailed an unusual trophic interaction in which, in contrast, larvae of the ground beetle Epomis prey upon juvenile and adult amphibians. While it is known that these larvae feed exclusively on amphibians, how the predator-prey encounter occurs to the advantage of the beetle larvae had been unknown to date. Using laboratory observations and controlled experiments, we recorded the feeding behavior of Epomis larvae, as well as the behavior of their amphibian prey. Here we reveal that larvae of two species of Epomis (E. circumscriptus and E. dejeani lure their potential predator, taking advantage of the amphibian's predation behavior. The Epomis larva combines a sit-and-wait strategy with unique movements of its antennae and mandibles to draw the attention of the amphibian to the presence of a potential prey. The intensity of this enticement increases with decreasing distance between the larva and the amphibian. When the amphibian attacks, the larva almost always manages to avoid the predator's protracted tongue, exploiting the opportunity to attach itself to the amphibian's body and initiate feeding. Our findings suggest that the trophic interaction between Epomis larvae and amphibians is one of the only natural cases of obligatory predator-prey role reversal. Moreover, this interaction involves a small insect larva that successfully lures and preys on a larger vertebrate. Such role reversal is exceptional in the animal world, extending our perspective of co-evolution in the arms race between predator and prey, and suggesting that counterattack defense behavior has evolved into predator-prey role reversal.

  5. Effects of water-soluble fraction of petroleum on growth and prey consumption of juvenile Hoplias aff. malabaricus (Osteichthyes: Erythrinidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, R M; Weber, L; Souza, V L; Soares, A R; Petry, A C

    2016-02-01

    The influence of the water-soluble fraction of petroleum (WSF) on prey consumption and growth of juvenile trahira Hoplias aff. malabaricus was investigated. Juveniles were submitted to either WSF or Control treatment over 28 days, and jewel tetra Hyphessobrycon eques adults were offered daily as prey for each predator. Total prey consumption ranged from 16 to 86 individuals. Despite the initially lower prey consumption under WSF exposure, there were no significant differences in overall feeding rates between the two treatments. Water-soluble fraction of petroleum had a negative effect on the growth in length of H. aff. malabaricus juveniles. Although unaffected, prey consumption suggested a relative resistance in H. aff. malabaricus to WSF exposition and the lower growth of individuals exposed to WSF than the Control possibly reflects metabolic costs. The implications of the main findings for the individual and the food chain are discussed, including behavioral aspects and the role played by this predator in shallow aquatic systems.

  6. Microbiological survey of birds of prey pellets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dipineto, Ludovico; Bossa, Luigi Maria De Luca; Pace, Antonino; Russo, Tamara Pasqualina; Gargiulo, Antonio; Ciccarelli, Francesca; Raia, Pasquale; Caputo, Vincenzo; Fioretti, Alessandro

    2015-08-01

    A microbiological survey of 73 pellets collected from different birds of prey species housed at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Napoli (southern Italy) was performed. Pellets were analyzed by culture and biochemical methods as well as by serotyping and polymerase chain reaction. We isolated a wide range of bacteria some of them also pathogens for humans (i.e. Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium, Campylobacter coli, Escherichia coli O serogroups). This study highlights the potential role of birds of prey as asymptomatic carriers of pathogenic bacteria which could be disseminated in the environment not only through the birds of prey feces but also through their pellets. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Prey capture by freely swimming flagellates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Anders; Dolger, Julia; Nielsen, Lasse Tor; Kiorboe, Thomas

    2017-11-01

    Flagellates are unicellular microswimmers that propel themselves using one or several beating flagella. Here, we explore the dependence of swimming kinematics and prey clearance rate on flagellar arrangement and determine optimal flagellar arrangements and essential trade-offs. To describe near-cell flows around freely swimming flagellates we consider a model in which the cell is represented by a no-slip sphere and each flagellum by a point force. For uniflagellates pulled by a single flagellum the model suggests that a long flagellum favors fast swimming, whereas high clearance rate is favored by a very short flagellum. For biflagellates with both a longitudinal and a transversal flagellum we explore the helical swimming kinematics and the prey capture sites. We compare our predictions with observations of swimming kinematics, prey capture, and flows around common marine flagellates. The Centre for Ocean Life is a VKR Centre of Excellence supported by the Villum Foundation.

  8. Predation on Mosquito Larvae by Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides (Copepoda: Cyclopoida) in the Presence of Alternate Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Ram; Ramakrishna Rao, T.

    2003-11-01

    The cyclopoid copepod Mesocyclops thermocyclopoides, a dominant invertebrate predator in many shallow ponds and temporary water bodies in northern India, feeds on cladocerans, rotifers, ciliates and when present, on mosquito larvae also. We studied in the laboratory the prey consumption rates of the copepod on first and fourth instar larvae of two species of mosquito (Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus) in relation to their density. We also studied its prey selectivity with mosquito larvae in the presence of an alternate prey (the cladocerans-either Moina macrocopa or Ceriodaphnia cornuta) in different proportions. With either mosquito species, the copepod actively selected Instar-I larvae, avoiding the Instar-IV larvae, and with either instar, selected Anopheles stephensi over Culex quinquefasciatus. When prey choice included the cladoceran as an alternate prey, the copepod selected the cladoceran only when the other prey was Instar-IV mosquito larvae. Our results point to the potential and promise of M. thermocyclopoides as a biological agent for controlling larval populations of vectorially important mosquito species.

  9. Ecological conditions affect evolutionary trajectory in a predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Romain; Tully, Thomas; Evans, Margaret E K

    2009-03-01

    The arms race of adaptation and counter adaptation in predator-prey interactions is a fascinating evolutionary dynamic with many consequences, including local adaptation and the promotion or maintenance of diversity. Although such antagonistic coevolution is suspected to be widespread in nature, experimental documentation of the process remains scant, and we have little understanding of the impact of ecological conditions. Here, we present evidence of predator-prey coevolution in a long-term experiment involving the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus and the prey Pseudomonas fluorescens, which has three morphs (SM, FS, and WS). Depending on experimentally applied disturbance regimes, the predator-prey system followed two distinct evolutionary trajectories, where the prey evolved to be either super-resistant to predation (SM morph) without counter-adaptation by the predator, or moderately resistant (FS morph), specialized to and coevolving with the predator. Although predation-resistant FS morphs suffer a cost of resistance, the evolution of extreme resistance to predation by the SM morph was apparently unconstrained by other traits (carrying capacity, growth rate). Thus we demonstrate empirically that ecological conditions can shape the evolutionary trajectory of a predator-prey system.

  10. Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Vertical Cylinder Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Alan; Kennedy, Kriss J.; Gill, Tracy R.; Tri, Terry O.; Toups, Larry; Howard, Robert I.; Spexarth, Gary R.; Cavanaugh, Stephen; Langford, William M.; Dorsey, John T.

    2014-01-01

    module consists of a 2-m-high barrel with 0.6-mhigh end domes forming the 56-cubicmeter pressure vessel, and a 19-squaremeter floor area. The module has up to four docking ports located orthogonally from each other around the perimeter, and up to one docking port each on the top or bottom end domes. In addition, the module has mounting trusses top and bottom for equipment, and to allow docking with the ATHLETE mobility system. Novel or unique features of the HDU vertical habitat module include the nodelike function with multiple pressure hatches for docking with other versions of itself and other modules and vehicles; the capacity to be carried by an ATHLETE mobility system; and the ability to attach inflatable 'attic' domes to the top for additional pressurized volume.

  11. Habitat partitioning between woodland caribou and moose in Ontario: the potential role of shared prédation risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores mechanisms of coexistence for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou and moose (Akes alces preyed upon by gray wolves (Canis lupus in northern Ontario. Autocorrelation analysis of winter track locations showed habitat partitioning by caribou and moose. Numbers of Delaunay link edges for moose-wolves did not differ significantly from what would be expected by random process, but those for caribou-wolves were significantly fewer. Thus, habitat partitioning provided implicit refuges that put greater distances between caribou and wolves, presumably decreasing predation on the caribou. Yet, direct competition cannot be ruled out; both apparent and direct competition may be involved in real-life situations. A synthesis including both explanations fits ecological theory, as well as current understanding about caribou ecology.

  12. Effect of light, prey density, and prey type on the feeding rates of Hemimysis anomala

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halpin, Kathleen E.; Boscarino, Brent T.; Rudstam, Lars G.; Walsh, Mureen G.; Lantry, Brian F.

    2013-01-01

    Hemimysis anomala is a near-shore mysid native to the Ponto-Caspian region that was discovered to have invaded Great Lakes ecosystems in 2006. We investigated feeding rates and prey preferences of adult and juvenile Hemimysis in laboratory experiments to gain insight on the potential for Hemimysis to disrupt food webs. For both age groups (AGs), we measured feeding rates as a function of prey abundance (Bosmina longirostris as prey), prey type (B. longirostris, Daphnia pulex, and Mesocyclops sp.), and light levels (no light and dim light). Mean feeding rates on Bosmina increased with prey density and reached 23 ind. (2 h)−1 for adults and 17 ind. (2 h)−1 for juveniles. Dim light had little effect on prey selection or feeding rate compared to complete darkness. When feeding rates on alternate prey were compared, both AGs fed at higher rates on Bosmina than Daphnia, but only juveniles fed at significantly higher rates on Bosmina relative to Mesocyclops. No significant differences were observed between feeding rates on Mesocyclops and on Daphnia. Hemimysis feeding rates were on the order of 30–60% of their body weight per day, similar to predatory cladocerans that have been implicated in zooplankton declines in Lakes Huron and Ontario.

  13. Predator-prey encounters in turbulent waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mann, J.; Ott, Søren; Pécseli, H.L.

    2002-01-01

    With reference to studies of predator-prey encounters in turbulent waters, we demonstrate the feasibility of an experimental method for investigations of particle fluxes to an absorbing surface in turbulent flows. A laboratory experiment is carried out, where an approximately homogeneous and isot......With reference to studies of predator-prey encounters in turbulent waters, we demonstrate the feasibility of an experimental method for investigations of particle fluxes to an absorbing surface in turbulent flows. A laboratory experiment is carried out, where an approximately homogeneous...

  14. Interspecific variation in prey capture behavior by co-occurring Nepenthes pitcher plants: evidence for resource partitioning or sampling-scheme artifacts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Lijin; Chung, Arthur Y C; Clarke, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes capture a wide range of arthropod prey for nutritional benefit, using complex combinations of visual and olfactory signals and gravity-driven pitfall trapping mechanisms. In many localities throughout Southeast Asia, several Nepenthes different species occur in mixed populations. Often, the species present at any given location have strongly divergent trap structures and preliminary surveys indicate that different species trap different combinations of arthropod prey, even when growing at the same locality. On this basis, it has been proposed that co-existing Nepenthes species may be engaged in niche segregation with regards to arthropod prey, avoiding direct competition with congeners by deploying traps that have modifications that enable them to target specific prey types. We examined prey capture among 3 multi-species Nepenthes populations in Borneo, finding that co-existing Nepenthes species do capture different combinations of prey, but that significant interspecific variations in arthropod prey combinations can often be detected only at sub-ordinal taxonomic ranks. In all lowland Nepenthes species examined, the dominant prey taxon is Formicidae, but montane Nepenthes trap few (or no) ants and 2 of the 3 species studied have evolved to target alternative sources of nutrition, such as tree shrew feces. Using similarity and null model analyses, we detected evidence for niche segregation with regards to formicid prey among 5 lowland, sympatric Nepenthes species in Sarawak. However, we were unable to determine whether these results provide support for the niche segregation hypothesis, or whether they simply reflect unquantified variation in heterogeneous habitats and/or ant communities in the study sites. These findings are used to propose improvements to the design of field experiments that seek to test hypotheses about targeted prey capture patterns in Nepenthes.

  15. Outrun or Outmaneuver: Predator-Prey Interactions as a Model System for Integrating Biomechanical Studies in a Broader Ecological and Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Talia Y; Biewener, Andrew A

    2015-12-01

    Behavioral studies performed in natural habitats provide a context for the development of hypotheses and the design of experiments relevant both to biomechanics and to evolution. In particular, predator-prey interactions are a model system for integrative study because success or failure of predation has a direct effect on fitness and drives the evolution of specialized performance in both predator and prey. Although all predators share the goal of capturing prey, and all prey share the goal of survival, the behavior of predators and prey are diverse in nature. This article presents studies of some predator-prey interactions sharing common predation strategies that reveal general principles governing the behaviors of predator and prey, even in distantly related taxa. Studies of predator-prey interactions also reveal that maximal performance observed in a laboratory setting is not necessarily the performance that determines fitness. Thus, considering locomotion in the context of predation ecology can aid in evolutionarily relevant experimental design. Classification by strategy reveals that displaying unpredictable trajectories is a relevant anti-predator behavior in response to multiple predation strategies. A predator's perception and pursuit of prey can be affected indirectly by divergent locomotion of similar animals that share an ecosystem. Variation in speed and direction of locomotion that directly increases the unpredictability of a prey's trajectory can be increased through genetic mutation that affects locomotor patterns, musculoskeletal changes that affect maneuverability, and physical interactions between an animal and the environment. By considering the interconnectedness of ecology, physical constraints, and the evolutionary history of behavior, studies in biomechanics can be designed to inform each of these fields. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights

  16. Wild North Island Robins (Petroica longipes respond to Prey Animacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis Garland

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available North Island robins of New Zealand are a food hoarding species, which is unique in that they almost exclusively cache highly perishable hunted insects for later retrieval. In order to do so, they either kill and dismember or paralyze their prey for caching, depending on the prey size and kind. The present study comprises two experiments, using a Violation of Expectancy (VoE paradigm to examine variation in search behavior response to different prey conditions. The first experiment presents three different types of prey (mealworms, earthworms and locusts in expected (present and unexpected (absent conditions. The second experiment presents prey in varying states of animacy (alive and whole, dead and whole, dead and halved, and an inanimate stick and reveals prey in expected (same state or unexpected (differing state conditions. While robins did not respond with differential search times to different types of unexpectedly missing prey in Experiment 1, in Experiment 2 robins searched longer in conditions where prey was found in a differing state of animacy than initially shown. Robins also searched longer for prey when immediately consuming retrieved prey than when caching retrieved prey. Results indicate that North Island robins may be sensitive to prey animacy upon storage and retrieval of insect prey; such information could play a role in storage, pilfering and retrieval strategies of such a perishable food source.

  17. Seafloor habitat mapping and classification in Glacier Bay, Alaska: Phase 1 & 2 1996-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooge, Philip N.; Carlson, Paul R.; Mondragon, Jennifer; Etherington, Lisa L.; Cochran, G.R.

    2004-01-01

    importance in the Park. Ocean floor bathymetry and sediment type are the building blocks of marine communities. Bottom type and shape affects the kinds of benthic communities that develop in a particular environment as well as the oceanographic conditions that communities are subject to. Accurate mapping of the ocean floor is essential for park manager’s understanding of existing marine communities and will be important in assessing human induced changes (e.g., vessel traffic and commercial fishing), biological change (e.g., rapid sea otter recolonization), and geological processes of change (e.g., deglaciation). Information on animal-habitat relationships, particularly within a marine reserve framework, will be valuable to agencies making decisions about critical habitats, marine reserve design, as well as fishery management. Identification and mapping of benthic habitat provides National Park Service mangers with tools to increase the effectiveness of resource management. The primary objective of this project is to investigate the geological characteristics of the biological habitats of halibut, Dungeness crab, king crab, and Tanner crab within Glacier Bay National Park. Additionally, habitat classification of shallow water regions of Glacier Bay will provide crucial information on the relationship between benthic habitat features and the abundance of benthic prey items for a variety of marine predators, including sea ducks, the rapidly increasing population of sea otters, and other marine mammals. 

  18. Niche overlap, threshold food densities, and limits to prey depletion for a diving duck assemblage in an estuarine bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovvorn, James R.; De La Cruz, Susan; Takekawa, John Y.; Shaskey, Laura E.; Richman, Samantha E.

    2013-01-01

    Planning for marine conservation often requires estimates of the amount of habitat needed to support assemblages of interacting species. During winter in subtidal San Pablo Bay, California, the 3 main diving duck species are lesser scaup Aythya affinis (LESC), greater scaup A. marila (GRSC), and surf scoter Melanitta perspicillata (SUSC), which all feed almost entirely on the bivalve Corbula amurensis. Decreased body mass and fat, increased foraging effort, and major departures of these birds appeared to result from food limitation. Broad overlap in prey size, water depth, and location suggested that the 3 species responded similarly to availability of the same prey. However, an energetics model that accounts for differing body size, locomotor mode, and dive behavior indicated that each species will become limited at different stages of prey depletion in the order SUSC, then GRSC, then LESC. Depending on year, 35 to 66% of the energy in Corbula standing stocks was below estimated threshold densities for profitable foraging. Ectothermic predators, especially flounders and sturgeons, could reduce excess carrying capacity for different duck species by 4 to 10%. A substantial quantity of prey above profitability thresholds was not exploited before most ducks left San Pablo Bay. Such pre-depletion departure has been attributed in other taxa to foraging aggression. However, in these diving ducks that showed no overt aggression, this pattern may result from high costs of locating all adequate prey patches, resulting reliance on existing flocks to find food, and propensity to stay near dense flocks to avoid avian predation. For interacting species assemblages, modeling profitability thresholds can indicate the species most vulnerable to food declines. However, estimates of total habitat needed require better understanding of factors affecting the amount of prey above thresholds that is not depleted before the predators move elsewhere.

  19. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals' Visitation to Water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant Harris

    Full Text Available Throughout many arid lands of Africa, Australia and the United States, wildlife agencies provide water year-round for increasing game populations and enhancing biodiversity, despite concerns that water provisioning may favor species more dependent on water, increase predation, and reduce biodiversity. In part, understanding the effects of water provisioning requires identifying why and when animals visit water. Employing this information, by matching water provisioning with use by target species, could assist wildlife management objectives while mitigating unintended consequences of year-round watering regimes. Therefore, we examined if weather variables (maximum temperature, relative humidity [RH], vapor pressure deficit [VPD], long and short-term precipitation and predator-prey relationships (i.e., prey presence predicted water visitation by 9 mammals. We modeled visitation as recorded by trail cameras at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (June 2009 to September 2014 using generalized linear modeling. For 3 native ungulates, elk (Cervus Canadensis, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana, less long-term precipitation and higher maximum temperatures increased visitation, including RH for mule deer. Less long-term precipitation and higher VPD increased oryx (Oryx gazella and desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii visitation. Long-term precipitation, with RH or VPD, predicted visitation for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus. Standardized model coefficients demonstrated that the amount of long-term precipitation influenced herbivore visitation most. Weather (especially maximum temperature and prey (cottontails and jackrabbits predicted bobcat (Lynx rufus visitation. Mule deer visitation had the largest influence on coyote (Canis latrans visitation. Puma (Puma concolor visitation was solely predicted by prey visitation (elk, mule deer, oryx. Most ungulate visitation peaked during

  20. Southern Elephant Seals Replenish Their Lipid Reserves at Different Rates According to Foraging Habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaëtan Richard

    Full Text Available Assessing energy gain and expenditure in free ranging marine predators is difficult. However, such measurements are critical if we are to understand how variation in foraging efficiency, and in turn individual body condition, is impacted by environmentally driven changes in prey abundance and/or accessibility. To investigate the influence of oceanographic habitat type on foraging efficiency, ten post-breeding female southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina (SES were equipped and tracked with bio-loggers to give continuous information of prey catch attempts, body density and body activity. Variations in these indices of foraging efficiency were then compared between three different oceanographic habitats, delineated by the main frontal structures of the Southern Ocean. Results show that changes in body density are related not only to the number of previous prey catch attempts and to the body activity (at a 6 day lag, but also foraging habitat type. For example, despite a lower daily prey catch attempt rate, SESs foraging north of the sub-Antarctic front improve their body density at a higher rate than individuals foraging south of the sub-Antarctic and polar fronts, suggesting that they may forage on easier to catch and/or more energetically rich prey in this area. Our study highlights a need to understand the influence of habitat type on top predator foraging behaviour and efficiency when attempting a better comprehension of marine ecosystems.

  1. Prey switching behaviour in the planktonic copepod Acartia tonsa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Saiz, E.; Viitasalo, M.

    1996-01-01

    The copepod Acartia tonsa has 2 different prey encounter strategies. It can generate a feeding current to encounter and capture immobile prey (suspension feeding) or it can sink slowly and perceive motile prey by means of mechanoreceptors on the antennae (ambush feeding). We hypothesized that A....... tonsa adopts the feeding mode that generates the highest energy intake rate; i.e. that prey selection changes according to the relative concentrations of alternative prey (prey switching) and that the copepods spend disproportionately more time in the feeding mode that provides the greatest reward....... Based on earlier observations, we also hypothesized that turbulence changes food selection towards motile prey. We tested these hypotheses by examining feeding rates and behaviour in adult females of A. tonsa feeding in mixtures of 2 prey organisms, a diatom (Thalassiosira weissflogii) and a ciliate...

  2. Reproductive constraints influence habitat accessibility, segregation, and preference of sympatric albatross species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kappes, Michelle A; Shaffer, Scott A; Tremblay, Yann; Foley, David G; Palacios, Daniel M; Bograd, Steven J; Costa, Daniel P

    2015-01-01

    The spatiotemporal distribution of animals is dependent on a suite of factors, including the distribution of resources, interactions within and between species, physiological limitations, and requirements for reproduction, dispersal, or migration. During breeding, reproductive constraints play a major role in the distribution and behavior of central place foragers, such as pelagic seabirds. We examined the foraging behavior and marine habitat selection of Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses throughout their eight month breeding cycle at Tern Island, Northwest Hawaiian Islands to evaluate how variable constraints of breeding influenced habitat availability and foraging decisions. We used satellite tracking and light-based geolocation to determine foraging locations of individuals, and applied a biologically realistic null usage model to generate control locations and model habitat preference under a case-control design. Remotely sensed oceanographic data were used to characterize albatross habitats in the North Pacific. Individuals of both species ranged significantly farther and for longer durations during incubation and chick-rearing compared to the brooding period. Interspecific segregation of core foraging areas was observed during incubation and chick-rearing, but not during brooding. At-sea activity patterns were most similar between species during brooding; neither species altered foraging effort to compensate for presumed low prey availability and high energy demands during this stage. Habitat selection during long-ranging movements was most strongly associated with sea surface temperature for both species, with a preference for cooler ocean temperatures compared to overall availability. During brooding, lower explanatory power of habitat models was likely related to the narrow range of ocean temperatures available for selection. Laysan and black-footed albatrosses differ from other albatross species in that they breed

  3. Carnivore repatriation and holarctic prey: narrowing the deficit in ecological effectiveness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Joel

    2007-08-01

    The continuing global decline of large carnivores has catalyzed great interest in reintroduction to restore populations and to reestablish ecologically functional relationships. I used variation in the distribution of four Holarctic prey species and their behavior as proxies to investigate the pace and intensity by which responses are lost or reinvigorated by carnivore repatriation. By simulating the presence of wolves (Canis lupus), tigers (Panthera tigris), and brown bears (Ursus arctos) at 19 transcontinental sites, I assayed three metrics of prey performance in areas with no large terrestrial carnivores (the polar islands of Greenland and Svalbard), extant native carnivores (Eastern Siberian Shield, boreal Canada, and Alaska); and repatriated carnivores (the Yellowstone region and Rocky Mountains). The loss and reestablishment of large carnivores changed the ecological effectiveness of systems by (1) dampening immediate group benefits, diminishing awareness, and diminishing flight reaction in caribou (Rangifer tarandus) where predation was eliminated and (2) reinstituting sensitivity to carnivores by elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces) in the Yellowstone region to levels observed in Asian elk when sympatric with Siberian tigers and wolves or in Alaskan moose sympatric with wolves. Behavioral compensation to reintroduced carnivores occurred within a single generation, but only the vigilance reaction of bison (Bison bison) in Yellowstone exceeded that of their wolf-exposed conspecifics from boreal Canada. Beyond these overt responses by prey, snow depth and distance to suitably vegetated habitat was related to heightened vigilance in moose and elk, respectively, but only at sites with carnivores. These findings are insufficient to determine whether similar patterns might apply to other species or in areas with alien predators, and they suggest that the presumed excessive vulnerability of naïve prey to repatriated carnivores may be ill-founded. Although

  4. Experimental Test of Preferences for an Invasive Prey by an Endangered Predator: Implications for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Rebecca C.

    2016-01-01

    Identifying impacts of exotic species on native populations is central to ecology and conservation. Although the effects of exotic predators on native prey have received much attention, the role of exotic prey on native predators is poorly understood. Determining if native predators actively prefer invasive prey over native prey has implications for interpreting invasion impacts, identifying the presence of evolutionary traps, and predator persistence. One of the world’s most invasive species, Pomacea maculata, has recently established in portions of the endangered Everglade snail kite’s (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) geographic range. Although these exotic snails could provide additional prey resources, they are typically much larger than the native snail, which can lead to lower foraging success and the potential for diminished energetic benefits in comparison to native snails. Nonetheless, snail kites frequently forage on exotic snails. We used choice experiments to evaluate snail kite foraging preference in relation to exotic species and snail size. We found that snail kites do not show a preference for native or exotic snails. Rather, snail kites generally showed a preference for medium-sized snails, the sizes reflective of large native snails. These results suggest that while snail kites frequently forage on exotic snails in the wild, this behavior is likely driven simply by the abundance of exotic snails rather than snail kites preferring exotics. This lack of preference offers insights to hypotheses regarding effects of exotic species, guidance regarding habitat and invasive species management, and illustrates how native-exotic relationships can be misleading in the absence of experimental tests of such interactions. PMID:27829031

  5. Snow Leopard and Himalayan Wolf: Food Habits and Prey Selection in the Central Himalayas, Nepal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhu Chetri

    Full Text Available Top carnivores play an important role in maintaining energy flow and functioning of the ecosystem, and a clear understanding of their diets and foraging strategies is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. In this paper, we compared diets and prey selection of snow leopards and wolves based on analyses of genotyped scats (snow leopards n = 182, wolves n = 57, collected within 26 sampling grid cells (5×5 km that were distributed across a vast landscape of ca 5000 km2 in the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Within the grid cells, we sampled prey abundances using the double observer method. We found that interspecific differences in diet composition and prey selection reflected their respective habitat preferences, i.e. snow leopards significantly preferred cliff-dwelling wild ungulates (mainly bharal, 57% of identified material in scat samples, whereas wolves preferred typically plain-dwellers (Tibetan gazelle, kiang and argali, 31%. Livestock was consumed less frequently than their proportional availability by both predators (snow leopard = 27%; wolf = 24%, but significant avoidance was only detected among snow leopards. Among livestock species, snow leopards significantly preferred horses and goats, avoided yaks, and used sheep as available. We identified factors influencing diet composition using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Wolves showed seasonal differences in the occurrence of small mammals/birds, probably due to the winter hibernation of an important prey, marmots. For snow leopard, occurrence of both wild ungulates and livestock in scats depended on sex and latitude. Wild ungulates occurrence increased while livestock decreased from south to north, probably due to a latitudinal gradient in prey availability. Livestock occurred more frequently in scats from male snow leopards (males: 47%, females: 21%, and wild ungulates more frequently in scats from females (males: 48%, females: 70%. The sexual difference agrees with

  6. Shifts in intertidal zonation and refuge use by prey after mass mortalities of two predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravem, Sarah A; Morgan, Steven G

    2017-04-01

    Recent mass mortalities of two predatory sea star species provided an unprecedented opportunity to test the effect of predators on rocky intertidal prey. Mass mortalities provide insight that manipulative experiments cannot because they alter ecosystems on a larger scale, for longer time periods, and remove both organisms and their cues from the environment. We examined shifts in population size structure, vertical zonation, and use of emersed refuge habitats outside tidepools by the abundant herbivorous black turban snail Tegula funebralis, both before and after the successive mortalities of two predatory sea stars. The small cryptic predator Leptasterias spp. suffered a localized but extreme mortality event in November 2010, followed by two mass mortalities of the keystone predator Pisaster ochraceus in August 2011 and autumn 2013. After the local extinction of Leptasterias, the population size of Tegula more than doubled. Also, since Leptasterias primarily inhabited only mid to low intertidal tidepools at this site, small and medium sized snails (which are preferred by Leptasterias) shifted lower in the intertidal and into tidepools after the mortality of Leptasterias. After the mortality of Pisaster in August 2011, large snails did not shift lower in the intertidal zone despite being preferred by Pisaster. Small and medium sized snails became denser in the higher zone and outside tidepools, which was not likely due to Pisaster mortality. Previous studies concluded that Pisaster maintained vertical size gradients of snails, but our data implicate the overlooked predator Leptasterias as the primary cause. This natural experiment indicated that (1) predators exert top-down control over prey population sizes and lower limits, (2) vertical zonation of prey are dynamic and controlled in part by prey behavior, and (3) predators exert the strongest effects on more vulnerable individuals, which typically inhabit stressful habitats higher on the shore or outside

  7. Prey availability affects territory size, but not territorial display behavior, in green anole lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stehle, Chelsea M.; Battles, Andrew C.; Sparks, Michelle N.; Johnson, Michele A.

    2017-10-01

    The availability of food resources can affect the size and shape of territories, as well as the behaviors used to defend territories, in a variety of animal taxa. However, individuals within a population may respond differently to variation in food availability if the benefits of territoriality vary among those individuals. For example, benefits to territoriality may differ for animals of differing sizes, because larger individuals may require greater territory size to acquire required resources, or territorial behavior may differ between the sexes if males and females defend different resources in their territories. In this study, we tested whether arthropod abundance and biomass were associated with natural variation in territory size and defense in insectivorous green anole lizards, Anolis carolinensis. Our results showed that both male and female lizards had smaller territories in a habitat with greater prey biomass than lizards in habitats with less available prey, but the rates of aggressive behaviors used to defend territories did not differ among these habitats. Further, we did not find a relationship between body size and territory size, and the sexes did not differ in their relationships between food availability and territory size or behavioral defense. Together, these results suggest that differences in food availability influenced male and female territorial strategies similarly, and that territory size may be more strongly associated with variation in food resources than social display behavior. Thus, anole investment in the behavioral defense of a territory may not vary with territory quality.

