WorldWideScience

Sample records for include habitat prey

  1. Barred Owl Habitat and Prey: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature

    OpenAIRE

    Livezey, Kent B.

    2007-01-01

    Barred Owls (Strix varia) historically inhabited the forests of eastern North America. During the last century, they expanded their range to include forests throughout the southern provinces of Canada, southeastern Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California. To date, there has been no synthesis of the varied habitats or prey used by Barred Owls in their expanded range. Here I review and synthesize studies concerning habitat (N  =  114) and prey (N  =  43) of Barred ...

  2. 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.

  3. Turing patterns induced by cross-diffusion in a predator-prey system in presence of habitat complexity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghorai, Santu; Poria, Swarup

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we have investigated the phenomena of Turing pattern formation in a predator-prey model with habitat complexity in presence of cross diffusion. Using the linear stability analysis, the conditions for the existence of stationary pattern and the existence of Hopf bifurcation are obtained. It is shown analytically that the presence of cross diffusion in the system supports the formation of Turing pattern. Two parameter bifurcation analysis are done analytically and corresponding bifurcation diagrams are presented numerically. A series of simulation results are plotted for different biologically meaningful parameter values. Effects of variation of habitat complexity and the predator mortality rate and birth rate of prey on pattern formation are also reported. It is shown that cross-diffusion can lead to a wide variety of spatial and spatiotemporal pattern formation. It is found that the model exhibits spot and stripe pattern, and coexistence of both spot and strip patterns under the zero flux boundary condition. It is observed that cross-diffusion, habitat complexity, birth rate of prey and predator’s mortality rate play a significant role in the pattern formation of a distributed population system of predator-prey type.

  4. 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

  5. The nutritional nexus: linking niche, habitat variability and prey composition in a generalist marine predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E; Miller, Mark G R; Silva, Fabiola R O; Amiot, Christophe; Stockin, Karen A; Senior, Alistair M; Schuckard, Rob; Melville, David; Raubenheimer, David

    2018-06-05

    1.Our understanding of the niche concept will remain limited while the quantity and range of different food types eaten remains a dominant proxy for niche breadth, as this does not account for the broad ecological context that governs diet. Linking nutrition, physiology and behaviour are critical to predict the extent to which a species adjusts its nutritional niche breadth at the levels of prey ("prey composition niche", defined as the range of prey compositions eaten), and diet ("realized nutritional niche" is the range of diets composed through feeding on the prey). 2.Here we studied adult-chick rearing Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) to propose an integrative approach using sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa), geographic location and bathymetry over different years, to explore their relationship with the nutritional composition of prey and diets (i.e., prey composition and nutritional niche breadth), habitat use and foraging behavior. 3.We found that gannets feed on prey that varied widely in their nutritional composition (have a broad prey composition niche), and composed diets from these prey that likewise varied in composition (have a broad realized nutritional niche), suggesting generalism at two levels of macronutrient selection. 4.Across seasons, we established "nutritional landscapes" (hereafter nutriscapes), linking the nutritional content of prey (wet mass protein to-lipid ratio -P:L-) to the most likely geographic area of capture and bathymetry. Nutriscapes varied in their P:L from 6.06 to 15.28, over time, space and bathymetry (0 to 150 m). 5.During warm water events (strong positive SSTa), gannets expanded their foraging habitat, increased their foraging trip duration and consumed prey and diets with low macronutrient content (wet mass proportions of P and L). They were also constrained to the smallest prey composition and realized nutritional niche breadths. 6.Our findings are consistent with previous suggestions that dietary generalism

  6. 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.

  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. Habitat selection by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is primarily driven by avoidance of human activity during day and prey availability during night.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filla, Marc; Premier, Joseph; Magg, Nora; Dupke, Claudia; Khorozyan, Igor; Waltert, Matthias; Bufka, Luděk; Heurich, Marco

    2017-08-01

    The greatest threat to the protected Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx ) in Central Europe is human-induced mortality. As the availability of lynx prey often peaks in human-modified areas, lynx have to balance successful prey hunting with the risk of encounters with humans. We hypothesized that lynx minimize this risk by adjusting habitat choices to the phases of the day and over seasons. We predicted that (1) due to avoidance of human-dominated areas during daytime, lynx range use is higher at nighttime, that (2) prey availability drives lynx habitat selection at night, whereas high cover, terrain inaccessibility, and distance to human infrastructure drive habitat selection during the day, and that (3) habitat selection also differs between seasons, with altitude being a dominant factor in winter. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed telemetry data (GPS, VHF) of 10 lynx in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Germany, Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2013 using generalized additive mixed models and considering various predictor variables. Night ranges exceeded day ranges by more than 10%. At night, lynx selected open habitats, such as meadows, which are associated with high ungulate abundance. By contrast, during the day, lynx selected habitats offering dense understorey cover and rugged terrain away from human infrastructure. In summer, land-cover type greatly shaped lynx habitats, whereas in winter, lynx selected lower altitudes. We concluded that open habitats need to be considered for more realistic habitat models and contribute to future management and conservation (habitat suitability, carrying capacity) of Eurasian lynx in Central Europe.

  9. Prey distribution, physical habitat features, and guild traits interact to produce contrasting shorebird assemblages among foraging patches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beth M VanDusen

    Full Text Available Worldwide declines in shorebird populations, driven largely by habitat loss and degradation, motivate environmental managers to preserve and restore the critical coastal habitats on which these birds depend. Effective habitat management requires an understanding of the factors that determine habitat use and value to shorebirds, extending from individuals to the entire community. While investigating the factors that influenced shorebird foraging distributions among neighboring intertidal sand flats, we built upon species-level understandings of individual-based, small-scale foraging decisions to develop more comprehensive guild- and community-level insights. We found that densities and community composition of foraging shorebirds varied substantially among elevations within some tidal flats and among five flats despite their proximity (all located within a 400-m stretch of natural, unmodified inlet shoreline. Non-dimensional multivariate analyses revealed that the changing composition of the shorebird community among flats and tidal elevations correlated significantly (ρ(s = 0.56 with the spatial structure of the benthic invertebrate prey community. Sediment grain-sizes affected shorebird community spatial patterns indirectly by influencing benthic macroinvertebrate community compositions. Furthermore, combining sediment and macroinvertebrate information produced a 27% increase in correlation (ρ(s = 0.71 with shorebird assemblage patterns over the correlation of the bird community with the macroinvertebrate community alone. Beyond its indirect effects acting through prey distributions, granulometry of the flats influenced shorebird foraging directly by modifying prey availability. Our study highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity, showing that no single patch type was ideal for the entire shorebird community. Generally, shorebird density and diversity were greatest at lower elevations on flats when they became exposed; these

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Fear on the move: predator hunting mode predicts variation in prey mortality and plasticity in prey spatial response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Ament, Judith M; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2014-01-01

    Ecologists have long searched for a framework of a priori species traits to help predict predator-prey interactions in food webs. Empirical evidence has shown that predator hunting mode and predator and prey habitat domain are useful traits for explaining predator-prey interactions. Yet, individual experiments have yet to replicate predator hunting mode, calling into question whether predator impacts can be attributed to hunting mode or merely species identity. We tested the effects of spider predators with sit-and-wait, sit-and-pursue and active hunting modes on grasshopper habitat domain, activity and mortality in a grassland system. We replicated hunting mode by testing two spider predator species of each hunting mode on the same grasshopper prey species. We observed grasshoppers with and without each spider species in behavioural cages and measured their mortality rates, movements and habitat domains. We likewise measured the movements and habitat domains of spiders to characterize hunting modes. We found that predator hunting mode explained grasshopper mortality and spider and grasshopper movement activity and habitat domain size. Sit-and-wait spider predators covered small distances over a narrow domain space and killed fewer grasshoppers than sit-and-pursue and active predators, which ranged farther distances across broader domains and killed more grasshoppers, respectively. Prey adjusted their activity levels and horizontal habitat domains in response to predator presence and hunting mode: sedentary sit-and-wait predators with narrow domains caused grasshoppers to reduce activity in the same-sized domain space; more mobile sit-and-pursue predators with broader domains caused prey to reduce their activity within a contracted horizontal (but not vertical) domain space; and highly mobile active spiders led grasshoppers to increase their activity across the same domain area. All predators impacted prey activity, and sit-and-pursue predators generated strong

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Behavioral response races, predator-prey shell games, ecology of fear, and patch use of pumas and their ungulate prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laundré, John W

    2010-10-01

    The predator-prey shell game predicts random movement of prey across the landscape, whereas the behavioral response race and landscape of fear models predict that there should be a negative relationship between the spatial distribution of a predator and its behaviorally active prey. Additionally, prey have imperfect information on the whereabouts of their predator, which the predator should incorporate in its patch use strategy. I used a one-predator-one-prey system, puma (Puma concolor)-mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) to test the following predictions regarding predator-prey distribution and patch use by the predator. (1) Pumas will spend more time in high prey risk/low prey use habitat types, while deer will spend their time in low-risk habitats. Pumas should (2) select large forage patches more often, (3) remain in large patches longer, and (4) revisit individual large patches more often than individual smaller ones. I tested these predictions with an extensive telemetry data set collected over 16 years in a study area of patchy forested habitat. When active, pumas spent significantly less time in open areas of low intrinsic predation risk than did deer. Pumas used large patches more than expected, revisited individual large patches significantly more often than smaller ones, and stayed significantly longer in larger patches than in smaller ones. The results supported the prediction of a negative relationship in the spatial distribution of a predator and its prey and indicated that the predator is incorporating the prey's imperfect information about its presence. These results indicate a behavioral complexity on the landscape scale that can have far-reaching impacts on predator-prey interactions.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogdan, Vlastimil; Jůnek, Tomáš; Jůnková Vymyslická, Pavla

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus) is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates-10 mammals (including Sus philippensis), 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62); the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40). Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats' activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats' temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga) was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary rainforest and a

  19. Assigning delivered prey to visited habitat : the potential of combining video monitoring at nest and radio telemetry tested on female Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus)

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, Mikkel Emil

    2012-01-01

    In this study I used a combination of video monitoring and high intensity radio telemetry to assign specific prey items to habitat visited by female Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) during the breeding season of 2011 in Trysil, eastern Norway. I used the combined dataset comprising 63 locations reliably paired with prey items taken by five female kestrels to investigate: (1) The probability of a prey item belonging to family Cricetidae and genus Microtus in four observed and four map-der...

  20. Pb and Cd bioaccumulations in the habitat and preys of red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) in Zhalong Wetland, Northeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jinming; Yin, Xiongrui; Ya, Yajie; Wang, Yongjie; Zang, Shuying; Zhou, Xia

    2013-12-01

    Pb and Cd concentrations in the habitat and preys of the red-crowned crane (i.e., reed rhizomes and three typical aquatic animal families (Perccottus glehni Dybowski, Carassius auratus Linnaeus, and Viviparidae)) were analyzed to examine the impact of these hazards on red-crowned cranes in northeastern China. Results indicated that Pb and Cd concentrations in the preys of the red-crowned cranes were elevated via food chain. Most of the detected Pb and Cd contents in the sediments were above the natural background level, ranging from 9.85 to 129.72 ppm and 1.23 to 10.63 ppm (dry weight), respectively. Cd geo-accumulation index at all sites were larger than 3, even reached 5.22, suggesting serious pollution in this region. Three common water animal families were detected to contain heavy metals, following the order of increasing concentrations: primary consumers (i.e., Viviparidae and Carassius auratus Linnaeus) cranes showed the highest toxic metal concentrations of Pb (2.09 to 5.81 ppm) and Cd (1.42 to 3.06 ppm) compared with the feces produced by cranes and residual eggshell left by water fowls. Exceptionally high Pb and Cd concentrations in the cranes and their preys were thought to be associated with their habitat.

  1. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vlastimil Bogdan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates–10 mammals (including Sus philippensis, 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus. The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62; the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40. Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats’ activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats’ temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris. Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary

  2. 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.

  3. The effect of structural complexity, prey density, and "predator-free space" on prey survivorship at created oyster reef mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphries, Austin T.; La Peyre, Megan K.; Decossas, Gary A.

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between predators and their prey are influenced by the habitat they occupy. Using created oyster (Crassostrea virginica) reef mesocosms, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments that created structure and manipulated complexity as well as prey density and “predator-free space” to examine the relationship between structural complexity and prey survivorship. Specifically, volume and spatial arrangement of oysters as well as prey density were manipulated, and the survivorship of prey (grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio) in the presence of a predator (wild red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus) was quantified. We found that the presence of structure increased prey survivorship, and that increasing complexity of this structure further increased survivorship, but only to a point. This agrees with the theory that structural complexity may influence predator-prey dynamics, but that a threshold exists with diminishing returns. These results held true even when prey density was scaled to structural complexity, or the amount of “predator-free space” was manipulated within our created reef mesocosms. The presence of structure and its complexity (oyster shell volume) were more important in facilitating prey survivorship than perceived refugia or density-dependent prey effects. A more accurate indicator of refugia might require “predator-free space” measures that also account for the available area within the structure itself (i.e., volume) and not just on the surface of a structure. Creating experiments that better mimic natural conditions and test a wider range of “predator-free space” are suggested to better understand the role of structural complexity in oyster reefs and other complex habitats.

  4. Encounter success of free-ranging marine predator movements across a dynamic prey landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, David W; Witt, Matthew J; Richardson, Anthony J; Southall, Emily J; Metcalfe, Julian D

    2006-05-22

    Movements of wide-ranging top predators can now be studied effectively using satellite and archival telemetry. However, the motivations underlying movements remain difficult to determine because trajectories are seldom related to key biological gradients, such as changing prey distributions. Here, we use a dynamic prey landscape of zooplankton biomass in the north-east Atlantic Ocean to examine active habitat selection in the plankton-feeding basking shark Cetorhinus maximus. The relative success of shark searches across this landscape was examined by comparing prey biomass encountered by sharks with encounters by random-walk simulations of 'model' sharks. Movements of transmitter-tagged sharks monitored for 964 days (16754 km estimated minimum distance) were concentrated on the European continental shelf in areas characterized by high seasonal productivity and complex prey distributions. We show movements by adult and sub-adult sharks yielded consistently higher prey encounter rates than 90% of random-walk simulations. Behavioural patterns were consistent with basking sharks using search tactics structured across multiple scales to exploit the richest prey areas available in preferred habitats. Simple behavioural rules based on learned responses to previously encountered prey distributions may explain the high performances. This study highlights how dynamic prey landscapes enable active habitat selection in large predators to be investigated from a trophic perspective, an approach that may inform conservation by identifying critical habitat of vulnerable species.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Partitioning mechanisms of predator interference in different habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Myxobacteria Are Able to Prey Broadly upon Clinically-Relevant Pathogens, Exhibiting a Prey Range Which Cannot Be Explained by Phylogeny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul G. Livingstone

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Myxobacteria are natural predators of microorganisms and the subjects of concerted efforts to identify novel antimicrobial compounds. Myxobacterial predatory activity seems to require more than just the possession of specific antimicrobial metabolites. Thus a holistic approach to studying predation promises novel insights into antimicrobial action. Here, we report the isolation of 113 myxobacteria from samples of soil taken from a range of habitats in mid Wales. Predatory activity of each isolate was quantified against a panel of clinically important prey organisms, including Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Candida albicans, Enterococcus faecalis, and three species of Staphylococcus. Myxobacterial isolates exhibited a wide range of predation activity profiles against the panel of prey. Efficient predation of all prey by isolates within the collection was observed, with K. pneumoniae and C. albicans proving particularly susceptible to myxobacterial predation. Notably efficient predators tended to be proficient at predating multiple prey organisms, suggesting they possess gene(s encoding a broad range killing activity. However, predatory activity was not congruent with phylogeny, suggesting prey range is subject to relatively rapid specialization, potentially involving lateral gene transfer. The broad but patchy prey ranges observed for natural myxobacterial isolates also implies multiple (potentially overlapping genetic determinants are responsible for dictating predatory activity.

  10. 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

  11. Changes in Alaskan soft-bottom prey communities along a gradient in sea otter predation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kvitek, R.G.; Oliver, J.S.; DeGange, A.R.; Anderson, B.S.

    1992-01-01

    Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris), well documented as "keystone" predators in rocky marine communities, were found to exert a strong influence on infaunal prey communities in soft-sediment habitats. Direct and indirect effects of sea otter predation on subtidal soft-bottom prey communities were evaluated along a temporal gradient of sea otter occupancy around the Kodiak Archipelago. The results indicate that Kodiak otters forage primarily on bivalve prey and dramatically reduce infaunal bivalve and green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) prey populations. Bivalve prey abundance, biomass, and size were inversely related to duration of sea otter occupancy. The relative conditions of shells discarded by otters in shallow ( 20 m) water at the same sites indicate that otters first exploited Saxidomus in shallow-water feeding areas, and later switched to Macoma spp. in deeper water. Otter-cracked shells of the deep-burrowing clam Tresus capax were rarely found, even at otter foraging sites where the clam accounted for the majority of available prey biomass, suggesting that it has a partial depth refuge from otter predation. The indirect effects of otter predation included substratum disturbance and the facilitation of sea star predation on infaunal prey. Sea stars, Pycnopodia helianthoides, were attracted to experimentally dug excavations as well as natural sea otter foraging pits, where the sea stars foraged on smaller size classes of infaunal bivalves than those eaten by otters. Otters also discard clam shells on the sediment surface and expose old, buried shells during excavation. Surface shells were found to provide attachment sites for large anemones and kelp. Our study shows that sea otters can affect soft-sediment communities, not only through predation, as in rocky habitats, but also through disturbance, and thus retain a high degree of influence in two very different habitat types.

  12. 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.

  13. The energetic consequences of habitat structure for forest stream salmonids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naman, Sean M; Rosenfeld, Jordan S; Kiffney, Peter M; Richardson, John S

    2018-05-08

    1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources. Subsequent spatial incongruence between consumers and resources should lead to unimodal or saturating effects of habitat availability on consumer production if increasing the area of habitat suitable for consumer occupancy comes at the expense of habitats that generate resources. However, the shape of this relationship could be sensitive to cross-ecosystem prey subsidies, which may be unrelated to recipient habitat structure and result in more linear habitat effects on consumer production. 3.We investigated habitat-productivity relationships for juveniles of stream-rearing Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), which typically forage in low-velocity pool habitats, while their prey (drifting benthic invertebrates) are produced upstream in high-velocity riffles. However, juvenile salmonids also consume subsidies of terrestrial invertebrates that may be independent of pool-riffle structure. 4.We measured salmonid biomass production in 13 experimental enclosures each containing a downstream pool and upstream riffle, spanning a gradient of relative pool area (14-80% pool). Increasing pool relative to riffle habitat area decreased prey abundance, leading to a nonlinear saturating effect on fish production. We then used bioenergetics model simulations to examine how the relationship between pool area and salmonid biomass is affected by varying levels of

  14. 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 b...

  15. Low leopard populations in protected areas of Maputaland: a consequence of poaching, habitat condition, abundance of prey, and a top predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Kalle, Riddhika; Rosenlund, Havard; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Identifying the primary causes affecting population densities and distribution of flagship species are necessary in developing sustainable management strategies for large carnivore conservation. We modeled drivers of spatial density of the common leopard ( Panthera pardus ) using a spatially explicit capture-recapture-Bayesian approach to understand their population dynamics in the Maputaland Conservation Unit, South Africa. We camera-trapped leopards in four protected areas (PAs) of varying sizes and disturbance levels covering 198 camera stations. Ours is the first study to explore the effects of poaching level, abundance of prey species (small, medium, and large), competitors (lion Panthera leo and spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta ), and habitat on the spatial distribution of common leopard density. Twenty-six male and 41 female leopards were individually identified and estimated leopard density ranged from 1.6 ± 0.62/100 km 2 (smallest PA-Ndumo) to 8.4 ± 1.03/100 km 2 (largest PA-western shores). Although dry forest thickets and plantation habitats largely represented the western shores, the plantation areas had extremely low leopard density compared to native forest. We found that leopard density increased in areas when low poaching levels/no poaching was recorded in dry forest thickets and with high abundance of medium-sized prey, but decreased with increasing abundance of lion. Because local leopard populations are vulnerable to extinction, particularly in smaller PAs, the long-term sustainability of leopard populations depend on developing appropriate management strategies that consider a combination of multiple factors to maintain their optimal habitats.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. 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

  9. A community-level evaluation of the impact of prey behavioural and ecological characteristics on predator diet composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shultz, Susanne; Noë, Ronald; McGraw, W Scott; Dunbar, R I M

    2004-04-07

    Although predation avoidance is the most commonly invoked explanation for vertebrate social evolution, there is little evidence that individuals in larger groups experience lower predation rates than those in small groups. We compare the morphological and behavioural traits of mammal prey species in the Taï forest, Ivory Coast, with the diet preferences of three of their non-human predators: leopards, chimpanzees and African crowned eagles. Individual predators show marked differences in their predation rates on prey species of different body sizes, but clear patterns with prey behaviour were apparent only when differences in prey habitat use were incorporated into the analyses. Leopard predation rates are highest for terrestrial species living in smaller groups, whereas eagle predation rates are negatively correlated with group size only among arboreal prey. When prey predation rates are summed over all three predators, terrestrial species incur higher predation rates than arboreal species and, within both categories, predation rates decline with increasing prey group size and decreasing density of groups in the habitat. These results reveal that it is necessary to consider anti-predator strategies in the context of a dynamic behavioural interaction between predators and prey.

  10. 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.

  11. Prey choice and habitat use drive sea otter pathogen exposure in a resource-limited coastal system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christine K.; Tinker, M. Tim; Estes, James A.; Conrad, Patricia A.; Staedler, Michelle M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Jessup, David A.; Mazet, Jonna A.K.

    2014-01-01

    The processes promoting disease in wild animal populations are highly complex, yet identifying these processes is critically important for conservation when disease is limiting a population. By combining field studies with epidemiologic tools, we evaluated the relationship between key factors impeding southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population growth: disease and resource limitation. This threatened population has struggled to recover despite protection, so we followed radio-tagged sea otters and evaluated infection with 2 disease-causing protozoal pathogens, Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, to reveal risks that increased the likelihood of pathogen exposure. We identified patterns of pathogen infection that are linked to individual animal behavior, prey choice, and habitat use. We detected a high-risk spatial cluster of S. neurona infections in otters with home ranges in southern Monterey Bay and a coastal segment near San Simeon and Cambria where otters had high levels of infection with T. gondii. We found that otters feeding on abalone, which is the preferred prey in a resource-abundant marine ecosystem, had a very low risk of infection with either pathogen, whereas otters consuming small marine snails were more likely to be infected with T. gondii. Individual dietary specialization in sea otters is an adaptive mechanism for coping with limited food resources along central coastal California. High levels of infection with protozoal pathogens may be an adverse consequence of dietary specialization in this threatened species, with both depleted resources and disease working synergistically to limit recovery.

  12. Trait-mediated diversification in nematode predator–prey systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Helder, J.; Vervoort, M.T.W.; Vonk, J.A.

    2011-01-01

    Nematodes are presumably the most numerous Metazoans in terrestrial habitats. They are represented at all trophic levels and are known to respond to nutrient limitation, prey availability, and microbial resources. Predatory nematodes reside at the highest trophic level, and as such their feeding

  13. Management intensity and vegetation complexity affect web-building spiders and their prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, Eva; Mader, Viktoria L; Wolters, Volkmar; Birkhofer, Klaus

    2013-10-01

    Agricultural management and vegetation complexity affect arthropod diversity and may alter trophic interactions between predators and their prey. Web-building spiders are abundant generalist predators and important natural enemies of pests. We analyzed how management intensity (tillage, cutting of the vegetation, grazing by cattle, and synthetic and organic inputs) and vegetation complexity (plant species richness, vegetation height, coverage, and density) affect rarefied richness and composition of web-building spiders and their prey with respect to prey availability and aphid predation in 12 habitats, ranging from an uncut fallow to a conventionally managed maize field. Spiders and prey from webs were collected manually and the potential prey were quantified using sticky traps. The species richness of web-building spiders and the order richness of prey increased with plant diversity and vegetation coverage. Prey order richness was lower at tilled compared to no-till sites. Hemipterans (primarily aphids) were overrepresented, while dipterans, hymenopterans, and thysanopterans were underrepresented in webs compared to sticky traps. The per spider capture efficiency for aphids was higher at tilled than at no-till sites and decreased with vegetation complexity. After accounting for local densities, 1.8 times more aphids were captured at uncut compared to cut sites. Our results emphasize the functional role of web-building spiders in aphid predation, but suggest negative effects of cutting or harvesting. We conclude that reduced management intensity and increased vegetation complexity help to conserve local invertebrate diversity, and that web-building spiders at sites under low management intensity (e.g., semi-natural habitats) contribute to aphid suppression at the landscape scale.

  14. 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.

  15. Managing habitat for prey recovery - an off-site mitigation tool for wind farms' impacts on top avian predators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paula, Anabela; Santos, Joana; Cordeiro, Ana; Costa, Hugo M.; Mascarenhas, Miguel; Reis, Christina

    2011-07-01

    Full text: Several studies reveal that wind farms (WF) have a negative impact on avian communities, pointing raptors as one of the vertebrate groups most affected. It has also been verified that top avian predators are attracted to areas of high prey densities and that risk increases when high number of preys occur in the vicinities of WF. In some studies, the reduction of common preys inside the WF area has been proposed as a mitigation measure. In the Mediterranean ecosystem the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a key species playing a vital role as a prey for a wide spectrum of endangered top predators, like golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Unfortunately, in Portugal wild rabbit populations have declined dramatically and the species is now considered as 'Near Threatened'. In this context, the reduction of rabbit populations is not a desirable mitigation option, being more advantageous the promotion of these populations in areas inside eagles. home range, but relatively far away from the WF. This measure might mitigate the negative impact by promoting the change of eagles. core areas and compensate the mortality by improving eagles. survival and annual productivity. These measures were tested in Northern Portugal during three years, in order to compensate the impact of a power line in two golden eagle couples. Efforts to restore wild rabbit populations were applied in two study areas and focused upon habitat management. To evaluate the management scheme, we monitored rabbit populations in managed and control areas by pellet counts, and the eagle couples through field observations and satellite telemetry. A Hurdle Model was used to test the abundance of rabbit populations, which was significantly higher in managed areas in relation to control areas. Both eagle couples intensely used managed areas and during our study there was a low use of power line vicinity area. Based on the success of this case study we are starting now applying this technique

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobak, Jarosław; Poznańska, Małgorzata; Jermacz, Łukasz; Kakareko, Tomasz; Prądzynski, Daniel; Łodygowska, Małgorzata; Montowska, Karolina; Bącela-Spychalska, Karolina

    2016-01-01

    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, contributing to an

  17. 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

  18. Influence of anuran prey on the condition and distribution of Rana muscosa in the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.L. Pope; K.R. Matthews

    2002-01-01

    Mountain yellow-legged frogs (Rana muscosa) at high elevations of the Sierra Nevada must obtain enough food during summer to survive 7–9 winter months when their aquatic habitats are frozen and food is presumably unavailable. Adults of R. muscosa prey on a variety of organisms, including aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and...

  19. Central-place foraging and ecological effects of an invasive predator across multiple habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2016-10-01

    Cross-habitat foraging movements of predators can have widespread implications for predator and prey populations, community structure, nutrient transfer, and ecosystem function. Although central-place foraging models and other aspects of optimal foraging theory focus on individual predator behavior, they also provide useful frameworks for understanding the effects of predators on prey populations across multiple habitats. However, few studies have examined both the foraging behavior and ecological effects of nonnative predators across multiple habitats, and none has tested whether nonnative predators deplete prey in a manner predicted by these foraging models. I conducted behavioral observations of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) to determine whether they exhibit foraging movements similar to other central-place consumers. Then, I used a manipulative field experiment to test whether their effects on prey populations are consistent with three qualitative predictions from optimal foraging models. Specifically, I predicted that the effects of invasive lionfish on native prey will (1) occur at central sites first and then in surrounding habitats, (2) decrease with increasing distance away from their shelter site, and (3) extend to greater distances when prey patches are spaced closer together. Approximately 40% of lionfish exhibited short-term crepuscular foraging movements into surrounding habitats from the coral patch reefs where they shelter during daylight hours. Over the course of 7 weeks, lionfish depleted native fish populations on the coral patch reefs where they reside, and subsequently on small structures in the surrounding habitat. However, their effects did not decrease with increasing distance from the central shelter site and the influence of patch spacing was opposite the prediction. Instead, lionfish always had the greatest effects in areas with the highest prey densities. The differences between the predicted and observed effects of lionfish

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Lévy flight and Brownian search patterns of a free-ranging predator reflect different prey field characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, David W; Humphries, Nicolas E; Bradford, Russell W; Bruce, Barry D

    2012-03-01

    1. Search processes play an important role in physical, chemical and biological systems. In animal foraging, the search strategy predators should use to search optimally for prey is an enduring question. Some models demonstrate that when prey is sparsely distributed, an optimal search pattern is a specialised random walk known as a Lévy flight, whereas when prey is abundant, simple Brownian motion is sufficiently efficient. These predictions form part of what has been termed the Lévy flight foraging hypothesis (LFF) which states that as Lévy flights optimise random searches, movements approximated by optimal Lévy flights may have naturally evolved in organisms to enhance encounters with targets (e.g. prey) when knowledge of their locations is incomplete. 2. Whether free-ranging predators exhibit the movement patterns predicted in the LFF hypothesis in response to known prey types and distributions, however, has not been determined. We tested this using vertical and horizontal movement data from electronic tagging of an apex predator, the great white shark Carcharodon carcharias, across widely differing habitats reflecting different prey types. 3. Individual white sharks exhibited movement patterns that predicted well the prey types expected under the LFF hypothesis. Shark movements were best approximated by Brownian motion when hunting near abundant, predictable sources of prey (e.g. seal colonies, fish aggregations), whereas movements approximating truncated Lévy flights were present when searching for sparsely distributed or potentially difficult-to-detect prey in oceanic or shelf environments, respectively. 4. That movement patterns approximated by truncated Lévy flights and Brownian behaviour were present in the predicted prey fields indicates search strategies adopted by white sharks appear to be the most efficient ones for encountering prey in the habitats where such patterns are observed. This suggests that C. carcharias appears capable of exhibiting

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    2016-08-17

    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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Prey detection and prey capture in copepod nauplii

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Use of sand wave habitats by silver hake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auster, P.J.; Lindholm, J.; Schaub, S.; Funnell, G.; Kaufman, L.S.; Valentine, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    Silver hake Merluccius bilinearis are common members of fish communities in sand wave habitats on Georges Bank and on Stellwagen Bank in the Gulf of Maine. Observations of fish size v. sand wave period showed that silver hake are not randomly distributed within sand wave landscapes. Regression analyses showed a significant positive relationship between sand wave period and fish length. Correlation coefficients, however, were low, suggesting other interactions with sand wave morphology, the range of current velocities, and available prey may also influence their distribution. Direct contact with sand wave habitats varied over diel periods, with more fish resting on the seafloor during daytime than at night. Social foraging, in the form of polarized groups of fish swimming in linear formations during crepuscular and daytime periods, was also observed. Sand wave habitats may provide shelter from current flows and mediate fish-prey interactions. ?? 2003 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  13. 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

  14. Lionfish misidentification circumvents an optimized escape response by prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Mark I; Allan, Bridie J M

    2016-01-01

    Invasive lionfish represent an unprecedented problem in the Caribbean basin, where they are causing major changes to foodwebs and habitats through their generalized predation on fishes and invertebrates. To ascertain what makes the red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) such a formidable predator, we examined the reaction of a native damselfish prey, the whitetail damsel ( Pomacentrus chrysurus ), to a repeatable startle stimulus once they had been forewarned of the sight or smell of lionfish. Fast-start responses were compared with prey forewarned of a predatory rockcod ( Cephalopholis microprion ), a corallivorous butterflyfish ( Chaetodon trifasctiatus ) and experimental controls. Forewarning of the sight, smell or a combination of the two cues from a rockcod led to reduced escape latencies and higher response distances, speed and maximal speed compared with controls, suggesting that forewarning primed the prey and enabled a more effective escape response. In contrast, forewarning of lionfish did not affect the fast-start kinematics measured, which were the same as in the control and non-predatory butterflyfish treatments. Lionfish appear to be able to circumvent mechanisms commonly used by prey to identify predators and were misclassified as non-predatory, and this is likely to contribute to their success as predators.

  15. Prey utilisation and trophic overlap between the non native mosquitofish and a native fish in two Mediterranean rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KALOGIANNI

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Non native freshwater fish species have been long implicated in the decline of native Mediterranean ichthyofauna, through hybridization, disease transmission, competition for food and habitat, predation and/or ecosystem alteration; our knowledge, however, on the underlying mechanisms of these ecological impacts remains very limited. To explore the potential for trophic competition between the widespread Eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki and its co-occurring native toothcarp Valencia letourneuxi we compared resource use, feeding strategies, trophic selectivities and diet niche overlap. For this purpose, we studied two populations of the two species from a freshwater and a brackish habitat respectively, characterized by different food resource availabilities. In both habitats, the mosquitofish consumed a greater diversity of invertebrates and preyed on terrestrial invertebrates more frequently than the native toothcarp. Furthermore, in the less diverse and less rich brackish habitat, the non native relied heavily on plant material to balance a decrease in animal prey consumption and modified its individual feeding strategy, whereas these adaptive changes were not apparent in the native species. Their diet overlapped, indicating trophic competition, but this overlap was affected by resource availability variation; in the freshwater habitat, there was limited overlap in their diet, whereas in the brackish habitat, their diets and prey selectivities converged and there was high overlap in resource use, indicative of intense interspecific trophic competition. Overall, it appears that the underlying mechanism of the putative negative impacts of the mosquitofish on the declining Corfu toothcarp is mainly trophic competition, regulated by resource variability, though there is also evidence of larvae predation by the mosquitofish.

  16. 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

    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 v...

  17. Following a Foraging Fish-Finder: Diel Habitat Use of Blainville's Beaked Whales Revealed by Echolocation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arranz, Patricia; de Soto, Natacha Aguilar; Madsen, Peter T.; Brito, Alberto; Bordes, Fernando; Johnson, Mark P.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22163295

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. Feral Cats Are Better Killers in Open Habitats, Revealed by Animal-Borne Video.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Hugh; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Christopher N

    2015-01-01

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navalpotro, H.

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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)

  8. 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

  9. Beneficial Insect Borders Provide Northern Bobwhite Brood Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, Christopher E.; Plush, Charles J.; Orr, David B.; Reberg-Horton, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Strips of fallow vegetation along cropland borders are an effective strategy for providing brood habitat for declining populations of upland game birds (Order: Galliformes), including northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), but fallow borders lack nectar-producing vegetation needed to sustain many beneficial insect populations (e.g., crop pest predators, parasitoids, and pollinator species). Planted borders that contain mixes of prairie flowers and grasses are designed to harbor more diverse arthropod communities, but the relative value of these borders as brood habitat is unknown. We used groups of six human-imprinted northern bobwhite chicks as a bioassay for comparing four different border treatments (planted native grass and prairie flowers, planted prairie flowers only, fallow vegetation, or mowed vegetation) as northern bobwhite brood habitat from June-August 2009 and 2010. All field border treatments were established around nine organic crop fields. Groups of chicks were led through borders for 30-min foraging trials and immediately euthanized, and eaten arthropods in crops and gizzards were measured to calculate a foraging rate for each border treatment. We estimated arthropod prey availability within each border treatment using a modified blower-vac to sample arthropods at the vegetation strata where chicks foraged. Foraging rate did not differ among border treatments in 2009 or 2010. Total arthropod prey densities calculated from blower-vac samples did not differ among border treatments in 2009 or 2010. Our results showed plant communities established to attract beneficial insects should maximize the biodiversity potential of field border establishment by providing habitat for beneficial insects and young upland game birds. PMID:24376759

  10. 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.

  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. 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...

  13. Tests for attraction to prey and predator avoidance by chemical cues in spiders of the beech forest floor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wetter, Melissa B.

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Spiders leave draglines, faeces and other secretions behind when traveling through their microhabitat. The presence of these secretions may unintentionally inform other animals, prey as well as predators, about a recent and possible current predation risk or food availability. For a wolf spider, other spiders including smaller conspecifics, form a substantial part of their prey, and larger wolf spiders, again including conspecifics, are potential predators. We tested two hypotheses: that large wolf spiders may locate patches of potential spider prey through the presence of silk threads and/or other secretions; and that prey spiders may use secretions from large wolf spiders to avoid patches with high predation risk. We used large (subadult or adult Pardosa saltans to provide predator cues and mixed dwarf spiders or small (juvenile P. saltans to provide prey cues. Subadult wolf spiders were significantly attracted to litter contaminated by dwarf spiders or small conspecifics after 6 hours but no longer after 24 hours. In contrast, neither dwarf spiders nor small P. saltans showed significant avoidance of substrate contaminated by adult P. saltans. However, small P. saltans showed different activity patterns on the two substrates. The results indicate that wolf spiders are able to increase the efficiency of foraging by searching preferentially in patches with the presence of intraguild prey. The lack of a clear patch selection response of the prey in spite of a modified activity pattern may possibly be associated with the vertical stratification of the beech litter habitat: the reduced volume of spaces in the deeper layers could make downward rather than horizontal movement a fast and safe tactic against a large predator that cannot enter these spaces.

  14. Assessment of prey vulnerability through analysis of wolf movements and kill sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Eric J; Garrott, Robert A; Creel, Scott; Borkowski, John J; Jaffe, Rosemary; Watson, E G R

    2006-02-01

    Within predator-prey systems behavior can heavily influence spatial dynamics, and accordingly, the theoretical study of how spatial dynamics relate to stability within these systems has a rich history. However, our understanding of these behaviors in large mammalian systems is poorly developed. To address the relationship between predator selection patterns, prey density, and prey vulnerability, we quantified selection patterns for two fine-scale behaviors of a recovering wolf (Canis lupus) population in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Wolf spatial data were collected between November and May from 1998-1999 until 2001-2002. Over four winters, 244 aerial locations, 522 ground-based telemetry locations, 1287 km of movement data from snow tracking, and the locations of 279 wolf kill sites were recorded. There was evidence that elk (Cervus elaphus) and bison (Bison bison) densities had a weak effect on the sites where wolves traveled and made kills. Wolf movements showed a strong selection for geothermal areas, meadows, and areas near various types of habitat edges. Proximity to edge and habitat class also had a strong influence on the locations where elk were most vulnerable to predation. There was little evidence that wolf kill sites differed from the places where wolves traveled, indicating that elk vulnerability influenced where wolves selected to travel. Our results indicate that elk are more vulnerable to wolves under certain conditions and that wolves are capable of selecting for these conditions. As such, vulnerability plays a central role in predator-prey behavioral games and can potentially impact the systems to which they relate.

  15. The impact of rural-urban gradient and spatial distribution on predation rates on sentinel prey in a riparian forest in Hungary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eötvös, Csaba Béla; Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gabor L.

    2015-01-01

    is the predation pressure in this kind of habitat? (2) What are the differences in predation between rural, suburban and urban habitats? (3) What inter-prey distances are necessary for different predator groups that the dummy caterpillars would be independent? We found 17.76% overall predation rate, decreasing...... from rural to urban habitats (33.5%, 18.29% and 3.91%, respectively). Most of the ground level arthropod predation was related to carabids. We applied variogram analysis to acquire optimal placement distances. According to our results, in case all of the predators (except mammals), 5-10 m distances......Measuring predation rates under field conditions is rife with ecological and logistical difficulties. The use of artificial sentinel prey offers a simple and cheap possibility to comparable predation activity in various habitats by various predator groups. This method can replace the classical...

  16. 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.

  17. Are all prey created equal? A review and synthesis of differential predation on prey in substandard condition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

    Our understanding of predator-prey interactions in fishes has been influenced largely by research assuming that the condition of the participants is normal. However, fish populations today often reside in anthropogenically altered environments and are subjected to many kinds of stressors, which may reduce their ecological performance by adversely affecting their morphology, physiology, or behaviour. One consequence is that either the predator or prey, or both, may be in a substandard condition at the time of an interaction. We reviewed the literature on predator-prey interactions in fishes where substandard prey were used as experimental groups. Although most of this research indicates that such prey are significantly more vulnerable to predation, prey condition has rarely been considered in ecological theory regarding predator-prey interactions. The causal mechanisms for increased vulnerability of substandard prey to predation include a failure to detect predators, lapses in decision-making, poor fast-start performance, inability to shoal effectively, and increased prey conspicuousness. Despite some problems associated with empirical predator-prey studies using substandard prey, their results can have theoretical and applied uses, such as in ecological modelling or justification of corrective measures to be implemented in the wild. There is a need for more corroborative field experimentation, a better understanding of the causal mechanisms behind differential predation, and increased incorporation of prey condition into the research of predator-prey modellers and theoreticians. If the concept of prey condition is considered in predator-prey interactions, our understanding of how such interactions influence the structure and dynamics of fish communities is likely to change, which should prove beneficial to aquatic ecosystems.

  18. Diet, abundance and distribution as indices of turbot ( Psetta maxima L.) release habitat suitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz; Støttrup, Josianne

    2008-01-01

    , natural abundance, and depth distribution within the habitats. A marked difference was found among habitats in the timing of the diet change from the suboptimal exoskeleton carrying prey items such as crustaceans to fish. The habitat where the wild turbot had the lowest occurrence of fish in their diet...

  19. 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

  20. Penguin head movement detected using small accelerometers: a proxy of prey encounter rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokubun, Nobuo; Kim, Jeong-Hoon; Shin, Hyoung-Chul; Naito, Yasuhiko; Takahashi, Akinori

    2011-11-15

    Determining temporal and spatial variation in feeding rates is essential for understanding the relationship between habitat features and the foraging behavior of top predators. In this study we examined the utility of head movement as a proxy of prey encounter rates in medium-sized Antarctic penguins, under the presumption that the birds should move their heads actively when they encounter and peck prey. A field study of free-ranging chinstrap and gentoo penguins was conducted at King George Island, Antarctica. Head movement was recorded using small accelerometers attached to the head, with simultaneous monitoring for prey encounter or body angle. The main prey was Antarctic krill (>99% in wet mass) for both species. Penguin head movement coincided with a slow change in body angle during dives. Active head movements were extracted using a high-pass filter (5 Hz acceleration signals) and the remaining acceleration peaks (higher than a threshold acceleration of 1.0 g) were counted. The timing of head movements coincided well with images of prey taken from the back-mounted cameras: head movement was recorded within ±2.5 s of a prey image on 89.1±16.1% (N=7 trips) of images. The number of head movements varied largely among dive bouts, suggesting large temporal variations in prey encounter rates. Our results show that head movement is an effective proxy of prey encounter, and we suggest that the method will be widely applicable for a variety of predators.

  1. 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

  2. Food abundance, prey morphology, and diet specialization influence individual sea otter tool use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Jessica A.; Ralls, Katherine; Tinker, M. Tim

    2017-01-01

    Sea otters are well-known tool users, employing objects such as rocks or shells to break open invertebrate prey. We used a series of generalized linear mixed effect models to examine observational data on prey capture and tool use from 211 tagged individuals from 5 geographically defined study areas throughout the sea otter’s range in California. Our best supported model was able to explain 75% of the variation in the frequency of tool use by individual sea otters with only ecological and demographic variables. In one study area, where sea otter food resources were abundant, all individuals had similar diets focusing on preferred prey items and used tools at low to moderate frequencies (4–38% of prey captures). In the remaining areas, where sea otters were food-limited, individuals specialized on different subsets of the available prey and had a wider range of average tool-use frequency (0–98% of prey captures). The prevalence of difficult-to-access prey in individual diets was a major predictor of tool use and increased the likelihood of using tools on prey that were not difficult to access as well. Age, sex, and feeding habitat also contributed to the probability of tool use but to a smaller extent. We developed a conceptual model illustrating how food abundance, the prevalence of difficult-to-access prey, and individual diet specialization interacted to determine the likelihood that individual sea otters would use tools and considered the model’s relevance to other tool-using species.

  3. Spatial distribution of lion kills determined by the water dependency of prey species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Vis, M.J.P.; Knegt, de H.J.; Rowles, C.; Kohi, E.; Langevelde, van F.; Peel, M.J.S.; Pretorius, Y.; Skidmore, A.K.; Slotow, R.; Wieren, van S.E.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2010-01-01

    Predation risk from lions (Panthera leo) has been linked to habitat characteristics and availability and traits of prey. We separated the effects of vegetation density and the presence of drinking water by analyzing locations of lion kills in relation to rivers with dense vegetation, which offer

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  5. Arthropod prey of Wilson's Warblers in the understory of Douglas-fir forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, J.C.; Dugger, K.M.; Starkey, E.E.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of food resources is an important factor in avian habitat selection. Food resources for terrestrial birds often are closely related to vegetation structure and composition. Identification of plant species important in supporting food resources may facilitate vegetation management to achieve objectives for providing bird habitat. We used fecal analysis to describe the diet of adult Wilson's Warblers (Wilsonia pusilla) that foraged in the understory of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in western Oregon during the breeding season. We sampled arthropods at the same sites where diet data were collected, and compared abundance and biomass of prey among seven common shrub species. Wilson's Warblers ate more caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and Homoptera than expected based on availability. Deciduous shrubs supported higher abundances of arthropod taxa and size classes used as prey by Wilson's Warblers than did evergreen shrubs. The development and maintenance of deciduous understory vegetation in conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest may be fundamental for conservation of food webs that support breeding Wilson's Warblers and other shrub-associated, insectivorous songbirds.