  8. Killer whale prey - Determining prey selection by southern resident killer whales (SRKW)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Prey selectivity by southern resident killer whales is being determined by analyses of fish scales and tissue from predation events and feces. Information on killer...

  9. SRKW summer prey - Prey species and stock specific consumption estimates for SRKW in their summer range

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) are listed as a Distinct Population Segment under the Endangered Species Act. Data concerning their prey species and stock...

  10. Prey fish returned to Forster’s tern colonies suggest spatial and temporal differences in fish composition and availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Sarah; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark; Hartman, C. Alex

    2018-01-01

    Predators sample the available prey community when foraging; thus, changes in the environment may be reflected by changes in predator diet and foraging preferences. We examined Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) prey species over an 11-year period by sampling approximately 10,000 prey fish returned to 17 breeding colonies in south San Francisco Bay, California. We compared the species composition among repeatedly-sampled colonies (≥ 4 years), using both relative species abundance and the composition of total dry mass by species. Overall, the relative abundances of prey species at seven repeatedly-sampled tern colonies were more different than would be expected by chance, with the most notable differences in relative abundance observed between geographically distant colonies. In general, Mississippi silverside (Menidia audens) and topsmelt silverside (Atherinops affinis) comprised 42% of individuals and 40% of dry fish mass over the study period. Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) comprised the next largest proportion of prey species by individuals (19%) but not by dry mass (6%). Five additional species each contributed ≥ 4% of total individuals collected over the study period: yellowfin goby (Acanthogobius flavimanus; 10%), longjaw mudsucker (Gillichthys mirabilis; 8%), Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii; 6%), northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax; 4%), and staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus; 4%). At some colonies, the relative abundance and biomass of specific prey species changed over time. In general, the abundance and dry mass of silversides increased, whereas the abundance and dry mass of three-spined stickleback and longjaw mudsucker decreased. As central place foragers, Forster’s terns are limited in the distance they forage; thus, changes in the prey species returned to Forster’s tern colonies suggest that the relative availability of some fish species in the environment has changed, possibly in response to alteration of the available

  11. Behavioural and physiological responses to prey-related cues reflect higher competitiveness of invasive vs. native ladybirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondoni, Gabriele; Ielo, Fulvio; Ricci, Carlo; Conti, Eric

    2017-06-16

    Understanding the traits that might be linked with biological invasions represents a great challenge for preventing non-target effects on local biodiversity. In predatory insects, the ability to exploit habitats for oviposition and the physiological response to prey availability differs between species. Those species that respond more readily to environmental changes may confer to their offspring a competitive advantage over other species. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the invasive Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) makes better use of information from a plant-prey (Vicia faba - Aphis fabae) system compared to the native Oenopia conglobata. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays revealed that both species used olfactory cues from the system, but H. axyridis exhibited a more complete response. This species was also attracted by plants previously infested by aphids, indicating the capacity to exploit volatile synomones induced in plants by aphid attack. Oocyte resorption was investigated when different olfactory stimuli were provided under prey shortage and the readiness of new oogenesis was measured when prey was available again. H. axyridis exhibited higher plasticity in oogenesis related to the presence/absence of plant-aphid volatiles. Our results support the hypothesis that H. axyridis is more reactive than O. conglobata to olfactory cues from the plant-prey system.

  12. Population variance in prey, diets and their macronutrient composition in an endangered marine predator, the Franciscana dolphin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denuncio, Pablo; Paso Viola, Maria N.; Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E.; Raubenheimer, David; Blasina, Gabriela; Machado, Rodrigo; Polizzi, Paula; Gerpe, Marcela; Cappozzo, Humberto L.; Rodriguez, Diego H.

    2017-11-01

    Disentangling the intricacies governing dietary breadth in wild predators is important for understanding their role in structuring ecological communities and provides critical information for the management and conservation of ecologically threatened species. Here we combined dietary analysis, nutritional composition analysis of prey, literature data and nutritional geometry (right-angled mixture triangle models -RMT-) to examine the diet of the most threatened small cetacean in the western South Atlantic Ocean, the Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei). We applied a recently developed extension of niche theory based on the RMT to help understand the dietary strategies of this species. Our results showed that across their range the Franciscanas consumed prey with variable protein-to-lipid energy ratios (LMM, p dolphins sub-populations, which recent genetic evidence suggest should be differentiated into three management units, have diets with different protein energy and water mass compositions, but similar protein-to-lipid energy ratios. Furthermore, dolphins from the three areas mixed different combinations of prey in their diets to achieve the observed macronutrient ratios. These results suggest that the different habitats that each sub-population occupies (estuarine, north marine area and south marine) might be associated with different prey composition niches, but similar realized nutritional niches. Future priorities are to better comprehend possible geographical and long-term seasonal effects on prey consumption and dietary breadth of the different Franciscana populations to identify potential impacts (environmental and human-related), enhance the current management strategies to protect this endangered marine predator.

  13. Predatory mites avoid ovipositing near counter-attacking prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faraji, F.; Janssen, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    2001-01-01

    Attacking prey is not without risk; predators may endure counterattackby the prey. Here, we study the oviposition behaviour of a predatory mite(Iphiseius degenerans) in relation to its prey, thewesternflower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). This thrips iscapable of killing the eggs of the

  14. Variability in foraging behaviour and prey of the Common Fiscal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Invertebrate prey was important (>90%) whilst vertebrate prey (frogs, small reptiles, birds and small mammals) was low (<10%). Durban birds took the greatest number of prey items during summer and winter, followed by the Merrivale, Estcourt and Harrismith birds. Subpopulations also displayed significant differences in ...

  15. Prey perception in feeding-current feeding copepods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiørboe, Thomas; Goncalves, Rodrigo J.; Florian Couespel, Damien

    2016-01-01

    We reply to the comments of Paffenhöfer and Jiang () who argues that remote chemical prey perception is necessary for feeding-current feeding copepods to fulfill their nutritional requirements in a dilute ocean, that remote chemical prey detection may only be observed at very low prey concentrati...

  16. Molecular assessment of heterotrophy and prey digestion in zooxanthellate cnidarians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, M C; Nejstgaard, J C; Calado, R; Thompson, M E; Frischer, M E

    2014-08-01

    Zooxanthellate cnidarians are trophically complex, relying on both autotrophy and heterotrophy. Although several aspects of heterotrophy have been studied in these organisms, information linking prey capture with digestion is still missing. We used prey-specific PCR-based tools to assess feeding and prey digestion of two zooxanthellate cnidarians - the tropical sea anemone Aiptasia sp. and the scleractinian coral Oculina arbuscula. Prey DNA disappeared rapidly for the initial 1-3 days, whereas complete digestion of prey DNA required up to 10 days in O. arbuscula and 5 or 6 days in Aiptasia sp. depending on prey species. These digestion times are considerably longer than previously reported from microscopy-based examination of zooxanthellate cnidarians and prey DNA breakdown in other marine invertebrates, but similar to prey DNA breakdown reported from terrestrial invertebrates such as heteroptera and spiders. Deprivation of external prey induced increased digestion rates during the first days after feeding in O. arbuscula, but after 6 days of digestion, there were no differences in the remaining prey levels in fed and unfed corals. This study indicates that prey digestion by symbiotic corals may be slower than previously reported and varies with the type of prey, the cnidarian species and its feeding history. These observations have important implications for bioenergetic and trophodynamic studies on zooxanthellate cnidarians. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Harvesting and Conversation in a Predator-Prey System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoekstra, Jeljer; Bergh, van den Jeroen C.J.M.

    2001-01-01

    Optimal harvesting of prey in a predator-prey ecosystem is studiedunder the condition that the existence of the predator has value. Predators (birds) and humans (fishers) compete for prey (shellfish). The behavior of the system is studied and conditions for optimal control are deduced. Various

  18. The functional response to prey density in an acarine system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fransz, H.G.

    1974-01-01

    Predacious mites are considered to be important natural enemies of phytophagous mites. Their efficiency in the natural control of prey populations depends on the relationships of the number of prey killed per predator per time unit and the oviposition rate on the one hand and prey density on the

  19. Turing-Hopf bifurcations in a predator-prey model with herd behavior, quadratic mortality and prey-taxis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xia; Zhang, Tonghua; Meng, Xinzhu; Zhang, Tongqian

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, we propose a predator-prey model with herd behavior and prey-taxis. Then, we analyze the stability and bifurcation of the positive equilibrium of the model subject to the homogeneous Neumann boundary condition. By using an abstract bifurcation theory and taking prey-tactic sensitivity coefficient as the bifurcation parameter, we obtain a branch of stable nonconstant solutions bifurcating from the positive equilibrium. Our results show that prey-taxis can yield the occurrence of spatial patterns.

  20. No evidence of nonlinear effects of predator density, refuge availability, or body size of prey on prey mortality rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simkins, Richard M; Belk, Mark C

    2017-08-01

    Predator density, refuge availability, and body size of prey can all affect the mortality rate of prey. We assume that more predators will lead to an increase in prey mortality rate, but behavioral interactions between predators and prey, and availability of refuge, may lead to nonlinear effects of increased number of predators on prey mortality rates. We tested for nonlinear effects in prey mortality rates in a mesocosm experiment with different size classes of western mosquitofish ( Gambusia affinis ) as the prey, different numbers of green sunfish ( Lepomis cyanellus ) as the predators, and different levels of refuge. Predator number and size class of prey, but not refuge availability, had significant effects on the mortality rate of prey. Change in mortality rate of prey was linear and equal across the range of predator numbers. Each new predator increased the mortality rate by about 10% overall, and mortality rates were higher for smaller size classes. Predator-prey interactions at the individual level may not scale up to create nonlinearity in prey mortality rates with increasing predator density at the population level.

  1. Spatial Model of Sumatran Tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Potential Habitat Suitability in Bukit Barisan Selatan [Model Spasial Kesesuaian Habitat Harimau Sumatra (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Di Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Suyadi, Suyadi; Jaya, I Nengah Surati; Wijanarto, Antonius B; Wibisono, Haryo Tabah

    2012-01-01

    This study describes on development of habitat suitability for Sumatran tiger in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP). In this study remotely-sensed data set were linked with tiger and it prey survey using camera trap to identify the environmental and human factors that influences the tiger's potential habitat, and to develop a spatial model as well as in BBSNP. All at once, the study showed that the potential model for estimating the tiger's potential habitat suitability could be deve...

  2. Where wolves kill moose: the influence of prey life history dynamics on the landscape ecology of predation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert A Montgomery

    Full Text Available The landscape ecology of predation is well studied and known to be influenced by habitat heterogeneity. Little attention has been given to how the influence of habitat heterogeneity on the landscape ecology of predation might be modulated by life history dynamics of prey in mammalian systems. We demonstrate how life history dynamics of moose (Alces alces contribute to landscape patterns in predation by wolves (Canis lupus in Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior, USA. We use pattern analysis and kernel density estimates of moose kill sites to demonstrate that moose in senescent condition and moose in prime condition tend to be wolf-killed in different regions of Isle Royale in winter. Predation on senescent moose was clustered in one kill zone in the northeast portion of the island, whereas predation on prime moose was clustered in 13 separate kill zones distributed throughout the full extent of the island. Moreover, the probability of kill occurrence for senescent moose, in comparison to prime moose, increased in high elevation habitat with patches of dense coniferous trees. These differences can be attributed, at least in part, to senescent moose being more vulnerable to predation and making different risk-sensitive habitat decisions than prime moose. Landscape patterns emerging from prey life history dynamics and habitat heterogeneity have been observed in the predation ecology of fish and insects, but this is the first mammalian system for which such observations have been made.

  3. Greenland glacier retreat: Resource pulses and their effects on predators, prey and plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gravesen, Eigil Vestergaard; Dreyer, Jamin

    that Collembola was a common prey item, and spider consumption of Collembola increased in direct relationship to their abundance in each habitat type. Ground beetles consumed Collembola most often in gravel patches, while Collembola DNA was only detected in harvestmen from vegetated areas. Diptera (flies) were...... consumed by all three predators, but most often by ground beetles and nearly equally across all patch types. Curiously aphid DNA was only detected in beetles and harvestmen from bare ground patches where aphid abundance was very low and there were no vascular plants for them to feed on. The explanation...

  4. Are single odorous components of a predator sufficient to elicit defensive behaviors in prey species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raimund eApfelbach

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available When exposed to the odor of a sympatric predator, prey animals typically display escape or defensive responses. These phenomena have been well-documented, especially in rodents, when exposed to the odor of a cat, ferret or fox. As a result of these experiments new discussions center on the following questions: 1 is a single volatile compound such as a major or a minor mixture constituent in urine or feces, emitted by the predator sufficient to cause defensive reactions in a potential prey species or 2 is a whole array of odors required to elicit a response and 3 will the relative size or escapability of the prey as compared to the predator influence responsiveness. Most predator-prey studies on this topic have been performed in the laboratory or under semi-natural conditions. Field studies could help to find answers to these questions. Australian mammals are completely naïve towards the introduced placental carnivores. That offers ideal opportunities to analyze in the field the responses of potential prey species to unknown predator odors. During the last decades researchers have accumulated an enormous amount of data exploring the effects of eutherian predator odors on native marsupial mammals. In this review, we will give a survey about the development of olfactory research, chemical signals and their influence on the behavior and - in some cases - physiology of prey species. In addition, we report on the effects of predator odor experiments performed under natural conditions in Australia. When studying all these literature we learned that data gained under controlled laboratory conditions elucidate the role of individual odors on brain structures and ultimately on a comparatively narrow range behaviors. In contrast to single odors odor arrays mimic much more the situation prey animals are confronted to in nature. Therefore, a broad range of methodology — from chemistry to ecology including anatomy, physiology and behavior — is needed to

  5. Foraging Habitat and Chick Diets of Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii, Breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer C. Rock

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Breeding seabirds are threatened by human activities that affect nesting and foraging habitat. In Canada, one of the seabirds most at risk of extirpation is the Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii. Although critical nesting habitat has been identified for the Roseate Tern in Canada, its foraging locations and the diet of its chicks are unknown. Therefore, our goal was to determine the foraging locations and diet of chicks of Roseate Tern breeding on Country Island, Nova Scotia, which is one of Canada's two main breeding colonies. In 2003 and 2004, we radio-tracked the Roseate Tern by plane to locate foraging areas and conducted feeding watches to determine the diet of chicks. Roseate Tern foraged approximately 7 km from the breeding colony over shallow water < 5 m deep. In both years, sand lance, Ammodytes spp., was the most common prey item delivered to chicks, followed by hake, Urophycis spp. Our results are consistent with previous work at colonies in the northeastern United States, suggesting that throughout its range, this species may be restricted in both habitat use and prey selection. The reliance on a specific habitat type and narrow range of prey species makes the Roseate Tern generally susceptible to habitat perturbations and reductions in the availability of prey.

  6. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchira Somaweera

    Full Text Available Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle, most hatchling (<12-month-old freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk.

  7. Habitat fragmentation differentially affects trophic levels and alters behavior in a multi-trophic marine system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rielly-Carroll, Elizabeth; Freestone, Amy L

    2017-03-01

    Seagrass, an important subtidal marine ecosystem, is being lost at a rate of 110 km 2  year -1 , leading to fragmented seagrass seascapes. Habitat fragmentation is predicted to affect trophic levels differently, with higher trophic levels being more sensitive, stressing the importance of a multi-trophic perspective. Utilizing the trophic relationship between the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and hard clam (Mercenaria mercenaria), where adult blue crabs prey on juvenile blue crabs, and juvenile blue crabs prey on small hard clams, we examined whether predation rates, abundance, and behavior of predators and prey differed between continuous and fragmented seagrass in a multi-trophic context at two sites in Barnegat Bay, NJ. We tested the hypothesis that fragmented habitats would differentially affect trophic levels within a tri-trophic system, and our results supported this hypothesis. Densities of adult blue crabs were higher in fragmented than continuous habitats. Densities of juvenile blue crabs, the primary predator of hard clams, were lower in fragmented habitats than continuous, potentially due to increased predation by adult blue crabs. Clams experienced lower predation and burrowed to a shallower depth in fragmented habitats than in continuous habitat, likely due in part to the low densities of juvenile blue crabs, their primary predator. Our results suggest that while trophic levels are differentially affected, the impact of habitat fragmentation may be stronger on intermediate rather than top trophic levels in some marine systems.

  8. Eelgrass habitat near Liberty Bay: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinicola, Richard S.; Takesue, Renee K.

    2015-01-01

    Seagrasses are a widespread type of marine flowering plants that grow in nearshore intertidal and subtidal zones. Seagrass beds are ecologically important because they affect physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of nearshore habitat, and they are sensitive to changes in coastal water quality (Stevenson and others, 1993; Koch, 2001; Martinez-Crego and others, 2008). Zostera marina, commonly known as eelgrass, is protected by a no-net-loss policy in Washington State where it may be used as spawning habitat by herring, a key prey species for salmon, seabirds, and marine mammals (Bargmann, 1998). Eelgrass forms broad meadows in shallow embayments or narrow fringes on open shorelines (Berry and others, 2003). Anthropogenic activities that increase turbidity, nutrient loading, and physical disturbance at the coast can result in dramatic seagrass decline (Ralph and others, 2006).

  9. Forest type affects prey foraging of saddleback tamarins, Saguinus nigrifrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupsch, Denis; Waltert, Matthias; Heymann, Eckhard W

    2014-07-01

    Callitrichids can persist in secondary forests where they may benefit from elevated prey abundance. However, how tamarins forage for prey in secondary forest compared to primary forest has not been examined. Using scan and focal sampling, we compared prey foraging and capture success of two groups of Saguinus nigrifrons in north-eastern Peru: one ranging in primary forest, the other with access to a 10-year-old anthropogenic secondary forest. There was a trend for more prey search in the secondary forest, but prey feeding, capture success and size were lower compared to the primary forest. Tamarins avoided the forest floor, used vertical supports less often and searched on a lower variety of substrates in the secondary forest. In the secondary forest, tamarins did not capture flushed prey, which make up a substantial part of the total prey captures biomass in primary forests. Reduced prey capture success is unlikely to reflect reduced prey availability, since more Orthoptera were found in secondary forest through ultrasonic surveys. Therefore, the prey search activity of S. nigrifrons in young secondary forests seemed rather opportunistic, presumably influenced by altered predation patterns, vegetation structure, as well as prey diversity.

  10. Prey and plastic ingestion of Pacific Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis rogersii) from Monterey Bay, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly-Greenan, Erica L; Harvey, James T; Nevins, Hannahrose M; Hester, Michelle M; Walker, William A

    2014-08-15

    Marine plastic pollution affects seabirds, including Pacific Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis rodgersii), that feed at the surface and mistake plastic for prey or incidentally ingest it. Direct and indirect health issues can result, including satiety and possibly leading to inefficient foraging. Our objective was to examine fulmar body condition, identify cephalopod diet to species, enumerate and weigh ingested plastic, and determine if prey number and size were correlated with ingested plastics in beach-cast fulmars wintering in Monterey Bay California (2003, n=178: 2007, n=185). Fulmars consumed mostly Gonatus pyros, G. onyx, and G. californiensis of similar size for both years. We found a significant negative correlation between pectoral muscle index and average size of cephalopod beaks per stomach; a significant increase in plastic categories between 2003 and 2007; and no significant correlation between number and mass of plastic compared with number and size of prey for either year. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluation of temperature gradient gel electrophoresis for the analysis of prey DNA within the guts of invertebrate predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, G L; Sheppard, S K; Harwood, J D; Read, D S; Glen, D M; Bruford, M W; Symondson, W O C

    2006-06-01

    The utility of temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) as a means of analysing the gut contents of predators was evaluated. Generalist predators consume multiple prey species and a species-specific primer approach may not always be a practical means of analysing predator responses to prey diversity in complex and biodiverse ecosystems. General invertebrate primers were used to amplify the gut contents of predators, generating banding patterns that identified component prey remains. There was no evidence of dominance of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by predator DNA. When applied to field samples of the carabid predator Pterostichus melanarius (Illiger) nine banding patterns were detected, including one for aphids. To further distinguish between species, group-specific primers were designed to separate species of earthworm and aphid. TGGE of the earthworm PCR products generated banding patterns that varied with haplotype in some species. Aphid and earthworm DNA could be detected in the guts of carabids for up to 24 h using TGGE. In P. melanarius, with low numbers of prey per insect gut (mean<3), interpretation of banding patterns proved to be tractable. Potential problems of interpretation of TGGE gels caused by multiple prey bands, cryptic bands, haplotype variation, taxonomic uncertainties (especially with regard to earthworms), secondary predation, scavenging and presence of parasites and parasitoids in the prey or the predators, are discussed. The results suggest that PCR, using combinations of general invertebrate and group-specific primers followed by TGGE, provides a potentially useful approach to the analysis of multiple uncharacterized prey in predators.

  12. Climate-induced trends in predator–prey synchrony differ across life-history stages of an anadromous salmonid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Donovan A.; Kovach, Ryan; Vulstek, Scott C.; Joyce, John E.; Tallmon, David A.

    2017-01-01

    Differential climate-induced shifts in phenology can create mismatches between predators and prey, but few studies have examined predator–prey mismatch across multiple life-history stages. We used long-term data from a warming stream with shifting salmonid migration timings to quantify intra-annual migration synchrony between predatory Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) and Pacific salmon prey and examined how predator–prey synchrony has been influenced by climate change. We demonstrate that Dolly Varden have become increasingly mismatched with spring downstream migrations of abundant pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) juveniles. However, Dolly Varden have remained matched with fall upstream migrations of spawning Pacific salmon, including coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch), sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka), and pink salmon. Downstream predator–prey migration synchrony decreased over time and with higher temperatures, particularly with pink salmon. In contrast, upstream migration synchrony was temporally stable and increased with rising temperatures. Differing trends in Dolly Varden predator–prey synchrony may be explained by the direct use of salmon to cue upstream migration, but not downstream migration. Overall, we show that climate change can have differing impacts on predator–prey synchrony across life-history stages.

  13. Prey density effect on cannibalism by Toxorhynchites towadensis (Diptera: Culicidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, H; Hashimoto, T

    1995-09-01

    The effect of prey density on cannibalism by the larvae of Toxorhynchites towadensis (Matsumura) was studied in the laboratory. Frequency of cannibalism was compared among pairs of all possible instar combinations of Tx. towadensis in the presence and absence of Aedes albopictus (Skuse). Cannibalism occurred despite the presence of prey larvae, but more frequently between different instars than the same instars. Cannibalized larvae were always younger than or the same age as their attackers. Six predatory larvae were reared in a container with 30, 60, or 120 prey throughout their development, and cannibalism and development were observed. No cannibalism was observed when prey density was 120. However, in the continuous presence of 30 prey, cannibalism occurred on 8 occasions. Cannibalism at a prey density of 60 was intermediate in frequency. Most (92%) cannibalism occurred when 1st or 2nd instars attacked the same or younger instars. The time in cohabitation of different instars was shorter with increasing prey density.

  14. Testing mechanistic explanations for mammalian predator responses to habitat edges

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Svobodová, J.; Kreisinger, J.; Šálek, Martin; Koubová, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 3 (2011), s. 467-474 ISSN 1612-4642 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1P05OC078; GA ČR GA524/06/0687; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519; CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Edge effect * Habitat fragmentation * Mesopredators * Nest predation * Prey distribution Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.306, year: 2011

  15. Who eats whom in a pool? A comparative study of prey selectivity by predatory aquatic insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klecka, Jan; Boukal, David S

    2012-01-01

    Predatory aquatic insects are a diverse group comprising top predators in small fishless water bodies. Knowledge of their diet composition is fragmentary, which hinders the understanding of mechanisms maintaining their high local diversity and of their impacts on local food web structure and dynamics. We conducted multiple-choice predation experiments using nine common species of predatory aquatic insects, including adult and larval Coleoptera, adult Heteroptera and larval Odonata, and complemented them with literature survey of similar experiments. All predators in our experiments fed selectively on the seven prey species offered, and vulnerability to predation varied strongly between the prey. The predators most often preferred dipteran larvae; previous studies further reported preferences for cladocerans. Diet overlaps between all predator pairs and predator overlaps between all prey pairs were non-zero. Modularity analysis separated all primarily nectonic predator and prey species from two groups of large and small benthic predators and their prey. These results, together with limited evidence from the literature, suggest a highly interconnected food web with several modules, in which similarly sized predators from the same microhabitat are likely to compete strongly for resources in the field (observed Pianka's diet overlap indices >0.85). Our experiments further imply that ontogenetic diet shifts are common in predatory aquatic insects, although we observed higher diet overlaps than previously reported. Hence, individuals may or may not shift between food web modules during ontogeny.

  16. Pollinator-prey conflict in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jürgens, Andreas; Sciligo, Amber; Witt, Taina; El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Suckling, D Max

    2012-08-01

    Most carnivorous plants utilize insects in two ways: the flowers attract insects as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction, and the leaves trap insects for nutrients. Feeding on insects has been explained as an adaptation to nutrient-poor soil, and carnivorous plants have been shown to benefit from insect capture through increased growth, earlier flowering and increased seed production. Most carnivorous plant species seem to benefit from insect pollination, although many species autonomously self-pollinate and some propagate vegetatively. However, assuming that outcross pollen is advantageous and is a more important determinant of reproductive success than the nutrients gained from prey, there should be a selective pressure on carnivorous plants not to feed on their potential pollen vectors. Therefore, it has been suggested that carnivorous plants are subject to a conflict, often called the pollinator-prey conflict (PPC). The conflict results from a trade-off of the benefits from feeding on potentially pollinating insects versus the need to use them as pollen vectors for sexual reproduction. In this review we analyze the conditions under which a PPC may occur, review the evidence for the existence of PPCs in carnivorous plants, and explore the mechanisms that may be in place to prevent or alleviate a PPC. With respect to the latter, we discuss how plant signals such as olfactory and visual cues may play a role in separating the functions of pollinator attraction and prey capture. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  17. Correlations between benthic habitats and demersal fish assemblages — A case study on the Dogger Bank (North Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, Anne F.; Kröncke, Ingrid

    2013-07-01

    The interdependence between groundfish assemblages and habitat properties was investigated on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea. Abiotic habitat parameters considered included topography, hydrographic conditions, sediment composition, and the biotic habitat variable the prevailing benthic invertebrates. Distinct epi- and infauna communities occurred at different locations on the Dogger Bank. Fish assemblages were clearly linked to both the biotic and abiotic habitat characteristics. Overall, fish and benthic communities revealed similar spatial distribution, represented in the respective clusters of characteristic and abundant species. Distribution patterns corresponded with the prevailing abiotic conditions such as depth and sediment composition, which appear to relate to autecological preferences of individual species. The apparently most generalist species, grey gurnard (Eutrigla gurnardus) and dab (Limanda limanda) occurred at all stations and dominated in terms of biomass in most cases. The absolute numbers of grey gurnards were related to the abundance of suitable prey, invertebrate and fish species, which stomach analyses revealed as part of the diet in an independent study during the same research cruise. Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and whiting (Merlangius merlangus) were only abundant at deep stations along the flanks of the bank. The occurrence of lemon sole (Microstomus kitt), American plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) and cod (Gadus morhua) was also positively correlated with depth, whereas especially lesser weever (Echiichthys vipera), sandeel species and solenette (Buglossidium luteum) occurred predominantly at the shallower sites. At the same time, individual fish species such as solenette and lesser weever were associated with high densities of selected epi- or infauna species.

  18. Preferred habitat of breeding birds may be compromised by climate change: unexpected effects of an exceptionally cold, wet spring.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Whitehouse

    Full Text Available Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.

  19. Prey-predator dynamics with prey refuge providing additional food to predator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghosh, Joydev; Sahoo, Banshidhar; Poria, Swarup

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • The effects of interplay between prey refugia and additional food are reported. • Hopf bifurcation conditions are derived analytically. • Existence of unique limit cycle is shown analytically. • Predator extinction may be possible at very high prey refuge ecological systems. - Abstract: The impacts of additional food for predator on the dynamics of a prey-predator model with prey refuge are investigated. The equilibrium points and their stability behaviours are determined. Hopf bifurcation conditions are derived analytically. Most significantly, existence conditions for unique stable limit cycle in the phase plane are shown analytically. The analytical results are in well agreement with the numerical simulation results. Effects of variation of refuge level as well as the variation of quality and quantity of additional food on the dynamics are reported with the help of bifurcation diagrams. It is found that high quality and high quantity of additional food supports oscillatory coexistence of species. It is observed that predator extinction possibility in high prey refuge ecological systems may be removed by supplying additional food to predator population. The reported theoretical results may be useful to conservation biologist for species conservation in real world ecological systems.

  20. Prey preferences and prey acceptance in juvenile Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lardner, Bjorn; Savidge, Julie A.; Rodda, Gordon H.; Reed, Robert N.

    2009-01-01

    On the Pacific island of Guam, control of the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) relies largely on methods that use mice as bait. Juvenile B. irregularis feed primarily on lizards and their eggs, but little is known about their prey preference. We conducted an experiment to investigate preferences for, and acceptance of, dead geckos, skinks, and neonatal mice, in juvenile B. irregularis ranging from 290 mm to ca. 700 mm snout-vent length (SVL). Snakes of all sizes showed a preference for geckos over skinks and neonatal mice. Geckos were the first prey chosen in 87% of 224 initial trials (56 snakes subjected to four trials each; 33% would be expected from a random choice). The smallest snakes had the most pronounced preference. Although many of the snakes accepted neonatal mice and/or skinks, some snakes of all sizes were reluctant to feed on anything but geckos, especially when well fed. We also addressed the hypothesis that repeated encounters with a particular prey type increase a snake's preference for that prey. Our study does not support this hypothesis. Our results suggest that control methods relying solely on rodent bait may be inefficient for targeting snakes < 700 mm SVL and that individual heterogeneity in prey preference may cause a significant part of this juvenile cohort to be completely refractory to capture with rodent bait, even if the bait is dead and small enough to be readily swallowed.