  6. Prey-mediated avoidance of an intraguild predator by its intraguild prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, R.R.; Blankenship, T.L.; Hooten, M.B.; Shivik, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Intraguild (IG) predation is an important factor influencing community structure, yet factors allowing coexistence of IG predator and IG prey are not well understood. The existence of spatial refuges for IG prey has recently been noted for their importance in allowing coexistence. However, reduction in basal prey availability might lead IG prey to leave spatial refuges for greater access to prey, leading to increased IG predation and fewer opportunities for coexistence. We determined how the availability of prey affected space-use patterns of bobcats (Lynx rufus, IG prey) in relation to coyote space-use patterns (Canis latrans, IG predators). We located animals from fall 2007 to spring 2009 and estimated bobcat home ranges and core areas seasonally. For each bobcat relocation, we determined intensity of coyote use, distance to water, small mammal biomass, and mean small mammal biomass of the home range during the season the location was collected. We built generalized linear mixed models and used Akaike Information Criteria to determine which factors best predicted bobcat space use. Coyote intensity was a primary determinant of bobcat core area location. In bobcat home ranges with abundant prey, core areas occurred where coyote use was low, but shifted to areas intensively used by coyotes when prey declined. High spatial variability in basal prey abundance allowed some bobcats to avoid coyotes while at the same time others were forced into more risky areas. Our results suggest that multiple behavioral strategies associated with spatial variation in basal prey abundance likely allow IG prey and IG predators to coexist. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  7. 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.

  8. 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....... 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...... and 2000 and fitted with satellite-linked time-depth recorders. Geographic positions of whales at 24-h time steps were linked to dive behavior variables compressed on a daily scale, including numbers of dives to different target depths or durations, time near the surface, daily dive rate, and travel speed...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Macroinvertebrate Prey Availability and Fish Diet Selectivity in Relation to Environmental Variables in Natural and Restoring North San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Channels

    OpenAIRE

    Emily R. Howe; Charles A. Simenstad; Jason D. Toft; Jeffrey R. Cordell; Stephen M. Bollens

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marsh wetlands provide important foraging habitat for a variety of estuarine fishes. Prey organisms include benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates, neustonic arthropods, and zooplankton. Little is known about the abundance and distribution of interior marsh macroinvertebrate communities in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary). We describe seasonal, regional, and site variation in the composition and abundance of neuston and benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates that inhabit tidal marsh ch...

  19. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Peter

    1997-01-01

    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 ...... were indicated, dependent on location. The findings illustrate the usefulness of coupling dietary prey size spectra and biomass spectra of available prey sizes during studies of ichthyoplankton feeding ecology. (C) 1997 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles....

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Site-specific flight speeds of nonbreeding Pacific dunlins as a measure of the quality of a foraging habitat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reurink, Florian; Hentze, Nathan; Rourke, Jay; Ydenberg, Ron

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have investigated how foraging behavior such as prey choice varies with factors such as prey size or density. Models of such relationships can be applied "in reverse" to translate easily observed foraging behaviors into assays of habitat attributes that cannot (easily) be measured

  4. Pelagic Habitat Analysis Module (PHAM) for GIS Based Fisheries Decision Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiefer, D. A.; Armstrong, Edward M.; Harrison, D. P.; Hinton, M. G.; Kohin, S.; Snyder, S.; O'Brien, F. J.

    2011-01-01

    We have assembled a system that integrates satellite and model output with fisheries data We have developed tools that allow analysis of the interaction between species and key environmental variables Demonstrated the capacity to accurately map habitat of Thresher Sharks Alopias vulpinus & pelagicus. Their seasonal migration along the California Current is at least partly driven by the seasonal migration of sardine, key prey of the sharks.We have assembled a system that integrates satellite and model output with fisheries data We have developed tools that allow analysis of the interaction between species and key environmental variables Demonstrated the capacity to accurately map habitat of Thresher Sharks Alopias vulpinus nd pelagicus. Their seasonal migration along the California Current is at least partly driven by the seasonal migration of sardine, key prey of the sharks.

  5. Separate and combined effects of habitat-specific fish predation on the survival of invasive and native gammarids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotta, Jonne; Orav-Kotta, Helen; Herkül, Kristjan

    2010-10-01

    The North-American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus was observed for the first time in the northern Baltic Sea in 2003. The invasive amphipod has been particularly successful in some habitats (e.g. on pebbles) where it has become one of the most abundant gammarid species. We studied experimentally if the dominant fish Gasterosteus aculeatus preyed differentially on the exotic G. tigrinus and the native Gammarus salinus, if predation differed among habitats, and if one gammarid species facilitated predation on the other. The experiment demonstrated that (1) fish preyed more on the exotic G. tigrinus than the native G. salinus. (2) Predation did not differ among habitats. (3) Gammarus tigrinus facilitated the predation on G. salinus and this facilitation varied among habitats with significant effects on pebbles. Thus, the combined effect of habitat-specific fish predation and competition between gammarid amphipods is a possible explanation of the current range of G. tigrinus in the northern Baltic Sea. G. tigrinus seems to establish in habitats where it can significantly increase fish predation on the native gammarids.

  6. Effects of habitat composition on the use of resources by the red fox in a semi arid environment of North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell'Arte, Graziella L.; Leonardi, Giovanni

    2005-09-01

    The red fox Vulpes vulpes is considered an opportunistic predator able to avoid prey shortages by exploiting a wide range of available food resources. However, as predicted by the Resources Dispersion Hypothesis (RDH), the distribution of other key resources such as suitable areas for dens can affect fox populations. Furthermore, in insularity conditions, resources are spatially limited and their availability is greatly influenced by territory sizes and the feeding habits of predators. In this paper we report the spatial use and foraging habits of foxes in three habitats (grassland, cultivation and suburban) of a sub-arid island off north Africa in relation to habitat composition and food availability. We found that diet composition in a gross sense did not differ significantly among habitats, with insects comprising > 48% and fruits 25% of the total prey items. Grasslands offered temporary clumped food resources (e.g. birds) that induced foxes to increase their territory sizes and to enlarge their diet range during prey shortages. Inversely, in cultivated and suburban areas, the main prey (insects) were more evenly distributed, especially in olive groves which constitute the most extensive form of cultivation on the island. In large areas covered by olive trees, the high availability of Coleoptera spp. significantly reduced core areas used by foxes and also distances among dens. Palm groves were patchy on the island but contained high densities of Orthoptera spp. and date fruits which represent alternative food sources. Thus, these patches are attractive foraging places, but a modification of the perimeter of fox territories was necessary for their exploitation. Our study confirmed that in this arid environment, habitat composition per se affected a generalist predator less than the dispersion of its main prey. In addition, the patchy distribution of resources can assume a role in the spacing and feeding behaviours of foxes only in relation to clumped alternative

  7. Prey aggregation is an effective olfactory predator avoidance strategy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Asa Johannesen

    2014-05-01

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

  8. Dynamics analysis of a predator-prey system with harvesting prey and disease in prey species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Xin-You; Qin, Ni-Ni; Huo, Hai-Feng

    2018-12-01

    In this paper, a predator-prey system with harvesting prey and disease in prey species is given. In the absence of time delay, the existence and stability of all equilibria are investigated. In the presence of time delay, some sufficient conditions of the local stability of the positive equilibrium and the existence of Hopf bifurcation are obtained by analysing the corresponding characteristic equation, and the properties of Hopf bifurcation are given by using the normal form theory and centre manifold theorem. Furthermore, an optimal harvesting policy is investigated by applying the Pontryagin's Maximum Principle. Numerical simulations are performed to support our analytic results.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Predator-prey interactions between a recent invader, the Chinese sleeper (Perccottus glenii and the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis: a case study from Lithuania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vytautas Rakauskas

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis, is a critically endangered species in most European countries. Habitat degradation and fragmentation are considered the main reasons for the decline of E. orbicularis. However, the spread of invasive species may also contribute to the disappearance of E. orbicularis populations. We examined the range overlap and predator-prey interactions between the invasive Chinese sleeper, Perccottus glenii, and E. orbicularis through controlled experiments and in field studies. Field surveys showed that both species occupied similar habitats. Predator-prey experiments suggested that newly hatched turtles are resistant to P. glenii predation. Conversely, adults of E. orbicularis consumed juvenile P. glenii even when other food sources were available. Overall, these findings suggested that E. orbicularis is not among the potential prey organisms in the diet of the invasive P. glenii, and that this fish does not directly contribute to the decline of E. orbicularis in Europe.

  15. Laboratory investigations of the effects of predator sex and size on prey selection by the Asian crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brousseau, D J.; Filipowicz, A; Baglivo, J A.

    2001-07-30

    Laboratory studies have shown that the nonindigenous Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, readily consumes three species of commercial bivalves: blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, soft-shell clams, Mya arenaria, and oysters, Crassostrea virginica. Although crabs can eat bivalves of a wide size range, they preferred the smaller prey (Hemigrapsus that occur in the wild, their effectiveness as predators of juvenile bivalves and their large appetites suggest an important role for these predators in restructuring the prey communities in habitats into which they have been introduced.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Determinants of Habitat Selection by Hatchling Australian Freshwater Crocodiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    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 (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. PMID:22163308

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-09

    ... locations and wildfire effects are often exacerbated by drought and insect attack. In addition, fire... toads in critical habitat units 15, 16, 17, and 18. The Forest Service is studying the effects of feral... colonized by invasive weeds. In addition to rooting and habitat alteration, wild pigs prey on reptiles and...

  20. Trunk structural traits explain habitat use of a tree-dwelling spider (Selenopidae) in a tropical forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva-Bonilla, German Antonio; Salomão, Adriana Trevizoli; Vasconcellos-Neto, João

    2017-11-01

    Habitat selection by spiders may be strongly influenced by biotic, climatic, and physical factors. However, it has been shown that the selection of habitats by generalist predators (like spiders) is regulated more by the physical structure of the habitat than by prey availability. Yet, the preferences of spiders in relation to plants or plant traits remain poorly explored. In a remnant of the Atlantic forest in Brazil, the spider Selenops cocheleti is frequently detected on the trunks of plants from the Myrtaceae family. Here, we investigated quantitatively and experimentally whether the colonization of trees by S. cocheleti is related to plant species or the presence of specific structures on trunks. We found that S. cocheleti preferentially occurred on plants of the family Myrtaceae. This spider was also strongly associated with trees that have smooth trunks and/or exfoliating bark. Non-Myrtaceae plants that were occupied by this species have exfoliating bark (e.g., Piptadenia gonoacantha) or deep fissures on the trunk (e.g., the exotic species Pinus elliottii). Our results indicate that the selection of host plants by S. cocheleti is not species-specific, but based on the structural characteristics of plants. Trunks with exfoliating bark may benefit spiders by providing shelter against predators and harsh climatic conditions. Smooth surfaces might allow rapid movements, facilitating both attacks on preys and escape from predators. Our study emphasizes the importance of the physical structure of the habitat on spider's distribution. Future studies investigating how specific plant characteristics influence prey acquisition and predator avoidance would improve our understanding of habitat selection by these animals.

  1. 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.

  2. Prey-Predator Model with a Nonlocal Bistable Dynamics of Prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malay Banerjee

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Spatiotemporal pattern formation in integro-differential equation models of interacting populations is an active area of research, which has emerged through the introduction of nonlocal intra- and inter-specific interactions. Stationary patterns are reported for nonlocal interactions in prey and predator populations for models with prey-dependent functional response, specialist predator and linear intrinsic death rate for predator species. The primary goal of our present work is to consider nonlocal consumption of resources in a spatiotemporal prey-predator model with bistable reaction kinetics for prey growth in the absence of predators. We derive the conditions of the Turing and of the spatial Hopf bifurcation around the coexisting homogeneous steady-state and verify the analytical results through extensive numerical simulations. Bifurcations of spatial patterns are also explored numerically.

  3. 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.

  4. Prey responses to predator chemical cues: disentangling the importance of the number and biomass of prey consumed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W McCoy

    Full Text Available To effectively balance investment in predator defenses versus other traits, organisms must accurately assess predation risk. Chemical cues caused by predation events are indicators of risk for prey in a wide variety of systems, but the relationship between how prey perceive risk in relation to the amount of prey consumed by predators is poorly understood. While per capita predation rate is often used as the metric of relative risk, studies aimed at quantifying predator-induced defenses commonly control biomass of prey consumed as the metric of risk. However, biomass consumed can change by altering either the number or size of prey consumed. In this study we determine whether phenotypic plasticity to predator chemical cues depends upon prey biomass consumed, prey number consumed, or both. We examine the growth response of red-eyed treefrog tadpoles (Agalychnis callidryas to cues from a larval dragonfly (Anax amazili. Biomass consumed was manipulated by either increasing the number of prey while holding individual prey size constant, or by holding the number of prey constant and varying individual prey size. We address two questions. (i Do prey reduce growth rate in response to chemical cues in a dose dependent manner? (ii Does the magnitude of the response depend on whether prey consumption increases via number or size of prey? We find that the phenotypic response of prey is an asymptotic function of prey biomass consumed. However, the asymptotic response is higher when more prey are consumed. Our findings have important implications for evaluating past studies and how future experiments should be designed. A stronger response to predation cues generated by more individual prey deaths is consistent with models that predict prey sensitivity to per capita risk, providing a more direct link between empirical and theoretical studies which are often focused on changes in population sizes not individual biomass.

  5. 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.

  6. Diet of Wilson's warblers and distribution of arthropod prey in the understory of Douglas-fir forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Dugger, Kate; Starkey, Edward E.

    2007-01-01

    Availability of food resources is an important factor in avian habitat selection. Food resources for terrestrial birds often are closely related to vegetation structure and composition. Identification of plant species important in supporting food resources may facilitate vegetation management to achieve objectives for providing bird habitat. We used fecal analysis to describe the diet of adult Wilson's Warblers (Wilsonia pusilla) that foraged in the understory of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forests in western Oregon during the breeding season. We sampled arthropods at the same sites where diet data were collected, and compared abundance and biomass of prey among seven common shrub species. Wilson's Warblers ate more caterpillars (Lepidoptera larvae), flies (Diptera), beetles (Coleoptera), and Homoptera than expected based on availability. Deciduous shrubs supported higher abundances of arthropod taxa and size classes used as prey by Wilson's Warblers than did evergreen shrubs. The development and maintenance of deciduous understory vegetation in conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest may be fundamental for conservation of food webs that support breeding Wilson's Warblers and other shrub-associated, insectivorous songbirds.

  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. Sediment-induced turbidity impairs foraging performance and prey choice of planktivorous coral reef fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansen, J L; Jones, G P

    2013-09-01

    Sedimentation is a substantial threat to aquatic ecosystems and a primary cause of habitat degradation on near-shore coral reefs. Although numerous studies have demonstrated major impacts of sedimentation and turbidity on corals, virtually nothing is known of the sensitivity of reef fishes. Planktivorous fishes are an important trophic group that funnels pelagic energy sources into reef ecosystems. These fishes are visual predators whose foraging is likely to be impaired by turbidity, but the threshold for such effects and their magnitude are unknown. This study examined the effect of sediment-induced turbidity on foraging in four species of planktivorous damselfishes (Pomacentridae) of the Great Barrier Reef, including inshore and offshore species that potentially differ in tolerance for turbidity. An experimental flow tunnel was used to quantify their ability to catch mobile and immobile planktonic prey under different levels of turbidity and velocity in the range encountered on natural and disturbed reefs. Turbidity of just 4 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units) reduced average attack success by up to 56%, with higher effect sizes for species with offshore distributions. Only the inshore species (Neopomacentrus bankieri), which frequently encounters this turbidity on coastal reefs, could maintain high prey capture success. At elevated turbidity similar to that found on disturbed reefs (8 NTU), attack success was reduced in all species examined by up to 69%. These reductions in attack success led to a 21-24% decrease in foraging rates for all mid to outer-shelf species, in spite of increasing attack rates at high turbidity. Although effects of turbidity varied among species, it always depended heavily on prey mobility and ambient velocity. Attack success was up to 14 times lower on mobile prey, leaving species relatively incapable of foraging on anything but immobile prey at high turbidity. Effects of turbidity were particularly prominent at higher velocities, as

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    a predator-prey system with prey refuge and additional food for predator apart from the focal prey in the presence of diffusion. Our main aim is to study the interactive effects of prey refuge and additional food on the system dynamics and especially on the controllability of prey (pest). Different types......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...

  11. 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)

    2014-01-01

    Introduction 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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. PMID:24872836

  12. Ambush frequency should increase over time during optimal predator search for prey

    OpenAIRE

    Alpern, Steve; Fokkink, Robbert; Timmer, Marco; Casas, Jérôme

    2011-01-01

    We advance and apply the mathematical theory of search games to model the problem faced by a predator searching for prey. Two search modes are available: ambush and cruising search. Some species can adopt either mode, with their choice at a given time traditionally explained in terms of varying habitat and physiological conditions. We present an additional explanation of the observed predator alternation between these search modes, which is based on the dynamical nature of the search game the...

  13. Molecular gut-content analysis of a predator assemblage reveals the effect of habitat manipulation on biological control in the field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Despite growing evidence that habitat manipulation can alter predators’ impact on target prey consumption, few studies have directly examined the effect of habitat context on conservation biological control in the field. Because of contradictory evidence in the literature for the outcome of habita...

  14. Seasonal habitat use and selection by grizzly bears in Northern British Columbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    We defined patterns of habitat use and selection by female grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Besa-Prophet watershed of northern British Columbia. We fitted 13 adult females with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and monitored them between 2001 and 2004. We examined patterns of habitat selection by grizzly bears relative to topographical attributes and 3 potential surrogates of food availability: land-cover class, vegetation biomass or quality (as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and selection value for prey species themselves (moose [Alces alces], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Although vegetation biomass and quality, and selection values for prey were important in seasonal selection by some individual bears, land-cover class, elevation, aspect, and vegetation diversity most influenced patterns of habitat selection across grizzly bears, which rely on availability of plant foods and encounters with ungulate prey. Grizzly bears as a group avoided conifer stands and areas of low vegetation diversity, and selected for burned land-cover classes and high vegetation diversity across seasons. They also selected mid elevations from what was available within seasonal ranges. Quantifying relative use of different attributes helped place selection patterns within the context of the landscape. Grizzly bears used higher elevations (1,595??31 m SE) in spring and lower elevations (1,436??27 m) in fall; the range of average elevations used among individuals was highest (500 m) during the summer. During all seasons, grizzly bears most frequented aspects with high solar gain. Use was distributed across 10 land-cover classes and depended on season. Management and conservation actions must maintain a diverse habitat matrix distributed across a large elevational gradient to ensure persistence of grizzly bears as levels of human access increase in the northern Rocky Mountains

  15. The smell of success: the amount of prey consumed by predators determines the strength and range of cascading non-consumptive effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Weissburg

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined whether chemically mediated risk perception by prey and the effects of changes in prey behavior on basal resources vary as a function of the amount of prey biomass consumed by the predator. We studied these issues using a tritrophic system composed of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus (top predator, mud crabs Panopeus herbstii (intermediate prey, and oysters Crassostrea virginica (basal resource. Working in a well characterized field environment where experiments preserve natural patterns of water flow, we found that biomass consumed by a predator determines the range, intensity and nature of prey aversive responses. Predators that consume large amounts of prey flesh more strongly diminish consumption of basal resources by prey and exert effects over a larger range (in space and time compared to predators that have eaten less. Less well-fed predators produce weaker effects, with the consequence that behaviorally mediated cascades preferentially occur in refuge habitats. Well-fed predators affected prey behavior and increased basal resources up to distances of 1–1.5 m, whereas predators fed restricted diet evoked changes in prey only when they were extremely close, typically 50 cm or less. Thus, consumptive and non-consumptive effects may be coupled; predators that have a greater degree of predatory success will affect prey traits more strongly and non-consumptive and consumptive effects may fluctuate in tandem, with some lag. Moreover, differences among predators in their degree of prey capture will create spatial and temporal variance in risk cue availability in the absence of underlying environmental effects.

  16. 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.

  17. The Dynamics of a Nonautonomous Predator-Prey Model with Infertility Control in the Prey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaomei Feng

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A nonautonomous predator-prey model with infertility control in the prey is formulated and investigated. Threshold conditions for the permanence and extinction of fertility prey and infertility prey are established. Some new threshold values of integral form are obtained. For the periodic cases, these threshold conditions act as sharp threshold values for the permanence and extinction of fertility prey and infertility prey. There are also mounting concerns that the quantity of biological sterile drug is obtained in the process of the prevention and control of pest in the grasslands and farmland. Finally, two examples are given to illustrate the main results of this paper. The numerical simulations shown that, when the pest population is permanet, different dynamic behaviors may be found in this model, such as the global attractivity and the chaotic attractor.

  18. Can species-specific prey responses to chemical cues explain prey susceptibility to predation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šmejkal, Marek; Ricard, Daniel; Sajdlová, Zuzana; Čech, Martin; Vejřík, Lukáš; Blabolil, Petr; Vejříková, Ivana; Prchalová, Marie; Vašek, Mojmír; Souza, Allan T; Brönmark, Christer; Peterka, Jiří

    2018-05-01

    The perception of danger represents an essential ability of prey for gaining an informational advantage over their natural enemies. Especially in complex environments or at night, animals strongly rely on chemoreception to avoid predators. The ability to recognize danger by chemical cues and subsequent adaptive responses to predation threats should generally increase prey survival. Recent findings suggest that European catfish ( Silurus glanis ) introduction induce changes in fish community and we tested whether the direction of change can be attributed to differences in chemical cue perception. We tested behavioral response to chemical cues using three species of freshwater fish common in European water: rudd ( Scardinius erythrophthalmus ), roach ( Rutilus rutilus ), and perch ( Perca fluviatilis ). Further, we conducted a prey selectivity experiment to evaluate the prey preferences of the European catfish. Roach exhibited the strongest reaction to chemical cues, rudd decreased use of refuge and perch did not alter any behavior in the experiment. These findings suggest that chemical cue perception might be behind community data change and we encourage collecting more community data of tested prey species before and after European catfish introduction to test the hypothesis. We conclude that used prey species can be used as a model species to verify whether chemical cue perception enhances prey survival.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Greater reproductive investment, but shorter lifespan, in agrosystem than in natural-habitat toads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Zamora-Camacho

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Global amphibian decline is due to several factors: habitat loss, anthropization, pollution, emerging diseases, and global warming. Amphibians, with complex life cycles, are particularly susceptible to habitat alterations, and their survival may be impaired in anthropized habitats. Increased mortality is a well-known consequence of anthropization. Life-history theory predicts higher reproductive investment when mortality is increased. In this work, we compared age, body size, and different indicators of reproductive investment, as well as prey availability, in natterjack toads (Epidalea calamita from agrosystems and adjacent natural pine groves in Southwestern Spain. Mean age was lower in agrosystems than in pine groves, possibly as a consequence of increased mortality due to agrosystem environmental stressors. Remarkably, agrosystem toads were larger despite being younger, suggesting accelerated growth rate. Although we detected no differences in prey availability between habitats, artificial irrigation could shorten aestivation in agrosystems, thus increasing energy trade. Moreover, agrosystem toads exhibited increased indicators of reproductive investment. In the light of life-history theory, agrosystem toads might compensate for lesser reproductive events—due to shorter lives—with a higher reproductive investment in each attempt. Our results show that agrosystems may alter demography, which may have complex consequences on both individual fitness and population stability.

  2. "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…

  3. 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.

  4. Food web complexity and stability across habitat connectivity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCraw, Robin M; Kratina, Pavel; Srivastava, Diane S

    2014-12-01

    The effects of habitat connectivity on food webs have been studied both empirically and theoretically, yet the question of whether empirical results support theoretical predictions for any food web metric other than species richness has received little attention. Our synthesis brings together theory and empirical evidence for how habitat connectivity affects both food web stability and complexity. Food web stability is often predicted to be greatest at intermediate levels of connectivity, representing a compromise between the stabilizing effects of dispersal via rescue effects and prey switching, and the destabilizing effects of dispersal via regional synchronization of population dynamics. Empirical studies of food web stability generally support both this pattern and underlying mechanisms. Food chain length has been predicted to have both increasing and unimodal relationships with connectivity as a result of predators being constrained by the patch occupancy of their prey. Although both patterns have been documented empirically, the underlying mechanisms may differ from those predicted by models. In terms of other measures of food web complexity, habitat connectivity has been empirically found to generally increase link density but either reduce or have no effect on connectance, whereas a unimodal relationship is expected. In general, there is growing concordance between empirical patterns and theoretical predictions for some effects of habitat connectivity on food webs, but many predictions remain to be tested over a full connectivity gradient, and empirical metrics of complexity are rarely modeled. Closing these gaps will allow a deeper understanding of how natural and anthropogenic changes in connectivity can affect real food webs.

  5. Habitat selection by a focal predator (Canis lupus) in a multiprey ecosystem of the northern Rockies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2011-01-01

    Large predators respond to land cover and physiography that maximize the likelihood of encountering prey. Using locations from global positioning system-collared wolves (Canis lupus), we examined whether land cover, vegetation productivity or change, or habitat-selection value for ungulate prey species themselves most influenced patterns of selection by wolves in a large, intact multiprey system of northern British Columbia. Selection models based on land cover, in combination with topographical features, consistently outperformed models based on indexes of vegetation quantity and quality (using normalized difference vegetation index) or on selection value to prey species (moose [Alces americanus], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], and Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Wolves generally selected for shrub communities and high diversity of cover across seasons and avoided conifer stands and non-vegetated areas and west aspects year-round. Seasonal selection strategies were not always reflected in use patterns, which showed highest frequency of use in riparian, shrub, and conifer classes. Patterns of use and selection for individual wolf packs did not always conform to global models, and appeared related to the distribution of land cover and terrain within respective home ranges. Our findings corroborate the biological linkages between wolves and their habitat related to ease of movement and potential prey associations. ?? American 2011 Society of Mammalogists.

  6. 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

    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...... 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...... 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...

  7. Modelling landscape-level numerical responses of predators to prey: the case of cats and rabbits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennyffer Cruz

    Full Text Available Predator-prey systems can extend over large geographical areas but empirical modelling of predator-prey dynamics has been largely limited to localised scales. This is due partly to difficulties in estimating predator and prey abundances over large areas. Collection of data at suitably large scales has been a major problem in previous studies of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus and their predators. This applies in Western Europe, where conserving rabbits and predators such as Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus is important, and in other parts of the world where rabbits are an invasive species supporting populations of introduced, and sometimes native, predators. In pastoral regions of New Zealand, rabbits are the primary prey of feral cats (Felis catus that threaten native fauna. We estimate the seasonal numerical response of cats to fluctuations in rabbit numbers in grassland-shrubland habitat across the Otago and Mackenzie regions of the South Island of New Zealand. We use spotlight counts over 1645 km of transects to estimate rabbit and cat abundances with a novel modelling approach that accounts simultaneously for environmental stochasticity, density dependence and varying detection probability. Our model suggests that cat abundance is related consistently to rabbit abundance in spring and summer, possibly through increased rabbit numbers improving the fecundity and juvenile survival of cats. Maintaining rabbits at low abundance should therefore suppress cat numbers, relieving predation pressure on native prey. Our approach provided estimates of the abundance of cats and rabbits over a large geographical area. This was made possible by repeated sampling within each season, which allows estimation of detection probabilities. A similar approach could be applied to predator-prey systems elsewhere, and could be adapted to any method of direct observation in which there is no double-counting of individuals. Reliable estimates of numerical

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Parasites as prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goedknegt, M.A.; Welsh, J.E.; Thieltges, D.W.

    2012-01-01

    Parasites are usually considered to use their hosts as a resource for energy. However, there is increasing awareness that parasites can also become a resource themselves and serve as prey for other organisms. Here we describe various types of predation in which parasites act as prey for other

  18. 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......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...... cells have short intense leakage burst, only a very small fraction of prey cells would be available to the copepod at any instance in time and, thus would be inefficient at low prey concentration. Finally, we report a few new observations of prey capture in two species of copepods, Temora longicornis...... and Centropages hamatus, offered a 45-μm sized dinoflagellate at very low concentration. The observed short prey detection distances, up to a few prey cell radii, are consistent with mechanoreception and we argue briefly that near-field mechanoreception is the most likely and common prey perception mechanism...

  19. 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...

  20. Local extinction of a coral reef fish explained by inflexible prey choice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, R. M.; Munday, P. L.; Brandl, S. J.; Jones, G. P.

    2014-12-01

    While global extinctions of marine species are infrequent, local extinctions are becoming common. However, the role of habitat degradation and resource specialisation in explaining local extinction is unknown. On coral reefs, coral bleaching is an increasingly frequent cause of coral mortality that can result in dramatic changes to coral community composition. Coral-associated fishes are often specialised on a limited suite of coral species and are therefore sensitive to these changes. This study documents the local extinction of a corallivorous reef fish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris, following a mass bleaching event that altered the species composition of associated coral communities. Local extinction only occurred on reefs that also completely lost a key prey species, Acropora millepora, even though coral cover remained high. In an experimental test, fish continued to select bleached A. millepora over the healthy, but less-preferred prey species that resisted bleaching. These results suggest that behavioural inflexibility may limit the ability of specialists to cope with even subtle changes to resource availability.

  1. On the amphibious food uptake and prey manipulation behavior in the Balkan-Anatolian crested newt (Triturus ivanbureschi, Arntzen and Wielstra, 2013).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukanov, Simeon; Tzankov, Nikolay; Handschuh, Stephan; Heiss, Egon; Naumov, Borislav; Natchev, Nikolay

    2016-06-01

    Feeding behavior in salamanders undergoing seasonal habitat shifts poses substantial challenges caused by differences in the physical properties of air and water. Adapting to these specific environments, urodelans use suction feeding predominantly under water as opposed to lingual food prehension on land. This study aims to determine the functionality of aquatic and terrestrial feeding behavior in the Balkan-Anatolian crested newt (Triturus ivanbureschi) in its terrestrial stage. During the terrestrial stage, these newts feed frequently in water where they use hydrodynamic mechanisms for prey capture. On land, prey apprehension is accomplished mainly by lingual prehension, while jaw prehension seems to be the exception (16.67%) in all terrestrial prey capture events. In jaw prehension events there was no detectable depression of the hyo-lingual complex. The success of terrestrial prey capture was significantly higher when T. ivanbureschi used lingual prehension. In addition to prey capture, we studied the mechanisms involved in the subduction of prey. In both media, the newts frequently used a shaking behavior to immobilize the captured earthworms. Apparently, prey shaking constitutes a significant element in the feeding behavior of T. ivanbureschi. Prey immobilization was applied more frequently during underwater feeding, which necessitates a discussion of the influence of the feeding media on food manipulation. We also investigated the osteology of the cranio-cervical complex in T. ivanbureschi to compare it to that of the predominantly terrestrial salamandrid Salamandra salamandra. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  2. 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....

  3. Habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury in invertebrates of small mid-latitude lakes in North America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chetelat, John, E-mail: john.chetelat@ec.gc.c [Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie, Departement de sciences biologiques, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada); Amyot, Marc; Garcia, Edenise [Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en limnologie, Departement de sciences biologiques, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7 (Canada)

    2011-01-15

    We examined habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic food webs by comparing concentrations in pelagic zooplankton to those in littoral macroinvertebrates from 52 mid-latitude lakes in North America. Invertebrate MeHg concentrations were primarily correlated with water pH, and after controlling for this influence, pelagic zooplankton had significantly higher MeHg concentrations than littoral primary consumers but lower MeHg than littoral secondary consumers. Littoral primary consumers and pelagic zooplankton are two dominant prey for fish, and greater MeHg in zooplankton is likely sufficient to increase bioaccumulation in pelagic feeders. Intensive sampling of 8 lakes indicated that habitat-specific bioaccumulation in invertebrates (of similar trophic level) may result from spatial variation in aqueous MeHg concentration or from more efficient uptake of aqueous MeHg into the pelagic food web. Our findings demonstrate that littoral-pelagic differences in MeHg bioaccumulation are widespread in small mid-latitude lakes. - Methylmercury levels in dominant invertebrate prey for fish differ between littoral and pelagic habitats within a lake.

  4. Habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury in invertebrates of small mid-latitude lakes in North America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chetelat, John; Amyot, Marc; Garcia, Edenise

    2011-01-01

    We examined habitat-specific bioaccumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic food webs by comparing concentrations in pelagic zooplankton to those in littoral macroinvertebrates from 52 mid-latitude lakes in North America. Invertebrate MeHg concentrations were primarily correlated with water pH, and after controlling for this influence, pelagic zooplankton had significantly higher MeHg concentrations than littoral primary consumers but lower MeHg than littoral secondary consumers. Littoral primary consumers and pelagic zooplankton are two dominant prey for fish, and greater MeHg in zooplankton is likely sufficient to increase bioaccumulation in pelagic feeders. Intensive sampling of 8 lakes indicated that habitat-specific bioaccumulation in invertebrates (of similar trophic level) may result from spatial variation in aqueous MeHg concentration or from more efficient uptake of aqueous MeHg into the pelagic food web. Our findings demonstrate that littoral-pelagic differences in MeHg bioaccumulation are widespread in small mid-latitude lakes. - Methylmercury levels in dominant invertebrate prey for fish differ between littoral and pelagic habitats within a lake.

  5. Nowhere to hide: Effects of linear features on predator-prey dynamics in a large mammal system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMars, Craig A; Boutin, Stan

    2018-01-01

    Rapid landscape alteration associated with human activity is currently challenging the evolved dynamical stability of many predator-prey systems by forcing species to behaviourally respond to novel environmental stimuli. In many forested systems, linear features (LFs) such as roads, pipelines and resource exploration lines (i.e. seismic lines) are a ubiquitous form of landscape alteration that have been implicated in altering predator-prey dynamics. One hypothesized effect is that LFs facilitate predator movement into and within prey refugia, thereby increasing predator-prey spatial overlap. We evaluated this hypothesis in a large mammal system, focusing on the interactions between boreal woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) and their two main predators, wolves (Canis lupus) and black bears (Ursus americanus), during the calving season of caribou. In this system, LFs extend into and occur within peatlands (i.e. bogs and nutrient-poor fens), a habitat type highly used by caribou due to its refugia effects. Using resource selection analyses, we found that LFs increased predator selection of peatlands. Female caribou appeared to respond by avoiding LFs and areas with high LF density. However, in our study area, most caribou cannot completely avoid exposure to LFs and variation in female response had demographic effects. In particular, increasing proportional use of LFs by females negatively impacted survival of their neonate calves. Collectively, these results demonstrate how LFs can reduce the efficacy of prey refugia. Mitigating such effects will require limiting or restoring LFs within prey refugia, although the effectiveness of mitigation efforts will depend upon spatial scale, which in turn will be influenced by the life-history traits of predator and prey. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Håkan Sand

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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 respon...

  9. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management.

  10. Two-prey one-predator model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elettreby, M.F.

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we propose a new multi-team prey-predator model, in which the prey teams help each other. We study its local stability. In the absence of predator, there is no help between the prey teams. So, we study the global stability and persistence of the model without help.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Gut content analysis using molecular techniques can help elucidate predator-prey relationships in situations in which other methodologies are not feasible, such as in the case of trophic interactions between minute species such as mites. We designed species-specific primers for a mite community occurring in Spanish citrus orchards comprising two herbivores, the Tetranychidae Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri, and six predatory mites belonging to the Phytoseiidae family; these predatory mites are considered to be these herbivores' main biological control agents. These primers were successfully multiplexed in a single PCR to test the range of predators feeding on each of the two prey species. We estimated prey DNA detectability success over time (DS50), which depended on the predator-prey combination and ranged from 0.2 to 18 h. These values were further used to weight prey detection in field samples to disentangle the predatory role played by the most abundant predators (i.e. Euseius stipulatus and Phytoseiulus persimilis). The corrected predation value for E. stipulatus was significantly higher than for P. persimilis. However, because this 1.5-fold difference was less than that observed regarding their sevenfold difference in abundance, we conclude that P. persimilis is the most effective predator in the system; it preyed on tetranychids almost five times more frequently than E. stipulatus did. The present results demonstrate that molecular tools are appropriate to unravel predator-prey interactions in tiny species such as mites, which include important agricultural pests and their predators. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Sarah H; Ackerman, Joshua T; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herzog, Mark P; 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 habitat.

  1. Habitat and food partitioning of billfishes (Xiphioidei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimose, T; Yokawa, K; Saito, H

    2010-06-01

    Species composition and food habits of four istiophorid billfishes were investigated and compared in three different tropical areas of the eastern North Pacific Ocean by longline operations from September to November 2004. Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus, shortbill spearfish Tetrapturus angustirostris and blue marlin Makaira nigricans had specific habitat preferences and mainly occurred in the near-continent area (13-16 degrees N; 103-107 degrees W), the open-ocean area (16-18 degrees N; 118-134 degrees W) and the near-equator area (5 degrees N; 104-120 degrees W). Small (/=140 cm) individuals occurred throughout all three areas. Prey compositions of large K. audax in the three areas were different from one other reflecting the prey availability in each area. In the open-ocean area, molid fishes were dominant in mass for both large K. audax (49%) and T. angustirostris (73%), and large K. audax also fed on ostraciid (33%) and scombrid fishes (15%). In the near-continent area, tetraodontid fishes were dominant for large and small I. platypterus (54, 57%), and both large and small K. audax also fed on tetraodontid fishes (3, 12%). Large K. audax in this area fed mainly on scombrid fishes (86%). These results indicate that large K. audax show overlaps but little segregations of its prey with other billfishes. In the near-equator area, stomach contents of large K. audax and M. nigricans were few and billfish prey items were thought to be scarce.

  2. 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

  3. Dynamic habitat corridors for marine predators; intensive use of a coastal channel by harbour seals is modulated by tidal currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastie, Gordon D; Russell, Deborah J F; Benjamins, Steven; Moss, Simon; Wilson, Ben; Thompson, Dave

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have found that predators utilise habitat corridors to ambush prey moving through them. In the marine environment, coastal channels effectively act as habitat corridors for prey movements, and sightings of predators in such areas suggest that they may target these for foraging. Unlike terrestrial systems where the underlying habitat structure is generally static, corridors in marine systems are in episodic flux due to water movements created by tidal processes. Although these hydrographic features can be highly complex, there is generally a predictable underlying cyclic tidal pattern to their structure. For marine predators that must find prey that is often patchy and widely distributed, the underlying temporal predictability in potential foraging opportunities in marine corridors may be important drivers in their use. Here, we used data from land-based sightings and 19 harbour seals ( Phoca vitulina ) tagged with high-resolution GPS telemetry to investigate the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of seals in a narrow tidal channel. These seals showed a striking pattern in their distribution; all seals spent a high proportion of their time around the narrowest point of the channel. There was also a distinctive tidal pattern in the use of the channel; sightings of seals in the water peaked during the flood tide and were at a minimum during the ebb tide. This pattern is likely to be related to prey availability and/or foraging efficiency driven by the underlying tidal pattern in the water movements through the channel. To maximise foraging efficiency, predators often make use of narrow constrictions in habitat to intercept prey using these corridors for movement. In the marine environment, narrow channels may act as corridors, and sightings of predators suggest that they may target these for foraging. Despite this, there is little information on how individual predators use such areas. Here, we investigate how individual harbour seals use a

  4. Non-webbuilding spiders: prey specialists or generalists?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nentwig, Wolfgang

    1986-07-01

    Feeding experiments were performed with seven species of non-webbuilding spiders and a variety of prey taxa. Some species were generally polyphagous whereas other spiders restricted their prey to a few groups. At one end of the spectrum of prey specialization the thomisid Misumena vatia is limited to a few taxa of possible prey (Table 1). The literature of prey records of non-webbuilding spiders is reviewed (Table 2) with special emphasis on oligophagous or monophagous spiders. Monophagous spiders are generally rare and have specialized on only a few prey taxa: social insects (ants, bees, termites) and spiders.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Data from camera surveys identifying co-occurrence and occupancy linkages between fishers (Pekania pennanti, rodent prey, mesocarnivores, and larger predators in mixed-conifer forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rick A. Sweitzer

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available These data provide additional information relevant to the frequency of fisher detections by camera traps, and single-season occupancy and local persistence of fishers in small patches of forest habitats detailed elsewhere, “Landscape Fuel Reduction, Forest Fire, and Biophysical Linkages to Local Habitat Use and Local Persistence of Fishers (Pekania pennanti in Sierra Nevada Mixed-conifer Forests” [10]. The data provides insight on camera trap detections of 3 fisher predators (bobcat [Lynx rufus]. Coyote [Canis latrans], mountain lion [Puma concolor], 5 mesocarnivores in the same foraging guild as fishers (gray fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus] ringtail [Bassariscus astutus], marten [Martes americana], striped skunk [Mephitis mephitis] spotted skunk [Spilogale gracilis], and 5 Sciuridae rodents that fishers consume as prey (Douglas squirrel [Tamiasciurus douglasii], gray squirrel [Sciurus griseus], northern flying squirrel [Glaucomys sabrinus], long-eared chipmunk [Neotamias quadrimaculatus], California ground squirrel [Spermophilus beecheyi]. We used these data to identify basic patterns of co-occurrence with fishers, and to evaluate the relative importance of presence of competing mesocarnivores, rodent prey, and predators for fisher occupancy of small, 1 km2 grid cells of forest habitat. Keywords: Carnivores, Competition, Distribution, Foraging guild, Predation, Tree squirrels

  8. Comparison of white-tailed kite food web dynamics among various habitats in California using stable isotope analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iko, W.M.; Kester, C.L.; Bern, C.R.; Stendell, R.C.; Rye, R.O.

    2003-01-01

    The White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) was once a common raptor species in the southern United States. However, by the 1930s, the species was considered on the verge of extinction until the 1940s, when a trend towards recovery was apparent. These dramatic fluctuations may be related to changes in rodent prey base due to the conversion of native wetlands to agriculture. To investigate the effects of changes in habitat, land use practices, and prey base on kite populations, we collected tissue samples from kites, their prey, and vegetation at four different locations in California: Arcata, Coastal-Coniferous Forest; Davis, mixed Urban-Agricultural; Cosumnes, Mixed Wetland-Agriculture, and Santa Barbara, Coastal-Chaparral.

  9. 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).

  10. Stochastic population oscillations in spatial predator-prey models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taeuber, Uwe C

    2011-01-01

    It is well-established that including spatial structure and stochastic noise in models for predator-prey interactions invalidates the classical deterministic Lotka-Volterra picture of neutral population cycles. In contrast, stochastic models yield long-lived, but ultimately decaying erratic population oscillations, which can be understood through a resonant amplification mechanism for density fluctuations. In Monte Carlo simulations of spatial stochastic predator-prey systems, one observes striking complex spatio-temporal structures. These spreading activity fronts induce persistent correlations between predators and prey. In the presence of local particle density restrictions (finite prey carrying capacity), there exists an extinction threshold for the predator population. The accompanying continuous non-equilibrium phase transition is governed by the directed-percolation universality class. We employ field-theoretic methods based on the Doi-Peliti representation of the master equation for stochastic particle interaction models to (i) map the ensuing action in the vicinity of the absorbing state phase transition to Reggeon field theory, and (ii) to quantitatively address fluctuation-induced renormalizations of the population oscillation frequency, damping, and diffusion coefficients in the species coexistence phase.

  11. 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...

  12. Sabretoothed carnivores and the killing of large prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Do lions Panthera leo actively select prey or do prey preferences simply reflect chance responses via evolutionary adaptations to optimal foraging?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt W Hayward

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 < 0.001). In an intensive study of one area, FMA IV, we found that 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.

  1. Toxoplasmosis in prey species and consequences for prevalence in feral cats: not all prey species are equal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, E; Thulliez, P; Pontier, D; Gilot-Fromont, E

    2007-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is largely transmitted to definitive felid hosts through predation. Not all prey species represent identical risks of infection for cats because of differences in prey susceptibility, exposure and/or lifespan. Previously published studies have shown that prevalence in rodent and lagomorph species is positively correlated with body mass. We tested the hypothesis that different prey species have different infection risks by comparing infection dynamics of feral cats at 4 sites in the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen archipelago which differed in prey availability. Cats were trapped from 1994 to 2004 and anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected using the modified agglutination test (> or =1:40). Overall seroprevalence was 51.09%. Antibody prevalence differed between sites, depending on diet and also on sex, after taking into account the effect of age. Males were more often infected than females and the difference between the sexes tended to be more pronounced in the site where more prey species were available. A difference in predation efficiency between male and female cats may explain this result. Overall, our results suggest that the composition of prey items in cat diet influences the risk of T. gondii infection. Prey compositon should therefore be considered important in any understanding of infection dynamics of T. gondii.

  2. Stage-dependent responses to emergent habitat heterogeneity: consequences for a predatory insect population in a coffee agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liere, Heidi; Perfecto, Ivette; Vandermeer, John

    2014-08-01

    Interactions among members of biological communities can create spatial patterns that effectively generate habitat heterogeneity for other members in the community, and this heterogeneity might be crucial for their persistence. For example, stage-dependent vulnerability of a predatory lady beetle to aggression of the ant, Azteca instabilis, creates two habitat types that are utilized differently by the immature and adult life stages of the beetle. Due to a mutualistic association between A. instabilis and the hemipteran Coccus viridis - which is A. orbigera main prey in the area - only plants around ant nests have high C. viridis populations. Here, we report on a series of surveys at three different scales aimed at detecting how the presence and clustered distribution of ant nests affect the distribution of the different life stages of this predatory lady beetle in a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico. Both beetle adults and larvae were more abundant in areas with ant nests, but adults were restricted to the peripheries of highest ant activity and outside the reach of coffee bushes containing the highest densities of lady beetle larvae. The abundance of adult beetles located around trees with ants increased with the size of the ant nest clusters but the relationship is not significant for larvae. Thus, we suggest that A. orbigera undergoes an ontogenetic niche shift, not through shifting prey species, but through stage-specific vulnerability differences against a competitor that renders areas of abundant prey populations inaccessible for adults but not for larvae. Together with evidence presented elsewhere, this study shows how an important predator is not only dependent on the existence of two qualitatively distinct habitat types, but also on the spatial distribution of these habitats. We suggest that this dependency arises due to the different responses that the predator's life stages have to this emergent spatial pattern.