  1. Simple finite element methods for approximating predator-prey dynamics in two dimensions using MATLAB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvie, Marcus R; Burkardt, John; Morgan, Jeff

    2015-03-01

    We describe simple finite element schemes for approximating spatially extended predator-prey dynamics with the Holling type II functional response and logistic growth of the prey. The finite element schemes generalize 'Scheme 1' in the paper by Garvie (Bull Math Biol 69(3):931-956, 2007). We present user-friendly, open-source MATLAB code for implementing the finite element methods on arbitrary-shaped two-dimensional domains with Dirichlet, Neumann, Robin, mixed Robin-Neumann, mixed Dirichlet-Neumann, and Periodic boundary conditions. Users can download, edit, and run the codes from http://www.uoguelph.ca/~mgarvie/ . In addition to discussing the well posedness of the model equations, the results of numerical experiments are presented and demonstrate the crucial role that habitat shape, initial data, and the boundary conditions play in determining the spatiotemporal dynamics of predator-prey interactions. As most previous works on this problem have focussed on square domains with standard boundary conditions, our paper makes a significant contribution to the area.

  2. Different chemical cues originating from a shared predator induce common defense responses in two prey species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahara, Teruhiko; Doi, Hideyuki; Kohmatsu, Yukihiro; Yamaoka, Ryohei

    2013-01-01

    In freshwater ecosystems, inducible defenses that involve behavioral or morphological changes in response to chemical cue detection are key phenomena in prey-predator interactions. Many species with different phylogenetic and ecological traits (e.g., general activity patterns and microhabitats) use chemical cues to avoid predators. We hypothesized that prey species with a shared predator, but having different ecological traits, would be adapted to detect different chemical cues from the predator. However, the proximate mechanisms by which prey use chemical cues to avoid predation remain little known. Here, we tested our hypothesis by using fractionated chemical components from predatory dragonfly nymphs (Lesser Emperor, Anax parthenope julius) to trigger anti-predator behavioral responses in two anuran tadpoles, the wrinkled frog Glandirana (Rana) rugosa and the Japanese tree frog Hyla japonica. Glandirana rugosa detected chemical cues that had either high or low hydrophobic properties, but H. japonica responded only to chemical cues with hydrophilic properties. During the normal behaviors of these tadpole species, G. rugosa remains immobile in benthic habitats, whereas H. japonica exhibits active swimming at the surface or in the middle of the water column. As we had hypothesized, these tadpole species, which have different general activity levels and microhabitats, detected different chemical cues that were exuded by their shared predator and responded by changing their activities to avoid predation. The specific chemical cues detected by each tadpole species are likely to have characteristics that optimize effective predator detection and encounter avoidance of the shared dragonfly predator.

  3. Significance of selective predation and development of prey protection measures for juvenile salmonids in the Columbia and Snake River reservoirs. Annual progress report, February 1993--February 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poe, T.P.

    1994-01-01

    This report addresses the problem of predator-prey interactions of juvenile salmonids in the Columbia and Snake River. Six papers are included on selective predation and prey protection. Attention is focused on monitoring the movements, the distribution, and the behavior of juvenile chinook salmon and northern squawfish

  4. Combined effects of predator cues and competition define habitat choice and food consumption of amphipod mesograzers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beermann, Jan; Boos, Karin; Gutow, Lars; Boersma, Maarten; Peralta, Ana Carolina

    2018-03-01

    Predation has direct impact on prey populations by reducing prey abundance. In addition, predator presence alone can also have non-consumptive effects on prey species, potentially influencing their interspecific interactions and thus the structure of entire assemblages. The performance of potential prey species may, therefore, depend on both the presence of predators and competitors. We studied habitat use and food consumption of a marine mesograzer, the amphipod Echinogammarus marinus, in the presence/absence of a fish mesopredator and/or an amphipod competitor. The presence of the predator affected both habitat choice and food consumption of the grazer, indicating a trade-off between the use of predator-free space and food acquisition. Without the predator, E. marinus were distributed equally over different microhabitats, whereas in the presence of the predator, most individuals chose a sheltered microhabitat and reduced their food consumption. Furthermore, habitat choice of the amphipods changed in the presence of interspecific competitors, also resulting in reduced feeding rates. The performance of E. marinus is apparently driven by trait-mediated direct and indirect effects caused by the interplay of predator avoidance and competition. This highlights the importance of potential non-consumptive impacts of predators on their prey organisms. The flexible responses of small invertebrate consumers to the combined effects of predation and competition potentially lead to changes in the structure of coastal ecosystems and the multiple species interactions therein.

  5. Monitoring birds of prey in Finland: a summary of methods, trends, and statistical power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saurola, Pertti

    2008-09-01

    In Finland, Comprehensive Surveys to monitor numbers and productivity of four endangered species of birds of prey were started in the early 1970s. In 1982, the Ringing Center launched the Raptor Grid, a nationwide monitoring program for all other bird-of-prey species based on 10 x 10 km study plots of the Finnish National Grid. The annual total of study plots surveyed by voluntary raptor ringers has averaged 120. Since 1986, additional information on breeding performance has been collected using the Raptor Questionnaire. In 2006, more than 44 262 potential nest sites of birds of prey were inspected, and 12 963 occupied territories, including 8149 active nests, were found and reported by ringers. The population trend during 1982-2006 has been significantly negative in six species and positive or neutral in 18 species. Statistical power of the time series of numbers and productivity has been adequate for all species except the microtine specialists.

  6. Diet Shift and Prey Selection of the Native European Catfish, Silurus glanis, in a Turkish Reservoir

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmet ALP

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Diet and prey selection of European catfish were studied in Menzelet Reservoir in Turkey. Diet of European catfish composed of 6 prey fish species, 1 crab (Potamon sp. and 1 leech (Hirudo sp.. Diet composition was dominated by fish, including Alburnus kotsychyi, Capoeta angorae, Capoeta erhani, Luciobarbus pectoralis, Silurus glanis and the most important prey item was A. kotsychyi. The diet of European catfish was constituted solely by fish in winter and autumn while crab and leech contributed to a small part of the diet in spring and summer. Therefore, feeding was more heterogeneous in spring and summer than winter and autumn. The values of X2 and G statistics indicated a significant difference (P0.05.

  7. Spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta prey on new-born elephant calves in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Salnicki

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta are known to be opportunists and to have a varied diet including mammals, reptiles and birds. Prey most often hunted are medium sized ungulates but spotted hyaenas will on occasion take larger species such as giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis and zebra Equus burchellii. They are also known to hunt whichever species are most abundant and will vary their prey seasonally. In this study spotted hyaenas were observed to take an unusual prey species in the form of elephant calves (Loxodonta africana. On a number of occasions hyaenas were observed feeding on or killing newborn and very young elephant calves. These observations were made whilst the authors were conducting research on spotted hyaena ecology in the woodlands of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe and were made during the dry season between September and November 1999.

  8. Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone: a perspective for managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Faaborg; Margaret Brittingham; Therese Donovan; John Blake

    1993-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation occurs when a large, fairly continuous tract of vegetation is converted to other vegetation types such that only scattered fragments of the original type remain. Problems associated with habitat fragmentation include overall habitat loss, increase in edge habitat and edge effects (particularly higher parasitism and nest predation rates), and...

  9. Notes on the diet and habitat selection of the Sri Lankan Leopard Panthera pardus kotiya (Mammalia: Felidae in the central highlands of Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Kittle

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The endangered Sri Lankan Leopard Panthera pardus kotiya occupies the island’s highly fragmented central hills where data on its feeding ecology and habitat use is largely absent. This study’s objective was to investigate diet and resource selection of leopards here with a focus on the extent of potential interactions with humans in this heavily populated, largely unprotected landscape. Fecal sample analysis was undertaken to investigate diet and sign index counts and selectivity index analysis to determine habitat and landscape features important to fine scale leopard utilization. Results indicated that leopards in the central hills hunt a wide range of prey (at least 10 genera, including larger species where available (e.g., Sambar Rusa unicolor and smaller, more specialized prey (e.g., Porcupine Hystrix indica where necessary. No domestic species were recorded in scat analysis (N=35 despite the availability of dogs Canis familiaris, suggesting such predation may be atypical in Sri Lanka. Leopards use a range of landscapes within the region including established and regenerating forests, plantation lands (e.g., pine, eucalyptus, tea, and areas in close proximity to human settlement. At a fine scale, areas of dense undergrowth including tall grasslands were preferred to more open forest, as well as to Pine Pinus caribaea monocultures. Avoidance of humans may be influencing these patterns. This study has important implications as researchers and managers necessarily expand beyond focusing on protected areas toward integrated, landscape-level conservation strategies.

  10. Chaos in periodically forced Holling type IV predator-prey system with impulsive perturbations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shuwen; Tan Dejun; Chen Lansun

    2006-01-01

    The effect of periodic forcing and impulsive perturbations on predator-prey model with Holling type IV functional response is investigated. The periodic forcing is affected by assuming a periodic variation in the intrinsic growth rate of the prey. The impulsive perturbations are affected by introducing periodic constant impulsive immigration of predator. The dynamical behavior of the system is simulated and bifurcation diagrams are obtained for different parameters. The results show that periodic forcing and impulsive perturbation can easily give rise to complex dynamics, including (1) quasi-periodic oscillating, (2) period doubling cascade, (3) chaos, (4) period halfing cascade

  11. Chaos in periodically forced Holling type II predator-prey system with impulsive perturbations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shuwen; Tan Dejun; Chen Lansun

    2006-01-01

    The effect of periodic forcing and impulsive perturbations on predator-prey model with Holling type II functional response is investigated. The periodic forcing is affected by assuming a periodic variation in the intrinsic growth rate of prey. The impulsive perturbation is affected by introducing periodic constant impulsive immigration of predator. The dynamical behavior of the system is simulated and bifurcation diagrams are obtained for different parameters. The results show that periodic forcing and impulsive perturbation can very easily give rise to complex dynamics, including (1) quasi-periodic oscillating, (2) period doubling cascade, (3) chaos, (4) period halfing cascade, (5) non-unique dynamics

  12. Comparative analysis of marine ecosystems: workshop on predator-prey interactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bailey, Kevin M.; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Hunsicker, Mary

    2010-01-01

    in marine ecosystems was held at the Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA on 16–18 March 2010. The meeting brought together scientists from diverse fields of expertise including theoretical ecology, animal behaviour, fish and seabird ecology, statistics, fisheries science and ecosystem modelling......Climate and human influences on marine ecosystems are largely manifested by changes in predator–prey interactions. It follows that ecosystem-based management of the world's oceans requires a better understanding of food web relationships. An international workshop on predator–prey interactions...

  13. Dynamics of modified Leslie-Gower-type prey-predator model with seasonally varying parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gakkhar, Sunita; Singh, Brahampal

    2006-01-01

    A modified Leslie-Gower-type prey-predator model composed of a logistic prey with Holling's type II functional response is studied. The axial point (1, 0) is found to be globally asymptotically stable in a domain. Condition for stability of the non-trivial equilibrium point is obtained. The existence of stable limit cycle of the system is also established. The analysis for Hopf bifurcation is carried out. The numerical simulations are carried out to study the effects of seasonally varying parameters of the model. The system shows the rich dynamic behavior including bifurcation and chaos

  14. Jack of all trades, master of all: a positive association between habitat niche breadth and foraging performance in pit-building antlion larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkae, Erez David; Scharf, Inon; Abramsky, Zvika; Ovadia, Ofer

    2012-01-01

    Species utilizing a wide range of resources are intuitively expected to be less efficient in exploiting each resource type compared to species which have developed an optimal phenotype for utilizing only one or a few resources. We report here the results of an empirical study whose aim was to test for a negative association between habitat niche breadth and foraging performance. As a model system to address this question, we used two highly abundant species of pit-building antlions varying in their habitat niche breadth: the habitat generalist Myrmeleon hyalinus, which inhabits a variety of soil types but occurs mainly in sandy soils, and the habitat specialist Cueta lineosa, which is restricted to light soils such as loess. Both species were able to discriminate between the two soils, with each showing a distinct and higher preference to the soil type providing higher prey capture success and characterizing its primary habitat-of-origin. As expected, only small differences in the foraging performances of the habitat generalist were evident between the two soils, while the performance of the habitat specialist was markedly reduced in the alternative sandy soil. Remarkably, in both soil types, the habitat generalist constructed pits and responded to prey faster than the habitat specialist, at least under the temperature range of this study. Furthermore, prey capture success of the habitat generalist was higher than that of the habitat specialist irrespective of the soil type or prey ant species encountered, implying a positive association between habitat niche-breadth and foraging performance. Alternatively, C. lineosa specialization to light soils does not necessarily confer upon its superiority in utilizing such habitats. We thus suggest that habitat specialization in C. lineosa is either an evolutionary dead-end, or, more likely, that this species' superiority in light soils can only be evident when considering additional niche axes.

  15. Jack of all trades, master of all: a positive association between habitat niche breadth and foraging performance in pit-building antlion larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erez David Barkae

    Full Text Available Species utilizing a wide range of resources are intuitively expected to be less efficient in exploiting each resource type compared to species which have developed an optimal phenotype for utilizing only one or a few resources. We report here the results of an empirical study whose aim was to test for a negative association between habitat niche breadth and foraging performance. As a model system to address this question, we used two highly abundant species of pit-building antlions varying in their habitat niche breadth: the habitat generalist Myrmeleon hyalinus, which inhabits a variety of soil types but occurs mainly in sandy soils, and the habitat specialist Cueta lineosa, which is restricted to light soils such as loess. Both species were able to discriminate between the two soils, with each showing a distinct and higher preference to the soil type providing higher prey capture success and characterizing its primary habitat-of-origin. As expected, only small differences in the foraging performances of the habitat generalist were evident between the two soils, while the performance of the habitat specialist was markedly reduced in the alternative sandy soil. Remarkably, in both soil types, the habitat generalist constructed pits and responded to prey faster than the habitat specialist, at least under the temperature range of this study. Furthermore, prey capture success of the habitat generalist was higher than that of the habitat specialist irrespective of the soil type or prey ant species encountered, implying a positive association between habitat niche-breadth and foraging performance. Alternatively, C. lineosa specialization to light soils does not necessarily confer upon its superiority in utilizing such habitats. We thus suggest that habitat specialization in C. lineosa is either an evolutionary dead-end, or, more likely, that this species' superiority in light soils can only be evident when considering additional niche axes.

  16. Spatially explicit estimates of prey consumption reveal a new krill predator in the Southern Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Walters

    Full Text Available Development in foraging behaviour and dietary intake of many vertebrates are age-structured. Differences in feeding ecology may correlate with ontogenetic shifts in dispersal patterns, and therefore affect foraging habitat and resource utilization. Such life-history traits have important implications in interpreting tropho-dynamic linkages. Stable isotope ratios in the whiskers of sub-yearling southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina; n = 12 were used, in conjunction with satellite telemetry and environmental data, to examine their foraging habitat and diet during their first foraging migration. The trophic position of seals from Macquarie Island (54°30'S, 158°57'E was estimated using stable carbon (δ(1 (3C and nitrogen (δ(15N ratios along the length of the whisker, which provided a temporal record of prey intake. Satellite-relayed data loggers provided details on seal movement patterns, which were related to isotopic concentrations along the whisker. Animals fed in waters south of the Polar Front (>60°S or within Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR Statistical Subareas 88.1 and 88.2, as indicated by both their depleted δ(1 (3C (<-20‰ values, and tracking data. They predominantly exploited varying proportions of mesopelagic fish and squid, and crustaceans, such as euphausiids, which have not been reported as a prey item for this species. Comparison of isotopic data between sub-yearlings, and 1, 2 and 3 yr olds indicated that sub-yearlings, limited by their size, dive capabilities and prey capture skills to feeding higher in the water column, fed at a lower trophic level than older seals. This is consistent with the consumption of euphausiids and most probably, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba, which constitute an abundant, easily accessible source of prey in water masses used by this age class of seals. Isotopic assessment and concurrent tracking of seals are successfully used here to

  17. Role of prey and intraspecific density dependence on the population growth of an avian top predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-de-Simon, Javier; Díaz-Ruiz, Francisco; Cirilli, Francesca; Tortosa, Francisco S.; Villafuerte, Rafael; Ferreras, Pablo

    2014-10-01

    Exploring predator-prey systems in diverse ecosystems increases our knowledge about ecological processes. Predator population growth may be positive when conspecific density is low but predators also need areas with prey availability, associated with competition, which increases the risk of suffering losses but stabilises populations. We studied relationships between European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus (prey) and adult eagle owls Bubo bubo (predators) in south-western Europe. We assessed models explaining the predator population growth and stability. We estimated the abundance of rabbits and adult eagle owls during three years in eight localities of central-southern Spain. We explored models including rabbit and adult eagle owl abundance, accounting for yearly variations and including the locality as a random variable. We found that population growth of adult eagle owls was positive in situations with low conspecific abundance and tended to be negative but approaching equilibrium in situations of higher conspecific abundance. Population growth was also positively related to previous summer rabbit density when taking into account eagle owl conspecific abundance, possibly indicating that rabbits may support recruitment. Furthermore, abundance stability of adult eagle owls was positively related to previous winter-spring rabbit density, which could suggest predator population stabilisation through quick territory occupation in high-quality areas. These results exemplify the trade-off between prey availability and abundance of adult predators related to population growth and abundance stability in the eagle owl-rabbit system in south-western Europe. Despite rabbits have greatly declined during the last decades and eagle owls locally specialise on them, eagle owls currently have a favourable conservation status. As eagle owls are the only nocturnal raptor with such dependence on rabbits, this could point out that predators may overcome prey decreases in areas with

  18. Birds of Prey at the International Airport "Strigino", Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadezhda E. Kolesova

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In this article we discuss the seasonal dynamics and population density of Birds of Prey at the Nizhniy Novgorod International airport “Strigino”, based on data collected from November, 2013 to November, 2014. During this period a total of 71 raptors of 9 species were observed, including one breeding species – the Eurasian Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus. The seasonal population dynamics and species composition of Birds of Prey on the territory of the airport was studied. The highest population density and species number occurred during end of June – July, in September and in April. The summer population peak was caused by regular observations of hunting birds, whose nests were located on the territory of the airport and in the close vicinity. Young birds also made a contribution to this peak. Autumn and spring population peaks were caused by more frequent observations of migrating raptors during the seasonal migrations. The lowest number of raptors in the airport was observed in winter.

  19. Influence of edge on predator prey distribution and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Geopressured habitat: A literature review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Negus-de Wys, Jane

    1992-09-01

    A literature review of the geopressured-geothermal habitat is summarized. Findings are presented and discussed with respect to the principal topics: Casual agents are both geological and geochemical; they include disequilibrium compaction of sediments, clay diagenesis, aquathermal pressuring, hydrocarbon generation, and lateral tectonic compression. The overall physical and chemical characteristics of the habitats are dictated by varying combinations of sedimentation rates, alteration mineralogy, permeability, porosity and pressure, temperature, fluid content and chemistry, and hydrodynamic flow. Habitat pressure seals are considered in terms of their formation processes, geologic characteristics, and physical behavior, including pressure release and reservoir pressure recharge on a geologic time scale. World-wide occurrence of geopressured-geothermal habitats is noted. The main thrust of this topic concerns the U.S.A. and Canada; in addition, reference is made to occurrences in China and indications from deep-sea vents, as well as the contribution of paleo-overpressure to habitat initiation and maintenance. Identification and assessment of the habitat is addressed in relation to use of hydrogeologic, geophysical, geochemical, and geothermic techniques, as well as well-logging and drill-stem-test data. Conclusions concerning the adequacy of the current state of knowledge and its applicability to resource exploration and development are set forth, together with recommendations for the thrust of future work.

  1. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears.

  2. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustaf Samelius

    Full Text Available Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1 before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2 in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection. Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  3. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  4. 78 FR 41549 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-10

    ... research of these species' habitat, ecology, and life history as described below. Additional insight is... ecology. Rosen and Schwalbe (1988, p. 47) suggested that vegetation such as knotgrass, deergrass, sacaton... in the native fish prey base, bullfrog predation, crayfish interactions, and effects from nonnative...

  5. 77 FR 40705 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Buena Vista...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-10

    ... Buena Vista Lake shrew also may be an important prey species for raptors, snakes, and mammalian... breeding, reproduction, or rearing (or development) of offspring; and (5) Habitats that are protected from... reproduction, and allows for the protection and rearing of offspring and the growth of adult shrews. Therefore...

  6. SOHO hunts elusive solar prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-10-01

    magnetic fields, streaming radially outward from the Sun. Thus, the space between the planets is not completely empty, it is filled with charged pieces of the Sun. At increasing distances from the Sun, where the solar gravity weakens, the hot coronal material creates an outward pressure that overcomes the Sun's gravity, creating a wind that accelerates away to supersonic speeds, like water overflowing a dam. And as the corona disperses, it must be replaced by gases welling up from below to feed the eternal solar wind. Spacecraft have made in situ (Latin for in original place", or literally, "in the same place") measurements of the solar wind near the Earth, showing that it manifests itself in two ways, either as wind moving at a relatively slow speed of 300 to 400 kilometres per second, or as high-speed streams of 600 to 800 kilometres per second. What forces propel the solar wind to these supersonic velocities with such tremendous energy, and where do the components of the solar wind come from? The acceleration and origin of the solar wind are not completely known, and are included as principal scientific objectives of the SOHO mission. Given the high observed temperatures, the ordinary slow-speed wind is a consequence of its expected outward flow. As this component breaks away from the Sun, it will gain speed with distance, reaching supersonic speeds of hundreds of kilometres per second at a few solar radii from Sun-centre. So, the basic mystery for the acceleration of the slow-speed component is the unknown heat source of the corona. No one really knows how the high-speed stream is accelerated. And where does the solar wind come from? The high-speed component of the solar wind apparently squirts out of extended regions of low density and temperature in the solar corona. These regions, called coronal holes, appear as large dark areas in EUV or X-ray images, seemingly devoid of radiation. The magnetism in the coronal holes stretches radially outward, providing a fast lane

  7. Bifurcation approach to the predator-prey population models (Version of the computer book)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bazykin, A.D.; Zudin, S.L.

    1993-09-01

    Hierarchically organized family of predator-prey systems is studied. The classification is founded on two interacting principles: the biological and mathematical ones. The different combinations of biological factors included correspond to different bifurcations (up to codimension 3). As theoretical so computing methods are used for analysis, especially concerning non-local bifurcations. (author). 6 refs, figs

  8. Vulnerability and behavioral response to ultraviolet radiation in the components of a foliar mite prey-predator system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachi, Fuyuki; Osakabe, Masahiro

    2012-12-01

    Ambient ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation impacts plant-dwelling arthropods including herbivorous and predatory mites. However, the effects of UVB on prey-predator systems, such as that between the herbivorous spider mite and predatory phytoseiid mite, are poorly understood. A comparative study was conducted to determine the vulnerability and behavioral responses of these mites to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. First, we analyzed dose-response (cumulative irradiance-mortality) curves for the eggs of phytoseiid mites ( Neoseiulus californicus, Neoseiulus womersleyi, and Phytoseiulus persimilis) and the spider mite ( Tetranychus urticae) to UVB radiation from a UV lamp. This indicated that the phytoseiid mites were more vulnerable than the spider mite, although P. persimilis was slightly more tolerant than the other two phytoseiid mites. Second, we compared the avoidance behavior of adult female N. californicus and two spider mite species ( T. urticae, a lower leaf surface user; Panonychus citri, an upper leaf surface user) in response to solar UV and visible light. N. californicus actively avoided both types of radiation, whereas P. citri showed only minimal avoidance behavior. T. urticae actively avoided UV as well as N. californicus but exhibited a slow response to visible light as well as P. citri. Such variation in vulnerability and avoidance behavior accounts for differences in the species adaptations to solar UVB radiation. This may be the primary factor determining habitat use among these mites on host plant leaves, subsequently affecting accessibility by predators and also intraguild competition.

  9. Hemprich's long-eared bat (Otonycteris hemprichii) as a predator of scorpions: whispering echolocation, passive gleaning and prey selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holderied, Marc; Korine, Carmi; Moritz, Thorsten

    2011-05-01

    Over 70% of the droppings of the gleaning bat Otonycteris hemprichii can contain scorpion fragments. Yet, some scorpions found in its desert habitat possess venom of the highest known toxicity, rendering them a very dangerous prey. In this study, we describe how O. hemprichii catches and handles scorpions, quantify its flight and echolocation behaviour in the field, investigate what sensory modality it uses to detect scorpions, and test whether it selects scorpions according to their size or toxicity. We confirmed that O. hemprichi is a whispering bat (approx. 80 dB peSPL) with short, multi-harmonic calls. In a flight room we also confirmed that O. hemprichii detects scorpions by their walking noises. Amplitudes of such noises were measured and they reach the flying bat at or below the level of echoes of the loess substrate. Bats dropped straight onto moving scorpions and were stung frequently even straight in their face. Stings did not change the bats' behaviour and caused no signs of poisoning. Scorpions were eaten including poison gland and stinger. Bats showed no preference neither for any of the scorpion species nor their size suggesting they are generalist predators with regard to scorpions.

  10. Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natt, Michael; Lönnstedt, Oona M; McCormick, Mark I

    2017-01-01

    Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stressors. Habitat degradation modifies the sensory landscape within which predator-prey interactions occur, with implications for olfactory-mediated behaviours. Predator naïve settlement-stage damselfish rely on conspecific damage-released odours (i.e., alarm odours) to inform risk assessments. Yet, species such as the Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, become unable to respond appropriately to these cues when living in dead-degraded coral habitats, leading to increased mortality through loss of vigilance. Reef fish predators also rely on odours from damaged prey to locate, assess prey quality and engage in prey-stealing, but it is unknown whether their responses are also modified by the change to dead-degraded coral habitats. Implications for prey clearly depend on how their predatory counterparts are affected, therefore the present study tested whether olfactory-mediated foraging responses in the dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus, a common predator of P. amboinensis, were similarly affected by coral degradation. A y-maze was used to measure the ability of Ps. fuscus to detect and move towards odours, against different background water sources. Ps. fuscus were exposed to damage-released odours from juvenile P. amboinensis, or a control cue of seawater, against a background of seawater treated with either healthy or dead-degraded hard coral. Predators exhibited an increased time allocation to the chambers of y-mazes injected with damage-released odours, with comparable levels of response in both healthy and dead-degraded coral treated waters. In control treatments, where damage-released odours were replaced with a control seawater cue, fish showed no increased preference for either chamber of the y-maze. Our results suggest that olfactory-mediated foraging behaviours may persist in Ps. fuscus within dead-degraded coral habitats. Ps. fuscus may consequently gain a

  11. Predatory interactions between prey affect patch selection by predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choh, Yasuyuki; Sabelis, Maurice W; Janssen, Arne

    2017-01-01

    When predators can use several prey species as food sources, they are known to select prey according to foraging efficiency and food quality. However, interactions between the prey species may also affect prey choice, and this has received limited attention. The effect of one such interaction, intraguild predation between prey, on patch selection by predators was studied here. The predatory mite Neoseiulus californicus preys on young larvae of the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis and on all stages of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae . The two prey species co-occur on several plant species, on which they compete for resources, and western flower thrips feed on eggs of the spider mites. A further complicating factor is that the thrips can also feed on the eggs of the predator. We found that performance of the predatory mite was highest on patches with spider mites, intermediate on patches with spider mites plus thrips larvae and lowest on patches with thrips larvae alone. Patch selection and oviposition preference of predators matched performance: predators preferred patches with spider mites over patches with spider mites plus thrips. Patches with thrips only were not significantly more attractive than empty patches. We also investigated the cues involved in patch selection and found that the attractiveness of patches with spider mites was significantly reduced by the presence of cues associated with killed spider mite eggs. This explains the reduced attractiveness of patches with both prey. Our results point at the importance of predatory interactions among prey species for patch selection by predators. Patch selection by predators is known to be affected by factors such as prey quality, the presence of competitors and predators, but little is known on the effects of interactions among prey species present on patch selection. In this paper, we show that patch selection by a predator is affected by such interactions, specifically by

  12. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists.

  13. Tigers and Their Prey in Bukit Rimbang Bukit Baling: Abundance Baseline for Effective Wildlife Reserve Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Febri Anggriawan Widodo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Managing the critically endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae needs accurate information on its abundance and availability of prey at the landscape level. Bukit Rimbang Bukit Baling Wildlife Reserve in central Sumatra represents an important area for tigers at local, regional and global levels. The area has been recognized as a long-term priority Tiger Conservation Landscape. Solid baseline information on tigers and prey is fundamentally needed for the management. The objective of this study was to produce robust estimate of tiger density and prey a vailability in the reserve. We used camera traps to systematically collecting photographic samples of tigers and prey using Spatial Capture Recapture (SCR framework. We estimated density for tigers and calculated trap success rate (TSR; independent pictures/100 trap nights for main prey species. Three blocks in the reserve were sampled from 2012 to 2015 accumulating a total of 8,125 effective trap nights. We captured 14 tiger individuals including three cubs. We documented the highest density of tigers (individuals/100 km2 in southern sampling block (based on traditional capture recapture (TCR : 1.52 ± SE 0.55; based on Maximum Likelihood (ML SCR:0.51 ± SE 0.22 and the lowest in northeastern sampling block (TCR: 0.77 ±SE 0.39; ML SCR: 0.19 ± SE 0.16. The highest TSR of main prey (large ungulates and primates was in northeastern block (35.01 ± SD 8.67 and the lowest was in southern block (12.42 ± SD 2.91. The highest level of disturbance, as indicated by TSR of people, was in northeastern sampling block (5.45 ± SD 5.64 and the lowest in southern (1.26 ± SD 2.41. The results suggested that human disturbance strongly determine the density of tigers in the area, more than prey availability. To recover tigers, suggested strategies include controlling human disturbance and poaching to the lowest possible level in addition to maintaining main prey availability.

  14. Acidic Depositions: Effects on Wildlife and Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    , especially methylmercury. Continued acidification of terrestrial habitats, to the extent that earthworm populations are broadly reduced, might expose some fossorial mammalian species to risk because of decline in their major prey species. Acidic deposition affects primarily aquatic habitats of avian species by disrupting food webs (ecological effects) and increasing amounts of available heavy metals (mercury, aluminum, cadmium) in prey of avian species (toxicological effects). The ecological effects of acidifying wetlands are to reduce acid-intolerant prey (invertebrates) and to change prey quality from high-calcium bearing prey to low-calcium bearing prey. The toxicological effects are to increase contamination by heavy metals, especially methylated mercury, in foods of breeding waterbirds. The combination of these 2 types of effects results in potentially lower survival of adults and reduced production, growth, or survival of young of many bird species. Effects of acidification on herpteofauna and their habitats are mainly reproductive failure of susceptible species and reduced or metal-contaminated foods for both amphibians and reptiles.