  3. 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

  4. Effects of Intraguild Predation: Evaluating Resource Competition between Two Canid Species with Apparent Niche Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam J. Kozlowski

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many studies determine which habitat components are important to animals and the extent their use may overlap with competitive species. However, such studies are often undertaken after populations are in decline or under interspecific stress. Since habitat selection is not independent of interspecific stress, quantifying an animal's current landscape use could be misleading if the species distribution is suboptimal. We present an alternative approach by modeling the predicted distributions of two sympatric species on the landscape using dietary preferences and prey distribution. We compared the observed habitat use of kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis and coyotes (Canis latrans against their predicted distribution. Data included locations of kit foxes and coyotes, carnivore scat transects, and seasonal prey surveys. Although habitats demonstrated heterogeneity with respect to prey resources, only coyotes showed habitat use designed to maximize access to prey. In contrast, kit foxes used habitats which did not align closely with prey resources. Instead, habitat use by kit foxes represented spatial and behavioral strategies designed to minimize spatial overlap with coyotes while maximizing access to resources. Data on the distribution of prey, their dietary importance, and the species-specific disparities between predicted and observed habitat distributions supports a mechanism by which kit fox distribution is derived from intense competitive interactions with coyotes.

  5. Habitat capacity for cougar recolonization in the Upper Great Lakes region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O Neil, Shawn T; Rahn, Kasey C; Bump, Joseph K

    2014-01-01

    Recent findings indicate that cougars (Puma concolor) are expanding their range into the midwestern United States. Confirmed reports of cougar in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have increased dramatically in frequency during the last five years, leading to speculation that cougars may re-establish in the Upper Great Lakes (UGL) region, USA. Recent work showed favorable cougar habitat in northeastern Minnesota, suggesting that the northern forested regions of Michigan and Wisconsin may have similar potential. Recolonization of cougars in the UGL states would have important ecological, social, and political impacts that will require effective management. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), we extended a cougar habitat model to Michigan and Wisconsin and incorporated primary prey densities to estimate the capacity of the region to support cougars. Results suggest that approximately 39% (>58,000 km2) of the study area could support cougars, and that there is potential for a population of approximately 500 or more animals. An exploratory validation of this habitat model revealed strong association with 58 verified cougar locations occurring in the study area between 2008 and 2013. Spatially explicit information derived from this study could potentially lead to estimation of a viable population, delineation of possible cougar-human conflict areas, and the targeting of site locations for current monitoring. Understanding predator-prey interactions, interspecific competition, and human-wildlife relationships is becoming increasingly critical as top carnivores continue to recolonize the UGL region.

  6. Habitat capacity for cougar recolonization in the Upper Great Lakes region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn T O Neil

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent findings indicate that cougars (Puma concolor are expanding their range into the midwestern United States. Confirmed reports of cougar in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have increased dramatically in frequency during the last five years, leading to speculation that cougars may re-establish in the Upper Great Lakes (UGL region, USA. Recent work showed favorable cougar habitat in northeastern Minnesota, suggesting that the northern forested regions of Michigan and Wisconsin may have similar potential. Recolonization of cougars in the UGL states would have important ecological, social, and political impacts that will require effective management. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS, we extended a cougar habitat model to Michigan and Wisconsin and incorporated primary prey densities to estimate the capacity of the region to support cougars. Results suggest that approximately 39% (>58,000 km2 of the study area could support cougars, and that there is potential for a population of approximately 500 or more animals. An exploratory validation of this habitat model revealed strong association with 58 verified cougar locations occurring in the study area between 2008 and 2013. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Spatially explicit information derived from this study could potentially lead to estimation of a viable population, delineation of possible cougar-human conflict areas, and the targeting of site locations for current monitoring. Understanding predator-prey interactions, interspecific competition, and human-wildlife relationships is becoming increasingly critical as top carnivores continue to recolonize the UGL region.

  7. 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.

  8. Always chew your food: freshwater stingrays use mastication to process tough insect prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolmann, Matthew A; Welch, Kenneth C; Summers, Adam P; Lovejoy, Nathan R

    2016-09-14

    Chewing, characterized by shearing jaw motions and high-crowned molar teeth, is considered an evolutionary innovation that spurred dietary diversification and evolutionary radiation of mammals. Complex prey-processing behaviours have been thought to be lacking in fishes and other vertebrates, despite the fact that many of these animals feed on tough prey, like insects or even grasses. We investigated prey capture and processing in the insect-feeding freshwater stingray Potamotrygon motoro using high-speed videography. We find that Potamotrygon motoro uses asymmetrical motion of the jaws, effectively chewing, to dismantle insect prey. However, CT scanning suggests that this species has simple teeth. These findings suggest that in contrast to mammalian chewing, asymmetrical jaw action is sufficient for mastication in other vertebrates. We also determined that prey capture in these rays occurs through rapid uplift of the pectoral fins, sucking prey beneath the ray's body, thereby dissociating the jaws from a prey capture role. We suggest that the decoupling of prey capture and processing facilitated the evolution of a highly kinetic feeding apparatus in batoid fishes, giving these animals an ability to consume a wide variety of prey, including molluscs, fishes, aquatic insect larvae and crustaceans. We propose Potamotrygon as a model system for understanding evolutionary convergence of prey processing and chewing in vertebrates. © 2016 The Author(s).

  9. 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.

  10. Competition and Dispersal in Predator-Prey Waves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Savill, N.J.; Hogeweg, P.

    1998-01-01

    Dispersing predators and prey can exhibit complex spatio-temporal wave-like patterns if the interactions between them cause oscillatory dynamics. We study the effect of these predator- prey density waves on the competition between prey populations and between predator popu- lations with different

  11. Evaluating prey switching in wolf-ungulate systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrott, Robert A; Bruggeman, Jason E; Becker, Matthew S; Kalinowski, Steven T; White, P J

    2007-09-01

    Wolf restoration has become a widely accepted conservation and management practice throughout North America and Europe, though the ecosystem effects of returning top carnivores remain both scientific and societal controversies. Mathematical models predicting and describing wolf-ungulate interactions are typically limited to the wolves' primary prey, with the potential for prey switching in wolf-multiple-ungulate systems only suggested or assumed by a number of investigators. We used insights gained from experiments on small taxa and field data from ongoing wolf-ungulate studies to construct a model of predator diet composition for a wolf-elk-bison system in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. The model explicitly incorporates differential vulnerability of the ungulate prey types to predation, predator preference, differences in prey biomass, and the possibility of prey switching. Our model demonstrates wolf diet shifts with changes in relative abundance of the two prey, with the dynamics of this shift dependent on the combined influences of preference, differential vulnerability, relative abundances of prey, and whether or not switching occurs. Differences in vulnerability between elk and bison, and strong wolf preference for elk, result in an abrupt dietary shift occurring only when elk are very rare relative to bison, whereas incorporating switching initiates the dietary shift more gradually and at higher bison-elk ratios. We demonstrate how researchers can apply these equations in newly restored wolf-two-prey systems to empirically evaluate whether prey switching is occurring. Each coefficient in the model has a biological interpretation, and most can be directly estimated from empirical data collected from field studies. Given the potential for switching to dramatically influence predator-prey dynamics and the wide range of expected prey types and abundances in some systems where wolves are present and/or being restored, we suggest that this is an

  12. Ghost of habitat past: historic habitat affects the contemporary distribution of giant garter snakes in a modified landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halstead, Brian J.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2014-01-01

    Historic habitat conditions can affect contemporary communities and populations, but most studies of historic habitat are based on the reduction in habitat extent or connectivity. Little is known about the effects of historic habitat on contemporary species distributions when historic habitat has been nearly completely removed, but species persist in a highly altered landscape. More than 93% of the historic wetlands in the Central Valley of California, USA, have been drained and converted to agricultural and other uses, but agricultural wetlands, such as rice and its supporting infrastructure of canals, allow some species to persist. Little is known about the distribution of giant garter snakes Thamnophis gigas, a rare aquatic snake species inhabiting this predominantly agricultural landscape, or the variables that affect where this species occurs. We used occupancy modeling to examine the distribution of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale in the Sacramento Valley (northern portion of the Central Valley) of California, with an emphasis on the relative strength of historic and contemporary variables (landscape-scale habitat, local microhabitat, vegetation composition and relative prey counts) for predicting giant garter snake occurrence. Proximity to historic marsh best explained variation in the probability of occurrence of giant garter snakes at the landscape scale, with greater probability of occurrence near historic marsh. We suspect that the importance of distance to historic marsh represents dispersal limitations of giant garter snakes. These results suggest that preserving and restoring areas near historic marsh, and minimizing activities that reduce the extent of marsh or marsh-like (e.g. rice agriculture, canal) habitats near historic marsh may be advantageous to giant garter snakes.

  13. 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.

  14. The Importance of Supratidal Habitats for Wintering Shorebirds and the Potential Impacts of Shrimp Aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasué, M.; Dearden, P.

    2009-06-01

    Intensive black tiger shrimp ( Penaeus monodon) aquaculture ponds have replaced significant areas of coastal wetlands throughout tropical Asia. Few studies have assessed potential impacts on avian foraging habitats. At Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, Thailand, seminatural wetlands have been converted to either shrimp ponds or to salinization ponds that provide saline water for shrimp aquaculture. Although shorebirds cannot feed in aquaculture ponds, hypersaline ponds can provide productive foraging areas. Thus, the overall impact of the shrimp industry on shorebirds depends partly on the relative quality of the salt ponds compared to seminatural wetlands. In this study, we examined wintering shorebird use of tidal ( N = 5 sites) and supratidal areas (four wetland sites, four salt pond sites) and compared the shorebird community (14 species), prey availability, profitability, and disturbance rates between wetlands and salt ponds. Two shorebird species fed in higher densities in wetlands, whereas seven species were more abundant in salt ponds. Large juvenile fish and dragonfly larvae were more abundant in wetlands, whereas there were more small Chironomid midge and fly larvae in salt ponds. We conclude that salt ponds might provide higher-quality foraging habitats compared to wetlands for small shorebirds species because of the abundance of small larvae. However, the shrimp aquaculture industry reduces habitat availability for shorebirds feeding on larger prey. This study demonstrates a comprehensive, multispecies approach to assess the impacts of a large-scale change in coastal habitats for wintering shorebirds.

  15. Stable isotopes and mercury in a model estuarine fish: Multibasin comparisons with water quality, community structure, and available prey base

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adams, Douglas H., E-mail: Doug.Adams@MyFWC.com; Paperno, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Stable-isotope ratios ({delta}{sup 13}C and {delta}{sup 15}N) and mercury in a model predator, and associated prey community assessments were used to make inferences regarding food web relationships and how these relationships are influenced by habitat variability and anthropogenic factors. Although interconnected, the three major basins of the Indian River Lagoon system on the Atlantic coast of Florida comprise noticeably different available habitat types with spatially distinct faunal communities and available prey for spotted seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, a model predatory fish species. Water quality, degree of urbanization, human population density, and levels of nitrogen enrichment clearly differ between these representative estuarine basins. The differences can influence feeding ecology and therefore result in different mercury concentrations and different stable-isotope signatures of spotted seatrout between basins. Mercury concentrations in spotted seatrout were greatest in Mosquito Lagoon (ML) and least in the Indian River Lagoon proper (IRL), although concentrations were low for all basins. Spotted seatrout from IRL were carbon-depleted and nitrogen-enriched compared with those from the other basins; this suggests either that the fish's primary source of carbon in IRL is an algae- or phytoplankton-based food web or that the pathway through the food web is shorter there. The {delta}{sup 15}N values of IRL spotted seatrout were greater than those in the Banana River Lagoon or ML, suggesting slightly different trophic positioning of fish in these basins. The greater {delta}{sup 15}N values in IRL spotted seatrout may also reflect the greater human population density and resultant anthropogenic inputs (e.g., observed higher total nitrogen levels) in IRL compared with the other more pristine basins examined. Understanding species' responses to broad-scale habitat heterogeneity in estuaries and knowing basin-specific differences in stable isotopes

  16. Direct look from a predator shortens the risk-assessment time by prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang-im Lee

    Full Text Available Decision making process is an important component of information use by animals and has already been studied in natural situations. Decision making takes time, which is expressed as a cost in evolutionary explanations of decision making abilities of animals. However, the duration of information assessment and decision making process has not been measured in a natural situation. Here, we use responses of wild magpies (Pica pica to predictably approaching humans to demonstrate that, regardless of whether the bird perceived high (decided to fly away or low (resumed foraging threat level, the bird assessed the situation faster when approaching humans looked directly at it than when the humans were not directly looking at it. This indicates that prey is able to extract more information about the predator's intentions and to respond sooner when the predator is continuously ("intently" looking at the prey. The results generally illustrate how an increase of information available to an individual leads to a shorter assessment and decision making process, confirming one of central tenets of psychology of information use in a wild bird species in its natural habitat.

  17. Prey capture by harbour porpoises

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verfuss, Ursula; Miller, Lee; Pilz, Peter

    their ultrasonic clicks as biosonar for orientation and detection of prey (mostly smaller pelagic and bottom dwelling fish), and for communication.  For studying wild animals, hydrophone arrays [Villadsgaard et al. J.Exp.Biol. 210 (2007)] and acoustic (time/depth) tags [Akamatsu et al. Deep Sea Research II 54...... (2007)] have been used.  For studying captive animals, arrays and video techniques [Verfuß et al. J.Exp.Biol. 208 (2005)] as well as miniature acoustic-behavioral tags [Deruiter et al. JASA 123 (2008)] have been used.  While searching for prey, harbor porpoises use clicks at long intervals (>50 ms......) that progressively decrease when closing on a landmark.  The source levels of captive animals reduce by about half for each halving of the distance to the target.  After detecting the prey, the click interval first stabilizes at about 50 ms and then becomes progressively shorter while approaching the prey...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. 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...... be captured by suspension feeding copepods. Finally, we demonstrate that turbulence favours the selection of ciliates as prey. We suggest that prey switching by copepods may provide survival windows for microzooplankters during blooms of net phytoplankton because predation pressure from the copepods...

  1. Taking movement data to new depths: Inferring prey availability and patch profitability from seabird foraging behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chimienti, Marianna; Cornulier, Thomas; Owen, Ellie; Bolton, Mark; Davies, Ian M; Travis, Justin M J; Scott, Beth E

    2017-12-01

    Detailed information acquired using tracking technology has the potential to provide accurate pictures of the types of movements and behaviors performed by animals. To date, such data have not been widely exploited to provide inferred information about the foraging habitat. We collected data using multiple sensors (GPS, time depth recorders, and accelerometers) from two species of diving seabirds, razorbills ( Alca torda , N  = 5, from Fair Isle, UK) and common guillemots ( Uria aalge , N  = 2 from Fair Isle and N  = 2 from Colonsay, UK). We used a clustering algorithm to identify pursuit and catching events and the time spent pursuing and catching underwater, which we then used as indicators for inferring prey encounters throughout the water column and responses to changes in prey availability of the areas visited at two levels: individual dives and groups of dives. For each individual dive ( N  = 661 for guillemots, 6214 for razorbills), we modeled the number of pursuit and catching events, in relation to dive depth, duration, and type of dive performed (benthic vs. pelagic). For groups of dives ( N  = 58 for guillemots, 156 for razorbills), we modeled the total time spent pursuing and catching in relation to time spent underwater. Razorbills performed only pelagic dives, most likely exploiting prey available at shallow depths as indicated by the vertical distribution of pursuit and catching events. In contrast, guillemots were more flexible in their behavior, switching between benthic and pelagic dives. Capture attempt rates indicated that they were exploiting deep prey aggregations. The study highlights how novel analysis of movement data can give new insights into how animals exploit food patches, offering a unique opportunity to comprehend the behavioral ecology behind different movement patterns and understand how animals might respond to changes in prey distributions.

  2. Selection of foraging habitat and diet of the Hoopoe Upupa epops in the mosaic-like cultural landscape of Goričko (NE Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podletnik Mojca

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2012 and 2013, the selection of foraging habitats and the diet of the Hoopoe Upupa epops were studied in the Goričko area, where a significant population decline of the species has been recorded in the past 15 years. Goričko is an area with a well-preserved traditional mosaic-like agricultural landscape very rich in biodiversity which, however, is disappearing. The diet was determined using automatic camera recordings of prey brought to chicks by parents. Mole crickets Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa were the most dominant prey (35.4% frequency and 81.3% biomass of prey, followed by Scarab beetles larvae Scarabaeidae, caterpillars Lepidoptera larvae and True flies Diptera. Feeding frequency was highest in the period of most intensive chick growth (between 8 and 21 days of age. Selection of foraging habitat was researched by observation of birds during foraging. Hoopoes foraged mostly in mown meadows and grassy courtyards and, to a lesser extent, on sandy cart tracks and road edges. These habitats were characterized by low vegetation and patches of bare ground that enabled Hoopoes to forage efficiently. Home range size was determined using minimum convex polygons. The maximum home range size was between 42.9 and 57.7 ha, while the percentage of foraging habitats within the home range did not exceed 18%. Based on our results, we propose the following measures for effective Hoopoe conservation in the area: maintaining the present range of existing unimproved meadows, stopping the conversion of meadows into fields, restoring fields to meadows, prohibiting the use of pesticides targeting Mole crickets.

  3. HABITAT DAN PERILAKU ELANG JAWA (Nisaetus bartelsi DI SPTN 1 TEGALDLIMO TAMAN NASIONAL ALAS PURWO, JAWA TIMUR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Desy Natalia Sitorus

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Javan Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi considered as endangered species by IUCN redlist 2015 and protected species by Government Regulation No.7/1999. Alas Purwo National Park (APNP is a conservation area and its one of the natural habitat of Javan Hawk-eagle distribution (endemic species of java. The study was aimed to analysis its habitat and the behavior. Purposive sampling was used on focused observation area base on direct contex with the bird. The habitat analysis was approach with vagetation analysis dan habitat used method. Focal animal sampling used as approach describe to know the daily activities. The result showed that the bird used of natural lowland forest as main habitat and the bird distibute as equal (focused at natural lowland forest. Characteristic of sheltering site of the bird using tree in A strata and B strata, which have horizontal and strong enough branch. The javan hawk-eagle choising at emergent tree for the nesting site, with characteristic of emergent tree, with crown not so dense of the leaf and the position of the tree close to hunting area. Characteristic of hunting areas of the bird is natural lowland forest with diverse and abundant of preys. The bird like preys on mammals such as giant squirrel and bird such as red jungle fowl. The behavior was most often observed was resting in natural lowland forest with five times encounter (58,06%. But the bird also done activities of preening and observing surrounding to focus on seaching food. Hunting activity was observed used perch hunting in natural low land forest in APNP. Keywords: APNP, habitat, javan hawk-eagle

  4. When prey provide more than food: mammalian predators appropriating the refugia of their prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill Zielinski

    2015-01-01

    Some mammalian predators acquire both food and shelter from their prey, by eating them and using the refugia the prey construct. I searched the literature for examples of predators that exhibit this behavior and summarize their taxonomic affiliations, relative sizes, and distributions. I hypothesized that size ratios of species involved in this dynamic would be near 1....

  5. 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.

  6. Habitat association, size, stomach contents, and reproductive condition of Puerto Rican boas (Epicrates inornatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, J.W.

    2003-01-01

    The Puerto Rican boa occurs in a variety of habitats, including wet montane forest, lowland wet forest, mangrove forest, wet limestone karst, and offshore cays, and from sea level to 480 m. Mean SVL of 49 encountered boas (live and road-killed) was 136.9 ?? 35.1 (range = 38.8-205 cm), with a mean mass of 952.1 ?? 349.0 g (n = 47; range = 140-1662 g). Prey in digestive tracts (n = 29) included remains of black rats, house mice, three species of anoles, bats, common ground-doves, domestic fowl chicks, and invertebrates. Females were in reproductive condition in late April through mid-August and had an average brood size of 21.8 ?? 6.0 (n = 9, range = 13-30 ).

  7. Sperm whale predator-prey interactions involve chasing and buzzing, but no acoustic stunning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fais, Andrea; Johnson, M.; Wilson, Maria

    2016-01-01

    The sperm whale carries a hypertrophied nose that generates powerful clicks for long-range echolocation. However, it remains a conundrum how this bizarrely shaped apex predator catches its prey. Several hypotheses have been advanced to propose both active and passive means to acquire prey......, including acoustic debilitation of prey with very powerful clicks. Here we test these hypotheses by using sound and movement recording tags in a fine-scale study of buzz sequences to relate the acoustic behaviour of sperm whales with changes in acceleration in their head region during prey capture attempts....... We show that in the terminal buzz phase, sperm whales reduce inter-click intervals and estimated source levels by 1-2 orders of magnitude. As a result, received levels at the prey are more than an order of magnitude below levels required for debilitation, precluding acoustic stunning to facilitate...

  8. 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.

  9. Optimal intermittent search strategies: smelling the prey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Revelli, J A; Wio, H S [Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria and CSIC, E-39005 Santander (Spain); Rojo, F; Budde, C E [Fa.M.A.F., Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Ciudad Universitaria, X5000HUA Cordoba (Argentina)

    2010-05-14

    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 {alpha} (the parameter that regulates intermittency) ceases to exist. The agreement between theory and numerical simulations is excellent.

  10. The diets of Hispaniolan colubrid snakes : I. Introduction and prey genera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Robert W

    1984-05-01

    Approximately 1590 Hispaniolan colubrid snakes representing six genera and eight species were examined for prey remains (Alsophis cantherigerus, Antillophis parvifrons, Darlingtonia haetiana, Hypsirhynchus ferox, Ialtris dorsalis, Uromacer catesbyi, U. frenatus, and U. oxyrhynchus). The snakes were collected at many localities over a span of 80 years.Of 426 prey items, 77.9% were lizards (of which 69.6% were anoles), 19% frogs, 2.6% birds and mammals, and 0.5% other snakes. Darlingtonia was the only snake that did not exploit lizards; it fed exclusively on Eleutherodactylus frogs, including egg clutches. Disregarding Darlingtonia, there is no size class of Hispaniolan colubrids between 20-90 cm SVL that does not prey primarily on Anolis. Certain prey genera are added to, or deleted from, diets depending on snake size, but the data suggest that snake SVL alone does little to dictate what prey genera (or groups) are eaten. Shannon-Wiener values (H') indicate that Darlingtonia has the narrowest trophic niche, while Alsophis and Ialtris have the widest. Values of H' are not correlated with snake SVL, but highly significant (Peats diurnally active (anoles) and diurnally quiescent (hylid frogs) prey with almost equal frequency.Within Maglio's cantherigerus species assemblage, in which an Alsophis cantherigerus-like snake was ancestral to the other species, and in which longsnouted Uromacer are the most morphologically derived, there is an obvious trend toward trophic specialization on Hispaniola. The West Indies have provided an ideal natural laboratory for the investigation of many aspects of vertebrate ecology, and an arena in which to test theories of island biogeography. The most extensively studied West Indian vertebrates have been the lizards of the iguanid genus Anolis. Conversely, the ecology of West Indian snakes has been largely ignored. This is surprising in light of the fact that much has been written about Anolis predation, but little has been written about

  11. How does the presence of a conspecific individual change the behavioral game that a predator plays with its prey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vardi, Reut; Abramsky, Zvika; Kotler, Burt P; Altstein, Ofir; Rosenzweig, Michael L

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral games predators play among themselves may have profound effects on behavioral games predators play with their prey. We studied the behavioral game between predators and prey within the framework of social foraging among predators. We tested how conspecific interactions among predators (little egret) change the predator-prey behavioral game and foraging success. To do so, we examined foraging behavior of egrets alone and in pairs (male and female) in a specially designed aviary consisting of three equally spaced pools with identical initial prey (comet goldfish) densities. Each pool was comprised of a risky microhabitat, rich with food, and a safe microhabitat with no food, forcing the fish to trade off food and safety. When faced with two versus one egret, we found that fish significantly reduced activity in the risky habitat. Egrets in pairs suffered reduced foraging success (negative intraspecific density dependence) and responded to fish behavior and to their conspecific by changing their visiting regime at the different pools-having shorter, more frequent visits. The time egret spent on each visit allowed them to match their long-term capture success rate across the environment to their capture success rate in the pool, which satisfies one aspect of optimality. Overall, egrets in pairs allocated more time for foraging and changed their foraging tactics to focus more on fish under cover and fish 'peeping' out from their shelter. These results suggest that both prey and predator show behavioral flexibility and can adjust to changing conditions as needed in this foraging game.

  12. Prey risk allocation in a grazing ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gude, Justin A; Garrott, Robert A; Borkowski, John J; King, Fred

    2006-02-01

    Understanding the behaviorally mediated indirect effects of predators in ecosystems requires knowledge of predator-prey behavioral interactions. In predator-ungulate-plant systems, empirical research quantifying how predators affect ungulate group sizes and distribution, in the context of other influential variables, is particularly needed. The risk allocation hypothesis proposes that prey behavioral responses to predation risk depend on background frequencies of exposure to risk, and it can be used to make predictions about predator-ungulate-plant interactions. We determined non-predation variables that affect elk (Cervus elaphus) group sizes and distribution on a winter range in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) using logistic and log-linear regression on surveys of 513 1-km2 areas conducted over two years. Employing model selection techniques, we evaluated risk allocation and other a priori hypotheses of elk group size and distributional responses to wolf (Canis lupus) predation risk while accounting for influential non-wolf-predation variables. We found little evidence that wolves affect elk group sizes, which were strongly influenced by habitat type and hunting by humans. Following predictions from the risk allocation hypothesis, wolves likely created a more dynamic elk distribution in areas that they frequently hunted, as elk tended to move following wolf encounters in those areas. This response should dilute elk foraging pressure on plant communities in areas where they are frequently hunted by wolves. We predict that this should decrease the spatial heterogeneity of elk impacts on grasslands in areas that wolves frequently hunt. We also predict that this should decrease browsing pressure on heavily browsed woody plant stands in certain areas, which is supported by recent research in the GYE.

  13. 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.

  14. The modeling of predator-prey interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Muhammad Shakil; H. A. Wahab; Muhammad Naeem, et al.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we aim to study the interactions between the territorial animals like foxes and the rabbits. The territories for the foxes are considered to be the simple cells. The interactions between predator and its prey are represented by the chemical reactions which obey the mass action law. In this sense, we apply the mass action law for predator prey models and the quasi chemical approach is applied for the interactions between the predator and its prey to develop the modeled equations...

  15. 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.

  16. Baleen whales and their prey in a coastal environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatt, John F.; Methven, David A.; Burger, Alan E.; McLagan, Ruth L.; Mercer, Vicki; Creelman, Elizabeth

    1989-01-01

    Patterns of abundance of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), and minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) whales are described in relation to the abundance of their primary prey, capelin (Mallotus villosus), during 1982–1985 at Witless Bay, Newfoundland. The abundance ratio of the three whale species was 10:1:3.5, respectively. Abundance of all whale species was strongly correlated with abundance of capelin through each season and between years. Capelin abundance accounted for 63% of the variation in whale numbers in 1983 and 1984, while environmental parameters (e.g., water temperatures) accounted for little variance. The amount of capelin consumed by whales was small (< 2%) compared with the amount available. All three species overlapped temporally at Witless Bay, but spatial overlap was reduced as fins occurred primarily offshore, minkes primarily inshore, and humpbacks in bay habitats of intermediate depth.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Putting prey and predator into the CO2 equation--qualitative and quantitative effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrari, Maud C O; McCormick, Mark I; Munday, Philip L; Meekan, Mark G; Dixson, Danielle L; Lonnstedt, Öona; Chivers, Douglas P

    2011-11-01

    Little is known about the impact of ocean acidification on predator-prey dynamics. Herein, we examined the effect of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) on both prey and predator by letting one predatory reef fish interact for 24 h with eight small or large juvenile damselfishes from four congeneric species. Both prey and predator were exposed to control or elevated levels of CO(2). Mortality rate and predator selectivity were compared across CO(2) treatments, prey size and species. Small juveniles of all species sustained greater mortality at high CO(2) levels, while large recruits were not affected. For large prey, the pattern of prey selectivity by predators was reversed under elevated CO(2). Our results demonstrate both quantitative and qualitative consumptive effects of CO(2) on small and larger damselfish recruits respectively, resulting from CO(2)-induced behavioural changes likely mediated by impaired neurological function. This study highlights the complexity of predicting the effects of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  20. 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.

  1. Habitat use patterns of the invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans: a comparison between mangrove and reef systems in San Salvador, Bahamas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pimiento, Catalina; Nifong, James C.; Hunter, Margaret E.; Monaco, Eric; Silliman, Brian R.

    2015-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific red lionfish Pterois volitans is widespread both in its native and its non-native habitats. The rapid invasion of this top predator has had a marked negative effect on fish populations in the Western Atlantic and the Caribbean. It is now well documented that lionfish are invading many tropical and sub-tropical habitats. However, there are fewer data available on the change in lionfish abundance over time and the variation of body size and diet across habitats. A recent study in San Salvador, Bahamas, found body size differences between individuals from mangrove and reef systems. That study further suggested that ontogenetic investigation of habitat use patterns could help clarify whether lionfish are using the mangrove areas of San Salvador as nurseries. The aim of the present study is to determine temporal trends in lionfish relative abundance in mangrove and reef systems in San Salvador, and to further assess whether there is evidence suggesting an ontogenetic shift from mangroves to reef areas. Accordingly, we collected lionfish from mangrove and reef habitats and calculated catch per unit effort (a proxy for relative abundance), compared body size distributions across these two systems, and employed a combination of stable isotope, stomach content, and genetic analyses of prey, to evaluate differences in lionfish trophic interactions and habitat use patterns. Our results show that populations may have increased in San Salvador during the last 4 years, and that there is a strong similarity in body size between habitats, stark differences in prey items, and no apparent overlap in the use of habitat and/or food resources. These results suggest that there is not evidence an for ontogenetic shift from mangroves to reefs, and support other studies that propose lionfish are opportunistic forages with little movement across habitats.

  2. Densities of Barrow's goldeneyes during winter in Prince William Sound, Alaska in relation to habitat, food, and history of oil contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esler, Daniel N.; Bowman, Timothy D.; O'Clair, Charles E.; Dean, Thomas A.; McDonald, Lyman L.

    2000-01-01

    We evaluated variation in densities of Barrow's Goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica) during winter at 214 sites within oiled and unoiled study areas in Prince William Sound, Alaska in relation to physical habitat attributes, prey biomass, and history of habitat contamination by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Using general linear model analyses, we found that goldeneye densities were positively associated with occurrence of a stream within 200 m, lack of exposure to wind and waves, and mixed (versus rocky) substrate. We speculate that these associations relate to habitat profitability via selection of beneficial attributes and avoidance of detrimental features. We also determined that biomass of blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus), the primary prey, was not related to Barrow's Goldeneye densities; we suggest that mussel standing stock exceeds predation demands in our study areas and, thus, does not dictate goldeneye distribution. After accounting for habitat effects, we detected no effect of history of oil contamination on Barrow's Goldeneye densities, suggesting that populations have recovered from the oil spill. Although other studies documented hydrocarbon exposure in Barrow's Goldeneyes through at least 1997, either the level of exposure did not affect populations via reductions in survival, or effects of oil exposure were offset by immigration.

  3. Can soda ash dumping grounds provide replacement habitats for digger wasps (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Spheciformes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucyna Twerd

    Full Text Available Published sources document a loss of biodiversity at an extreme rate, mainly because natural and semi-natural ecosystems are becoming fragmented and isolated, thus losing their biological functions. These changes significantly influence biological diversity, which is a complex phenomenon that changes over time. Contemporary ecologists must therefore draw attention to anthropogenic replacement habitats and increase their conservation status. In our studies we show the positive role of soda ash dumping grounds as an alternative habitat for digger wasps, especially the thermophilic species.In the years 2007-2010 we carried out investigations in postindustrial soda ash dumping grounds located in Central Poland. We demonstrated that these areas serve as replacement habitats for thermophilic species of Spheciformes and, indirectly, for their potential prey. The studies were conducted in three microhabitat types, varying in soil moisture, salinity and alkalinity, that were changing in the course of ecological succession. We trapped 2571 specimens belonging to 64 species of digger wasps. Species typical of open sunny spaces comprised 73% of the whole inventory. The obtained results suggest that the stage of succession determines the richness, abundance and diversity of Spheciformes. The most favorable conditions for digger wasps were observed in habitats at late successional stages.Our results clearly showed that these habitats were replacement habitats for thermophilous Spheciformes, including rare taxa that require genetic, species and ecosystem protection, according to the Biodiversity Convention. We showed that some types of industry might play a positive role in the preservation of taxa in the landscape, and that even degraded industrial wasteland can replace habitats under anthropopressure, serving as refugia of biological diversity, especially for disturbance-dependent species.

  4. Assassin bug uses aggressive mimicry to lure spider prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wignall, Anne E; Taylor, Phillip W

    2011-05-07

    Assassin bugs (Stenolemus bituberus) hunt web-building spiders by invading the web and plucking the silk to generate vibrations that lure the resident spider into striking range. To test whether vibrations generated by bugs aggressively mimic the vibrations generated by insect prey, we compared the responses of spiders to bugs with how they responded to prey, courting male spiders and leaves falling into the web. We also analysed the associated vibrations. Similar spider orientation and approach behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from bugs and prey, whereas different behaviours were observed in response to vibrations from male spiders and leaves. Peak frequency and duration of vibrations generated by bugs were similar to those generated by prey and courting males. Further, vibrations from bugs had a temporal structure and amplitude that were similar to vibrations generated by leg and body movements of prey and distinctly different to vibrations from courting males or leaves, or prey beating their wings. To be an effective predator, bugs do not need to mimic the full range of prey vibrations. Instead bugs are general mimics of a subset of prey vibrations that fall within the range of vibrations classified by spiders as 'prey'.

  5. 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.

  6. Predator-Prey Dynamics in the Mesopelagic: Odontocete Foraging Ecology and Anti-predator Behavior of Prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, K. J.

    2016-02-01

    We explored the behavior of Risso's dolphins foraging in scattering layers off California using an integrated approach comprising echosounders deployed in a deep-diving autonomous underwater vehicle, ship based acoustics, visual observations, direct prey sampling, and animal-borne tags on deep-diving predators. We identified three distinct prey layers: a persistent layer around 425 m, a vertically migrating layer around 300 m, and a layer intermittently present near 50 m, all of which were used by individual tagged animals. Active acoustic measurements demonstrated that Risso's dolphins dove to discrete prey layers throughout the day and night with only slightly higher detection rates at night. Dolphins were detected in all three layers during the day with over half of detections in the middle layer, 20% of detections in the deepest layer, and 10% falling outside the main layers. Dolphins were found less frequently in areas where the shallow, intermittent layer was absent, suggesting that this layer, while containing the smallest prey and the lowest densities of squid, was an important component of their foraging strategy. The deepest layer was targeted equally both during the day and at night. Using acoustic data collected from the AUV, we found layers were made up of distinct, small patches of animals of similar size and taxonomy adjacent to contrasting patches. Squid made up over 70% of the patches in which dolphins were found and more than 95% of those in deep water. Squid targeted by dolphins in deep water were also relatively large, indicating significant benefit from these relatively rare, physically demanding dives. Within these patches, prey formed tighter aggregations when Risso's dolphins were present. Careful integration of a suite of traditional and novel tools is providing insight into the ecology and dynamics of predator and prey in the mesopelagic.

  7. Predation as a landscape effect: the trading off by prey species between predation risks and protection benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mönkkönen, M; Husby, M; Tornberg, R; Helle, P; Thomson, R L

    2007-05-01

    alternative predation risks, and respond adaptively. From the prey perspective, the landscape is a mosaic of habitat patches the quality of which varies according to structural and floristic features, but also to the spatial distribution of predators.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    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 previous

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chetri, Madhu; Odden, Morten; Wegge, Per

    2017-01-01

    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 previous

  13. 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.

  14. Prey size selection and cannibalistic behaviour of juvenile barramundi Lates calcarifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, F F; Qin, J G

    2015-05-01

    This study assessed the cannibalistic behaviour of juvenile barramundi Lates calcarifer and examined the relationship between prey size selection and energy gain of cannibals. Prey handling time and capture success by cannibals were used to estimate the ratio of energy gain to energy cost in prey selection. Cannibals selected smaller prey despite its capability of ingesting larger prey individuals. In behavioural analysis, prey handling time significantly increased with prey size, but it was not significantly affected by cannibal size. Conversely, capture success significantly decreased with the increase of both prey and cannibal sizes. The profitability indices showed that the smaller prey provides the most energy return for cannibals of all size classes. These results indicate that L. calcarifer cannibals select smaller prey for more profitable return. The behavioural analysis, however, indicates that L. calcarifer cannibals attack prey of all size at a similar rate but ingest smaller prey more often, suggesting that prey size selection is passively orientated rather than at the predator's choice. The increase of prey escape ability and morphological constraint contribute to the reduction of intracohort cannibalism as fish grow larger. This study contributes to the understanding of intracohort cannibalism and development of strategies to reduce fish cannibalistic mortalities. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  15. Foraging habits in a generalist predator: sex and age influence habitat selection and resource use among bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sam Rossman,; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Nelio B. Barros,; Hasand Gandhi,; Peggy H. Ostrom,; Stricker, Craig A.; Randall S. Wells,

    2015-01-01

    This study examines resource use (diet, habitat use, and trophic level) within and among demographic groups (males, females, and juveniles) of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We analyzed the δ13C and δ15N values of 15 prey species constituting 84% of the species found in stomach contents. We used these data to establish a trophic enrichment factor (TEF) to inform dietary analysis using a Bayesian isotope mixing model. We document a TEF of 0‰ and 2.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N, respectively. The dietary results showed that all demographic groups relied heavily on low trophic level seagrass-associated prey. Bayesian standard ellipse areas (SEAb) were calculated to assess diversity in resource use. The SEAb of females was nearly four times larger than that of males indicating varied resource use, likely a consequence of small home ranges and habitat specialization. Juveniles possessed an intermediate SEAb, generally feeding at a lower trophic level compared to females, potentially an effect of natal philopatry and immature foraging skills. The small SEAb of males reflects a high degree of specialization on seagrass associated prey. Patterns in resource use by the demographic groups are likely linked to differences in the relative importance of social and ecological factors.

  16. 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...

  17. Effects of dams on downstream molluscan predator-prey interactions in the Colorado River estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Jansen A; Handley, John C; Dietl, Gregory P

    2018-05-30

    River systems worldwide have been modified for human use and the downstream ecological consequences are often poorly understood. In the Colorado River estuary, where upstream water diversions have limited freshwater input during the last century, mollusc remains from the last several hundred years suggest widespread ecological change. The once abundant clam Mulinia modesta has undergone population declines of approximately 94% and populations of predators relying on this species as a food source have probably declined, switched to alternative prey species or both. We distinguish between the first two hypotheses using a null model of predation preference to test whether M. modesta was preyed upon selectively by the naticid snail, Neverita reclusiana , along the estuary's past salinity gradient. To evaluate the third hypothesis, we estimate available prey biomass today and in the past, assuming prey were a limiting resource. Data on the frequency of drill holes-identifiable traces of naticid predation on prey shells-showed several species, including M. modesta , were preferred prey. Neverita reclusiana was probably able to switch prey. Available prey biomass also declined, suggesting the N. reclusiana population probably also declined. These results indicate a substantial change to the structure of the benthic food web. Given the global scale of water management, such changes have probably also occurred in many of the world's estuaries. © 2018 The Author(s).

  18. Simulation and analysis of a model dinoflagellate predator-prey system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzoleni, M. J.; Antonelli, T.; Coyne, K. J.; Rossi, L. F.

    2015-12-01

    This paper analyzes the dynamics of a model dinoflagellate predator-prey system and uses simulations to validate theoretical and experimental studies. A simple model for predator-prey interactions is derived by drawing upon analogies from chemical kinetics. This model is then modified to account for inefficiencies in predation. Simulation results are shown to closely match the model predictions. Additional simulations are then run which are based on experimental observations of predatory dinoflagellate behavior, and this study specifically investigates how the predatory dinoflagellate Karlodinium veneficum uses toxins to immobilize its prey and increase its feeding rate. These simulations account for complex dynamics that were not included in the basic models, and the results from these computational simulations closely match the experimentally observed predatory behavior of K. veneficum and reinforce the notion that predatory dinoflagellates utilize toxins to increase their feeding rate.

  19. The effects of overwintering and habitat type on body condition and locomotion of the wolf spider Pardosa alacris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingle, Kapilkumar; Horváth, Ádám; Gallé-Szpisjak, Nikolett; Gellért, Levente; Csata, Enikő; Gallé, Róbert

    2018-05-01

    Overwintering in temperate regions is a prominent mortality risk for invertebrates and may affect their behaviour and body condition. Pardosa alacris is a common ground dwelling spider in central European native and plantation forests, and habitat type and prey availability may play important roles in their overwintering. The effect of overwintering on body condition and behaviour of spiders in semi natural and exotic habitats is relatively unknown. Here we assess the effects of winter on spiders from native poplar and exotic pine plantations. The locomotory behaviour of P. alacris (distance covered and speed) was assessed by tracking their movement in a white circular plastic arena. We assessed body condition, body size, and total fat content. Forest type and sex had significant effects on body length. Fat content was significantly higher in the spring than in autumn, and spiders covered larger distances and were faster in autumn than in spring. Fat content had a significant negative effect on average speed. Spiders in native forests were smaller but grew more during the winter than in exotic plantations, possibly due to higher prey availability in native forests. Visually-hunting predators may significantly affect spiders. Fat spiders with better body condition moved less, and were thus less detectable by predators. However the low movement rate may result in a low rate of encountering prey items, thus lowering feeding efficiency.

  20. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail A; Kauffman, Matthew J; Middleton, Arthur D; Jimenez, Michael D; McWhirter, Douglas E; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Kenneth

    2012-12-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human-wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf-livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40-60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into areas

  1. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Abigail; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Jimenez, Mike; McWhirter, Douglas; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human–wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf–livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40–60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into

  2. Long-term feeding ecology and habitat use in harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena from Scandinavian waters inferred from trace elements and stable isotopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gobert Sylvie

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We investigated the feeding ecology and habitat use of 32 harbour porpoises by-caught in 4 localities along the Scandinavian coast from the North Sea to the Barents Sea using time-integrative markers: stable isotopes (δ13C, δ15N and trace elements (Zn, Cu, Fe, Se, total Hg and Cd, in relation to habitat characteristics (bathymetry and geographic position (latitude. Results Among the trace elements analysed, only Cd, with an oceanic specific food origin, was found to be useful as an ecological tracer. All other trace elements studied were not useful, most likely because of physiological regulation and/or few specific sources in the food web. The δ13C, δ15N signatures and Cd levels were highly correlated with each other, as well as with local bathymetry and geographic position (latitude. Variation in the isotopic ratios indicated a shift in harbour porpoise's feeding habits from pelagic prey species in deep northern waters to more coastal and/or demersal prey in the relatively shallow North Sea and Skagerrak waters. This result is consistent with stomach content analyses found in the literature. This shift was associated with a northward Cd-enrichment which provides further support to the Cd 'anomaly' previously reported in polar waters and suggests that porpoises in deep northern waters include Cd-contaminated prey in their diet, such as oceanic cephalopods. Conclusion As stable isotopes and Cd provide information in the medium and the long term respectively, the spatial variation found, shows that harbour porpoises experience different ecological regimes during the year along the Scandinavian coasts, adapting their feeding habits to local oceanographic conditions, without performing extensive migration.

  3. Long-term feeding ecology and habitat use in harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena from Scandinavian waters inferred from trace elements and stable isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Michaël C; Tolley, Krystal A; Siebert, Ursula; Gobert, Sylvie; Lepoint, Gilles; Bouquegneau, Jean-Marie; Das, Krishna

    2007-01-17

    We investigated the feeding ecology and habitat use of 32 harbour porpoises by-caught in 4 localities along the Scandinavian coast from the North Sea to the Barents Sea using time-integrative markers: stable isotopes (delta13C, delta15N) and trace elements (Zn, Cu, Fe, Se, total Hg and Cd), in relation to habitat characteristics (bathymetry) and geographic position (latitude). Among the trace elements analysed, only Cd, with an oceanic specific food origin, was found to be useful as an ecological tracer. All other trace elements studied were not useful, most likely because of physiological regulation and/or few specific sources in the food web. The delta13C, delta15N signatures and Cd levels were highly correlated with each other, as well as with local bathymetry and geographic position (latitude). Variation in the isotopic ratios indicated a shift in harbour porpoise's feeding habits from pelagic prey species in deep northern waters to more coastal and/or demersal prey in the relatively shallow North Sea and Skagerrak waters. This result is consistent with stomach content analyses found in the literature. This shift was associated with a northward Cd-enrichment which provides further support to the Cd 'anomaly' previously reported in polar waters and suggests that porpoises in deep northern waters include Cd-contaminated prey in their diet, such as oceanic cephalopods. As stable isotopes and Cd provide information in the medium and the long term respectively, the spatial variation found, shows that harbour porpoises experience different ecological regimes during the year along the Scandinavian coasts, adapting their feeding habits to local oceanographic conditions, without performing extensive migration.