  15. Everglade kites feed on nonsnail prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, P.W.; Kale, H.W.

    1974-01-01

    The Everglade Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) of Florida has been called snail hawk or snail kite because it was thought to feed exclusively on the soft parts of the freshwater apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) (Nicholson 1926, Howell 1932, Bent 1937, Snyder and Snyder 1969). Furthermore, the other three subspecies of this wide-ranging Neotropical raptor (Friedmann 1950) are known to feed only on species within the genus Pomacea (Haverschmidt 1962, 1970; Brown and Amadon 1968). We report here two different instances of kites feeding on nonsnail prey in Florida

  16. Prey depletion as a threat to the world's large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Christopher; Ripple, William J

    2016-08-01

    Large terrestrial carnivores are an ecologically important, charismatic and highly endangered group of species. Here, we assess the importance of prey depletion as a driver of large carnivore endangerment globally using lists of prey species for each large carnivore compiled from the literature. We consider spatial variation in prey endangerment, changes in endangerment over time and the causes of prey depletion, finding considerable evidence that loss of prey base is a major and wide-ranging threat among large carnivore species. In particular, the clouded leopard ( Neofelis nebulosa ), Sunda clouded leopard ( Neofelis diardi ), tiger ( Panthera tigris ), dhole ( Cuon alpinus ) and Ethiopian wolf ( Canis simensis ) all have at least 40% of their prey classified as threatened on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and, along with the leopard ( Panethra pardus ), all of these species except the Ethiopian wolf have at least 50% of their prey classified as declining. Of the 494 prey species in our analysis, an average of just 6.9% of their ranges overlap protected areas. Together these results show the importance of a holistic approach to conservation that involves protecting both large carnivores directly and the prey upon which they depend.

  17. Coexistence for an Almost Periodic Predator-Prey Model with Intermittent Predation Driven by Discontinuous Prey Dispersal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yantao Luo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An almost periodic predator-prey model with intermittent predation and prey discontinuous dispersal is studied in this paper, which differs from the classical continuous and impulsive dispersal predator-prey models. The intermittent predation behavior of the predator species only happens in the channels between two patches where the discontinuous migration movement of the prey species occurs. Using analytic approaches and comparison theorems of the impulsive differential equations, sufficient criteria on the boundedness, permanence, and coexistence for this system are established. Finally, numerical simulations demonstrate that, for an intermittent predator-prey model, both the intermittent predation and intrinsic growth rates of the prey and predator species can greatly impact the permanence, extinction, and coexistence of the population.

  18. Enhanced invertebrate prey production following estuarine restoration supports foraging for multiple species of juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Isa; Davis, Melanie; Ellings, Christopher S.; Nakai, Glynnis; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan

    2018-01-01

    Estuaries provide crucial foraging resources and nursery habitat for threatened populations of anadromous salmon. As such, there has been a global undertaking to restore habitat and tidal processes in modified estuaries. The foraging capacity of these ecosystems to support various species of out-migrating juvenile salmon can be quantified by monitoring benthic, terrestrial, and pelagic invertebrate prey communities. Here, we present notable trends in the availability of invertebrate prey at several sites within a restoring large river delta in Puget Sound, Washington, U.S.A. Three years after the system was returned to tidal influence, we observed substantial additions to amphipod, copepod, and cumacean abundances in newly accessible marsh channels (from 0 to roughly 5,000–75,000 individuals/m2). In the restoration area, terrestrial invertebrate colonization was dependent upon vegetative cover, with dipteran and hymenopteran biomass increasing 3-fold between 1 and 3 years post-restoration. While the overall biodiversity within the restoration area was lower than in the reference marsh, estimated biomass was comparable to or greater than that found within the other study sites. This additional prey biomass likely provided foraging benefits for juvenile Chinook, chum, and coho salmon. Primary physical drivers differed for benthic, terrestrial, and pelagic invertebrates, and these invertebrate communities are expected to respond differentially depending on organic matter exchange and vegetative colonization. Restoring estuaries may take decades to meet certain success criteria, but our study demonstrates rapid enhancements in foraging resources understood to be used for estuary-dependent wildlife.

  19. Mammal predator and prey species richness are strongly linked at macroscales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Dalby, Lars; Fløjgaard, Camilla

    2013-01-01

    in predator richness (R2 = 0.13). Adding predator-to-prey or prey-to- predator paths strongly increased the explained variance in both cases (prey R2 = 0.79, predator R2 = 0.57), suggesting that predator–prey interactions play an important role in driving global diversity gradients. Prey-bottom-up effects...

  20. The Coevolution of "Tyrannosaurus" & Its Prey: Could "Tyrannosaurus" Chase down & Kill a "Triceratops" for Lunch?

    Science.gov (United States)

    May, S. Randolph

    2014-01-01

    Students will analyze the coevolution of the predator-prey relationships between "Tyrannosaurus rex" and its prey species using analyses of animal speeds from fossilized trackways, prey-animal armaments, adaptive behaviors, bite marks on prey-animal fossils, predator-prey ratios, and scavenger competition. The students will be asked to…

  1. Modelling the dynamics of traits involved in fighting-predators–prey system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooi, B.W.

    2015-01-01

    We study the dynamics of a predator–prey system where predators fight for captured prey besides searching for and handling (and digestion) of the prey. Fighting for prey is modelled by a continuous time hawk–dove game dynamics where the gain depends on the amount of disputed prey while the costs for

  2. Habitat degradation affects the summer activity of polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Jasmine V; Rode, Karyn D; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Douglas, David C; Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C; Durner, George M; Pagano, Anthony M; Olson, Jay; Robbins, Charles T; Jansen, Heiko T

    2017-05-01

    Understanding behavioral responses of species to environmental change is critical to forecasting population-level effects. Although climate change is significantly impacting species' distributions, few studies have examined associated changes in behavior. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations have varied in their near-term responses to sea ice decline. We examined behavioral responses of two adjacent subpopulations to changes in habitat availability during the annual sea ice minimum using activity data. Location and activity sensor data collected from 1989 to 2014 for 202 adult female polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea (SB) and Chukchi Sea (CS) subpopulations were used to compare activity in three habitat types varying in prey availability: (1) land; (2) ice over shallow, biologically productive waters; and (3) ice over deeper, less productive waters. Bears varied activity across and within habitats with the highest activity at 50-75% sea ice concentration over shallow waters. On land, SB bears exhibited variable but relatively high activity associated with the use of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale carcasses, whereas CS bears exhibited low activity consistent with minimal feeding. Both subpopulations had fewer observations in their preferred shallow-water sea ice habitats in recent years, corresponding with declines in availability of this substrate. The substantially higher use of marginal habitats by SB bears is an additional mechanism potentially explaining why this subpopulation has experienced negative effects of sea ice loss compared to the still-productive CS subpopulation. Variability in activity among, and within, habitats suggests that bears alter their behavior in response to habitat conditions, presumably in an attempt to balance prey availability with energy costs.

  3. Plant Habitat (PH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onate, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.

  4. Modeling the Effect of Prey Refuge on a Ratio-Dependent Predator-Prey System with the Allee Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Maitri; Misra, A K

    2018-03-01

    The extinction of species is a major threat to the biodiversity. The species exhibiting a strong Allee effect are vulnerable to extinction due to predation. The refuge used by species having a strong Allee effect may affect their predation and hence extinction risk. A mathematical study of such behavioral phenomenon may aid in management of many endangered species. However, a little attention has been paid in this direction. In this paper, we have studied the impact of a constant prey refuge on the dynamics of a ratio-dependent predator-prey system with strong Allee effect in prey growth. The stability analysis of the model has been carried out, and a comprehensive bifurcation analysis is presented. It is found that if prey refuge is less than the Allee threshold, the incorporation of prey refuge increases the threshold values of the predation rate and conversion efficiency at which unconditional extinction occurs. Moreover, if the prey refuge is greater than the Allee threshold, situation of unconditional extinction may not occur. It is found that at a critical value of prey refuge, which is greater than the Allee threshold but less than the carrying capacity of prey population, system undergoes cusp bifurcation and the rich spectrum of dynamics exhibited by the system disappears if the prey refuge is increased further.

  5. Feeding rates in the chaetognath Sagitta elegans : effects of prey size, prey swimming behaviour and small-scale turbulence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Saito, H.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2001-01-01

    distances. We develop a simple prey encounter rate model by describing the swimming prey as a 'force dipole' and assuming that a critical signal strength is required to elicit an attack. By fitting the model to the observations, a critical signal strength of 10(-2) cm s(-1) is estimated; this is very...... at rates up to an order of magnitude higher than similarly sized females, probably owing to differences in swimming behaviour. Sagitta elegans is an ambush predator that perceives its prey by hydromechanical signals. Faster swimming prey generates stronger signals and is, hence, perceived at longer...

  6. Interactive effects of prey refuge and additional food for predator in a diffusive predator-prey system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chakraborty, Subhendu; Tiwari, P. K.; Sasmal, S.K.

    2017-01-01

    Additional food for predators has been considered as one of the best established techniques in integrated pest management and biological conservation programs. In natural systems, there are several other factors, e.g., prey refuge, affect the success of pest control. In this paper, we analyze...... of Turing patterns such as stripes, spots, holes, and mixtures of them are obtained. It is found that the supply of additional food to the predator is unable to control the prey (pest) population when prey refuge is high. Moreover, when both prey refuge and additional food are low, spatial distribution...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    Predator-prey interactions are a primary structuring force vital to the resilience of marine communities and sustainability of the world's oceans. Human influences on marine ecosystems mediate changes in species interactions. This generality is evinced by the cascading effects of overharvesting top predators on the structure and function of marine ecosystems. It follows that ecological forecasting, ecosystem management, and marine spatial planning require a better understanding of food web relationships. Characterising and scaling predator-prey interactions for use in tactical and strategic tools (i.e. multi-species management and ecosystem models) are paramount in this effort. Here, we explore what issues are involved and must be considered to advance the use of predator-prey theory in the context of marine fisheries science. We address pertinent contemporary ecological issues including (1) the approaches and complexities of evaluating predator responses in marine systems; (2) the 'scaling up' of predator-prey interactions to the population, community, and ecosystem level; (3) the role of predator-prey theory in contemporary fisheries and ecosystem modelling approaches; and (4) directions for the future. Our intent is to point out needed research directions that will improve our understanding of predator-prey interactions in the context of the sustainable marine fisheries and ecosystem management. 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  8. Post-cranial prey transport mechanisms in the black pinesnake, Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi: an x-ray videographic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kley, Nathan J; Brainerd, Elizabeth L

    2002-01-01

    Most previous studies of snake feeding mechanisms have focused on the functional morphology of the highly specialized ophidian jaw apparatus. Although some of these studies have included observations of post-cranial movements during feeding, the functional roles of these movements have remained poorly understood. In this study, we used x-ray videography to examine post-cranial prey transport mechanisms in a colubrid snake, Pituophis melanoleucus lodingi. We found that prey transport in this species progresses through four distinct phases, three of which are characterized by either undulatory or concertina-like movements of the anterior portion of the trunk. In the first phase of transport (the oral phase), unilateral movements of the jaws are used to pull the head forward around the prey. In the second phase (the orocervical phase), unilateral jaw movements continue, but are augmented by concertina-like movements of the anterior portion of the trunk. In the third phase (the cervical phase), prey transport occurs exclusively through concertina-like movements of the neck. Finally, in the fourth phase (the thoracic phase), prey is transported to the stomach via undulatory movements of the trunk. Our observations of feeding behavior in a phylogenetically diverse sample of fourteen other snake species demonstrate that similar post-cranial transport mechanisms are used by a wide variety of alethinophidian snakes that feed on large, bulky prey.

  9. Seasonal narwhal habitat associations in the high Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, K.L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Logdson, M.L.

    2004-01-01

    Movements and behavior of top marine predators are often closely linked with productive oceanic fronts or regional prey aggregations. Consequently, it is of interest to quantify habitat needs and preferences, which can facilitate predictions of conditions favoring persistence and success. Multiva......Movements and behavior of top marine predators are often closely linked with productive oceanic fronts or regional prey aggregations. Consequently, it is of interest to quantify habitat needs and preferences, which can facilitate predictions of conditions favoring persistence and success....... Multivariate habitat models of movements and dive behavior of narwhals (Monodon monoceros, Linnaeus) in the eastern Canadian high Arctic and West Greenland were developed using data collected from satellite telemetry studies on three separate sub-populations. Twenty-six narwhals were captured between 1993...... grounds often coincided with areas of concurrent high density of Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides, Walbaum) and predictable open water in winter pack ice in Baffin Bay. These quantitative habitat models made it possible to reconcile the behavioral traits of narwhals with dynamic...

  10. Structure-forming corals and sponges and their use as fish habitat in Bering Sea submarine canyons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Miller

    Full Text Available Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide.

  11. Structure-Forming Corals and Sponges and Their Use as Fish Habitat in Bering Sea Submarine Canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Robert J.; Hocevar, John; Stone, Robert P.; Fedorov, Dmitry V.

    2012-01-01

    Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:22470486

  12. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnetske, P.L.; Edwards, T.C.; Moisen, Gretchen G.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can be used. Traditional techniques generate pseudoabsence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, thresholdindependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (Dadj2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting

  13. Habitat Loss, Not Fragmentation, Drives Occurrence Patterns of Canada Lynx at the Southern Range Periphery

    OpenAIRE

    Hornseth, Megan L.; Walpole, Aaron A.; Walton, Lyle R.; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., le...

  14. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  15. Autonomous Systems: Habitat Automation

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Habitat Automation Project Element within the Autonomous Systems Project is developing software to automate the automation of habitats and other spacecraft. This...

  16. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  17. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...

  18. Red fox prey demands and implications to prairie duck production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1978-01-01

    Experiments were conducted during spring and summer with 33 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to determine prey demands, feeding characteristics, and growth rates using natural foods. Pups began eating prey the 4th week after birth. Then, prey consumption averaged 1.38 and 1.90 kg/pup/week for weeks 5-8 and 9-12 of the denning season respectively, and 2.54 kg/pup/week for the postdenning period. Feeding by adults averaged 2.25 kg/adult/week. Free water was not needed by either pups or adults. About 90 percent of the prey offered to pups on simulated natural diets was consumed, remains varied with prey availability and prey type. Prey biomass required by a typical fox family was estimated at 18.5 kg/km2 for the 12-week denning season and 2.4 kg/km2/week for the postdenning period. Because of the large prey demands, ducks could represent a small part of the foxes' diet and yet be of consequence to the productivity of particular species. An example is provided for the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

  19. Stationary Patterns in One-Predator Two-Prey Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Michael; Zhigui, Lin

    1999-01-01

    Weakly-coupled elliptic system decribing models of simple three-species food webs such as the one-predator, two-prey modelis discussed. We show thatthere is no non-constant solution if diffusions or inter-specific competitions are strong, or if the intrinsic growths of the prey are slow...

  20. Stationary Patterns in One-Predator Two-Prey Models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Michael; Zhigui, Lin

    1999-01-01

    Weakly-coupled elliptic system decribing models of simple three-species food webs such as the one-predator, two-prey model is discussed. We show that there is no non-constant solution if diffusions or inter-specific competitions are strong, or if the intrinsic growths of the prey are slow...

  1. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PRAKASH KUMAR G

    Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern. Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction, the contribution ...

  2. Intraspecific prey choice of bushmeat hunters outside the Serengeti ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this study we investigated intraspecific prey choice of illegal bushmeat hunters outside the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. During the study 151 animals belonging to 12 species were reported killed. The majority, 76%, of prey species were migratory herbivores. Night hunting with dogs was the most common hunting ...

  3. Stomach fullness shapes prey choice decisions in crab plovers (

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gommer, R.; Bom, R.A.; Fijen, T.P.M.; van Gils, J.A.

    2018-01-01

    Foragers whose energy intake rate is constrained by search and handling time should, according to the contingency model (CM), select prey items whose profitability exceeds or equals the forager’s long-term average energy intake rate. This rule does not apply when prey items are found and ingested at

  4. Birds of prey as limiting factors of gamebird populations in Europe: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkama, Jari; Korpimäki, Erkki; Arroyo, Beatriz; Beja, Pedro; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Bro, Elisabeth; Kenward, Robert; Mañosa, Santi; Redpath, Stephen M; Thirgood, Simon; Viñuela, Javier

    2005-05-01

    Whether predators can limit their prey has been a topic of scientific debate for decades. Traditionally it was believed that predators take only wounded, sick, old or otherwise low-quality individuals, and thus have little impact on prey populations. However, there is increasing evidence that, at least under certain circumstances, vertebrate predators may indeed limit prey numbers. This potential role of predators as limiting factors of prey populations has created conflicts between predators and human hunters, because the hunters may see predators as competitors for the same resources. A particularly acute conflict has emerged over the past few decades between gamebird hunters and birds of prey in Europe. As a part of a European-wide research project, we reviewed literature on the relationships between birds of prey and gamebirds. We start by analysing available data on the diets of 52 European raptor and owl species. There are some 32 species, mostly specialist predators feeding on small mammals, small passerine birds or insects, which never or very rarely include game animals (e.g. hares, rabbits, gamebirds) in their diet. A second group (20 species) consists of medium-sized and large raptors which prey on game, but for which the proportion in the diet varies temporally and spatially. Only three raptor species can have rather large proportions of gamebirds in their diet, and another seven species may utilise gamebirds locally to a great extent. We point out that the percentage of a given prey species in the diet of an avian predator does not necessarily reflect the impact of that predator on densities of prey populations. Next, we summarise available data on the numerical responses of avian predators to changing gamebird numbers. In half of these studies, no numerical response was found, while in the remainder a response was detected such that either raptor density or breeding success increased with density of gamebirds. Data on the functional responses of

  5. Sex- and habitat-specific movement of an omnivorous semi-terrestrial crab controls habitat connectivity and subsidies: a multi-parameter approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hübner, Lena; Pennings, Steven C; Zimmer, Martin

    2015-08-01

    Distinct habitats are often linked through fluxes of matter and migration of organisms. In particular, intertidal ecotones are prone to being influenced from both the marine and the terrestrial realms, but whether or not small-scale migration for feeding, sheltering or reproducing is detectable may depend on the parameter studied. Within the ecotone of an upper saltmarsh in the United States, we investigated the sex-specific movement of the semi-terrestrial crab Armases cinereum using an approach of determining multiple measures of across-ecotone migration. To this end, we determined food preference, digestive abilities (enzyme activities), bacterial hindgut communities (genetic fingerprint), and the trophic position of Armases and potential food sources (stable isotopes) of males versus females of different sub-habitats, namely high saltmarsh and coastal forest. Daily observations showed that Armases moved frequently between high-intertidal (saltmarsh) and terrestrial (forest) habitats. Males were encountered more often in the forest habitat, whilst gravid females tended to be more abundant in the marsh habitat but moved more frequently. Food preference was driven by both sex and habitat. The needlerush Juncus was preferred over three other high-marsh detrital food sources, and the periwinkle Littoraria was the preferred prey of male (but not female) crabs from the forest habitats; both male and female crabs from marsh habitat preferred the fiddler crab Uca over three other prey items. In the field, the major food sources were clearly vegetal, but males have a higher trophic position than females. In contrast to food preference, isotope data excluded Uca and Littoraria as major food sources, except for males from the forest, and suggested that Armases consumes a mix of C4 and C3 plants along with animal prey. Digestive enzyme activities differed significantly between sexes and habitats and were higher in females and in marsh crabs. The bacterial hindgut community

  6. The diel rhythms of biosonar behavior in the Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis in the port of the Yangtze River: The correlation between prey availability and boat traffic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhitao Wang

    Full Text Available Information on the habitat use of the critically endangered Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis is critical for its conservation. The diel biosonar behavior of the porpoise in the port areas of the Yangtze River was examined along with simultaneous observations of fish density and boat traffic. Biosonar pulses from the porpoises were detected for 1233 min (5.77% over a 21,380 min duration of effective observations. In total, 190 (5.63% buzzes (an indication of prey capture attempts were recorded among the 3372 identified click trains. Of the 168 echolocation encounters (bouts of click trains less than eight min apart, 150 (89.3% involved single animals, indicating that solitary porpoises were frequently present and feeding in the port areas. Significant diel patterns were evident involving the biosonar behavior of the porpoises (including click trains and buzzes, fish density and boat traffic. The frequencies of the click trains and buzzes were significantly lower during the day than in the evening and at night, which suggests that porpoises in this region are primarily engaged in crepuscular and nocturnal foraging. The lack of a significant diel pattern in the echolocation encounters indicates the importance of the port in porpoise conservation. A forced feeding schedule may be associated with the lack of a significant correlation between porpoise acoustics and boat traffic. Overall, prey availability appears to be the primary factor that attracts porpoises. Additionally, porpoises tend to migrate or remain downstream in the morning and migrate or remain upstream in the evening, most likely to follow their prey. The findings of this study can be used to improve the conservation of the Yangtze finless porpoise.

  7. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  8. Does small mammal prey guild affect the exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tosh, D.G., E-mail: d.tosh@qub.ac.uk [Biological Sciences, Queen' s University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BA, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom); McDonald, R.A. [The Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ (United Kingdom); Bearhop, S. [Centre for Ecology and Conservation, The University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9EZ (United Kingdom); Lllewellyn, N.R. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom); Fee, S. [Veterinary Science Division, The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, 43 Beltany Road, Coneywarren, Omagh BT78 5NF, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom); Sharp, E.A. [Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture, Roddinglaw Road, Edinburgh EH12 9FJ (United Kingdom); Barnett, E.A. [Wildlife Incident Unit, The Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ (United Kingdom); Shore, R.F. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Ireland has a restricted small mammal prey guild but still includes species most likely to consume anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) baits. This may enhance secondary exposure of predators to ARs. We compared liver AR residues in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Northern Ireland (NI) with those in foxes from Great Britain which has a more diverse prey guild but similar agricultural use of ARs. Liver ARs were detected in 84% of NI foxes, more than in a comparable sample of foxes from Scotland and similar to that of suspected AR poisoned animals from England and Wales. High exposure in NI foxes is probably due to greater predation of commensal rodents and non-target species most likely to take AR baits, and may also partly reflect greater exposure to highly persistent brodifacoum and flocoumafen. High exposure is likely to enhance risk and Ireland may be a sentinel for potential effects on predator populations. - Highlights: > Exposure of a predator to anticoagulant rodenticides was compared in Britain and Ireland. > Exposure was higher in Ireland. > Differences driven by small mammal prey guilds. > Ireland a potential sentinel for predator exposure to anticoagulants. - Restriction of the small mammal prey guild is associated with enhanced exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides.

  9. Predators as prey at a Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos eyrie in Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, D.H.; Tsengeg, Pu; Whitlock, P.; Ellis, Merlin H.

    2000-01-01

    Although golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) have for decades been known to occasionally take large or dangerous quarry, the capturing of such was generally believed to be rare and/or the act of starved birds. This report provides details of an exceptional diet at a golden eagle eyrie in eastern Mongolia with unquantified notes on the occurrence of foxes at other eyries in Mongolia. Most of the prey we recorded were unusual, including 1 raven (Corvus corax), 3 demoiselle cranes (Anthropoides virgo), 1 upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius), 3 owls, 27 foxes, and 11 Mongolian gazelles. Some numerical comparisons are of interest. Our value for gazelle calves (10 minimum count, 1997) represents 13% of 78 prey items and at least one adult was also present. Our total of only 15 hares (Lepus tolai) and 4 marmots (Marmota sibirica) compared to 27 foxes suggests not so much a preference for foxes, but rather that populations of more normal prey were probably depressed at this site. Unusual prey represented 65% of the diet at this eyrie.

  10. A phase transition induces chaos in a predator-prey ecosystem with a dynamic fitness landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilpin, William; Feldman, Marcus W

    2017-07-01

    In many ecosystems, natural selection can occur quickly enough to influence the population dynamics and thus future selection. This suggests the importance of extending classical population dynamics models to include such eco-evolutionary processes. Here, we describe a predator-prey model in which the prey population growth depends on a prey density-dependent fitness landscape. We show that this two-species ecosystem is capable of exhibiting chaos even in the absence of external environmental variation or noise, and that the onset of chaotic dynamics is the result of the fitness landscape reversibly alternating between epochs of stabilizing and disruptive selection. We draw an analogy between the fitness function and the free energy in statistical mechanics, allowing us to use the physical theory of first-order phase transitions to understand the onset of rapid cycling in the chaotic predator-prey dynamics. We use quantitative techniques to study the relevance of our model to observational studies of complex ecosystems, finding that the evolution-driven chaotic dynamics confer community stability at the "edge of chaos" while creating a wide distribution of opportunities for speciation during epochs of disruptive selection-a potential observable signature of chaotic eco-evolutionary dynamics in experimental studies.

  11. Does small mammal prey guild affect the exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tosh, D.G.; McDonald, R.A.; Bearhop, S.; Lllewellyn, N.R.; Fee, S.; Sharp, E.A.; Barnett, E.A.; Shore, R.F.

    2011-01-01

    Ireland has a restricted small mammal prey guild but still includes species most likely to consume anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) baits. This may enhance secondary exposure of predators to ARs. We compared liver AR residues in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Northern Ireland (NI) with those in foxes from Great Britain which has a more diverse prey guild but similar agricultural use of ARs. Liver ARs were detected in 84% of NI foxes, more than in a comparable sample of foxes from Scotland and similar to that of suspected AR poisoned animals from England and Wales. High exposure in NI foxes is probably due to greater predation of commensal rodents and non-target species most likely to take AR baits, and may also partly reflect greater exposure to highly persistent brodifacoum and flocoumafen. High exposure is likely to enhance risk and Ireland may be a sentinel for potential effects on predator populations. - Highlights: → Exposure of a predator to anticoagulant rodenticides was compared in Britain and Ireland. → Exposure was higher in Ireland. → Differences driven by small mammal prey guilds. → Ireland a potential sentinel for predator exposure to anticoagulants. - Restriction of the small mammal prey guild is associated with enhanced exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides.

  12. PCR-Based Assessment of Freshwater Zooplankton Feeding on Edible and "Inedible" Prey In Situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nejstgaard, J. C.; Belyaeva, M.; Van den Wyngaert, S.; Berger, S. A.; Grossart, H. P.; Kasprzak, P.

    2016-02-01

    Microbiota in pelagic ecosystems can affect zooplankton nutrition in several ways that are not readily assessable in situ, using classical approaches. In contrast to classical food web models identifying phytoplankton as the dominant food source for crustacean zooplankton, recent findings increasingly suggest that zooplankton may derive a significant part of the diet from a wide variety of taxa including ciliates, aquatic fungi, bacteria and small metazoan zooplankton (e.g. rotifers), in both marine and freshwaters. Direct quantification of soft-bodied and non-pigmented prey in zooplankton guts as well as symbionts and parasites on the prey and zooplankton itself has so far been impeded by the lack of appropriate methodology. We aim to establish molecular approaches to quantify these yet-understudied interactions in lake food webs. As a first step we have validated the qPCR detection method in laboratory experiments with cladoceran, calanoid and cyclopoid predators and algal prey species (Cryptomonas sp.). We plan to apply the method to study the dietary contribution of aquatic fungi - chytrids, which are parasites on inedible phytoplankton species, thus aiming to provide insights into the Mycoloop - energy transfer from inedible phytoplankton to zooplankton via fungal parasites. The quantitative PCR method, when validated for key zooplankton species and specific prey or parasite groups, has a potential for a broad range of applications in food web research.

  13. Prey capture in zebrafish larvae serves as a model to study cognitive functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akira eMuto

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Prey capture in zebrafish larvae is an innate behavior which can be observed as early as 4 days post fertilization, the day when they start to swim. This simple behavior apparently involves several neural processes including visual perception, recognition, decision-making, and motor control, and, therefore, serves as a good model system to study cognitive functions underlying natural behaviors in vertebrates. Recent progresses in imaging techniques provided us with a unique opportunity to image neuronal activity in the brain of an intact fish in real-time while the fish perceives a natural prey, paramecium. By expanding this approach, it would be possible to image entire brain areas at a single cell resolution in real-time during prey capture, and identify neuronal circuits important for cognitive functions. Further, activation or inhibition of those neuronal circuits with recently developed optogenetic tools or neurotoxins should shed light on their roles. Thus, we will be able to explore the prey capture in zebrafish larvae more thoroughly at cellular levels, which should establish a basis of understanding of the cognitive function in vertebrates.

  14. Prey type and foraging ecology of Sanderlings

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grond, K.; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Y.; Piersma, T.; Reneerkens, J.

    2015-01-01

    Sanderlings (Calidris alba) are long-distance migratory shorebirds with a non-breeding range that spans temperate and tropical coastal habitats. Breeding in the High Arctic combined with non-breeding seasons in the tropics necessitate long migrations, which are energetically demanding. On an annual

  15. Functional responses of human hunters to their prey - why harvest statistics may not always reflect changes in prey population abundance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kahlert, Johnny Abildgaard; Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning

    pigeon Columba palumbus, coot Fulica atra, grey partridge Perdix perdix, roe deer Capreolus capreolus and brown hare Lepus europaeus in Denmark. If we consider hunting a form of predator-prey interaction, the annual kill can be viewed as a predator functional response to prey population size. Convergence...

  16. Harvesting policy for a delayed stage-structured Holling II predator-prey model with impulsive stocking prey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiao Jianjun; Meng Xinzhu; Chen Lansun

    2009-01-01

    A predator-prey model with a stage structure for the predator, which improves the assumption that each individual predator has the same ability to capture prey, is proposed by Wang et al. [Wang W, Mulone G, Salemi F, Salone V. Permanence and stability of a stage-structured predator-prey model. J Math Anal Appl 2001;262:499-528]. It is assumed that immature individuals and mature individuals of the predator are divided by a fixed age and that immature predators do not have the ability to attack prey. We do economic management behavior for Wang model [Wang et al., 2001] by continuous harvesting on predator and impulsive stocking on prey. Then, a delayed stage-structured Holling type II predator-prey model with impulsive stocking prey and continuous harvesting predator is established. It is also assumed that the predating products of the predator is only to increase its bearing ability. We obtain the sufficient conditions of the global attractivity of predator-extinction boundary periodic solution and the permanence of the system. Our results show that the behavior of impulsive stocking prey plays an important role for the permanence of the system, and provide tactical basis for the biological resource management. Further, the numerical analysis is also inserted to illuminate the dynamics of the system.

  17. Assessing the impact on birds of prey of nine established wind farms in Thrace, NE Greece

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kret, Elzbieta; Carcamo, Beatriz; Zografou, Christina; Vasilakis, Dimitris

    2011-07-01

    Full text: In this study, we evaluate the impact on birds of prey of nine already established wind farms in Thrace, where a large scale wind farm development project of at least 930 MW is under development. Moreover, the area is acknowledged as of high ornithological interest, used for nesting, wintering and passage by rare territorial birds of prey, including the Near Threatened black vultures that use it for foraging. Finally, ca 50% of the wind farm development project area is covered by Natura 2000 sites. During the monitoring (2008-2010), carcass surveys were carried out in order to estimate mortality. In addition, avian space use surveys were carried out, in order to calculate indexes and to establish comparisons with a previous monitoring study run in 2004-05. In total, 14 birds of prey were found dead (one black vulture, four griffon vultures, one booted eagle, two short-toed eagles, one western marsh harrier, one Eurasian sparrow hawk, three common buzzards, one hawk species). The estimated mortality rate was 0.152 birds of prey (including vultures/turbine/year). Griffon vultures, black vultures and common buzzards comprised more than 50% of observations in the study area. Crossing densities between wind turbines were positively correlated with east exposition and the inclination of the slope, and the length of the wind turbines. gaps, while it was negatively correlated with north exposition. The use of the area was more intensive four years after the initial monitoring, but numbers of common buzzard observations drastically decreased. We suggest that during the planning phase of wind farms it is important to avoid steep slopes, east expositions and to take into account the distance between consecutive wind turbines. Our findings indicate that running a post-construction monitoring during only one year may not be enough to properly assess the impact of wind farms on birds of prey. (Author)

  18. Competing conservation objectives for predators and prey: estimating killer whale prey requirements for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rob Williams

    Full Text Available Ecosystem-based management (EBM of marine resources attempts to conserve interacting species. In contrast to single-species fisheries management, EBM aims to identify and resolve conflicting objectives for different species. Such a conflict may be emerging in the northeastern Pacific for southern resident killer whales (Orcinus orca and their primary prey, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Both species have at-risk conservation status and transboundary (Canada-US ranges. We modeled individual killer whale prey requirements from feeding and growth records of captive killer whales and morphometric data from historic live-capture fishery and whaling records worldwide. The models, combined with caloric value of salmon, and demographic and diet data for wild killer whales, allow us to predict salmon quantities needed to maintain and recover this killer whale population, which numbered 87 individuals in 2009. Our analyses provide new information on cost of lactation and new parameter estimates for other killer whale populations globally. Prey requirements of southern resident killer whales are difficult to reconcile with fisheries and conservation objectives for Chinook salmon, because the number of fish required is large relative to annual returns and fishery catches. For instance, a U.S. recovery goal (2.3% annual population growth of killer whales over 28 years implies a 75% increase in energetic requirements. Reducing salmon fisheries may serve as a temporary mitigation measure to allow time for management actions to improve salmon productivity to take effect. As ecosystem-based fishery management becomes more prevalent, trade-offs between conservation objectives for predators and prey will become increasingly necessary. Our approach offers scenarios to compare relative influence of various sources of uncertainty on the resulting consumption estimates to prioritise future research efforts, and a general approach for assessing the extent of

  19. Effects of habitat features on size-biased predation on salmon by bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Luke C; Reynolds, John D

    2017-05-01

    Predators can drive trait divergence among populations of prey by imposing differential selection on prey traits. Habitat characteristics can mediate predator selectivity by providing refuge for prey. We quantified the effects of stream characteristics on biases in the sizes of spawning salmon caught by bears (Ursus arctos and U. americanus) on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada by measuring size-biased predation on spawning chum (Oncorhynchus keta) and pink (O. gorbuscha) salmon in 12 streams with varying habitat characteristics. We tested the hypotheses that bears would catch larger than average salmon (size-biased predation) and that this bias toward larger fish would be higher in streams that provide less protection to spawning salmon from predation (e.g., less pools, wood, undercut banks). We then we tested for how such size biases in turn translate into differences among populations in the sizes of the fish. Bears caught larger-than-average salmon as the spawning season progressed and as predicted, this was most pronounced in streams with fewer refugia for the fish (i.e., wood and undercut banks). Salmon were marginally smaller in streams with more pronounced size-biased predation but this predictor was less reliable than physical characteristics of streams, with larger fish in wider, deeper streams. These results support the hypothesis that selective forces imposed by predators can be mediated by habitat characteristics, with potential consequences for physical traits of prey.

  20. Feral Cats Are Better Killers in Open Habitats, Revealed by Animal-Borne Video.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugh McGregor

    Full Text Available One of the key gaps in understanding the impacts of predation by small mammalian predators on prey is how habitat structure affects the hunting success of small predators, such as feral cats. These effects are poorly understood due to the difficulty of observing actual hunting behaviours. We attached collar-mounted video cameras to feral cats living in a tropical savanna environment in northern Australia, and measured variation in hunting success among different microhabitats (open areas, dense grass and complex rocks. From 89 hours of footage, we recorded 101 hunting events, of which 32 were successful. Of these kills, 28% were not eaten. Hunting success was highly dependent on microhabitat structure surrounding prey, increasing from 17% in habitats with dense grass or complex rocks to 70% in open areas. This research shows that habitat structure has a profound influence on the impacts of small predators on their prey. This has broad implications for management of vegetation and disturbance processes (like fire and grazing in areas where feral cats threaten native fauna. Maintaining complex vegetation cover can reduce predation rates of small prey species from feral cat predation.

  1. Connecting fishery sustainability to estuarine habitats and nutrient loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    The production of several important fishery species depends on critical estuarine habitats, including seagrasses and salt marshes. Relatively simple models can be constructed to relate fishery productivity to the extent and distribution of these habitats by linking fishery-depend...

  2. A comparative study of corneal sensitivity in birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacerda, Rodrigo P; Obón, Elena; Peña, Maria T; Costa, Daniel; Ríos, Jose; Leiva, Marta

    2014-05-01

    To determine and compare the corneal sensitivity in healthy wild diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey (BP) indigenous to Catalonia (Spain), and to establish if age is a determining factor in corneal sensitivity in those species. Ophthalmic examination was performed in 105 BP. Only birds with no ocular abnormalities were included in the study (n = 81): 21 diurnal BP (Falco tinnunculus: 16 fledglings, 5 adults) and 60 nocturnal BP (20 Athene noctua [9 fledglings, 11 adults], 20 Strix aluco [15 fledglings, 5 adults], and 20 Otus scops [6 fledglings and 14 adults]). Corneal touch threshold (CTT) was determined for each eye in five different corneal regions. Five attempts to cause a blink reflex were made in each region, and when three or more reflexes were positive, the pressure was deemed the CTT. Statistical analysis was performed using a Student's t-test for independent data or an anova model. The results between species and age groups were compared using the Generalized Estimated Equations model. There were no significant differences between any of the corneal regions (P = 0.25), or between the right (CTT = 4.9 ± 1.7 cm) and left (CTT = 4.8 ± 1.7 cm) eye in any of the species (P = 0.692). No difference was found between diurnal and nocturnal species (P = 0.913). Considering all the species, a significant difference was found between the mean CTT of fledglings (5.4 ± 1.2 cm) and adults (4.1 ± 2 cm), P birds of prey. Age is a determining factor in the CTT of A. noctua and S. aluco, with fledglings having a significantly higher CTT. © 2013 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  3. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian Finn

    Full Text Available Dolphins are well known for their complex social and foraging behaviours. Direct underwater observations of wild dolphin feeding behaviour however are rare. At mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, a wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus was observed and recorded repeatedly catching, killing and preparing cuttlefish for consumption using a specific and ordered sequence of behaviours. Cuttlefish were herded to a sand substrate, pinned to the seafloor, killed by downward thrust, raised mid-water and beaten by the dolphin with its snout until the ink was released and drained. The deceased cuttlefish was then returned to the seafloor, inverted and forced along the sand substrate in order to strip the thin dorsal layer of skin off the mantle, thus releasing the buoyant calcareous cuttlebone. This stepped behavioural sequence significantly improves prey quality through 1 removal of the ink (with constituent melanin and tyrosine, and 2 the calcareous cuttlebone. Observations of foraging dolphin pods from above-water at this site (including the surfacing of intact clean cuttlebones suggest that some or all of this prey handling sequence may be used widely by dolphins in the region. Aspects of the unique mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish in this region of South Australia may have contributed to the evolution of this behaviour through both high abundances of spawning and weakened post-spawning cuttlefish in a small area (>10,000 animals on several kilometres of narrow rocky reef, as well as potential long-term and regular visitation by dolphin pods to this site.

  4. Preparing the perfect cuttlefish meal: complex prey handling by dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, Julian; Tregenza, Tom; Norman, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Dolphins are well known for their complex social and foraging behaviours. Direct underwater observations of wild dolphin feeding behaviour however are rare. At mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, a wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) was observed and recorded repeatedly catching, killing and preparing cuttlefish for consumption using a specific and ordered sequence of behaviours. Cuttlefish were herded to a sand substrate, pinned to the seafloor, killed by downward thrust, raised mid-water and beaten by the dolphin with its snout until the ink was released and drained. The deceased cuttlefish was then returned to the seafloor, inverted and forced along the sand substrate in order to strip the thin dorsal layer of skin off the mantle, thus releasing the buoyant calcareous cuttlebone. This stepped behavioural sequence significantly improves prey quality through 1) removal of the ink (with constituent melanin and tyrosine), and 2) the calcareous cuttlebone. Observations of foraging dolphin pods from above-water at this site (including the surfacing of intact clean cuttlebones) suggest that some or all of this prey handling sequence may be used widely by dolphins in the region. Aspects of the unique mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish in this region of South Australia may have contributed to the evolution of this behaviour through both high abundances of spawning and weakened post-spawning cuttlefish in a small area (>10,000 animals on several kilometres of narrow rocky reef), as well as potential long-term and regular visitation by dolphin pods to this site.

  5. Preparing the Perfect Cuttlefish Meal: Complex Prey Handling by Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, Julian; Tregenza, Tom; Norman, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Dolphins are well known for their complex social and foraging behaviours. Direct underwater observations of wild dolphin feeding behaviour however are rare. At mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish (Sepia apama) in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia, a wild female Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) was observed and recorded repeatedly catching, killing and preparing cuttlefish for consumption using a specific and ordered sequence of behaviours. Cuttlefish were herded to a sand substrate, pinned to the seafloor, killed by downward thrust, raised mid-water and beaten by the dolphin with its snout until the ink was released and drained. The deceased cuttlefish was then returned to the seafloor, inverted and forced along the sand substrate in order to strip the thin dorsal layer of skin off the mantle, thus releasing the buoyant calcareous cuttlebone. This stepped behavioural sequence significantly improves prey quality through 1) removal of the ink (with constituent melanin and tyrosine), and 2) the calcareous cuttlebone. Observations of foraging dolphin pods from above-water at this site (including the surfacing of intact clean cuttlebones) suggest that some or all of this prey handling sequence may be used widely by dolphins in the region. Aspects of the unique mass spawning aggregations of giant cuttlefish in this region of South Australia may have contributed to the evolution of this behaviour through both high abundances of spawning and weakened post-spawning cuttlefish in a small area (>10,000 animals on several kilometres of narrow rocky reef), as well as potential long-term and regular visitation by dolphin pods to this site. PMID:19156212

  6. Acoustic shadows help gleaning bats find prey, but may be defeated by prey acoustic camouflage on rough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Elizabeth L; Holderied, Marc W

    2015-09-01

    Perceptual abilities of animals, like echolocating bats, are difficult to study because they challenge our understanding of non-visual senses. We used novel acoustic tomography to convert echoes into visual representations and compare these cues to traditional echo measurements. We provide a new hypothesis for the echo-acoustic basis of prey detection on surfaces. We propose that bats perceive a change in depth profile and an 'acoustic shadow' cast by prey. The shadow is more salient than prey echoes and particularly strong on smooth surfaces. This may explain why bats look for prey on flat surfaces like leaves using scanning behaviour. We propose that rather than forming search images for prey, whose characteristics are unpredictable, predators may look for disruptions to the resting surface (acoustic shadows). The fact that the acoustic shadow is much fainter on rougher resting surfaces provides the first empirical evidence for 'acoustic camouflage' as an anti-predator defence mechanism.

  7. Bats as the main prey of wintering long-eared owl (Asio otus) in Beijing: Integrating biodiversity protection and urban management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Long; Zhou, Xuwei; Shi, Yang; Guo, Yumin; Bao, Weidong

    2015-03-01

    The loss of biodiversity from urbanized areas is a major environmental problem challenging policy-makers throughout the world. Solutions to this problem are urgently required in China. We carried out a case study of wintering long-eared owls (Asio otus) and their main prey to illustrate the negative effects of urbanization combined with ineffective conservation of biodiversity in Beijing. Field monitoring of owl numbers at two roosting sites from 2004 to 2012 showed that the owl population had fallen rapidly in metropolitan Beijing. Analysis of pellet contents identified only seven individuals of two species of shrew. The majority of mammalian prey comprised four bat and seven rodent species, making up 29.3% and 29.5% of the prey items, respectively. Prey composition varied significantly among years at the two sample sites. At the urban site the consumption of bats and rodents declined gradually over time, while predation on birds increased. In contrast, at the suburban site the prey composition showed an overall decrease in the number of bats, a sharp increase and a subsequent decrease in bird prey, and the number of rodent prey fell to a low point. Rapid development of real estate and inadequate greenfield management in city parks resulted in negative effects on the bird and small mammal habitat of urban areas in Beijing. We suggest that measures to conserve biodiversity should be integrated into future urban planning to maintain China's rich biodiversity while also achieving sustainable economic development. © 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  8. Livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, and rangeland values

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul R. Krausman; David E. Naugle; Michael R. Frisina; Rick Northrup; Vernon C. Bleich; William M. Block; Mark C. Wallace; Jeffrey D. Wright

    2009-01-01

    Livestock managers make and implement grazing management decisions to achieve a variety of objectives including livestock production, sustainable grazing, and wildlife habitat enhancement. Assessed values of grazing lands and ranches are often based on aesthetics and wildlife habitat or recreational values, which can exceed agricultural values, thus providing...

  9. Schoolyard Habitats[R] Site Planning Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA.

    This document provides guidance for the creation of habitats on school grounds. Science activities, resources, and information on how to apply knowledge to the design, creation, and development of a habitat are presented. Contents include: (1) "Starting the Process"; (2) "Gathering Information: Site Inventory and Analysis"; (3)…

  10. Functional proteomic analyses of Bothrops atrox venom reveals phenotypes associated with habitat variation in the Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Leijiane F; Portes-Junior, José A; Nicolau, Carolina A; Bernardoni, Juliana L; Nishiyama, Milton Y; Amazonas, Diana R; Freitas-de-Sousa, Luciana A; Mourão, Rosa Hv; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Valente, Richard H; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2017-04-21

    Venom variability is commonly reported for venomous snakes including Bothrops atrox. Here, we compared the composition of venoms from B. atrox snakes collected at Amazonian conserved habitats (terra-firme upland forest and várzea) and human modified areas (pasture and degraded areas). Venom samples were submitted to shotgun proteomic analysis as a whole or compared after fractionation by reversed-phase chromatography. Whole venom proteomes revealed a similar composition among the venoms with predominance of SVMPs, CTLs, and SVSPs and intermediate amounts of PLA 2 s and LAAOs. However, when distribution of particular isoforms was analyzed by either method, the venom from várzea snakes showed a decrease in hemorrhagic SVMPs and an increase in SVSPs, and procoagulant SVMPs and PLA 2 s. These differences were validated by experimental approaches including both enzymatic and in vivo assays, and indicated restrictions in respect to antivenom efficacy to variable components. Thus, proteomic analysis at the isoform level combined to in silico prediction of functional properties may indicate venom biological activity. These results also suggest that the prevalence of functionally distinct isoforms contributes to the variability of the venoms and could reflect the adaptation of B. atrox to distinct prey communities in different Amazon habitats. In this report, we compared isoforms present in venoms from snakes collected at different Amazonian habitats. By means of a species venom gland transcriptome and the in silico functional prediction of each isoform, we were able to predict the principal venom activities in vitro and in animal models. We also showed remarkable differences in the venom pools from snakes collected at the floodplain (várzea habitat) compared to other habitats. Not only was this venom less hemorrhagic and more procoagulant, when compared to the venom pools from the other three habitats studied, but also this enhanced procoagulant activity was not

  11. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Darren M; Middleton, Crispin; Spong, Keren T; Mackay, Graeme; Smith, Matt D; Buckthought, Dane

    2015-01-01

    Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs) and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  12. Mechanisms explaining nursery habitat association: how do juvenile snapper (Chrysophrys auratus benefit from their nursery habitat?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren M Parsons

    Full Text Available Nursery habitats provide elevated survival and growth to the organisms that associate with them, and as such are a crucial early life-stage component for many fishes and invertebrates. The exact mechanisms by which these benefits are afforded to associated organisms, however, are often unclear. Here we assessed potential explanations of the nursery function of structurally complex habitats for post-settlement snapper, Chrysophrys auratus, in New Zealand. Specifically, we deployed Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs and used a combination of video observation, netting and diet analysis of associated post-settlement snapper as well describing potential prey within the micro-habitats surrounding ASUs. We did not observe any predation attempts and few potential predators, suggesting that for snapper the nursery value of structurally complex habitats is not as a predation refuge. The diet of post-settlement snapper mostly consisted of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, which were most commonly sampled from within the water column. Nearly all suspected feeding events were also observed within the water column. When considering the velocity of water flow at each ASU, plankton sampling revealed a greater availability of copepods with increasing current strength, while netting and video observation demonstrated that the abundance of snapper was highest at sites with intermediate water velocity. This study highlights that the interaction between water flow and food availability may represent an important trade-off between energy expenditure and food intake for post-settlement snapper. Structurally complex habitats may mediate this relationship, allowing snapper to access sites with higher food availability while reducing swimming costs. This mechanism may have broader relevance, potentially explaining the importance of estuarine nursery habitats for other species.

  13. Stable Isotopes Indicate Nitrogen Sources in Pinguicula vulgaris Across Contrasting Habitat Types in Sub-Arctic Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, D.; Hobbie, E. A.; Varner, R. K.; Steele, K.

    2012-12-01

    Like most carnivorous plant species, Pinguicula vulgaris (common butterwort) obtains nitrogen from both soil pools and insect prey. Prior studies have estimated percent prey-derived nitrogen (%PDN) for the entire plant, but it may be expected that %PDN varies between plant parts. By measuring stable isotopic ratios in the soil, plants, and naturally captured prey, this study estimated %PDN in both foliage and roots. Plants, soil and insects were collected during July 2012 in sub-arctic Sweden across two habitat types: dry heath and moist sphagnum. Insect samples were homogenized for each site, and all samples were cleaned, dried, and measured for δ15N in an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Roots showed consistent %PDN in both habitat types, whereas foliage in moist sphagnum sites had significantly greater %PDN than foliage in dry heath sites. Amount of captured prey did not differ significantly between habitat types. These results provide the framework for a rough model of the differential distribution of prey- and soil-derived nitrogen in P. vulgaris, where root nitrogen is split approximately evenly between the two sources, and foliar nitrogen varies by site, possibly dependent on the accessibility of nitrogen in the soil pool.

  14. Variation in the diet composition of a generalist predator, the red fox, in relation to season and density of main prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella Lucia; Laaksonen, Toni; Norrdahl, Kai; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2007-05-01

    Diet composition of a generalist predator, the red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) in relation to season (winter or summer) and abundance of multi-annually cyclic voles was studied in western Finland from 1983 to 1995. The proportion of scats (PS; a total of 58 scats) including each food category was calculated for each prey group. Microtus voles (the field vole M. agrestis and the sibling vole M. rossiaemeridionalis) were the main prey group of foxes (PS = 0.55) and they frequently occurred in the scats both in the winter and summer (PSs 0.50 and 0.62, respectively). There was a positive correlation between the PSs of Microtus voles in the winter diet of foxes and the density indices of these voles in the previous autumn. Other microtine rodents (the bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus, the water vole Arvicola terrestris and the muskrat Ondatra zibethicus) were consumed more in winter than in summer. The unusually high small mustelid predation by red foxes (PS = approx. 0.10) in our study area gives qualitative support for the hypothesis on the limiting impact of mammalian predators on least weasel and stoat populations. None of the important prey groups was preyed upon more at low than at high densities of main prey ( Microtus voles). This is consistent with the notion that red foxes are generalist predators that tend to opportunistically subsist on many prey groups. Among these prey groups, particularly hares and birds (including grouse), were frequently used as food by foxes.

  15. Geomorphology and Sustainable Subsistence Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A. C.; Kruger, L. E.

    2016-02-01

    Climatic, tectonic, and human-related impacts are changing the distribution of shoreline habitats and associated species used as food resources. There is a need to summarize current and future shoreline geomorphic - biotic relationships and better understand potential impacts to native customary and traditional gathering patterns. By strategically integrating Native knowledge and observations, we create an inclusive vulnerability assessment strategy resulting in a win-win opportunity for resource users and research scientists alike. We merged the NOAA ShoreZone database with results from over sixty student intern discussions in six southeast Alaska Native communities. Changes in shore width and unit length were derived using near shore bathymetry depths and available isostatic rebound, tectonic movement, and rates of sea level rise. Physical attributes including slope, substrate, and exposure were associated with presence and abundance of specific species. Student interns, selected by Tribes and Tribal associations, conducted resource-based discussions with community members to summarize species use, characteristics of species habitat, transportation used to access collection areas, and potential threats to habitats. Geomorphic trends and community observations were summarized to assess potential threats within a spatial context. Given current measured rates of uplift and sea level rise, 2.4 to 0 m of uplift along with 0.20 m of sea level rise is expected in the next 100 years. Coastlines of southeast Alaska will be subject to both drowning (primarily to the south) and emergence (primarily to the north). We predict decreases in estuary and sediment-dominated shoreline length and an increase in rocky habitats. These geomorphic changes, combined with resident's concerns, highlight six major interrelated coastal vulnerabilities including: (1) reduction of clam and clam habitat quantity and quality, (2) reduction in chiton quality and quantity, (3) harmful expansion of

  16. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-04-05

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes' dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal.

  17. Tactile Experience Shapes Prey-Capture Behavior in Etruscan Shrews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eBrecht

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A crucial role of tactile experience for the maturation of neural response properties in the somatosensory system is well established, but little is known about the role of tactile experience in the development of tactile behaviors. Here we study how tactile experience affects prey capture behavior in Etruscan shrews, Suncus etruscus. Prey capture in adult shrews is a high-speed behavior that relies on precise attacks guided by tactile Gestalt cues. We studied the role of tactile experience by three different approaches. First, we analyzed the hunting skills of young shrews right after weaning. We found that prey capture in young animals is most but not all aspects similar to that of adults. Second we performed whisker trimming for three to four weeks after birth. Such deprivation resulted in a lasting disruption of prey capture even after whisker re-growth: attacks lacked precise targeting and had a lower success rate. Third, we presented adult shrews with an entirely novel prey species, the giant cockroach. The shape of this roach is very different from the shrew’s normal (cricket prey and the thorax – the preferred point of attack in crickets – is protected a heavy cuticle. Initially shrews attacked giant roaches the same way they attack crickets and targeted the thoracic region. With progressive experience, however, shrews adopted a new attack strategy targeting legs and underside of the roaches while avoiding other body parts. Speed and efficiency of attacks improved. These data suggest that tactile experience shapes prey capture behavior.

  18. Interaction of nemertines and their prey on tidal flats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Martin; Reise, Karsten

    Two common nemertines of the European Wadden Sea, Lineus viridis and Amphiporus lactifloreus, occur preferentially in clusters of mussels, spread over sedimentary flats in the upper intertidal near the island of Sylt. The heteronemertine L. viridis preys mainly on the polychaete Nereis diversicolor. The hoplonemertine A. lactifloreus feeds almost exclusively on the amphipod Gammarus locusta. Abundance of both predators and their respective prey in the field showed inverse relationships. Experimentally increased numbers of L. viridis in clusters of mussels caused a gradual decrease of nereid abundance in the sediment underneath over a period of 1 month, suggesting that losses of individuals were caused by prey capture. Experimentally increased numbers of A. lactifloreus were followed by an escape response of gammarids from clusters of mussels within 2 d. In aquaria, both prey species exhibited prolonged swimming activity when their respective predators lurked at the bottom. We conclude that escape behaviour in N. diversicolor may be only effective during its migrant phases, while G. locusta is permanently on the alert to avoid encounters with its predator. This refuging behaviour in response to endobenthic predators has strong implications on prey distribution, while the actual consumption of prey may be relatively modest. Enclosure experiments in the field and in aquaria lead to overestimates of prey capture when refuging behaviour is not accounted for.

  19. Alien Mink Predation and Colonisation Processes of Rodent Prey on Small Islands of the Baltic Sea: Does Prey Naïveté Matter?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Fey

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Colonisation, an important part of meta-population dynamics of fragmented populations, depends on both the dispersal ability and the ability to establish in the new habitat. Predation can hinder successful establishment of prey, and where the predation pressure comes from an alien predator, the effects on colonisation might be devastating. We studied the establishment of field voles (Microtus agrestis inhabiting small islands of the archipelago of the Baltic Sea, SW Finland, under presence and absence of the alien American mink (Mustela vison. We translocated “experienced” voles from islands with mink, and “inexperienced” voles from islands from which mink had been removed, to other islands where mink was present or absent. By radio-tracking we studied survival, space and microhabitat use of voles within four weeks after translocation. Survival of voles on mink islands was significantly lower than on mink-free islands, but “experienced” voles did not survive better than “inexperienced” voles. “Experienced” voles were more often located in juniper habitats than “inexperienced” voles, but they appeared not to gain any survival benefit from altered microhabitat use. This study provides novel evidence, that alien mink predation inhibits establishment of colonising field voles and may thus ultimately induce extinction of voles from the outer archipelago.

  20. Sensorimotor model of bat echolocation and prey capture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuc, R

    1994-10-01

    A model of the bat sensorimotor system is developed using acoustics, signal processing, and control theory to illustrate the fundamental issues in accomplishing prey capture with echolocation. This model indicates that successful nonpredictive tracking of an ideal prey can be accomplished with a very simple system. Circular apertures approximate the mouth and ears for deriving acoustic beam patterns, using the big brown bat Eptesicus fuscus as a model. Fundamental and overtone frequency components in the emissions allow two simultaneous acoustic beams to be defined. A pair of nonlinear, time-variable, sampled-data controllers alter the bat's heading by applying yaw and pitch heading corrections. The yaw correction attempts to position the prey in the midsagittal plane by nulling the interaural intensity difference of the fundamental component. The pitch correction compares the intensities of the overtone and fundamental components and acts to null their difference. By initiating pitch correction when the overtone intensity first exceeds that of the fundamental, the ambiguity problem is solved and the prey is directed to the capture region. Simulations of passive prey capture indicate that the capture probability decreases as the prey speed increases. Both quick and sluggish prey are considered, with sluggish prey found to be caught with slightly better efficiency. The magnitude of the prey's lateral motion just prior to capture is observed to be an important factor determining capture. The presence of a blind stage is considered, during which the interference of the emission with the echo is assumed to disrupt any sonar information. The presence of such a blind stage is found to have negligible effect on capture efficiency.

  1. Individual prey choices of octopuses: Are they generalist or specialist?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. MATHER, Tatiana S. LEITE, Allan T. BATISTA

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Prey choice is often evaluated at the species or population level. Here, we analyzed the diet of octopuses of different populations with the aim to assess the importance of individual feeding habits as a factor affecting prey choice. Two methods were used, an assessment of the extent to which an individual octopus made choices of species representative of those population (PSi and IS and 25% cutoff values for number of choices and percentage intake of individual on their prey. In one population of Octopus cf vulgaris in Bermuda individuals were generalist by IS=0.77, but most chose many prey of the same species, and were specialists on it by >75% intake. Another population had a wider prey selection, still generalist with PSi=0.66, but two individuals specialized by choices. In Bonaire, there was a wide range of prey species chosen, and the population was specialists by IS= 0.42. Individual choices revealed seven specialists and four generalists. A population of Octopus cyanea in Hawaii all had similar choices of crustaceans, so the population was generalist by IS with 0.74. But by individual choices, three were considered a specialist. A population of Enteroctopus dofleini from Puget Sound had a wide range of preferences, in which seven were also specialists, IS=0.53. By individual choices, thirteen were also specialists. Given the octopus specialty of learning during foraging, we hypothesize that both localized prey availability and individual personality differences could influence the exploration for prey and this translates into different prey choices across individuals and populations showed in this study [Current Zoology 58 (4: 597-603, 2012].