  4. Exploring trophic strategies of exotic caprellids (Crustacea: Amphipoda): Comparison between habitat types and native vs introduced distribution ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ros, Macarena; Tierno de Figueroa, José Manuel; Guerra-García, José Manuel; Navarro-Barranco, Carlos; Lacerda, Mariana Baptista; Vázquez-Luis, Maite; Masunari, Setuko

    2014-02-01

    The trophic ecology of non-native species is a key aspect to understand their invasion success and the community effects. Despite the important role of caprellid amphipods as trophic intermediates between primary producers and higher levels of marine food webs, there is very little information on their feeding habits. This is the first comprehensive study on the trophic strategies of two co-occurring introduced caprellids in the Spanish coasts: Caprella scaura and Paracaprella pusilla. The diet of 446 specimens of C. scaura and 230 of P. pusilla was analyzed to investigate whether there were differences in the feeding habits in relation to habitat characteristics (natural vs artificial hard substrata), type of host substrata (bryozoans and hydroids) and native vs introduced distribution ranges (Brazil vs Spain). Results revealed differences in diet preferences of the two species that have important implications for their trophic behaviour and showed a limited food overlap, which may favour their coexistence in introduced areas. In general terms, P. pusilla is a predator species, showing preference by crustacean prey in all of its life stages, while C. scaura feeds mainly on detritus. Although no sex-related diet shifts were observed in either of the species, evidence of ontogenetic variation in diet of C. scaura was found, with juveniles feeding on more amount of prey than adults. No diet differences were found between native and introduced populations within the same habitat type. However, P. pusilla exhibited a shift in its diet when different habitats were compared in the same distribution area, and C. scaura showed a flexible feeding behaviour between different host substrata in the same habitat type. This study shows that habitat characteristics at different scales can have greater influence on the feeding ecology of exotic species than different distribution ranges, and support the hypothesis that a switch between feeding strategies depending on habitat

  5. Functional analysis of a specialized prey processing behavior: winnowing by surfperches (Teleostei: Embiotocidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drucker, E G; Jensen, J S

    1991-12-01

    Several surfperches (Embiotocidae), including the black surfperch, Embiotoca jacksoni, exhibit a specialized prey handling behavior known as winnowing, in which ingested food and non-nutritive debris are separated within the oropharyngeal cavity. Prey items are swallowed, and unpalatable material is ejected from the mouth. Winnowing is believed to play an important role in the partitioning of food resources among sympatric embiotocids. We present a mechanistic model for this separative prey processing based on high-speed video analysis, cineradiography, electromyography, and buccal and opercular cavity pressure transducer recording. Winnowing by embiotocids is characterized by premaxillary protrusions repeated cyclically with reduced oral gape. Protrusion is accompanied by depression of the hyoid apparatus and adduction of the opercula. Alternating expansion and contraction of the buccal and opercular cavities generate regular pressure waveforms that indicate bidirectional water flow during processing. Separation of food from debris by Embiotoca jacksoni occurs in three phases. The prey-debris bolus is transported anteriorly and posteriorly within the oropharyngeal cavity and is then sheared by the pharyngeal jaws. Mechanical processing is complemented by the rinsing action of water currents during hydraulic prey transport. The feeding apparatus of Embiotoca jacksoni is functionally versatile, although not obviously specialized relative to that of nonwinnowing surfperches. Protrusion of the premaxillae and depression of the hyoid apparatus are critical to both prey capture and subsequent prey processing. The pharyngeal jaws exhibit kinematic patterns during separation of food from debris distinct from those observed during mastication of uncontaminated prey. This behavioral flexibility facilitates resource partitioning and the coexistence of E. jacksoni in sympatric embiotocid assemblages.

  6. 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

    rate of high-protein flies than of high-lipid flies and spiders but, after 5 days of feeding, there is no significant difference in growth between treatments, and the diets lead to significant changes in the macronutrient composition of P. quei as a result of variable extraction and utilization...... of the prey. The short-term utilization of spider prey is similar to that of high-lipid flies and both differ in several respects from the utilization of high-protein flies. Thus, the short-term nutrient utilization is better explained by prey macronutrient content than by whether the prey is a spider or not....... The results suggest that spider prey may have a more optimal macronutrient composition for P. quei and that P. quei does not depend on spider-specific substances....

  7. Diet choice of a predator in the wild: overabundance of prey and missed opportunities along the prey capture sequence

    OpenAIRE

    Brechbühl, Rolf; Casas, Jérôme; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Optimal diet theory (ODT) postulates that predators adjust their foraging decisions by calculating a prey value from the potential biomass gain, handling time, prey vulnerability and encounter rate. Tests of ODT have however so far mainly been restricted to laboratory settings. By video surveillance, we gathered a large data set of more than 2000 field observations of crab spider (Misumena vatia) encounters with potential prey. We then tested whether the complex ODT or two simpler models (pre...

  8. 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.

  9. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.

  10. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Björklund

    Full Text Available Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, common buzzard (Buteo buteo and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus. We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.

  11. Release from prey preservation behavior via prey switch allowed diversification of cuticular hydrocarbon profiles in digger wasps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurdack, Mareike; Polidori, Carlo; Keller, Alexander; Feldhaar, Heike; Schmitt, Thomas

    2017-11-01

    The cuticle of insects is covered by a layer of hydrocarbons (CHC), whose original function is the protection from desiccation and pathogens. However, in most insects CHC profiles are species specific. While this variability among species was largely linked to communication and recognition functions, additional selective forces may shape insect CHC profiles. Here, we show that in Philanthinae digger wasps (Crabronidae) the CHC profile coevolved with a peculiar brood-care strategy. In particular, we found that the behavior to embalm prey stored in the nest with hydrocarbons is adaptive to protect larval food from fungi in those species hunting for Hymenoptera. The prey embalming secretion is identical in composition to the alkene-dominated CHC profile in these species, suggesting that their profile is adaptively conserved for this purpose. In contrast, prey embalming is not required in those species that switched to Coleoptera as prey. Released from this chemical brood-care strategy, Coleoptera-hunting species considerably diversified their CHC profiles. Differential needs to successfully protect prey types used as larval food have thus driven the diversification of CHCs profiles of female Philanthinae wasps. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first evidence of a direct link between selection pressure for food preservation and CHC diversity. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Differential movement patterns of juvenile Tengmalms owls (Aegolius funereus during the post-fledging dependence period in two years with contrasting prey abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Kouba

    Full Text Available Fledgling behaviour and movement patterns throughout the post-fledging dependence period (PFDP, especially in relation to changing environmental conditions, have been rarely studied, despite the fact that this period is recognized as of crucial significance in terms of high mortality of juveniles. The PFDP can extend over quite a protracted period, particularly in birds of prey, and a knowledge of the movement patterns of individuals is fundamental for understanding mechanisms underlying survival, habitat use and dispersion. We radiotracked 39 fledglings of the Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus in two years with different availability of prey: 2010 (n = 29 and 2011 (n = 10 and obtained 1455 daily locations. Fledglings reached independence on average in 45 days after fledging in 2010 (n = 22 and 57 days in 2011 (n = 6. Within years, the most important measures influencing the distance moved from the nest box were age of fledglings and number of surviving siblings present. Individual home range size and duration of PFDP in particular were dependent on maximal number of siblings seen outside the nest box. In the season with low prey availability fledglings were observed at greater distances from the nest box than in the year with higher prey availability (mean distance: 350 m in 2010 and 650 m in 2011 and occupied larger home ranges (mean: 30.3 ha in 2010 and 57.7 ha in 2011. The main factor causing these differences between years was probably the different availability of prey in these two years, affecting breeding success and post-fledging survivorship of the Tengmalm's owls.

  15. Ambush frequency should increase over time during optimal predator search for prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpern, Steve; Fokkink, Robbert; Timmer, Marco; Casas, Jérôme

    2011-11-07

    We advance and apply the mathematical theory of search games to model the problem faced by a predator searching for prey. Two search modes are available: ambush and cruising search. Some species can adopt either mode, with their choice at a given time traditionally explained in terms of varying habitat and physiological conditions. We present an additional explanation of the observed predator alternation between these search modes, which is based on the dynamical nature of the search game they are playing: the possibility of ambush decreases the propensity of the prey to frequently change locations and thereby renders it more susceptible to the systematic cruising search portion of the strategy. This heuristic explanation is supported by showing that in a new idealized search game where the predator is allowed to ambush or search at any time, and the prey can change locations at intermittent times, optimal predator play requires an alternation (or mixture) over time of ambush and cruise search. Thus, our game is an extension of the well-studied 'Princess and Monster' search game. Search games are zero sum games, where the pay-off is the capture time and neither the Searcher nor the Hider knows the location of the other. We are able to determine the optimal mixture of the search modes when the predator uses a mixture which is constant over time, and also to determine how the mode mixture changes over time when dynamic strategies are allowed (the ambush probability increases over time). In particular, we establish the 'square root law of search predation': the optimal proportion of active search equals the square root of the fraction of the region that has not yet been explored.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Cox, Courtney E; Silbiger, Nyssa J; Bruno, John F

    2017-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. Feeding pattern and use of reproductive habitat of the Striped toad Rhinella crucifer (Anura: Bufonidae from Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo B. Ferreira

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Diet composition, foraging mode, and using of reproductive habitat of Rhinella crucifer was studied in an artificial pond in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The favored substrate was leaf litter, followed by Cyperaceae/Poaceae. Calling sites, preferred for 23.3 % (n = 7 of the observed toads, were within the water, with only the head not submerged. We analyzed a total of 61 specimens, mainly males (98.5% male and 1.5% female. Seven categories of prey were found in the stomach contents: Coleoptera, Hymenoptera (Formicidae, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Gastropoda (Mollusca, Opilionida (Arachnida. Our studies indicate that the diet of Rhinella crucifer consists mainly of terrestrial colonial arthropods. Formicidae was the predominant food item in frequency of occurrence, number of prey and weight. Isoptera and Coleoptera were also relevant in terms of weight. Neither large ontogenetic dietary nor seasonal shifts were observed in the population studied. Our results suggest that no intraspecific food resource partitioning occurs in adult or juveniles. Rhinella crucifer adults avoid competition inhabiting different home range habitats and seem to be ant-specialist with a wide foraging mode.

  1. Optimal foraging of little egrets and their prey in a foraging game in a patchy environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, M W; Abramsky, Z; Kotler, B P; Rosenzweig, M L; Alteshtein, O; Vasserman, G

    2013-03-01

    We explored the behavioral game between a predator, the little egret (Egretta garzetta), and a prey, the common goldfish (Carassius auratus), in a laboratory theater containing three fish pools. We tested the hypotheses that the egrets maximize their total capture success by responding to the fish's antipredatory behavior and that the behaviors of both players respond adaptively to the density distribution of fish among the pools. One experiment presented egrets with 15 fish per pool. The second experiment used a heterogeneous environment: pools 1, 2, and 3 had 10, 15, and 20 fish, respectively. Within each pool, fish could move between a safe, covered microhabitat and a risky, open microhabitat. Only the risky habitat had food, so fish were trading off food and safety by allocating the time spent in the two habitats. Egrets spent more total time in pools with more fish and returned to them sooner. Egrets maximized the number of fish they captured by following the matching rule of the ideal free distribution. The fish used the risky but productive habitat 65% of the time during experiments without egrets, but only 9% during experiments with 15 fish and egrets present somewhere in the theater. In addition, with egrets present, fish fine-tuned their behavior by reducing their use of the risky habitat as the egrets increased the frequency of their visits.

  2. 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

  3. Spring habitat use by stocked one year old European sturgeon Acipenser sturio in the freshwater-oligohaline area of the Gironde estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acolas, M. L.; Le Pichon, C.; Rochard, E.

    2017-09-01

    Post release habitat selection was studied on forty eight 10-month-old hatchery reared European sturgeon (mean fork length 31.0 cm ± 3.0) in the tidal part of their native catchment using acoustic telemetry. Most of the fish reached the oligohaline estuary within 2-4 days (70 km downstream the release site). Seventy four percent of the fish migrated rapidly downstream of the estuary into mesohaline waters while 26% selected habitat in the freshwater/oligohaline part of the estuary based on their linearity and residency indices. We focused on individual habitat use of these fish. The home range size (HR) was calculated using two methods: the kernel utilization distribution (KUD) which is driven by the maximum detection location density, and the Brownian Bridge (BB) approach which allows the time component of the trajectory path to be taken into account. The average 50% HR KUD was 5.6 ± 2.7 km2 (range 1.1-10.3 km2) and it was estimated to be 6 times larger using the 50% HR BB method (average reaching 31.9 ± 20.7 km2, range 5.2-77.8 km2). Habitat characterization (available prey, substrate and depth) in the studied area was described and the Ivlev electivity index was calculated using the habitat within the 50% HR BB for each individual. Despite the spatial use of different core areas among the fish tagged, we observed a convergence in habitat preference. For substrates, sturgeons showed avoidance of gravel and large rocks as well as fine and medium gravel. There was a significant preference for sand, silts and clay. For depth, they exhibited a preference firstly for the 5-8 m depth range and secondly for the 2-5 m range, a strong avoidance of depth range 8-20 m and a slight avoidance of shallow (0-2 m) and intertidal areas. For prey, individual variability was high. The most homogenous results were found for annelid polychaeta, with a slight preference for areas with this group of preys which are abundant in the saline estuary. For some individuals, a preference

  4. 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.

  5. Diet of the Fuscous Flycatcher Cnemotriccus fuscatus (Wied, 1831 – Aves, Tyrannidae - in three habitats of the northern Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MG Gaiotti

    Full Text Available The Fuscous Flycatcher (Cnemotriccus fuscatus is a medium-sized Tyrannidae widespread in South America. Despite its large distribution, there have been very few studies on its diet, especially in different habitats. This study presents data on diet variation in three habitats in the Pantanal wetlands in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The specimens were captured through a mist-netting programme between February 2000 and May 2010, in the Retiro Novo Farm, in the Poconé municipality. Birds were captured in three vegetation types: Landizal, Cambarazal and Cordilheira. Tartar emetic was used to obtain the regurgitation samples identified at order level. We captured 61 individuals (21, 26 and 14 in the above described habitats, respectively. Diet of C. fuscatus differed between the three habitats. Ants and beetles were the most relevant prey items either in numerical frequency (NF or in frequency of occurrence (OF, in terms of the overall diet (NF = 27.34% and 37.89%; OF = 36.06% and 75.4%, respectively. However, in Cordilheira, seeds and beetles dominated the NF (21.8% and 38.1%, respectively and OF (28.5% and 85.7%, respectively. Cnemotriccus fuscatus was found to have an omnivorous diet, although in Cambarazal, individuals preyed exclusively on arthropods. The present study provides an important contribution to the knowledge of the diet of a poorly studied Neotropical bird.

  6. PEMODELAN DISTRIBUSI KESESUAIAN HABITAT SINGGAH SIKEP MADU ASIA (Pernis ptilorhynchus DI PULAU RUPAT BERDASARKAN DATA SATELLITE- TRACKING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendry Pramono

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Birds of prey are one of environmental changes indicators because of their position as top predator. Many of them are migratory species that migrate from northern hemisphere to southern hemisphere, and use Rupat Island (in Riau Province as stopover habitat. One of them is Oriental Honey Buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus whose satellite tracking information (from 2006-2009 are available. This study aimed at identifying distribution characteristics of stopover habitats of Oriental Honey-buzzard in Rupat Island based on satellite tracking data using geographic information system (GIS. Several environmental variables (i.e. slope, elevation, land cover were processed into distance to the nearest map and analyzed using logistic regression analysis. The result showed that distribution of stopover habitats covered 1 276.67 km2 (87% of totally Rupat Island (1 461.95 km2. This distribution was mostly influenced by food availability and thermal wind. Identification of these habitat characteristics provides a baseline data for managing their stopover habitats and ecologically-based development of Rupat Island. Keywords: Logistic Regretion, Pernis ptilorhynchus, Rupat Island, Sattelite-tracking, Stopover habitat characteristic

  7. Ocean acidification alters fish populations indirectly through habitat modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelkerken, Ivan; Russell, Bayden D.; Gillanders, Bronwyn M.; Connell, Sean D.

    2016-01-01

    Ocean ecosystems are predicted to lose biodiversity and productivity from increasing ocean acidification. Although laboratory experiments reveal negative effects of acidification on the behaviour and performance of species, more comprehensive predictions have been hampered by a lack of in situ studies that incorporate the complexity of interactions between species and their environment. We studied CO2 vents from both Northern and Southern hemispheres, using such natural laboratories to investigate the effect of ocean acidification on plant-animal associations embedded within all their natural complexity. Although we substantiate simple direct effects of reduced predator-avoidance behaviour by fishes, as observed in laboratory experiments, we here show that this negative effect is naturally dampened when fish reside in shelter-rich habitats. Importantly, elevated CO2 drove strong increases in the abundance of some fish species through major habitat shifts, associated increases in resources such as habitat and prey availability, and reduced predator abundances. The indirect effects of acidification via resource and predator alterations may have far-reaching consequences for population abundances, and its study provides a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of increasing CO2 emissions as a driver of ecological change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    understand, and effectively mitigate the affects of anthropogenic sound, including military sonar, on these animals . OBJECTIVES The overall...distribution and individual predator behavior has now been measured in portions of five field seasons of SOCAL-BRS. This has included two phases each in in...additional phases of SOCAL-15 with prey mapping are scheduled to occur in October-November 2015. By analyzing prey and predator at fine scales (100s of

  9. Assessing diet compositions of Lake Ontario predators using fatty acid profiles of prey fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Happell, Austin; Pattridge, Robert; Rinchard, Jacques; Walsh, Maureen

    2017-01-01

    Fatty acid profiles are used in food web studies to assess trophic interactions between predator and prey. The present study provides the first comprehensive fatty acid dataset for important prey and predator species in Lake Ontario. Three major prey fish (alewife, rainbow smelt, and round goby) were collected at three sites along the southern shore of Lake Ontario during the spring and fall of 2013, and predator species were collected in similar locations during the summer of 2013. Fatty acid compositions were compared among all prey species, all predator species, and information from both predator and prey was used to infer foraging differences among predators. Seasonal differences in fatty acids were found within each prey species studied. Differences among prey species were greater than any spatio-temporal differences detected within species. Fatty acids of predators revealed species-specific differences that matched known foraging habits. Chinook and Coho salmon, which are known to select alewife as their dominant prey item, had relatively little variation in fatty acid profiles. Conversely, brown trout, lake trout, yellow perch and esocids had highly variable fatty acid profiles and likely highly variable diet compositions. In general, our data suggested three dominant foraging patterns: 1) diet composed of nearly exclusively alewife for Chinook and Coho Salmon; 2) a mixed diet of alewife and round goby for brown and lake trout, and both rock and smallmouth bass; 3) a diet that is likely comprised of forage fishes other than those included in our study for northern pike and chain pickerel.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Weather and Prey Predict Mammals’ Visitation to Water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Grant; Sanderson, James G.; Erz, Jon; Lehnen, Sarah E.; Butler, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    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 May and

  13. The effects of wetland habitat structure on Florida apple snail density

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karunaratne, L.B.; Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    Wetlands often support a variety of juxtaposed habitat patches (e.g., grass-, shrub- or tree-dominated) differentially suited to support the inhabiting fauna. The proportion of available habitat types has been affected by human activity and consequently has contributed to degrading habitat quality for some species. The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) has drawn attention as a critical prey item for wetlands wildlife and as an indicator of wetlands restoration success in peninsular Florida, USA. An apparent contradiction has evolved wherein this species appears intolerant of drying events, but these disturbances may be necessary to maintain suitable habitat structure for apple snails. We recently reported that assertions regarding intolerance to dry downs in this species were inaccurate. Here, we compared snail density in habitats with (wet prairie) and without (slough) emergent macrophytes, as well as evaluating the effects of structural attributes within the broad wet prairie habitat type. Snail densities were greater in prairies relative to sloughs (??2= 12.90, df=1, P=0.0003), often by a factor of two to three. Within wet prairie habitats, we found greater snail densities in Panicum hemitomon as compared to Eleocharis cellulosa (??2=31.45, df=1, P=0.0001). Significantly fewer snails were found in dense E. cellulosa as compared to habitats with lower stem density (??2= 10.73, df=1, P=0.011). Our results indicate that wet prairie habitat supports greater snail densities than nymphaea-dominatd slough. Our results have implications for wetlands water management in that continuous inundation has been shown to convert wet prairie to slough habitat, and we suggest this should be avoided in support of apple snails and their predators. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparative growth and development of spiders reared on live and dead prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Yu; Zhang, Fan; Gui, Shaolan; Qiao, Huping; Hose, Grant C

    2013-01-01

    Scavenging (feeding on dead prey) has been demonstrated across a number of spider families, yet the implications of feeding on dead prey for the growth and development of individuals and population is unknown. In this study we compare the growth, development, and predatory activity of two species of spiders that were fed on live and dead prey. Pardosa astrigera (Lycosidae) and Hylyphantes graminicola (Lyniphiidae) were fed live or dead fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster. The survival of P. astrigera and H. graminicola was not affected by prey type. The duration of late instars of P. astrigera fed dead prey were longer and mature spiders had less protein content than those fed live prey, whereas there were no differences in the rate of H. graminicola development, but the mass of mature spiders fed dead prey was greater than those fed live prey. Predation rates by P. astrigera did not differ between the two prey types, but H. graminicola had a higher rate of predation on dead than alive prey, presumably because the dead flies were easier to catch and handle. Overall, the growth, development and reproduction of H. graminicola reared with dead flies was better than those reared on live flies, yet for the larger P. astrigera, dead prey may suit smaller instars but mature spiders may be best maintained with live prey. We have clearly demonstrated that dead prey may be suitable for rearing spiders, although the success of the spiders fed such prey appears size- and species specific.

  18. The hydrodynamics of predator-prey interactions in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHenry, Matthew; Soto, Alberto; Carrillo, Andres; Byron, Margaret

    2017-11-01

    Hydrodynamics govern the behavior of fishes when they operate as predators or prey. In addition to the role of fluid forces in propulsion, fishes relay on flow stimuli to sense a predatory threat and to localize palatable prey. We have performed a series of experiments on zebrafish (Danio rerio) that aim to resolve the major factors that determine whether prey survive an encounter with a predator. Zebrafish serve as a model system in this pursuit because the adults prey on larvae of the same species and the larvae are often successful in evading the attacks of the adults. We use a combination of theoretical and experimental approaches to resolve the behavioral algorithms and kinematics that determined the outcome of these interactions. In this context, the hydrodynamics of intermediate Reynolds numbers largely determines the range of flow stimuli and the limits to locomotor performance at dictate prey survival. These principles have the potential to apply to a broad diversity of fishes and other aquatic animals. ONR: N00014-15-1-2249.

  19. 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.

  20. Life history and habitat associations of the broad wood cockroach, Parcoblatta lata (Blattaria: Blattellidae) and other native cockroaches in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, Scott; Hanula, James, L.

    2002-06-18

    Wood cockroaches are an important prey of the red-cockaded woodpecker, Picoides borealis, an endangered species inhabiting pine forests in the southern United States. These woodpeckers forage on the boles of live pine trees, but their prey consists of a high proportion of wood cockroaches, Parcoblatta spp., that are more commonly associated with dead plant material. Cockroach population density samples were conducted on live pine trees, dead snags and coarse woody debris on the ground. The studies showed that snags and logs are also important habitats of wood cockroaches in pine forests.