  2. Antimicrobial resistance determinants in Staphylococcus spp. recovered from birds of prey in Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Margarida; Silva, Nuno; Igrejas, Gilberto; Silva, Filipe; Sargo, Roberto; Alegria, Nuno; Benito, Daniel; Gómez, Paula; Lozano, Carmen; Gómez-Sanz, Elena; Torres, Carmen; Caniça, Manuela; Poeta, Patrícia

    2014-07-16

    Antibiotic resistance among wild animals represent an emerging public health concern. The objective of this study was to analyze the staphylococcal nasal microbiota in birds of prey and their content in antimicrobial resistance determinants. Nasal samples from 16 birds of prey were collected, swabs were dipped and incubated into BHI broth [6.5% NaCl] and later seeded on manitol salt agar and oxacillin-resistance screening agar base media. Staphylococcal colonies were isolated from both media and were identified by biochemical and molecular methods. Susceptibility testing to 18 antimicrobial agents was performed by disk-diffusion method. Six of the 16 tested animals carried staphylococci (37.5%) and 7 isolates of the following species were recovered: Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Staphylococcus sciuri rodentium, Staphylococcus cohnii urealitycum, and Staphylococcus gallinarum. The S. aureus isolate was penicillin-resistant (with blaZ gene) but methicillin-susceptible and was ascribed to spa-type t012, sequence-type ST30 and agr-type III. The S. epidermidis isolate carried blaZ, mecA, mrs(A/B), mphC, tet(K), drfA, and fusC genes, ica operon, and was typed as ST35. The genes ant6'-Ia, tet(K), tet(L), dfrG, cat221, cat194, and cat223 were detected in S. saprophyticus or S. gallinarum isolates. Birds of prey seem to be a natural reservoir of S. aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci resistant to multiple antibiotics. Due to the convergence between habitats, the contact between wildlife, other animals and humans is now more common and this involves an increased possibility of interchange of these microorganisms in the different ecosystems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Larval habitats of anopheline mosquitoes in the Upper Orinoco, Venezuela.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejmánková, E; Rubio-Palis, Y; Villegas, L

    1999-12-01

    Survey of larval habitats of anopheline mosquitoes was conducted in Ocamo in the State of Amazonas, southern Venezuela. The sampled habitats belonged to three different hydrological types: lagoons (26 habitats), forest pools including flooded forest (16 habitats), and forest streams (4 habitats). Out of 46 habitats surveyed, 31 contained anopheline larvae. Six species were found: Anopheles darlingi, Anopheles triannulatus, Anopheles oswaldoi, Anopheles peryassui, Anopheles punctimacula, and Anopheles mediopunctatus. Anopheles triannulatus was the most abundant species. Significantly higher numbers of anopheline larvae, in general, and of An. triannulatus specifically were found in lagoons with submersed macrophytes and sparse emergent graminoids than in forest pools with detritus.

  4. Prey Foraging Under Sublethal Lambda-Cyhalothrin Exposure on Pyrethroid-Susceptible and -Resistant Lady Beetles (Eriopis connexa (Coleoptera: Coccinelidae)).

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Ávila, V A; Reis, L C; Barbosa, W F; Cutler, G C; Torres, J B; Guedes, R N C

    2018-02-21

    Sublethal insecticide exposure may affect foraging of insects, including natural enemies, although the subject is usually neglected. The lady beetle Eriopis connexa (Germar, 1824) (Coleoptera: Coccinelidae) is an important predator of aphids with existing pyrethroid-resistant populations that are undergoing scrutiny for potential use in pest management systems characterized by frequent insecticide use. However, the potential effect of sublethal pyrethroid exposure on this predator's foraging activity has not yet been assessed and may compromise its use in biological control. Therefore, our objective was to assess the effect of sublethal lambda-cyhalothrin exposure on three components of the prey foraging activity (i.e., walking, and prey searching and handling), in both pyrethroid-susceptible and -resistant adults of E. connexa. Both lady beetle populations exhibited similar walking patterns without insecticide exposure in noncontaminated arenas, but in partially contaminated arenas walking differed between strains, such that the resistant insects exhibited greater walking activity. Behavioral avoidance expressed as repellence to lambda-cyhalothrin was not observed for either the susceptible or resistant populations of E. connexa, but the insecticide caused avoidance by means of inducing irritability in 40% of the individuals, irrespective of the strain. Insects remained in the insecticide-contaminated portion of the arena for extended periods resulting in greater exposure. Although lambda-cyhalothrin exposure did not affect prey searching by susceptible lady beetles, prey searching was extended for exposed resistant predators. In contrast, prey handling was not affected by population or by lambda-cyhalothrin exposure. Thus, sublethal exposure to the insecticide in conjunction with the insect resistance profile can affect prey foraging with pyrethroid-exposed resistant predators exhibiting longer prey searching time associated with higher walking activity reducing

  5. A self-organized system of smart preys and predators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rozenfeld, Alejandro F. [Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquimicas Teoricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, UNLP, CONICET, Suc. 4, C.C. 16 (1900) La Plata (Argentina); Albano, Ezequiel V. [Instituto de Investigaciones Fisicoquimicas Teoricas y Aplicadas (INIFTA), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, UNLP, CONICET, Suc. 4, C.C. 16 (1900) La Plata (Argentina)]. E-mail: ealbano@inifta.unlp.edu.ar

    2004-11-22

    Based on the fact that, a standard prey-predator model (SPPM), exhibits irreversible phase transitions, belonging to the universality class of directed percolation (DP), between prey-predator coexistence and predator extinction [Phys. Lett. A 280 (2001) 45], a self-organized prey-predator model (SOPPM) is formulated and studied by means of extensive Monte Carlo simulations. The SOPPM is achieved defining the parameters of the SPPM as functions of the density of species. It is shown that the SOPPM self-organizes into an active state close the absorbing phase of the SPPM, and consequently their avalanche exponents also belong to the universality class of DP.

  6. Climate change effects on predator-prey interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Angela N

    2017-10-01

    Predator-prey interactions can be very important to community structure and function. A growing body of research demonstrates how climate change can modify these species interactions. Climate change can modify predator-prey interactions by affecting species characteristics, and by modifying consumptive and/or non-consumptive predator effects. Current work examines how climate change and predation risk can combine to influence herbivore stoichiometry and feeding ecology. Other recent advances show how climate change can affect chemical signaling of plants and insects, as well as how pollution and other components of the environmental context can modify predator-prey interactions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. An assessment of arthropod prey resources at Nakula Natural Area Reserve, a potential site of reintroduction for Kiwikiu (Pseudonestor xanthophrys) and Maui `Alauahio (Parareomyza montana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Cappadonna, Justin; Steele, Claire; Leonard, David L.; Mounce, Hanna L.; Becker, Dusti; Swinnerton, Kirsty

    2015-01-01

    Hawaiian forest birds have declined dramatically since humans arrived in the archipelago. Birds from all foraging guilds have been affected but insectivorous species are currently at greatest risk of extinction. On the island of Maui, populations and ranges of the insectivorous kiwikiu (Maui parrotbill; Pseudonestor xanthophrys) and Maui ‘alauahio (Maui creeper; Paroreomyza montana) have declined significantly from historic levels primarily due to habitat loss, predation,disease, and food web disruption, leading to federal listings of endangered species and species of concern, respectively. Recovery plans for these birds include reestablishment of populations in parts of their former range. Nakula Natural Area Reserve on the leeward side of HaleakalāVolcano has been targeted for release of wild-caught or captive-bred individuals. The mesic, montane koa-‘ōhi‘a (Acacia koa-Metrosideros polymorpha) forest at Nakula has been heavily impacted through grazing by feral ungulates, but recent management actions to exclude these animals are promoting forest recovery. The objective of this study was to assess the arthropod prey base at Nakula in preparation for reintroductions of kiwikiu and Maui ‘alauahio. To accomplish that goal, we compared arthropod abundances at Nakula to those at Hanawi Natural Area Reserve and Waikamoi Preserve, areas where kiwikiu and Maui ‘alauahio are currently found. We also identified diets of kiwikiu and Maui ‘alauahio from fecal samples to better understand and evaluate the prey base at Nakula. Assessment methods included clipping branch tips to sample arthropods within the foliage of koa and ‘ōhi‘a, using traps to quantify arthropods on koa and ‘ōhi‘a bark surfaces, counting exit holes to quantify abundances of beetles (Coleoptera) within dead branches of koa, and measuring the density of arthropods within the stems of ‘ākala (Rubus hawaiiensis). The diet of kiwikiu was dominated by caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae

  8. Understanding spatial distributions: negative density-dependence in prey causes predators to trade-off prey quantity with quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bijleveld, Allert I; MacCurdy, Robert B; Chan, Ying-Chi; Penning, Emma; Gabrielson, Rich M; Cluderay, John; Spaulding, Eric L; Dekinga, Anne; Holthuijsen, Sander; ten Horn, Job; Brugge, Maarten; van Gils, Jan A; Winkler, David W; Piersma, Theunis

    2016-04-13

    Negative density-dependence is generally studied within a single trophic level, thereby neglecting its effect on higher trophic levels. The 'functional response' couples a predator's intake rate to prey density. Most widespread is a type II functional response, where intake rate increases asymptotically with prey density; this predicts the highest predator densities at the highest prey densities. In one of the most stringent tests of this generality to date, we measured density and quality of bivalve prey (edible cockles Cerastoderma edule) across 50 km² of mudflat, and simultaneously, with a novel time-of-arrival methodology, tracked their avian predators (red knots Calidris canutus). Because of negative density-dependence in the individual quality of cockles, the predicted energy intake rates of red knots declined at high prey densities (a type IV, rather than a type II functional response). Resource-selection modelling revealed that red knots indeed selected areas of intermediate cockle densities where energy intake rates were maximized given their phenotype-specific digestive constraints (as indicated by gizzard mass). Because negative density-dependence is common, we question the current consensus and suggest that predators commonly maximize their energy intake rates at intermediate prey densities. Prey density alone may thus poorly predict intake rates, carrying capacity and spatial distributions of predators. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. Winter habitat predictions of a key Southern Ocean predator, the Antarctic fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, Benjamin; Hindell, Mark; Bester, Marthan; De Bruyn, P. J. Nico; Trathan, Phil; Goebel, Michael; Lea, Mary-Anne

    2017-06-01

    Quantification of the physical and biological environmental factors that influence the spatial distribution of higher trophic species is central to inform management and develop ecosystem models, particularly in light of ocean changes. We used tracking data from 184 female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella) to develop habitat models for three breeding colonies for the poorly studied Southern Ocean winter period. Models were used to identify and predict the broadly important winter foraging habitat and to elucidate the environmental factors influencing these areas. Model predictions closely matched observations and several core areas of foraging habitat were identified for each colony, with notable areas of inter-colony overlap suggesting shared productive foraging grounds. Seals displayed clear choice of foraging habitat, travelling through areas of presumably poorer quality to access habitats that likely offer an energetic advantage in terms of prey intake. The relationships between environmental predictors and foraging habitat varied between colonies, with the principal predictors being wind speed, sea surface temperature, chlorophyll a concentration, bathymetry and distance to the colony. The availability of core foraging areas was not consistent throughout the winter period. The habitat models developed in this study not only reveal the core foraging habitats of Antarctic fur seals from multiple colonies, but can facilitate the hindcasting of historical foraging habitats as well as novel predictions of important habitat for other major colonies currently lacking information of the at-sea distribution of this major Southern Ocean consumer.

  10. Diet composition of age-0 fishes in created habitats of the Lower Missouri River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starks, Trevor A.; Long, James M.

    2017-01-01

    Channelization of the Missouri River has greatly reduced the availability of shallow water habitats used by many larval and juvenile fishes and contributed to imperilment of floodplain-dependent biota. Creation of small side channels, or chutes, is being used to restore shallow water habitat and reverse negative environmental effects associated with channelization. In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collected early life stages of fishes from constructed chutes and nearby unrestored shallow habitats at six sites on the Missouri River between Rulo, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri. We compared the diets of two abundant species of fishes to test the hypothesis that created shallow chutes provided better foraging habitat for early life stages than nearby unrestored shallow habitats. Graphical analysis of feeding patterns of freshwater drum indicated specialization on chironomid larvae, which were consumed in greater numbers in unrestored mainstem reaches compared to chutes. Hiodon spp. were more generalist feeders with no differences in prey use between habitat types. Significantly greater numbers of individuals with empty stomachs were observed in chute shallow-water habitats, indicating poor foraging habitat. For these two species, constructed chute shallow-water habitat does not appear to provide the hypothesized benefits of higher quality foraging habitat.

  11. Do nursery habitats provide shelter from flow for juvenile fish?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren M Parsons

    Full Text Available Juvenile fish nurseries are an essential life stage requirement for the maintenance of many fish populations. With many inshore habitats globally in decline, optimising habitat management by increasing our understanding of the relationship between juvenile fish and nursery habitats may be a prudent approach. Previous research on post-settlement snapper (Chrysophrys auratus has suggested that structure may provide a water flow refuge, allowing snapper to access high water flow sites that will also have a high flux of their pelagic prey. We investigated this hypothesis by describing how Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs modified water flow while also using a multi-camera set up to quantify snapper position in relation to this water flow environment. Horizontal water flow was reduced on the down-current side of ASUs, but only at the height of the seagrass canopy. While the highest abundance of snapper did occur down-current of the ASUs, many snapper also occupied other locations or were too high in the water column to receive any refuge from water flow. The proportion of snapper within the water column was potentially driven by strategy to access zooplankton prey, being higher on the up-current side of ASUs and on flood tides. It is possible that post-settlement snapper alternate position to provide opportunities for both feeding and flow refuging. An alternative explanation relates to an observed interaction between post-settlement snapper and a predator, which demonstrated that snapper can utilise habitat structure when threatened. The nature of this relationship, and its overall importance in determining the value of nursery habitats to post-settlement snapper remains an elusive next step.

  12. Do nursery habitats provide shelter from flow for juvenile fish?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Darren M; MacDonald, Iain; Buckthought, Dane; Middleton, Crispin

    2018-01-01

    Juvenile fish nurseries are an essential life stage requirement for the maintenance of many fish populations. With many inshore habitats globally in decline, optimising habitat management by increasing our understanding of the relationship between juvenile fish and nursery habitats may be a prudent approach. Previous research on post-settlement snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) has suggested that structure may provide a water flow refuge, allowing snapper to access high water flow sites that will also have a high flux of their pelagic prey. We investigated this hypothesis by describing how Artificial Seagrass Units (ASUs) modified water flow while also using a multi-camera set up to quantify snapper position in relation to this water flow environment. Horizontal water flow was reduced on the down-current side of ASUs, but only at the height of the seagrass canopy. While the highest abundance of snapper did occur down-current of the ASUs, many snapper also occupied other locations or were too high in the water column to receive any refuge from water flow. The proportion of snapper within the water column was potentially driven by strategy to access zooplankton prey, being higher on the up-current side of ASUs and on flood tides. It is possible that post-settlement snapper alternate position to provide opportunities for both feeding and flow refuging. An alternative explanation relates to an observed interaction between post-settlement snapper and a predator, which demonstrated that snapper can utilise habitat structure when threatened. The nature of this relationship, and its overall importance in determining the value of nursery habitats to post-settlement snapper remains an elusive next step.

  13. An investigation into the chemical composition of alternative invertebrate prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oonincx, D.G.A.B.; Dierenfeld, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the chemical composition of eight invertebrate species and evaluate their suitability as alternative prey. The species selected were rusty red cockroaches (Blatta lateralis), six-spotted cockroaches (Eublaberus distanti), Madagascar hissing cockroaches

  14. Prey selection by a reintroduced lion population in the Greater ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prey selection by a reintroduced lion population in the Greater Makalali Conservancy, South Africa. Dave Druce, Heleen Genis, Jonathan Braak, Sophie Greatwood, Audrey Delsink, Ross Kettles, Luke Hunter, Rob Slotow ...

  15. Bird assemblage patterns in relation to anthropogenic habitat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using habitat stratification, birds were surveyed along transects in tidal and supralittoral sub-habitats using DISTANCE sampling protocol, and along the river by encounter rates to determine abundance and species richness. Indices of human activity as well as habitat structure parameters including ground cover, plant ...

  16. Foraging behavior of larval cod ( Gadus morhua ) influenced by prey density and hunger

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Peter

    1995-01-01

    to 7 mm long) was observed visually, and prey attacks, swimming activity and gut contents were registered across a range of 1 to 120 copepod nauplii l(-1). When prey density decreased, larvae increased their swimming activity, increased their responsiveness to prey (distance of reaction) and decreased...... in the lower range of (mean) prey densities measured at sea....

  17. Predator-prey imbalances due to a pesticide: density and applicability timing as determining factors for experimental assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez, María Florencia; Negro, Carlos Leandro

    2014-09-01

    Predator-prey relationships are determining factors in sustaining community structure but xenobiotics, including pesticides, have the potential to alter them, causing imbalances at the ecosystem level. Although invertebrate predation on zooplankton is of high importance in shallow lakes, there is still little information regarding disturbances on this trophic interaction. This work assessed the potential effects of a chlorpyrifos-based pesticide (CLP) on the interaction between prawns Macrobrachium borellii and cladocerans Ceriodaphnia dubia, taking into account prey densities, specific time of exposure and contamination level. The analysis was focused on the specific sensitivity of both species and, especially, on the predation rate of M. borellii on C. dubia. The latter was evaluated through different treatments that combined predator and/or prey exposure to the insecticide, before (lapse of 12 h) or during the interaction. Under low prey density, when prawns were previously exposed to the insecticide, their consumption rate was lower than that of controls. Conversely, when cladocerans or both species were previously exposed, the prawns' feeding rate was higher. Under high prey density, there were no substantial differences among treatments. Comparatively, cladocerans were significantly more consumed when the exposure of both species was performed before rather than during the interaction. From the results obtained, it can be assumed that the trophic interaction under study is sensitive to CLP and that individual density and specific time of exposure are important variables to be considered in similar studies in order to obtain realistic results.

  18. Retinal structure of birds of prey revealed by ultra-high resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggeri, Marco; Major, James C; McKeown, Craig; Knighton, Robert W; Puliafito, Carmen A; Jiao, Shuliang

    2010-11-01

    To reveal three-dimensional (3-D) information about the retinal structures of birds of prey in vivo. An ultra-high resolution spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system was built for in vivo imaging of retinas of birds of prey. The calibrated imaging depth and axial resolution of the system were 3.1 mm and 2.8 μm (in tissue), respectively. 3-D segmentation was performed for calculation of the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) map. High-resolution OCT images were obtained of the retinas of four species of birds of prey: two diurnal hawks (Buteo platypterus and Buteo brachyurus) and two nocturnal owls (Bubo virginianus and Strix varia). These images showed the detailed retinal anatomy, including the retinal layers and the structure of the deep and shallow foveae. The calculated thickness map showed the RNFL distribution. Traumatic injury to one bird's retina was also successfully imaged. Ultra-high resolution SD-OCT provides unprecedented high-quality 2-D and 3-D in vivo visualization of the retinal structures of birds of prey. SD-OCT is a powerful imaging tool for vision research in birds of prey.

  19. A functional response model of a predator population foraging in a patchy habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nachman, Gösta

    2006-01-01

    analytical model of a predator population occupying a patchy environment with a single species of prey is developed. 3. The model includes the density and the spatial distribution of the prey population, the aggregative response of the predators and their mutual interference. 4. The model provides explicit...... solutions to a number of scenarios that can be independently combined: the prey has an even, random or clumped distribution, and the predators show a convex, sigmoid, linear or no aggregative response. 5. The model is parameterized with data from an acarine predator-prey system consisting of Phytoseiulus...... and switch to a more patchy distribution when its density increases. The effect of mutual interference is negligible unless predator density is very high. 8. The model shows that prey patchiness and predator aggregation in combination can change the functional response at the population level from type II...

  20. Dynamics of a Diffusive Predator-Prey Model with Allee Effect on Predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqin Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The reaction-diffusion Holling-Tanner prey-predator model considering the Allee effect on predator, under zero-flux boundary conditions, is discussed. Some properties of the solutions, such as dissipation and persistence, are obtained. Local and global stability of the positive equilibrium and Turing instability are studied. With the help of the numerical simulations, the rich Turing patterns, including holes, stripes, and spots patterns, are obtained.

  1. Existence and stability of periodic solutions for a delayed prey-predator model with diffusion effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongwei Liang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Existence and stability of spatially periodic solutions for a delay prey-predator diffusion system are concerned in this work. We obtain that the system can generate the spatially nonhomogeneous periodic solutions when the diffusive rates are suitably small. This result demonstrates that the diffusion plays an important role on deriving the complex spatiotemporal dynamics. Meanwhile, the stability of the spatially periodic solutions is also studied. Finally, in order to verify our theoretical results, some numerical simulations are also included.

  2. Hard times in the city - attractive nest sites but insufficient food supply lead to low reproduction rates in a bird of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumasgutner, Petra; Nemeth, Erwin; Tebb, Graham; Krenn, Harald W; Gamauf, Anita

    2014-01-01

    Urbanization is a global phenomenon that is encroaching on natural habitats and decreasing biodiversity, although it is creating new habitats for some species. The Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is frequently associated with urbanized landscapes but it is unclear what lies behind the high densities of kestrels in the urban environment. Occupied nest sites in the city of Vienna, Austria were investigated along a gradient of urbanization (percentage of land covered by buildings or used by traffic). Field surveys determined the abundance of potential prey (birds and rodents) and the results were compared to the birds' diets. A number of breeding parameters were recorded over the course of three years. The majority of kestrels breed in semi-natural cavities in historic buildings. Nearest neighbour distances (NND) were smallest and reproductive success lowest in the city centre. Abundance of potential prey was not found to relate to the degree of urbanization but there was a significant shift in the birds' diets from a heavy reliance on rodents in the outskirts of the city to feeding more on small birds in the centre. The use of urban habitats was associated with higher nest failure, partly associated with predation and nest desertion, and with significantly lower hatching rates and smaller fledged broods. High breeding densities in urban habitats do not necessarily correlate with high habitat quality. The high density of kestrel nests in the city centre is probably due to the ready availability of breeding cavities. Highly urbanized areas in Vienna are associated with unexpected costs for the city dwelling-raptor, in terms both of prey availability and of reproductive success. The kestrel appears to be exploiting the urban environment but given the poor reproductive performance of urban kestrels it is likely that the species is falling into an ecological trap.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Avian communities in tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay: a review of functional groups by foraging guild and habitat association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Gardiner, Rachel J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Nur, Nadav; Liu, Leonard; Spautz, Hildie; Palaima, Arnas

    2011-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay estuary is highly urbanized, but it supports the largest remaining extent of tidal salt marshes on the west coast of North America as well as a diverse native bird community. San Francisco Bay tidal marshes are occupied by more than 113 bird species that represent 31 families, including five subspecies from three families that we denote as tidal-marsh obligates. To better identify the niche of bird species in tidal marshes, we present a review of functional groups based on foraging guilds and habitat associations. Foraging guilds describe the method by which species obtain food from tidal marshes, while habitat associations describe broad areas within the marsh that have similar environmental conditions. For example, the ubiquitous song sparrows (Alameda Melospiza melodia pusillula, Suisun M. m. maxillaris, and San Pablo M. m. samuelis) are surface-feeding generalists that consume prey from vegetation and the ground, and they are found across the entire marsh plain into the upland–marsh transition. In contrast, surface-feeding California black rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) are cryptic, and generally restricted in their distribution to the mid- and high-marsh plain. Although in the same family, the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) has become highly specialized, foraging primarily on benthic fauna within marsh channels when they are exposed at low tide. Shorebirds such as the black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) typically probe in mud flats to consume macroinvertebrate prey, and are generally restricted to foraging on salt pans within the marsh plain, in ponds, or on mud flats during transitional stages of marsh evolution. The abundance and distribution of birds varies widely with changing water depths and vegetation colonization during different stages of restoration. Thus, tidal-marsh birds represent a rich and diverse community in bay marshes, with niches that may be distinguished by the

  5. Effects of industrial development on the predator-prey relationship between wolves and caribou in northeastern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James, A. R. C. [Alberta Univ., Dept. of Biological Sciences, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    1999-09-30

    The influence of timber harvesting, combined with development of the oil and natural gas industry and the resulting environmental changes on predator-prey relationship between wolves and caribou in northeastern Alberta are investigated. To establish the level of influence, two ways of predator-prey relationship were studied: (1) spatial distribution of caribou in relation to alternative prey, commonly moose, which is assumed to reduce the level of wolf predation experienced by caribou populations, and (2) the development of linear corridors which has been hypothesized to increase predation pressure on caribou. With respect to spatial separation it was found that the selection of fen/bog complexes by caribou and the selection of well-drained habitats by moose and wolves resulted in spatial separation, reducing, but not totally eliminating predation pressure on caribou from wolves. Regarding the effect of linear corridors, radio monitoring established that caribou mortalities attribued to wolf predation were higher among caribou that were closer to linear corridors than among caribou that were farther from corridors than random points. These and other related observations led to the conclusion that timber harvesting and increased industrial activity in and near caribou ranges could have significant effect on caribou population dynamics by increasing predation. Managaement implications of these results and various remedial options are discussed. refs. figs.

  6. Prey selection of Tawny owls (Strix aluco) on Yellow necked mouse and Bank Vole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsom, H. M.; Sunde, P.; Overskaug, K.

    As predators owls may have a strong impact on mortality of their favourite prey, and may therefore act as important selective agents on their prey species. Little is known, however, about whether owls choose prey randomly or if some prey items suffer a higher risk of predation due to certain life...... history traits. The aim of this master thesis study was to investigate any prey selection of tawny owls on two prey species, yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Our hypotheses were that the level of exposure might differ between prey items of different sex...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Nonconsumptive predator-driven mortality causes natural selection on prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  9. Refuge-mediated predator-prey dynamics and biomass pyramids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hao; Thanarajah, Silogini; Gaudreau, Philippe

    2017-12-27

    Refuge can greatly influence predator-prey dynamics by movements between the interior and the exterior of a refuge. The presence of refuge for prey decreases predation risk and can have important impacts on the sustainability of a predator-prey system. The principal purpose of this paper is to formulate and analyze a refuge-mediated predator-prey model when the refuge is available to protect a portion of prey from predation. We study the effect of the refuge size on the biomass ratio and extend our refuge model to incorporate fishing and predator migration separately. Our study suggests that decreasing the refuge size, increasing the predator fishing, and increasing the predator emigration stabilizes the system. Here, we investigate the dependence of Hopf bifurcation on refuge size in the presence of fishing or predator migration. Moreover, we discuss their effects on the biomass pyramid and establish a condition for the emergence of an inverted biomass pyramid. We perform numerical test and sensitivity analysis to check the robustness of our results and the relative importance of all parameters. We find that high fishing pressure may destroy the inverted biomass pyramid and thus decrease the resilience of reef ecosystems. In addition, increasing the emigration rate or decreasing the immigration rate decreases the predator-prey biomass ratio. An inverted biomass pyramid can occur in the presence of a stable limit cycle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Green sturgeon physical habitat use in the coastal Pacific Ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David D Huff

    Full Text Available The green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris is a highly migratory, oceanic, anadromous species with a complex life history that makes it vulnerable to species-wide threats in both freshwater and at sea. Green sturgeon population declines have preceded legal protection and curtailment of activities in marine environments deemed to increase its extinction risk. Yet, its marine habitat is poorly understood. We built a statistical model to characterize green sturgeon marine habitat using data from a coastal tracking array located along the Siletz Reef near Newport, Oregon, USA that recorded the passage of 37 acoustically tagged green sturgeon. We classified seafloor physical habitat features with high-resolution bathymetric and backscatter data. We then described the distribution of habitat components and their relationship to green sturgeon presence using ordination and subsequently used generalized linear model selection to identify important habitat components. Finally, we summarized depth and temperature recordings from seven green sturgeon present off the Oregon coast that were fitted with pop-off archival geolocation tags. Our analyses indicated that green sturgeon, on average, spent a longer duration in areas with high seafloor complexity, especially where a greater proportion of the substrate consists of boulders. Green sturgeon in marine habitats are primarily found at depths of 20-60 meters and from 9.5-16.0°C. Many sturgeon in this study were likely migrating in a northward direction, moving deeper, and may have been using complex seafloor habitat because it coincides with the distribution of benthic prey taxa or provides refuge from predators. Identifying important green sturgeon marine habitat is an essential step towards accurately defining the conditions that are necessary for its survival and will eventually yield range-wide, spatially explicit predictions of green sturgeon distribution.

  11. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Hull

    Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.

  12. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.

  13. Analyzing the proximity to cover in a landscape of fear: a new approach applied to fine-scale habitat use by rabbits facing feral cat predation on Kerguelen archipelago

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierrick Blanchard

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although proximity to cover has been routinely considered as an explanatory variable in studies investigating prey behavioral adjustments to predation pressure, the way it shapes risk perception still remains equivocal. This paradox arises from both the ambivalent nature of cover as potentially both obstructive and protective, making its impact on risk perception complex and context-dependent, and from the choice of the proxy used to measure proximity to cover in the field, which leads to an incomplete picture of the landscape of fear experienced by the prey. Here, we study a simple predator-prey-habitat system, i.e., rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus facing feral cat Felis catus predation on Kerguelen archipelago. We assess how cover shapes risk perception in prey and develop an easily implementable field method to improve the estimation of proximity to cover. In contrast to protocols considering the “distance to nearest cover”, we focus on the overall “area to cover”. We show that fine-scale habitat use by rabbits is clearly related to our measure, in accordance with our hypothesis of higher risk in patches with smaller area to cover in this predator-prey-habitat system. In contrast, classical measures of proximity to cover are not retained in the best predictive models of habitat use. The use of this new approach, together with a more in-depth consideration of contrasting properties of cover, could help to better understand the role of this complex yet decisive parameter for predator-prey ecology.

  14. The Dynamical Analysis of a Prey-Predator Model with a Refuge-Stage Structure Prey Population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raid Kamel Naji

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We proposed and analyzed a mathematical model dealing with two species of prey-predator system. It is assumed that the prey is a stage structure population consisting of two compartments known as immature prey and mature prey. It has a refuge capability as a defensive property against the predation. The existence, uniqueness, and boundedness of the solution of the proposed model are discussed. All the feasible equilibrium points are determined. The local and global stability analysis of them are investigated. The occurrence of local bifurcation (such as saddle node, transcritical, and pitchfork near each of the equilibrium points is studied. Finally, numerical simulations are given to support the analytic results.

  15. Advanced Plant Habitat (APH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Stephanie E. (Compiler); Levine, Howard G.; Reed, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) hardware will be a large growth volume plant habitat, capable of hosting multigenerational studies, in which environmental variables (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide level light intensity and spectral quality) can be tracked and controlled in support of whole plant physiological testing and Bio-regenerative Life Support System investigations.

  16. The Habitat Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Project is a multiday, differentiated, interdisciplinary environmental science lesson that incorporates skill-building and motivational strategies to internalize ecosystem vocabulary. Middle school students research an animal, display its physical characteristics on a poster, build a three-dimensional habitat and present their work…

  17. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  18. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.

    The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…

  19. Habitats, activities, and signs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Peter Bøgh; Brynskov, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Digital habitats is a framework for designing and modeling environments for activities that involve mobile and embedded computing systems. This paper 1) introduces the basic concepts of the framework, i.e. activity, thematic role, and the three ‘dimensions’ of a habitat: physical, informational...

  20. Dynamic Behaviors of a Nonautonomous Discrete Predator-Prey System Incorporating a Prey Refuge and Holling Type II Functional Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yumin Wu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A nonautonomous discrete predator-prey system incorporating a prey refuge and Holling type II functional response is studied in this paper. A set of sufficient conditions which guarantee the persistence and global stability of the system are obtained, respectively. Our results show that if refuge is large enough then predator species will be driven to extinction due to the lack of enough food. Two examples together with their numerical simulations show the feasibility of the main results.

  1. Does small mammal prey guild affect the exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosh, D G; McDonald, R A; Bearhop, S; Lllewellyn, N R; Fee, S; Sharp, E A; Barnett, E A; Shore, R F

    2011-10-01

    Ireland has a restricted small mammal prey guild but still includes species most likely to consume anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) baits. This may enhance secondary exposure of predators to ARs. We compared liver AR residues in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Northern Ireland (NI) with those in foxes from Great Britain which has a more diverse prey guild but similar agricultural use of ARs. Liver ARs were detected in 84% of NI foxes, more than in a comparable sample of foxes from Scotland and similar to that of suspected AR poisoned animals from England and Wales. High exposure in NI foxes is probably due to greater predation of commensal rodents and non-target species most likely to take AR baits, and may also partly reflect greater exposure to highly persistent brodifacoum and flocoumafen. High exposure is likely to enhance risk and Ireland may be a sentinel for potential effects on predator populations. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The use of feathers of birds of prey as indicators of metal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lodenius, Martin; Solonen, Tapio

    2013-11-01

    Published results concerning metal levels in feathers of birds of prey were listed and evaluated. Mercury concentrations have been studied most and the background values normally vary between 0.1 and 5 mg/kg dry weight the highest concentrations being in birds from aquatic food chains. Pollution causes elevated levels of mercury in feathers. The concentrations of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc show reasonable variation between species, areas and time periods. Feathers of birds of prey have proved to be good indicators of the status of environmental heavy metal pollution. Special attention should be paid to clean sampling and preparation of samples. Interpretation of the results requires knowledge on food habit, molting and migration patterns of the species. Several species representing different food chains should be included in comprehensive monitoring surveys. Chick feathers reflect most reliably local conditions.

  3. Simulation Analyses of Behaviours of Spatially Extended Predator-Prey Systems with Random Fluctuations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ISHIKAWA, M.

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available We often observe some kind or another of random fluctuations in physical, chemical and social phenomena to a greater or lesser extent. The analysis of influence of such fluctuations on phenomena is very important as a basic problem in various fields including design and planning of controlled systems in control engineering and analysis of option pricing in economics. In this paper, focusing on biological communities, we study the influence of the random fluctuations on predator-prey systems with diffusion. Noting that interaction of phytoplankton and zooplankton is the basis of a food chain in the lake and the ocean, we consider the two-species predator-prey systems consists of phytoplankton and zooplankton. We analyze the influence of the random fluctuations on the spatio-temporal patterns generated by phytoplankton and zooplankton by the numerical simulations.

  4. The interplay between density- and trait-mediated effects in predator-prey interactions: a case study in aphid wing polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunert, Grit; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2003-04-01

    Natural enemies not only influence prey density but they can also cause the modification of traits in their victims. While such non-lethal effects can be very important for the dynamic and structure of prey populations, little is known about their interaction with the density-mediated effects of natural enemies. We investigated the relationship between predation rate, prey density and trait modification in two aphid-aphid predator interactions. Pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum, Harris) have been shown to produce winged dispersal morphs in response to the presence of ladybirds or parasitoid natural enemies. This trait modification influences the ability of aphids to disperse and to colonise new habitats, and hence has a bearing on the population dynamics of the prey. In two experiments we examined wing induction in pea aphids as a function of the rate of predation when hoverfly larvae (Episyrphus balteatus) and lacewing larvae (Chrysoperla carnea) were allowed to forage in pea aphid colonies. Both hoverfly and lacewing larvae caused a significant increase in the percentage of winged morphs among offspring compared to control treatments, emphasising that wing induction in the presence of natural enemies is a general response in pea aphids. The percentage of winged offspring was, however, dependent on the rate of predation, with a small effect of predation on aphid wing induction at very high and very low predation rates, and a strong response of aphids at medium predation rates. Aphid wing induction was influenced by the interplay between predation rate and the resultant prey density. Our results suggests that density-mediated and trait-mediated effects of natural enemies are closely connected to each other and jointly determine the effect of natural enemies on prey population dynamics.

  5. Snake River Sockeye salmon habitat and limnological research. Annual report 1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teuscher, D.; Taki, D.; Wurtsbaugh, W.A.; Luecke, C.; Budy, P.; Gross, H.P.; Steinhart, G.

    1994-06-01

    In 1993 we completed research directed at characterizing the 0. nerka populations and their interactions with other fish species in five Sawtooth Valley Lakes. Historically, Redfish, Alturas, Pettit, Stanley, and Yellow Belly Lakes provided Snake River sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) spawning and rearing habitat (Evermann 1896; Bjornn 1968). All of these lakes, with exception to Yellow Belly, still support 0. nerka populations. In chapter 1 of this report we describe 0. nerka spawning locations and densities, tributary fry recruitment, and results from a habitat survey completed in Redfish Lake. In chapter 2 we review foraging habits of fish that may compete with, or prey on 0. nerka populations. Kokanee fry emergence from Fishhook Creek in 1993 was 160,000. Fry emergence increased nearly five fold over that reported in 1992. Interestingly, spawning densities in 1991 and 1992 were somewhat similar (7,200 and 9,600, respectively). Discharge from Fishhook Creek was markedly higher in 1992 and may have caused the better egg to fry survival. 0. nerka spawning on sockeye beach appeared limited (< 100 fish). Additionally, sockeye beach was the only area that wild or residual sockeye were located. Of 24 adult sockeye released into Redfish Lake, from the brood stock program, two were found spawning in the south end of the lake. Results from the habitat survey indicated that substrate composition on sockeye beach is poor. 0. nerka diet patterns shifted from chironomid prey in June zooplankton prey in September. Rainbow trout consumed a broadrange of prey, with few instances of significant diet overlap with 0. nerka. Northern squawfish, bull char, and lake trout preyed on 0. nerka. Utilization of 0. nerka by predators was greatest in September

  6. Molecular analysis of the diets of snakes: changes in prey exploitation during development of the rare smooth snake Coronella austriaca.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, David S; Ebenezer, Katie L; Symondson, William O C

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles are declining in many parts of the world, mainly due to habitat loss and environmental change. A major factor in this is availability of suitable food. For many animals, dietary requirements shift during developmental stages and a habitat will only be suitable for conserving a species if it supports all stages. Conventional methods for establishing diet often rely on visual recognition of morphologically identifiable features of prey in faeces, regurgitation or stomach contents, which suffer from biases and poor resolution of taxa. DNA-based techniques facilitate noninvasive analysis of diet from faeces without these constraints. We tested the hypothesis that diet changes during growth stages of smooth snakes (Coronella austriaca), which have a highly restricted distribution in the UK but are widespread in continental Europe. Small numbers of the sympatric grass snake (Natrix natrix) were analysed for comparison. Faecal samples were collected from snakes and prey DNA analysed using PCR, targeting amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates. Over 85% of smooth snakes were found to have eaten reptiles and 28% had eaten mammals. Predation on mammals increased with age and was entirely absent among juveniles and subadults. Predation on reptiles did not change ontogenetically. Smooth snakes may, therefore, be restricted to areas of sufficiently high reptile densities to support young snakes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Assessment and management of dead-wood habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan

    2007-01-01

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of revising its resource management plans for six districts in western and southern Oregon as the result of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Forest Resource Council. A range of management alternatives is being considered and evaluated including at least one that will minimize reserves on O&C lands. In order to develop the bases for evaluating management alternatives, the agency needs to derive a reasonable range of objectives for key issues and resources. Dead-wood habitat for wildlife has been identified as a key resource for which decision-making tools and techniques need to be refined and clarified. Under the Northwest Forest Plan, reserves were to play an important role in providing habitat for species associated with dead wood (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, 1994). Thus, the BLM needs to: 1) address the question of how dead wood will be provided if reserves are not included as a management strategy in the revised Resource Management Plan, and 2) be able to evaluate the effects of alternative land management approaches. Dead wood has become an increasingly important conservation issue in managed forests, as awareness of its function in providing wildlife habitat and in basic ecological processes has dramatically increased over the last several decades (Laudenslayer et al., 2002). A major concern of forest managers is providing dead wood habitat for terrestrial wildlife. Wildlife in Pacific Northwest forests have evolved with disturbances that create large amounts of dead wood; so, it is not surprising that many species are closely associated with standing (snags) or down, dead wood. In general, the occurrence or abundance of one-quarter to one-third of forest-dwelling vertebrate wildlife species, is strongly associated with availability of suitable dead-wood habitat (Bunnell et al., 1999; Rose et al., 2001). In

  8. Habitat Blocks and Wildlife Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Habitat blocks are areas of contiguous forest and other natural habitats that are unfragmented by roads, development, or agriculture. Vermonts habitat blocks are...

  9. Richness, diversity, and similarity of arthropod prey consumed by a community of Hawaiian forest birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Leonard, David L.

    2015-01-01

    one honeycreeper generalist or intermediate species. Among the endangered honeycreepers and introduced species, the richness and diversity of caterpillar morpho-species was significantly lower only for AKEP compared to both introduced species. Significant differences were not observed between endangered and introduced species in the distribution of caterpillar morpho-species in the diet. Only three morpho-species were heavily exploited, with one being consumed by all bird species. The heavy exploitation of very few morpho-species by specialists underscored their greater vulnerability to changes in forest food webs and threats to key arthropod prey. When evaluated together with data on overlap in foraging behavior, our results could be useful in evaluating competition between bird species at Hakalau. Nevertheless, invasive parasitoid wasps may impact key caterpillar prey more substantially than do introduced birds, highlighting the need for additional research to understand the ecology of caterpillar species and their interactions with both invertebrate and vertebrate consumers. The severe decline of specialist bird species historically and recently is a reminder of the importance of maintaining food web resilience, potentially through vigorous habitat restoration, to withstand the continuing and perhaps increasing threats from a diverse array of invasive species and climate change.

  10. Spatial patterns of primary productivity derived from the Dynamic Habitat Indices predict patterns of species richness and distributions in the tropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suttidate, Naparat

    Humans are changing the Earth's ecosystems, which has profound consequences for biodiversity. To understand how species respond to these changes, biodiversity science requires accurate assessments of biodiversity. However, biodiversity assessments are still limited in tropical regions. The Dynamic Habitat Indices (DHIs), derived from satellite data, summarize dynamic patterns of annual primary productivity: (a) cumulative annual productivity, (b) minimum annual productivity, and (c) seasonal variation in productivity. The DHIs have been successfully used in temperate regions, but not yet in the tropics. My goal was to evaluate the importance of primary productivity measured via the DHIs for assessing patterns of species richness and distributions in Thailand. First, I assessed the relationships between the DHIs and tropical bird species richness. I also evaluated the complementarity of the DHIs and topography, climate, latitudinal gradients, habitat heterogeneity, and habitat area in explaining bird species richness. I found that among three DHIs, cumulative annual productivity was the most important factor in explaining bird species richness and that the DHIs outperformed other environmental variables. Second, I developed texture measures derive from DHI cumulative annual productivity, and compared them to habitat composition and fragmentation as predictors of tropical forest bird distributions. I found that adding texture measures to habitat composition and fragmentation models improved the prediction of tropical bird distributions, especially area- and edge-sensitive tropical forest bird species. Third, I predicted the effects of trophic interactions between primary productivity, prey, and predators in relation to habitat connectivity for Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris). I found that including trophic interactions improved habitat suitability models for tigers. However, tiger habitat is highly fragmented with few dispersal corridors. I also identified

  11. Linking mesopelagic prey abundance and distribution to the foraging behavior of a deep-diving predator, the northern elephant seal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saijo, Daisuke; Mitani, Yoko; Abe, Takuzo; Sasaki, Hiroko; Goetsch, Chandra; Costa, Daniel P.; Miyashita, Kazushi

    2017-06-01

    The Transition Zone in the eastern North Pacific is important foraging habitat for many marine predators. Further, the mesopelagic depths (200-1000 m) host an abundant prey resource known as the deep scattering layer that supports deep diving predators, such as northern elephant seals, beaked whales, and sperm whales. Female northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) undertake biannual foraging migrations to this region where they feed on mesopelagic fish and squid; however, in situ measurements of prey distribution and abundance, as well as the subsurface oceanographic features in the mesopelagic Transition Zone are limited. While concurrently tracking female elephant seals during their post-molt migration, we conducted a ship-based oceanographic and hydroacoustic survey and used mesopelagic mid-water trawls to sample the deep scattering layer. We found that the abundance of mesopelagic fish at 400-600 m depth zone was the highest in the 43 °N zone, the primary foraging area of female seals. We identified twenty-nine families of fishes from the mid-water trawls, with energy-rich myctophid fishes dominating by species number, individual number, and wet weight. Biomass of mesopelagic fishes is positively correlated to annual net primary productivity; however, at the temporal and spatial scale of our study, we found no relationship between satellite derived surface primary production and prey density. Instead, we found that the subsurface chlorophyll maximum correlated with the primary elephant seal foraging regions, indicating a stronger linkage between mesopelagic ecosystem dynamics and subsurface features rather than the surface features measured with satellites. Our study not only provides insights on prey distribution in a little-studied deep ocean ecosystem, but shows that northern elephant seals are targeting the dense, species-diverse mesopelagic ecosystem at the gyre-gyre boundary that was previously inferred from their diving behavior.

  12. Identification of Functions Affecting Predator-Prey Interactions between Myxococcus xanthus and Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Susanne; Strack, Sarah N; Ryan, Sarah E; Shawgo, Mary; Walling, Abigail; Harris, Susanna; Chambers, Chris; Boddicker, Jennifer; Kirby, John R

    2016-12-15

    Soil bacteria engage each other in competitive and cooperative ways to determine their microenvironments. In this study, we report the identification of a large number of genes required for Myxococcus xanthus to engage Bacillus subtilis in a predator-prey relationship. We generated and tested over 6,000 individual transposon insertion mutants of M. xanthus and found many new factors required to promote efficient predation, including the specialized metabolite myxoprincomide, an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter permease, and a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) locus encoding bacterial immunity. We also identified genes known to be involved in predation, including those required for the production of exopolysaccharides and type IV pilus (T4P)-dependent motility, as well as chemosensory and two-component systems. Furthermore, deletion of these genes confirmed their role during predation. Overall, M. xanthus predation appears to be a multifactorial process, with multiple determinants enhancing predation capacity. Soil bacteria engage each other in complex environments and utilize multiple traits to ensure survival. Here, we report the identification of multiple traits that enable a common soil organism, Myxococcus xanthus, to prey upon and utilize nutrients from another common soil organism, Bacillus subtilis We mutagenized the predator and carried out a screen to identify genes that were required to either enhance or diminish capacity to consume prey. We identified dozens of genes encoding factors that contribute to the overall repertoire for the predator to successfully engage its prey in the natural environment. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Survival probability of larval sprat in response to decadal changes in diel vertical migration behavior and prey abundance in the Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hinrichsen, Hans-Harald; Peck, Myron A.; Schmidt, Jörn

    2010-01-01

    distribution and climate-driven abiotic and biotic environmental factors including variability in the abundance of different, key prey species (calanoid copepods) as well as seasonal changes, long-term trends, and spatial differences in water temperature. Climate forcing affected Baltic sprat larval survival...... both directly (via changes in temperature) and indirectly (via changes in prey populations). By incorporating observed changes in larval diel vertical migration, decadal changes in modeled and observed survival of Baltic sprat agreed well. Higher larval survival (spawning stock biomass) was predicted...... in the 1990s compared to the 1980s. After changing their foraging strategy by shifting from mid-depth, low prey environment to near-surface waters, first-feeding larvae encountered much higher rates of prey encounter and almost optimal feeding conditions and had a much higher growth potential. Consequently...

  14. Stochastic population dynamics in spatially extended predator-prey systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobramysl, Ulrich; Mobilia, Mauro; Pleimling, Michel; Täuber, Uwe C.

    2018-02-01

    Spatially extended population dynamics models that incorporate demographic noise serve as case studies for the crucial role of fluctuations and correlations in biological systems. Numerical and analytic tools from non-equilibrium statistical physics capture the stochastic kinetics of these complex interacting many-particle systems beyond rate equation approximations. Including spatial structure and stochastic noise in models for predator-prey competition invalidates the neutral Lotka-Volterra population cycles. Stochastic models yield long-lived erratic oscillations stemming from a resonant amplification mechanism. Spatially extended predator-prey systems display noise-stabilized activity fronts that generate persistent correlations. Fluctuation-induced renormalizations of the oscillation parameters can be analyzed perturbatively via a Doi-Peliti field theory mapping of the master equation; related tools allow detailed characterization of extinction pathways. The critical steady-state and non-equilibrium relaxation dynamics at the predator extinction threshold are governed by the directed percolation universality class. Spatial predation rate variability results in more localized clusters, enhancing both competing species’ population densities. Affixing variable interaction rates to individual particles and allowing for trait inheritance subject to mutations induces fast evolutionary dynamics for the rate distributions. Stochastic spatial variants of three-species competition with ‘rock-paper-scissors’ interactions metaphorically describe cyclic dominance. These models illustrate intimate connections between population dynamics and evolutionary game theory, underscore the role of fluctuations to drive populations toward extinction, and demonstrate how space can support species diversity. Two-dimensional cyclic three-species May-Leonard models are characterized by the emergence of spiraling patterns whose properties are elucidated by a mapping onto a complex

  15. Do lions Panthera leo actively select prey or do prey preferences simply reflect chance responses via evolutionary adaptations to optimal foraging?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayward, Matt W; Hayward, Gina J; Tambling, Craig J; Kerley, Graham I H

    2011-01-01

    Research on coursing predators has revealed that actions throughout the predatory behavioral sequence (using encounter rate, hunting rate, and kill rate as proxy measures of decisions) drive observed prey preferences. We tested whether similar actions drive the observed prey preferences of a stalking predator, the African lion Panthera leo. We conducted two 96 hour, continuous follows of lions in Addo Elephant National Park seasonally from December 2003 until November 2005 (16 follows), and compared prey encounter rate with prey abundance, hunt rate with prey encounter rate, and kill rate with prey hunt rate for the major prey species in Addo using Jacobs' electivity index. We found that lions encountered preferred prey species far more frequently than expected based on their abundance, and they hunted these species more frequently than expected based on this higher encounter rate. Lions responded variably to non-preferred and avoided prey species throughout the predatory sequence, although they hunted avoided prey far less frequently than expected based on the number of encounters of them. We conclude that actions of lions throughout the predatory behavioural sequence, but particularly early on, drive the prey preferences that have been documented for this species. Once a hunt is initiated, evolutionary adaptations to the predator-prey interactions drive hunting success.

  16. Bifurcation analysis and dimension reduction of a predator-prey model for the L-H transition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dam, Magnus; Brøns, Morten; Juul Rasmussen, Jens

    2013-01-01

    The L-H transition denotes a shift to an improved confinement state of a toroidal plasma in a fusion reactor. A model of the L-H transition is required to simulate the time dependence of tokamak discharges that include the L-H transition. A 3-ODE predator-prey type model of the L-H transition...

  17. Habitat, not resource availability, limits consumer production in lake ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Nicola; Jones, Stuart E.; Weidel, Brian C.; Solomon, Christopher T.

    2015-01-01

    Food web productivity in lakes can be limited by dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which reduces fish production by limiting the abundance of their zoobenthic prey. We demonstrate that in a set of 10 small, north temperate lakes spanning a wide DOC gradient, these negative effects of high DOC concentrations on zoobenthos production are driven primarily by availability of warm, well-oxygenated habitat, rather than by light limitation of benthic primary production as previously proposed. There was no significant effect of benthic primary production on zoobenthos production after controlling for oxygen, even though stable isotope analysis indicated that zoobenthos do use this resource. Mean whole-lake zoobenthos production was lower in high-DOC lakes with reduced availability of oxygenated habitat, as was fish biomass. These insights improve understanding of lake food webs and inform management in the face of spatial variability and ongoing temporal change in lake DOC concentrations.

  18. Trophic niche and habitat shifts of sympatric Gerreidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, J A A; Barletta, M; Dantas, D V; Lima, A R A; Costa, M F

    2014-11-01

    The diet and mouth growth rates of three Gerreidae species (Eugerres brasilianus, Eucinostomus melanopterus and Diapterus rhombeus) were assessed at different ontogenetic phases (juveniles, sub-adults and adults) in order to detect allometric growth, and whether they are related to habitat and seasonal changes in the Goiana Estuary, north-east Brazil. The importance of each prey for each ontogenetic phase was described using the index of relative importance. The three species showed seasonal ontogenetic shifts in diet and allometric growth of mouth morphology. They also had an exclusively zoobenthic diet, comprising mainly Polychaeta, Copepoda, Ostracoda, Gastropoda and Bivalvia. Mouth development showed a possible influence on diet changes for E. melanopterus. Significant interactions (P < 0·01) were detected among seasons, areas and ontogenetic phases for the most important prey for E. brasilianus and E. melanopterus. Diet overlaps are evidence of intra and interspecific competition among gerreids for specific prey. A conceptual model of the competition and seasonal diet shifts among ontogenetic phases of gerreids is given. The sediment ingested due to the feeding mechanisms of Gerreidae species could also partially explain the ingestion of synthetic items observed for all ontogenetic phases, which indicates one of a myriad effects of human activities (e.g. artisanal fishery) in this estuary. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  19. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie R. Wells

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26, in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change.

  20. Habitat-specific foraging strategies in Australasian gannets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Melanie R; Angel, Lauren P; Arnould, John P Y

    2016-07-15

    Knowledge of top predator foraging adaptability is imperative for predicting their biological response to environmental variability. While seabirds have developed highly specialised techniques to locate prey, little is known about intraspecific variation in foraging strategies with many studies deriving information from uniform oceanic environments. Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) typically forage in continental shelf regions on small schooling prey. The present study used GPS and video data loggers to compare habitat-specific foraging strategies at two sites of contrasting oceanographic regimes (deep water near the continental shelf edge, n=23; shallow inshore embayment, n=26), in south-eastern Australia. Individuals from the continental shelf site exhibited pelagic foraging behaviours typical of gannet species, using local enhancement to locate and feed on small schooling fish; in contrast only 50% of the individuals from the inshore site foraged offshore, displaying the typical pelagic foraging strategy. The remainder adopted a strategy of searching sand banks in shallow inshore waters in the absence of conspecifics and other predators for large, single prey items. Furthermore, of the individuals foraging inshore, 93% were male, indicating that the inshore strategy may be sex-specific. Large inter-colony differences in Australasian gannets suggest strong plasticity in foraging behaviours, essential for adapting to environmental change. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Spatial match-mismatch between juvenile fish and prey provides a mechanism for recruitment variability across contrasting climate conditions in the eastern Bering Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddon, Elizabeth Calvert; Kristiansen, Trond; Mueter, Franz J; Holsman, Kirstin K; Heintz, Ron A; Farley, Edward V

    2013-01-01

    Understanding mechanisms behind variability in early life survival of marine fishes through modeling efforts can improve predictive capabilities for recruitment success under changing climate conditions. Walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) support the largest single-species commercial fishery in the United States and represent an ecologically important component of the Bering Sea ecosystem. Variability in walleye pollock growth and survival is structured in part by climate-driven bottom-up control of zooplankton composition. We used two modeling approaches, informed by observations, to understand the roles of prey quality, prey composition, and water temperature on juvenile walleye pollock growth: (1) a bioenergetics model that included local predator and prey energy densities, and (2) an individual-based model that included a mechanistic feeding component dependent on larval development and behavior, local prey densities and size, and physical oceanographic conditions. Prey composition in late-summer shifted from predominantly smaller copepod species in the warmer 2005 season to larger species in the cooler 2010 season, reflecting differences in zooplankton composition between years. In 2010, the main prey of juvenile walleye pollock were more abundant, had greater biomass, and higher mean energy density, resulting in better growth conditions. Moreover, spatial patterns in prey composition and water temperature lead to areas of enhanced growth, or growth 'hot spots', for juvenile walleye pollock and survival may be enhanced when fish overlap with these areas. This study provides evidence that a spatial mismatch between juvenile walleye pollock and growth 'hot spots' in 2005 contributed to poor recruitment while a higher degree of overlap in 2010 resulted in improved recruitment. Our results indicate that climate-driven changes in prey quality and composition can impact growth of juvenile walleye pollock, potentially severely affecting recruitment variability.

  2. Population and prey of the Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris tigris (Linnaeus, 1758 (Carnivora: Felidae in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M.H. Khan

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The results from intensive small scale surveys are often difficult to extrapolate to wider spatial scales, yet an understanding at such scales is critical for assessing the minimum densities and populations of rare and wide ranging species. In this paper, the minimum size of population and minimum density estimates of Bengal Tigers Panthera tigris tigris and its prey were conducted from 2005 to 2007 using camera traps for 90 days and using distance sampling surveys for over 200 days, respectively. The results were extrapolated from the core study area in Katka-Kochikhali, southeastern Sundarbans, to five additional sites using indices of abundance. With the use of 10 camera-traps at 15 trap-points, field data provided a total of 829 photos, including seven photos of five individual tigers. A total of 5.0 (SE = 0.98 tigers (adults and sub-adults are thus estimated in the core area with an estimated density of 4.8 tigers/100km2. Distance sampling surveys conducted on large mammalian prey species obtained an overall density estimate of 27.9 individuals/km2 and a biomass density of 1,037kg/km2. Indices of abundance were obtained by using tiger track sighting rates (number of tracks/km of riverbank and the sighting rates of the prey species (number of prey/km of riverbank in the core area and in five additional sites across the region. The densities of tiger tracks and sighting rates of prey were strongly correlated suggesting a wide scale relationship between predator and prey in the region. By combining the estimates of absolute density with indices of abundance, an average of 3.7 tigers/100km2 across the region is estimated, which given an area of 5,770km2, predicts a minimum of approximately 200 tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

  3. Habitat destruction and poaching threaten the Sumatran tiger in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra

    OpenAIRE

    Linkie, Matthew; Martyr, Deborah J.; Holden, Jeremy; Yanuar, Achmad; Hartana, Alip T.; Sugardjito, Jito; Leader-Williams, Nigel

    2003-01-01

    The Sumatran tiger, categorized as Critically Endangered on the 2002 IUCN Red List, is threatened by poaching for domestic and international markets, by prey depletion from human hunting and by habitat loss from illegal and commercial logging, oil palm production, pioneer farming, mining operations and forest fires. Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) in west-central Sumatra still has large blocks of forest that support tiger populations. In this paper we present information on photo-trapping...

  4. Sustained disruption of narwhal habitat use and behavior in the presence of Arctic killer whales

    OpenAIRE

    Breed, Greg A.; Matthews, Cory J. D.; Marcoux, Marianne; Higdon, Jeff W.; LeBlanc, Bernard; Petersen, Stephen D.; Orr, Jack; Reinhart, Natalie R.; Ferguson, Steven H.

    2017-01-01

    Predators are widely understood to impact the structure and stability of ecosystems. In the Arctic, summer sea ice is rapidly declining, degrading habitat for Arctic species, such as polar bears and ringed seals, but also providing more access to important predators, such as killer whales. Using data from concurrently tracked predator (killer whales) and prey (narwhal), we show that the presence of killer whales significantly changes the behavior and distribution of narwhal. Because killer wh...

  5. Interaction between Mesodinium rubrum and its prey: importance of prey concentration, irradiance and pH

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldrup, Morten; Hansen, Per Juel

    2007-01-01

    ABSTRACT: The functional and numerical responses for the marine obligate mixotrophic ciliate Mesodinium rubrum Lohmann, 1908 (=Myrionecta rubra Jankowsky, 1976) were studied at 2 irradiances (20 and 100 µE m2 s-1). Furthermore, its tolerance to high pH levels and response to starvation were studied...... was sufficient for maximum growth, but carbon contributions as high as 22% were observed to have no effect on growth. The pH experiments revealed that the growth of M. rubrum and Teleaulax sp. was impeded at pH levels in excess of 8.5 and 8.8, respectively. Experiments to reveal M. rubrum's response...... to starvation showed that M. rubrum could survive for around 50 d without prey. These results are all discussed with respect to M. rubrum's adaptation to its environment....

  6. Quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from birds of prey in Portugal are genetically distinct from those isolated from water environments and gulls in Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vredenburg, Jana; Varela, Ana Rita; Hasan, Badrul; Bertilsson, Stefan; Olsen, Björn; Narciso-da-Rocha, Carlos; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Stedt, Johan; Da Costa, Paulo Martins; Manaia, Célia M

    2014-04-01

    The influence of geographic distribution and type of habitat on the molecular epidemiology of ciprofloxacin resistant Escherichia coli was investigated. Ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli from wastewater, urban water with faecal contamination and faeces of gulls, pigeons and birds of prey, from Portugal, Spain and Sweden were compared based on multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and quinolone resistance genetic determinants. Multi-locus sequence typing allowed the differentiation of E. coli lineages associated with birds of prey from those inhabiting gulls and waters. E. coli lineages of clinical relevance, such as the complex ST131, were detected in wastewater, streams and gulls in Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Quinolone resistance was due to gyrA and parC mutations, although distinct mutations were detected in birds of prey and in wastewater, streams and gulls isolates. These differences were correlated with specific MLST lineages, suggesting resistance inheritance. Among the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes, only aac(6')-ib-cr and qnrS were detected in wastewater, streams and gulls isolates, but not in birds of prey. The horizontal transfer of the gene aac(6')-ib-cr could be inferred from its occurrence in different MLST lineages. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Dominant glint based prey localization in horseshoe bats: a possible strategy for noise rejection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderelst, Dieter; Reijniers, Jonas; Firzlaff, Uwe; Peremans, Herbert

    2011-12-01

    Rhinolophidae or Horseshoe bats emit long and narrowband calls. Fluttering insect prey generates echoes in which amplitude and frequency shifts are present, i.e. glints. These glints are reliable cues about the presence of prey and also encode certain properties of the prey. In this paper, we propose that these glints, i.e. the dominant glints, are also reliable signals upon which to base prey localization. In contrast to the spectral cues used by many other bats, the localization cues in Rhinolophidae are most likely provided by self-induced amplitude modulations generated by pinnae movement. Amplitude variations in the echo not introduced by the moving pinnae can be considered as noise interfering with the localization process. The amplitude of the dominant glints is very stable. Therefore, these parts of the echoes contain very little noise. However, using only the dominant glints potentially comes at a cost. Depending on the flutter rate of the insect, a limited number of dominant glints will be present in each echo giving the bat a limited number of sample points on which to base localization. We evaluate the feasibility of a strategy under which Rhinolophidae use only dominant glints. We use a computational model of the echolocation task faced by Rhinolophidae. Our model includes the spatial filtering of the echoes by the morphology of the sonar apparatus of Rhinolophus rouxii as well as the amplitude modulations introduced by pinnae movements. Using this model, we evaluate whether the dominant glints provide Rhinolophidae with enough information to perform localization. Our simulations show that Rhinolophidae can use dominant glints in the echoes as carriers for self-induced amplitude modulations serving as localization cues. In particular, it is shown that the reduction in noise achieved by using only the dominant glints outweighs the information loss that occurs by sampling the echo. © 2011 Vanderelst et al.

  8. Dominant glint based prey localization in horseshoe bats: a possible strategy for noise rejection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dieter Vanderelst

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Rhinolophidae or Horseshoe bats emit long and narrowband calls. Fluttering insect prey generates echoes in which amplitude and frequency shifts are present, i.e. glints. These glints are reliable cues about the presence of prey and also encode certain properties of the prey. In this paper, we propose that these glints, i.e. the dominant glints, are also reliable signals upon which to base prey localization. In contrast to the spectral cues used by many other bats, the localization cues in Rhinolophidae are most likely provided by self-induced amplitude modulations generated by pinnae movement. Amplitude variations in the echo not introduced by the moving pinnae can be considered as noise interfering with the localization process. The amplitude of the dominant glints is very stable. Therefore, these parts of the echoes contain very little noise. However, using only the dominant glints potentially comes at a cost. Depending on the flutter rate of the insect, a limited number of dominant glints will be present in each echo giving the bat a limited number of sample points on which to base localization. We evaluate the feasibility of a strategy under which Rhinolophidae use only dominant glints. We use a computational model of the echolocation task faced by Rhinolophidae. Our model includes the spatial filtering of the echoes by the morphology of the sonar apparatus of Rhinolophus rouxii as well as the amplitude modulations introduced by pinnae movements. Using this model, we evaluate whether the dominant glints provide Rhinolophidae with enough information to perform localization. Our simulations show that Rhinolophidae can use dominant glints in the echoes as carriers for self-induced amplitude modulations serving as localization cues. In particular, it is shown that the reduction in noise achieved by using only the dominant glints outweighs the information loss that occurs by sampling the echo.

  9. Morphological convergence in a Mexican garter snake associated with the ingestion of a novel prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manjarrez, Javier; Macías Garcia, Constantino; Drummond, Hugh

    2017-09-01

    Morphological convergence is expected when organisms which differ in phenotype experience similar functional demands, which lead to similar associations between resource utilization and performance. To consume prey with hard exoskeletons, snakes require either specialized head morphology, or to deal with them when they are vulnerable, for example, during molting. Such attributes may in turn reduce the efficiency with which they prey on soft-bodied, slippery animals such as fish. Snakes which consume a range of prey may present intermediate morphology, such as that of Thamnophiine (Natricinae), which may be classified morphometrically across the soft-hard prey dietary boundary. In this study, we compared the dentition and head structure of populations of Thamnophis melanogaster that have entered the arthropod-crustacean (crayfish)-eating niche and those that have not, and tested for convergence between the former and two distantly related crayfish specialists of the genus Regina ( R . septemvittata and R. grahamii ). As a control, we included the congener T. eques . Multivariate analysis of jaw length, head length, head width, and number of maxillary teeth yielded three significant canonical variables that together explained 98.8% of the variance in the size-corrected morphological data. The first canonical variable significantly discriminated between the three species. The results show that head dimensions and number of teeth of the two Regina species are more similar to those of crayfish-eating T. melanogaster than to non-crayfish-eating snakes or of T. eques . It is unclear how particular head proportions or teeth number facilitates capture of crayfish, but our results and the rarity of soft crayfish ingestion by T. melanogaster may reflect the novelty of this niche expansion, and are consistent with the hypothesis that some populations of T. melanogaster have converged in their head morphology with the two soft crayfish-eating Regina species, although we

  10. The scent of wolves: pyrazine analogs induce avoidance and vigilance behaviors in prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazumi eOsada

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The common grey wolf (Canis lupus is an apex predator located at the top of the food chain in the Northern Hemisphere. It preys on rodents, rabbits, ungulates, and many other kinds of mammal. However, the behavioral evidence for, and the chemical basis of, the fear-inducing impact of wolf urine on prey are unclear. Recently, the pyrazine analogs 2, 6-dimethylpyrazine, 2, 3, 5-trimethylpyrazine and 3-ethyl-2, 5-dimethyl pyrazine were identified as kairomones in the urine of wolves. When mice were confronted with a mixture of purified pyrazine analogs, vigilance behaviors, including freezing and excitation of neurons at the accessory olfactory bulb, were markedly increased. Additionally, the odor of the pyrazine cocktail effectively suppressed the approach of deer to a feeding area, and for those close to the feeding area elicited fear-related behaviors such as the tail-flag, flight, and jump actions. In this review, we discuss the transfer of chemical information from wolf to prey through the novel kairomones identified in wolf urine and also compare the characteristics of wolf kairomones with other predator-produced kairomones that affect rodents.

  11. Making inference from wildlife collision data: inferring predator absence from prey strikes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caley, Peter; Hosack, Geoffrey R; Barry, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Wildlife collision data are ubiquitous, though challenging for making ecological inference due to typically irreducible uncertainty relating to the sampling process. We illustrate a new approach that is useful for generating inference from predator data arising from wildlife collisions. By simply conditioning on a second prey species sampled via the same collision process, and by using a biologically realistic numerical response functions, we can produce a coherent numerical response relationship between predator and prey. This relationship can then be used to make inference on the population size of the predator species, including the probability of extinction. The statistical conditioning enables us to account for unmeasured variation in factors influencing the runway strike incidence for individual airports and to enable valid comparisons. A practical application of the approach for testing hypotheses about the distribution and abundance of a predator species is illustrated using the hypothesized red fox incursion into Tasmania, Australia. We estimate that conditional on the numerical response between fox and lagomorph runway strikes on mainland Australia, the predictive probability of observing no runway strikes of foxes in Tasmania after observing 15 lagomorph strikes is 0.001. We conclude there is enough evidence to safely reject the null hypothesis that there is a widespread red fox population in Tasmania at a population density consistent with prey availability. The method is novel and has potential wider application.

  12. Making inference from wildlife collision data: inferring predator absence from prey strikes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Caley

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife collision data are ubiquitous, though challenging for making ecological inference due to typically irreducible uncertainty relating to the sampling process. We illustrate a new approach that is useful for generating inference from predator data arising from wildlife collisions. By simply conditioning on a second prey species sampled via the same collision process, and by using a biologically realistic numerical response functions, we can produce a coherent numerical response relationship between predator and prey. This relationship can then be used to make inference on the population size of the predator species, including the probability of extinction. The statistical conditioning enables us to account for unmeasured variation in factors influencing the runway strike incidence for individual airports and to enable valid comparisons. A practical application of the approach for testing hypotheses about the distribution and abundance of a predator species is illustrated using the hypothesized red fox incursion into Tasmania, Australia. We estimate that conditional on the numerical response between fox and lagomorph runway strikes on mainland Australia, the predictive probability of observing no runway strikes of foxes in Tasmania after observing 15 lagomorph strikes is 0.001. We conclude there is enough evidence to safely reject the null hypothesis that there is a widespread red fox population in Tasmania at a population density consistent with prey availability. The method is novel and has potential wider application.

  13. [Monitoring the success of veterinary treatment in rehabilitated and released birds of prey using radiotelemetry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, D; Hampel, M R; Lierz, M

    2014-01-01

    Free-ranging birds of prey brought to veterinary practice should only be treated after thorough diagnostics. Before their release back into the wild, specific training - including falconry techniques - may be necessary, depending on raptor species and age. Rehabilitated birds of prey were monitored using radiotelemetry after release back into the wild. The success of veterinary therapy and the prognosis of treated diseases/injuries in free-ranging birds were evaluated. In addition, the use of radiotelemetry as a simple technique for surveillance was evaluated. The project was undertaken in cooperation with schools as a contribution to environmental education. MATERIAL UND METHODS: Three common buzzards (Buteo buteo) and one kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)were treated and released with a radio transmitter attached to a tail feather. They were tracked daily (by car or plane), observed using binoculars and their GPS coordinates were documented. One transmitter was lost early, making monitoring of the bird impossible. Three birds were monitored over a period of more than 14 days. These birds were successfully reintroduced into the wild, as documented from courtship displays and mating. The longest flight distance achieved was 44 km. Veterinary treatment aimed at rehabilitating feral birds can be successful. Radiotelemetry is a suitable tool to monitor free-ranging birds. The application of this technique is performed readily by laypeople (school students). Being in agreement with other studies, this data should motivate veterinarians to treat wild birds of prey for rehabilitation.

  14. LCREP prey data - Lower Columbia River Ecosystem Monitoring Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — 1) The purpose of this project is to document juvenile salmon habitat occurrence in the Lower Columbia River and estuary, and examine how habitat conditions...

  15. Baleen whale abundance and distribution in relation to environmental variables and prey density in the Eastern Bering Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Friday, Nancy A.; Palacios, Daniel M.; Waite, Janice M.; Ressler, Patrick H.; Rone, Brenda K.; Moore, Sue E.; Clapham, Phillip J.

    2016-12-01

    The Bering Sea is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world and an important habitat for various marine mammal species. Once abundant in this region, most baleen whale species were severely depleted by commercial whaling in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since their protection in mid-20th century, baleen whale populations have been recovering and reoccupying their historical habitats. These species can consume large amounts of their prey and thus can modify the local structure of ecosystems. Characterizing the extent to which environmental conditions and prey density influence baleen whale abundance in the Eastern Bering Sea is essential to improve our understanding of ecosystem dynamics and to predict how these species might respond to ecosystem variability associated with climate changes. In this study, physiographic, oceanographic, and biological datasets from 2008 to 2010 were combined to model the habitat characteristics of fin whales, humpback whales, and minke whales in the EBS in early summer (June and July) using generalized additive models (GAMs). The explained deviances of the best-supported models were 54.9%, 20.6%, and 68.3% for minke, fin and humpback whales, respectively. Minke and fin whales had similar distribution patterns in the EBS but their abundance was predicted by different explanatory variables. Euphausiid and pollock biomasses, and depth were important predictors of minke whale numbers, while distance to shore, euphausiid biomass, distance to the 200 m isobath, and chlorophyll-a concentration better explained fin whale abundance. Humpback whales showed a preference for shallow, coastal waters north of the Alaska Peninsula. For this species, sea surface temperature, depth, chlorophyll-a concentration and euphausid biomass were important predictors of abundance. This study is the first to provide a habitat baseline for baleen whales in the EBS based on a quantitative assessment of the relationship between whale abundance

  16. The effects of sex, age, season and habitat on diet of the red fox Vulpes vulpes in northeastern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidawa, Dorota; Kowalczyk, Rafał

    2011-07-01

    The diet of the red fox Vulpes vulpes was investigated in five regions of northeastern Poland by stomach content analysis of 224 foxes collected from hunters. The red fox is expected to show the opportunistic feeding habits. Our study showed that foxes preyed mainly on wild prey, with strong domination of Microtus rodents, regardless of sex, age, month and habitat. Voles Microtus spp. were found in 73% of stomachs and constituted 47% of food volume consumed. Other food items were ungulate carrion (27% of volume), other mammals (11%), birds (9%), and plant material (4%). Sex- and age-specific differences in dietary diversity were found. Adult males and juvenile foxes had larger food niche breadths than adult females and their diets highly overlapped. Proportion of Microtus voles increased from autumn to late winter. Significant habitat differences between studied regions were found. There was a tendency among foxes to decrease consumption of voles with increasing percentage of forest cover. Based on our findings, red foxes in northeastern Poland can be recognized as a generalist predators, consuming easily accessible and abundant prey. However, high percentage of voles consumed regardless of age, sex, month, or habitats may indicate red fox specialization in preying on Microtus rodents.

  17. Variation in the response of an Arctic top predator experiencing habitat loss: feeding and reproductive ecology of two polar bear populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George; Derocher, Andrew E.; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Budge, Suzanne M.

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have experienced substantial changes in the seasonal availability of sea ice habitat in parts of their range, including the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas. In this study, we compared the body size, condition, and recruitment of polar bears captured in the Chukchi and Bering Seas (CS) between two periods (1986–1994 and 2008–2011) when declines in sea ice habitat occurred. In addition, we compared metrics for the CS population 2008–2011 with those of the adjacent southern Beaufort Sea (SB) population where loss in sea ice habitat has been associated with declines in body condition, size, recruitment, and survival. We evaluated how variation in body condition and recruitment were related to feeding ecology. Comparing habitat conditions between populations, there were twice as many reduced ice days over continental shelf waters per year during 2008–2011 in the SB than in the CS. CS polar bears were larger and in better condition, and appeared to have higher reproduction than SB bears. Although SB and CS bears had similar diets, twice as many bears were fasting in spring in the SB than in the CS. Between 1986–1994 and 2008–2011, body size, condition, and recruitment indices in the CS were not reduced despite a 44-day increase in the number of reduced ice days. Bears in the CS exhibited large body size, good body condition, and high indices of recruitment compared to most other populations measured to date. Higher biological productivity and prey availability in the CS relative to the SB, and a shorter recent history of reduced sea ice habitat, may explain the maintenance of condition and recruitment of CS bears. Geographic differences in the response of polar bears to climate change are relevant to range-wide forecasts for this and other ice-dependent species.

  18. Incorporating prey refuge in a prey-predator model with a Holling type I functional response: random dynamics and population outbreaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkana, Amalia; Zachilas, Loukas

    2013-09-01

    A prey-predator discrete-time model with a Holling type I functional response is investigated by incorporating a prey refuge. It is shown that a refuge does not always stabilize prey-predator interactions. A prey refuge in some cases produces even more chaotic, random-like dynamics than without a refuge and prey population outbreaks appear. Stability analysis was performed in order to investigate the local stability of fixed points as well as the several local bifurcations they undergo. Numerical simulations such as parametric basins of attraction, bifurcation diagrams, phase plots and largest Lyapunov exponent diagrams are executed in order to illustrate the complex dynamical behavior of the system.

  19. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...

  20. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.

  1. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  2. Backyard Wildlife Habitat Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Katharine D.

    1998-01-01

    Presents a curriculum designed to infuse environmental concepts and attitudes into the middle school curriculum. Developed through an educational partnership with industry, this curriculum focuses on the establishment and maintenance of backyard wildlife habitats. (DDR)

  3. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  4. Deep Space Habitat Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Deep Space Habitat was closed out at the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (September 30, 2013). Results and select content have been incorporated into the new Exploration...

  5. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...

  6. Smalltooth Sawfish Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinatat) as designated by 74 FR 45353, September 2, 2009, Rules and Regulations.

  7. Salmon River Habitat Enhancement, 1984 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konopacky, Richard C.

    1986-04-01

    This report has four volumes: a Tribal project annual report (Part 1) and three reports (Parts 2, 3, and 4) prepared for the Tribes by their engineering subcontractor. The Tribal project annual report contains reports for four subprojects within Project 83-359. Subproject I involved habitat and fish inventories in Bear Valley Creek, Valley County, Idaho that will be used to evaluate responses to ongoing habitat enhancement. Subproject II is the coordination/planning activities of the Project Leader in relation to other BPA-funded habitat enhancement projects that have or will occur within the traditional Treaty (Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868) fishing areas of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. Subproject III involved habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) and habitat problem identification on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River (including Jordan Creek). Subproject IV during 1985 involved habitat problem identification in the East Fork of the Salmon River and habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) in Herd Creek, a tributary to the East Fork.

  8. Modeling habitat dynamics accounting for possible misclassification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veran, Sophie; Kleiner, Kevin J.; Choquet, Remi; Collazo, Jaime; Nichols, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Land cover data are widely used in ecology as land cover change is a major component of changes affecting ecological systems. Landscape change estimates are characterized by classification errors. Researchers have used error matrices to adjust estimates of areal extent, but estimation of land cover change is more difficult and more challenging, with error in classification being confused with change. We modeled land cover dynamics for a discrete set of habitat states. The approach accounts for state uncertainty to produce unbiased estimates of habitat transition probabilities using ground information to inform error rates. We consider the case when true and observed habitat states are available for the same geographic unit (pixel) and when true and observed states are obtained at one level of resolution, but transition probabilities estimated at a different level of resolution (aggregations of pixels). Simulation results showed a strong bias when estimating transition probabilities if misclassification was not accounted for. Scaling-up does not necessarily decrease the bias and can even increase it. Analyses of land cover data in the Southeast region of the USA showed that land change patterns appeared distorted if misclassification was not accounted for: rate of habitat turnover was artificially increased and habitat composition appeared more homogeneous. Not properly accounting for land cover misclassification can produce misleading inferences about habitat state and dynamics and also misleading predictions about species distributions based on habitat. Our models that explicitly account for state uncertainty should be useful in obtaining more accurate inferences about change from data that include errors.

  9. Habitat selection of stone and starry flounders in an estuary in relation to feeding and survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomiyama, Takeshi; Omori, Michio

    2008-09-01

    Juveniles of both stone flounder Platichthys bicoloratus and starry flounder Platichthys stellatus utilize estuaries as nursery grounds. To understand their habitat selection and the functions of habitats such as food supply, we defined the seasonal distribution of recently settled fish of these species in shallow nursery areas and investigated their feeding habits in the Natori River estuary, Japan. Distribution of stone flounder was limited to the lower estuary (olivacea and the mysid Neomysis awatschensis, respectively; however, 1- and 2-yr-old fish of both stone and starry flounders fed mainly on the bivalve siphons. These results indicate that habitat selections of juvenile stone and starry flounders enable utilization of preferred prey and predator avoidance, respectively, and that non-overlap of these species' habitats results in avoidance of inter-specific competition for food between these two species.

  10. Habitat preferences of a corallivorous reef fish: predation risk versus food quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Mcleod, I. M.; Jones, G. P.

    2013-09-01

    Many animals preferentially select a habitat from a range of those potentially available. However, the consequences of these preferences for distribution and abundance, and the underlying basis of habitat preferences are often unknown. The present study, conducted at Great Keppel Island, Australia, examined how distribution and abundance of an obligate corallivorous filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, relates to coral architecture and diversity. The main drivers of the distribution and abundance of O. longirostris among reefs were coral species richness and availability of branching coral. Feeding territories had a higher percentage of Acropora coral than surrounding habitat. In addition, feeding territories had a higher percentage of the structurally important branching coral, Acropora nobilis, and a primary prey species, Acropora millepora. A series of pair-wise choice experiments in which both structural complexity and coral tissue quality were independently manipulated showed that habitat choice was primarily based on structural complexity and shelter characteristics. In addition, the choice for the preferred coral ( A. nobilis) was stronger in the presence of a piscivorous fish. These results indicate that species-diverse coral habitats, which provide sufficient structural complexity along with nutritionally important prey, are essential for population persistence of this small, corallivorous reef fish.

  11. Feeding behaviour of the nauplii of the marine calanoid copepod Paracartia grani Sars: Functional response, prey size spectrum, and effects of the presence of alternative prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura K Helenius

    Full Text Available Laboratory feeding experiments were conducted to study the functional response and prey size spectrum of the young naupliar stages of the calanoid copepod Paracartia grani Sars. Experiments were conducted on a range of microalgal prey of varying sizes and motility patterns. Significant feeding was found in all prey of a size range of 4.5-19.8 μm, with Holling type III functional responses observed for most prey types. The highest clearance rates occurred when nauplii fed on the dinoflagellate Heterocapsa sp. and the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii (respectively, 0.61 and 0.70 mL ind-1 d-1, suggesting an optimal prey:predator ratio of 0.09. Additional experiments were conducted to examine the effects of the presence of alternative prey (either Heterocapsa sp. or Gymnodinium litoralis on the functional response to the haptophyte Isochrysis galbana. In the bialgal mixtures, clearance and ingestion rates of I. galbana along the range of the functional response were significantly reduced as a result of selectivity towards the larger, alternative prey. Paradoxically, relatively large prey trigger a perception response in the nauplii, but most likely such prey cannot be completely ingested and a certain degree of sloppy feeding may occur. Our results are further evidence of the complex prey-specific feeding interactions that are likely to occur in natural assemblages with several available prey types.

  12. Calcareous Bio-Concretions in the Northern Adriatic Sea: Habitat Types, Environmental Factors that Influence Habitat Distributions, and Predictive Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falace, Annalisa; Kaleb, Sara; Curiel, Daniele; Miotti, Chiara; Galli, Giovanni; Querin, Stefano; Ballesteros, Enric; Solidoro, Cosimo; Bandelj, Vinko

    2015-01-01

    Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM) clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders) characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.). Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus) is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat model outputs

  13. Calcareous Bio-Concretions in the Northern Adriatic Sea: Habitat Types, Environmental Factors that Influence Habitat Distributions, and Predictive Modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalisa Falace

    Full Text Available Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.. Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat

  14. The interaction between predator strategy and prey competition in a pair of multi-predator multi-prey lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    A computational study of a system of ten prey phenotypes and either one or ten predator phenotypes with a range of foraging behaviours, arranged on two separate one-dimensional lattices, is presented. Mutation between nearest neighbours along the prey lattice occurs at a constant rate, and mutation may or may not be enabled for the predators. The significance of competition amongst the prey is investigated by testing a variety of distributions of the relative intraspecific and interspecific competition. We also study the influence this has on the survival and population size of predator phenotypes with a variety of foraging strategies. Our results indicate that the distribution of competition amongst prey is of little significance, provided that intraspecific is stronger than the interspecific, and that it is typically preferable for a predator to adopt a foraging strategy that scales linearly with prey population sizes if it is alone. In an environment of multiple predator phenotypes, the least or most-focused predators are most likely to persist, dependent on the feeding parameter.

  15. The physiological costs of prey switching reinforce foraging specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooker, Oliver E; Van Leeuwen, Travis E; Adams, Colin E

    2017-05-01

    Sympatric speciation is thought to be strongly linked to resource specialization with alternative resource use acting as a fundamental agent driving divergence. However, sympatric speciation through niche expansion is dependent on foraging specialization being consistent over space and time. Standard metabolic rate is the minimal maintenance metabolic rate of an ectotherm in a post-absorptive and inactive state and can constitute a significant portion of an animal's energy budget; thus, standard metabolic rate and growth rate are two measures frequently used as an indication of the physiological performance of individuals. Physiological adaptations to a specific diet may increase the efficiency with which it is utilized, but may have an increased cost associated with switching diets, which may result in a reduced standard metabolic rate and growth rate. In this study, we use the diet specialization often seen in polymorphic Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) populations to study the effects of different prey on standard metabolic rate and growth rate as well as the effects that early prey specialization may have on the ability to process other prey types efficiently. We found a significant effect of prey type on standard metabolic rate and growth rate. Furthermore, we found evidence of diet specialization with all fish maintaining a standard metabolic rate and growth rate lower than expected when fed on a diet different to which they were raised, possibly due to a maladaptation in digestion of alternative prey items. Our results show that early diet specialization may be reinforced by the elevated costs of prey switching, thus promoting the process of resource specialization during the incipient stages of sympatric divergence. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  16. Ocean acidification affects prey detection by a predatory reef fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid L Cripps

    Full Text Available Changes in olfactory-mediated behaviour caused by elevated CO(2 levels in the ocean could affect recruitment to reef fish populations because larval fish become more vulnerable to predation. However, it is currently unclear how elevated CO(2 will impact the other key part of the predator-prey interaction--the predators. We investigated the effects of elevated CO(2 and reduced pH on olfactory preferences, activity levels and feeding behaviour of a common coral reef meso-predator, the brown dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus. Predators were exposed to either current-day CO(2 levels or one of two elevated CO(2 levels (∼600 µatm or ∼950 µatm that may occur by 2100 according to climate change predictions. Exposure to elevated CO(2 and reduced pH caused a shift from preference to avoidance of the smell of injured prey, with CO(2 treated predators spending approximately 20% less time in a water stream containing prey odour compared with controls. Furthermore, activity levels of fish was higher in the high CO(2 treatment and feeding activity was lower for fish in the mid CO(2 treatment; indicating that future conditions may potentially reduce the ability of the fish to respond rapidly to fluctuations in food availability. Elevated activity levels of predators in the high CO(2 treatment, however, may compensate for reduced olfactory ability, as greater movement facilitated visual detection of food. Our findings show that, at least for the species tested to date, both parties in the predator-prey relationship may be affected by ocean acidification. Although impairment of olfactory-mediated behaviour of predators might reduce the risk of predation for larval fishes, the magnitude of the observed effects of elevated CO(2 acidification appear to be more dramatic for prey compared to predators. Thus, it is unlikely that the altered behaviour of predators is sufficient to fully compensate for the effects of ocean acidification on prey mortality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Lipid metabolism-related gene expression pattern of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus L.) larvae fed on live prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betancor, Mónica B; Ortega, Aurelio; de la Gándara, Fernando; Tocher, Douglas R; Mourente, Gabriel

    2017-04-01

    The present study is the first to evaluate lipid metabolism in first-feeding Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT; Thunnus thynnus L.) larvae fed different live prey including enriched rotifers Brachionus plicatilis and Acartia sp. copepod nauplii from 2 days after hatch. Understanding the molecular basis of lipid metabolism and regulation in ABT will provide insights to optimize diet formulations for this high-value species new to aquaculture. To this end, we investigated the effect of dietary lipid on whole larvae lipid class and fatty acid compositions and the expression of key genes involved in lipid metabolism in first feeding ABT larvae fed different live prey. Additionally, the expression of lipid metabolism genes in tissues of adult broodstock ABT was evaluated. Growth and survival data indicated that copepods were the best live prey for first feeding ABT and that differences in growth performance and lipid metabolism observed between larvae from different year classes could be a consequence of broodstock nutrition. In addition, expression patterns of lipid metabolic genes observed in ABT larvae in the trials could reflect differences in lipid class and fatty acid compositions of the live prey. The lipid nutritional requirements, including essential fatty acid requirements of larval ABT during the early feeding stages, are unknown, and the present study represents a first step in addressing these highly relevant issues. However, further studies are required to determine nutritional requirements and understand lipid metabolism during development of ABT larvae and to apply the knowledge to the commercial culture of this iconic species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Coral reef fish predator maintains olfactory acuity in degraded coral habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Natt

    Full Text Available Coral reefs around the world are rapidly degrading due to a range of environmental stressors. Habitat degradation modifies the sensory landscape within which predator-prey interactions occur, with implications for olfactory-mediated behaviours. Predator naïve settlement-stage damselfish rely on conspecific damage-released odours (i.e., alarm odours to inform risk assessments. Yet, species such as the Ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, become unable to respond appropriately to these cues when living in dead-degraded coral habitats, leading to increased mortality through loss of vigilance. Reef fish predators also rely on odours from damaged prey to locate, assess prey quality and engage in prey-stealing, but it is unknown whether their responses are also modified by the change to dead-degraded coral habitats. Implications for prey clearly depend on how their predatory counterparts are affected, therefore the present study tested whether olfactory-mediated foraging responses in the dusky dottyback, Pseudochromis fuscus, a common predator of P. amboinensis, were similarly affected by coral degradation. A y-maze was used to measure the ability of Ps. fuscus to detect and move towards odours, against different background water sources. Ps. fuscus were exposed to damage-released odours from juvenile P. amboinensis, or a control cue of seawater, against a background of seawater treated with either healthy or dead-degraded hard coral. Predators exhibited an increased time allocation to the chambers of y-mazes injected with damage-released odours, with comparable levels of response in both healthy and dead-degraded coral treated waters. In control treatments, where damage-released odours were replaced with a control seawater cue, fish showed no increased preference for either chamber of the y-maze. Our results suggest that olfactory-mediated foraging behaviours may persist in Ps. fuscus within dead-degraded coral habitats. Ps. fuscus may

  1. Influence of habitat on behavior of Towndsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpe, Peter B.; Van Horne, Beatrice

    1998-01-01

    Trade-offs between foraging and predator avoidance may affect an animal's survival and reproduction. These trade-offs may be influenced by differences in vegetative cover, especially if foraging profitability and predation risk differ among habitats. We examined above-ground activity of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) in four habitats in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southwestern Idaho to determine if behavior of ground squirrels varied among habitats, and we assessed factors that might affect perceived predation risk (i. e. predator detectability, predation pressure, population density). The proportion of time spent in vigilance by ground squirrels in winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata) and mosaic habitats of winterfat-sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) was more than twice that of ground squirrels in burned and unburned sagebrush habitats. We found no evidence for the 'many-eyes' hypothesis as an explanation for differences in vigilance among habitats. Instead, environmental heterogeneity, especially vegetation structure, likely influenced activity budgets of ground squirrels. Differences in vigilance may have been caused by differences in predator detectability and refuge availability, because ground squirrels in the winterfat and mosaic habitats also spent more time in upright vigilant postures than ground squirrels in burned-sagebrush or sagebrush habitats. Such postures may enhance predator detection in low-growing winterfat.

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Osprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vana-Miller, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Habitat loss, not fragmentation, drives occurrence patterns of Canada lynx at the southern range periphery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan L Hornseth

    Full Text Available Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30% than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the 'flexibility hypothesis' predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the 'threshold hypothesis' and 'flexibility hypothesis'. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the 'flexibility hypothesis'. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat

  4. Habitat loss, not fragmentation, drives occurrence patterns of Canada lynx at the southern range periphery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornseth, Megan L; Walpole, Aaron A; Walton, Lyle R; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30%) than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the 'flexibility hypothesis' predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the 'threshold hypothesis' and 'flexibility hypothesis'. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the 'flexibility hypothesis'. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat alteration.