  1. Shell colour, temperature, (micro)habitat structure and predator pressure affect the behaviour of Cepaea nemoralis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosin, Zuzanna M.; Kwieciński, Zbigniew; Lesicki, Andrzej; Skórka, Piotr; Kobak, Jarosław; Szymańska, Anna; Osiejuk, Tomasz S.; Kałuski, Tomasz; Jaskulska, Monika; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2018-06-01

    Although shell colour polymorphism of the land snail Cepaea nemoralis is a well-known phenomenon, proximate and ultimate factors driving its evolution remain uncertain. Polymorphic species show variation in behavioural responses to selective forces. Therefore, we estimated effects of various environmental factors (temperature, humidity, food availability, (micro)habitat structure and predatory pressure) on behavioural response (frequency of locomotion, climbing and hiding) of C. nemoralis morphs, in experimental and natural conditions. In the experimental part of study, the frequency of locomotion was negatively affected by temperature and the presence of food and positively influenced by the presence of light. Morphs significantly differed in behavioural responses to environmental variability. Pink mid-banded and yellow five-banded morphs climbed less often and hide in shelter more often than yellow and pink unbanded individuals when temperature was low and food was absent. Snails fed most often at moderate temperature compared to low and high temperatures. Field investigations partially confirmed differences among morphs in frequency of climbing, but not in terms of probability of hiding in sheltered sites. In natural colonies, temperature and (micro)habitat structure significantly affected frequency of climbing as well as hiding in shelter. Snails more often hid in sheltered sites where thrushes preyed on Cepaea. Tendency of unbanded morphs to climb trees may have evolved under avian predatory pressure as thrushes forage on a ground. Tendency of banded morphs to hide in sheltered sites may reflect prey preferences for cryptic background. The results implicate that differential behaviour of C. nemoralis morphs compensate for their morphological and physiological limitations of adaptation to habitat.

  2. Stomach fullness shapes prey choice decisions in crab plovers (Dromas ardeola)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bom, Roeland A.; Fijen, Thijs P. M.; van Gils, Jan 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 a higher rate than the digestive system can process them. According to the digestive rate model (DRM), foragers in such situations should prefer prey with the highest digestive quality, instead of the highest profitability. As the digestive system fills up, the limiting constraint switches from ingestion rate to digestion rate, and prey choice is expected to change accordingly for foragers making decisions over a relative short time window. We use these models to understand prey choice in crab plovers (Dromas ardeola), preying on either small burrowing crabs that are swallowed whole (high profitability, but potentially inducing a digestive constraint) or on larger swimming crabs that are opened to consume only the flesh (low profitability, but easier to digest). To parameterize the CM and DRM, we measured energy content, ballast mass and handling times for different sized prey, and the birds’ digestive capacity in three captive individuals. Subsequently, these birds were used in ad libitum experiments to test if they obeyed the rules of the CM or DRM. We found that crab plovers with an empty stomach mainly chose the most profitable prey, matching the CM. When stomach fullness increased, the birds switched their preference from the most profitable prey to the highest-quality prey, matching the predictions of the DRM. This shows that prey choice is context dependent, affected by the stomach fullness of an animal. Our results suggest that prey choice experiments should be carefully interpreted, especially under captive conditions as foragers often ‘fill up’ in the course of feeding trials. PMID:29641542

  3. 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...

  4. Morphology of seahorse head hydrodynamically aids in capture of evasive prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gemmell, Brad J; Sheng, Jian; Buskey, Edward J

    2013-01-01

    Syngnathid fish (seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons) are slow swimmers yet capture evasive prey (copepods) using a technique known as the 'pivot' feeding, which involves rapid movement to overcome prey escape capabilities. However, this feeding mode functions only at short range and requires approaching very closely to hydrodynamically sensitive prey without triggering an escape. Here we investigate the role of head morphology on prey capture using holographic and particle image velocimetry (PIV). We show that head morphology functions to create a reduced fluid deformation zone, minimizing hydrodynamic disturbance where feeding strikes occur (above the end of the snout), and permits syngnathid fish to approach highly sensitive copepod prey (Acartia tonsa) undetected. The results explain how these animals can successfully employ short range 'pivot' feeding effectively on evasive prey. The need to approach prey with stealth may have selected for a head shape that produces lower deformation rates than other fish.

  5. Rapid prey evolution can alter the structure of predator-prey communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friman, V. -P.; Jousset, A.; Buckling, A.

    Although microevolution has been shown to play an important role in pairwise antagonistic species interactions, its importance in more complex communities has received little attention. Here, we used two Pseudomonas fluorescens prey bacterial strains (SBW25 and F113) and Tetrahymena thermophila

  6. On multi-team predator-prey models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elettreby, M.F.; Saker, S.H.; Ahmed, E.

    2005-05-01

    Many creatures form teams. This has, at least, two main advantages: the first is the improvement in foraging, since looking for food in a team is more efficient than doing it alone. The second is that living in a team reduces predation risk due to early spotting of predators and that existing in a team gives a higher probability that the predator will attack another member of the team. In this paper models are given where two teams of predators interact with two teams of preys. The teams of each group (predators or preys) help each other. In this paper we propose three different versions of the multi-team predator prey model. We study the equilibrium solutions, the conditions of their local asymptotic stability, persistence and the global stability of the solution of one of the models. Some numerical simulations are done. (author)

  7. How well can fishes prey on zebra mussels in eastern North America?

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, John R. P.

    1993-01-01

    Literature on mollusk-eating fishes was reviewed to determine the potential for different species of fish to control zebra mussels in eastern North America. At least six species are potential predators of zebra mussels because they possess (1) both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth or (2) lower pharyngeal teeth and chewing pads located on the dorsal roof for crushing mollusk shells. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) and two centrarchids, redear sunfish (Lepomis microlophus) and pumpkinseed (L. gibbosus), possess both upper and lower pharyngeal teeth and are likely to consume more zebra mussels than fishes with only lower pharyngeal teeth. Only two catostomid species, copper and river redhorses (Moxostoma hubbsi and M. carinatum), have chewing pads that enable them to crush mollusks. The exotic omnivorous common carp (Cyprinus carpio), possessing lower teeth and a chewing pad, may prey on zebra mussels when aquatic insect larvae, its preferred food, become rare. Managing populations of drum, sunfishes and redhorses to reduce exploitation of large individuals and improve their habitats are suggested as means to intensify biological control of zebra mussels in eastern North America. Other Eurasian molluscivores, the roach (Rutilus rutilus) and the black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus) should not be introduced into North America because research has shown repeatedly that an introduced biological controller usually does not forage for unwanted pests or reside only in preferred habitats of pests. Drum, sunfishes and redhorses should be preferred over these exotics as biological controllers of zebra mussels in North America because these native fishes will likely occupy newly established habitats of zebra mussels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takatsu, Kunio; Kishida, Osamu

    2015-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Landscape management of fire and grazing regimes alters the fine-scale habitat utilisation by feral cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Hugh W; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Christopher N

    2014-01-01

    Intensification of fires and grazing by large herbivores has caused population declines in small vertebrates in many ecosystems worldwide. Impacts are rarely direct, and usually appear driven via indirect pathways, such as changes to predator-prey dynamics. Fire events and grazing may improve habitat and/or hunting success for the predators of small mammals, however, such impacts have not been documented. To test for such an interaction, we investigated fine-scale habitat selection by feral cats in relation to fire, grazing and small-mammal abundance. Our study was conducted in north-western Australia, where small mammal populations are sensitive to changes in fire and grazing management. We deployed GPS collars on 32 cats in landscapes with contrasting fire and grazing treatments. Fine-scale habitat selection was determined using discrete choice modelling of cat movements. We found that cats selected areas with open grass cover, including heavily-grazed areas. They strongly selected for areas recently burnt by intense fires, but only in habitats that typically support high abundance of small mammals. Intense fires and grazing by introduced herbivores created conditions that are favoured by cats, probably because their hunting success is improved. This mechanism could explain why, in northern Australia, impacts of feral cats on small mammals might have increased. Our results suggest the impact of feral cats could be reduced in most ecosystems by maximising grass cover, minimising the incidence of intense fires, and reducing grazing by large herbivores.

  11. Landscape management of fire and grazing regimes alters the fine-scale habitat utilisation by feral cats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hugh W McGregor

    Full Text Available Intensification of fires and grazing by large herbivores has caused population declines in small vertebrates in many ecosystems worldwide. Impacts are rarely direct, and usually appear driven via indirect pathways, such as changes to predator-prey dynamics. Fire events and grazing may improve habitat and/or hunting success for the predators of small mammals, however, such impacts have not been documented. To test for such an interaction, we investigated fine-scale habitat selection by feral cats in relation to fire, grazing and small-mammal abundance. Our study was conducted in north-western Australia, where small mammal populations are sensitive to changes in fire and grazing management. We deployed GPS collars on 32 cats in landscapes with contrasting fire and grazing treatments. Fine-scale habitat selection was determined using discrete choice modelling of cat movements. We found that cats selected areas with open grass cover, including heavily-grazed areas. They strongly selected for areas recently burnt by intense fires, but only in habitats that typically support high abundance of small mammals. Intense fires and grazing by introduced herbivores created conditions that are favoured by cats, probably because their hunting success is improved. This mechanism could explain why, in northern Australia, impacts of feral cats on small mammals might have increased. Our results suggest the impact of feral cats could be reduced in most ecosystems by maximising grass cover, minimising the incidence of intense fires, and reducing grazing by large herbivores.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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].

  15. Prey change behaviour with predation threat, but demographic effects vary with prey density: experiments with grasshoppers and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belovsky, Gary E; Laws, Angela Nardoni; Slade, Jennifer B

    2011-04-01

    Increasingly, ecologists emphasize that prey frequently change behaviour in the presence of predators and these behavioural changes can reduce prey survival and reproduction as much or more than predation itself. However, the effects of behavioural changes on survival and reproduction may vary with prey density due to intraspecific competition. In field experiments, we varied grasshopper density and threat of avian predation and measured grasshopper behaviour, survival and reproduction. Grasshopper behaviour changed with the threat of predation and these behavioural changes were invariant with grasshopper density. Behavioural changes with the threat of predation decreased per capita reproduction over all grasshopper densities; whereas the behavioural changes increased survival at low grasshopper densities and then decreased survival at high densities. At low grasshopper densities, the total reproductive output of the grasshopper population remained unchanged with predation threat, but declined at higher densities. The effects of behavioural changes with predation threat varied with grasshopper density because of a trade-off between survival and reproduction as intraspecific competition increased with density. Therefore, resource availability may need to be considered when assessing how prey behavioural changes with predation threat affect population and food web dynamics. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  16. 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...

  17. Bio-Physical Coupling of Seabirds and Prey with a Dynamic River Plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, E. M.; Horne, J. K.; Zamon, J. E.; Adams, J.

    2016-02-01

    Freshwater plumes and plume density fronts are important regions of bio-physical coupling. On the west coast of North America, discharge from the Columbia River into the northern California Current creates a large, dynamic plume and multiple plume fronts. These nutrient-rich, productive waters fuel primary and secondary production, supporting a wide variety of small pelagic prey fish, large populations of Pacific salmon, seabirds, and marine mammals. To determine the influence of the Columbia River plume on marine predators, we analyzed at-sea seabird counts, in situ environmental data, surface trawl densities of prey fish, and acoustic backscatter measurements collected from research vessels in May and June 2010-2012. Concurrent distribution patterns of satellite-tagged sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) and common murres (Uria aalge) were compared with seabird counts from ship surveys. To evaluate plume use by satellite-tagged birds, daily surface salinity values from SELFE hindcast models were extracted at each tag location. Both seabird species occurred in plume waters disproportionate to the total surveyed area, concentrating in the river plume when river flow and plume volume decreased. Murres were consistently within 20 km of the geographic mean center of the river plume. In contrast, shearwaters consistently occurred 100 km to the north of the plume center, where high densities of prey fish occur. Although acoustically detected prey also occurred in greater densities within the plume when volume decreased, surface catches of prey in the plume did not vary with changing plume conditions. Geographic indices of colocation (GIC) were low between murres and prey species caught in surface trawls, whereas GICs were >0.5 between shearwaters and prey species including squid (Loligo opalescens), juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and coho (O. kisutch) salmon. We conclude that the river plume and associated fronts are identifiable, predictable, and

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Assessing breeding potential of peregrine falcons based on chlorinated hydrocarbon concentrations in prey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, J.E. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Rd., RR no. 1, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2 (Canada)]. E-mail: john.elliott@ec.gc.ca; Miller, M.J. [Iolaire Ecological Consulting, 7899 Thrasher St., Mission, British Columbia, V2V 5H3 (Canada); Wilson, L.K. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, 5421 Robertson Rd., RR no. 1, Delta, British Columbia, V4K 3N2 (Canada)

    2005-03-01

    Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) now breed successfully in most areas of North America from which they were previously extirpated. The loss during the mid-part of the last century of many of the world's peregrine populations was largely a consequence of impaired reproduction caused by the effects of DDE on eggshell quality and embryo hatchability. Population recovery has been attributed to re-introduction efforts, coupled with regulatory restrictions on the use of organochlorine pesticides. Peregrines have not returned to breed in some areas, such as the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. That region has been extensively planted in fruit orchards which were treated annually with DDT during the early 1950s to the 1970s. Ongoing contamination of avian species, including potential peregrine prey, inhabiting orchards has been documented. In response to an initiative to release peregrines around the city of Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, we collected potential peregrine prey species and analyzed whole bodies for chlorinated hydrocarbon residues. We used a simple bioaccumulation model to predict concentrations of DDE in peregrine eggs using concentrations in prey and estimates of dietary makeup as input. Peregrines would be expected to breed successfully only if they fed on a diet primarily of doves. Feeding on as little as 10% of other species such as starlings, robins, gulls and magpies would produce DDE concentrations in peregrine eggs greater than the threshold of 15 mg/kg. We also estimated the critical concentration of DDE in total prey to be about 0.5 mg/kg, one half of the previous most conservative criterion for peregrine prey. Concentrations of dieldrin and PCBs in peregrine prey are less than suggested critical levels. - Based on the level of DDE contamination of prey items, it seems unlikely that peregrine falcons could breed successfully throughout most of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Trait-based diet selection: prey behaviour and morphology predict vulnerability to predation in reef fish communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M

    2014-11-01

    Understanding how predators select their prey can provide important insights into community structure and dynamics. However, the suite of prey species available to a predator is often spatially and temporally variable. As a result, species-specific selectivity data are of limited use for predicting novel predator-prey interactions because they are assemblage specific. We present a method for predicting diet selection that is applicable across prey assemblages, based on identifying general morphological and behavioural traits of prey that confer vulnerability to predation independent of species identity. We apply this trait-based approach to examining prey selection by Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), invasive predators that prey upon species-rich reef fish communities and are rapidly spreading across the western Atlantic. We first generate hypotheses about morphological and behavioural traits recurring across fish species that could facilitate or deter predation by lionfish. Constructing generalized linear mixed-effects models that account for relatedness among prey taxa, we test whether these traits predict patterns of diet selection by lionfish within two independent data sets collected at different spatial scales: (i) in situ visual observations of prey consumption and availability for individual lionfish and (ii) comparisons of prey abundance in lionfish stomach contents to availability on invaded reefs at large. Both analyses reveal that a number of traits predicted to affect vulnerability to predation, including body size, body shape, position in the water column and aggregation behaviour, are important determinants of diet selection by lionfish. Small, shallow-bodied, solitary fishes found resting on or just above reefs are the most vulnerable. Fishes that exhibit parasite cleaning behaviour experience a significantly lower risk of predation than non-cleaning fishes, and fishes that are nocturnally active are at significantly

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A comparison of food habits and prey preferences of Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica Temminck, 1844) at the southwest Primorskii Krai in Russia and Hunchun in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Jiayin; Yu, Lan; Hua, Yan; Ning, Yao; Heng, Bao; Qi, Jinzhe; Long, Zexv; Yao, Mingyuan; Huang, Chong; Li, Zhilin; Lang, Jianming; Jiang, Guangshun; Ma, Jianzhang

    2018-05-03

    A small, isolated Amur tiger population is living at the southwest Primorskii Krai in Russia and Hunchun in China region. Many of them with "dual nationality" cross the border frequently. Formulating effective conservation strategies requires a clear understanding of tiger food requirements in both Russia and China sides, while Russia side already have clear results of it. We used scat analysis combined with data on the abundance of four prey species to estimate Amur tiger diet and prey preferences in Hunchun. We examined 53 tiger samples from 2011-2016 and found that tigers preyed on 12 species (11 species in winter), four of which were domestic animals with 33.58% biomass contribution, and got the first record that Amur tiger eat lynx in this area. Tigers showed a strong preference for wild boar (Jacobs index: +0.849), which were also the most frequently consumed prey, and a strong avoidance to roe deer (Jacobs index: -0.693). On the Russian side, domestic animals (just dog) were rarely found in tiger scat, and tiger did not show strong avoidance to roe deer, but to sika deer. We also found red deer footprints during winter surveys and that tigers ate red deer on the Chinese side, while there was no record of red deer on the Russian side. Reducing or eliminating human disturbance, such as grazing, is essential to recovering tiger prey and habitat in this area and the Sino-Russia joint ungulate annual survey is indispensable for prey estimates of this small, isolated Amur tiger population. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobramysl, U; Täuber, U C

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Allee effect in a discrete-time predator-prey system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Celik, Canan; Duman, Oktay

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we study the stability of a discrete-time predator-prey system with and without Allee effect. By analyzing both systems, we first obtain local stability conditions of the equilibrium points without the Allee effect and then exhibit the impact of the Allee effect on stability when it is imposed on prey population. We also show the stabilizing effect of Allee effect by numerical simulations and verify that when the prey population is subject to an Allee effect, the trajectory of the solutions approximates to the corresponding equilibrium point much faster. Furthermore, for some fixed parameter values satisfying necessary conditions, we show that the corresponding equilibrium point moves from instability to stability under the Allee effect on prey population.

  11. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in reptile faeces: analysis of earthworm consumption by slow worms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, David S; Jarman, Simon N; Symondson, William O C

    2012-03-01

    Little quantitative ecological information exists on the diets of most invertebrate feeding reptiles, particularly nocturnal or elusive species that are difficult to observe. In the UK and elsewhere, reptiles are legally required to be relocated before land development can proceed, but without knowledge of their dietary requirements, the suitability of receptor sites cannot be known. Here, we tested the ability of non-invasive DNA-based molecular diagnostics (454 pyrosequencing) to analyse reptile diets, with the specific aims of determining which earthworm species are exploited by slow worms (the legless lizard Anguis fragilis) and whether they feed on the deeper-living earthworm species that only come to the surface at night. Slow worm faecal samples from four different habitats were analysed using earthworm-specific PCR primers. We found that 86% of slow worms (N=80) had eaten earthworms. In lowland heath and marshy/acid grassland, Lumbricus rubellus, a surface-dwelling epigeic species, dominated slow worm diet. In two other habitats, riverside pasture and calciferous coarse grassland, diet was dominated by deeper-living anecic and endogeic species. We conclude that all species of earthworm are exploited by these reptiles and lack of specialization allows slow worms to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Pyrosequencing of prey DNA in faeces showed promise as a practical, rapid and relatively inexpensive means of obtaining detailed and valuable ecological information on the diets of reptiles. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. 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...

  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. Tidal and seasonal influences in dolphin habitat use in a southern Brazilian estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Lopes Paitach

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study we describe how franciscana and Guiana dolphin habitat use is influenced by tidal cycles and seasonality in Babitonga Bay. The franciscanas use a greater area in winter and a smaller area in summer, but the extent of the area used did not vary with the tide. Guiana dolphins did not change the extent of the area used within seasons or tides. Franciscanas remained closer to the mouth of the bay and the islands during ebb tide, moving to the inner bay areas and closer to the mainland coast during flood tide. Guiana dolphin used areas closer to the mainland coast during the flood tide. Guiana dolphin patterns of movement do not seem to be related to the tidal current. Franciscanas used sandier areas while Guiana dolphins preferred muddy areas, with some seasonal variation. We suggest that these dolphins modify their distributions based on habitat accessibility and prey availability. This study enhances our knowledge of critical habitat characteristics for franciscana and Guiana dolphins, and these factors should be considered when planning local human activities targeting species conservation.

  15. 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...

  16. Foraging behaviour and prey size spectra of larval herring Clupea harengus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munk, Peter

    1992-01-01

    size groups of larval herring Clupea harengus L. were studied when preying on 6 size groups of copepods. Larval swimming and attack behaviour changed with prey size and were related to the ratio between prey length and larval length. The effective search rate showed a maximum when prey length was about......, that the available biomass of food as a proportion of the predator biomass will not increase. In order to assess the uniformity of relative prey size spectra of herring larvae and their background in larval foraging behaviour, a set of experimental and field investigations has been carried out. In the experiments, 4...... in the biomass spectra of the environment is important to larval growth and survival....

  17. 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.

  18. The curse of the prey: Sarcoptes mite molecular analysis reveals potential prey-to-predator parasitic infestation in wild animals from Masai Mara, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soriguer Ramón C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recently, there have been attempts to understand the molecular epidemiology of Sarcoptes scabiei, to evaluate the gene flow between isolates of S. scabiei from different hosts and geographic regions. However, to our knowledge, a molecular study has not been carried out to assess the molecular diversity and gene flow of Sarcoptes mite in a predator/prey ecosystem. Results Our study revealed an absence of gene flow between the two herbivore (Thomson's gazelle and wildebeest- and between the two carnivore (lion and cheetah-derived Sarcoptes populations from Masai Mara (Kenya, which is in discrepancy with the host-taxon law described for wild animals in Europe. Lion- and wildebeest-derived Sarcoptes mite populations were similar yet different from the Thomson's gazelle-derived Sarcoptes population. This could be attributed to Sarcoptes cross-infestation from wildebeest ("favourite prey" of the lion, but not from Thomson's gazelle. The cheetah-derived Sarcoptes population had different subpopulations: one is cheetah-private, one similar to the wildebeest- and lion-derived Sarcoptes populations, and another similar to the Thomson's gazelle-derived Sarcoptes mite population, where both wildebeest and Thomson's gazelle are "favourite preys" for the cheetah. Conclusions In a predator/prey ecosystem, like Masai Mara in Kenya, it seems that Sarcoptes infestation in wild animals is prey-to-predator-wise, depending on the predator's "favourite prey". More studies on the lion and cheetah diet and behaviour could be of great help to clarify the addressed hypotheses. This study could have further ramification in the epidemiological studies and the monitoring protocols of the neglected Sarcoptes mite in predator/prey ecosystems.

  19. 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.

  20. Lead and arsenic in bones of birds of prey from Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateo, R.; Taggart, M.; Meharg, A.A

    2003-11-01

    Raptors feeding on species targeted by hunters in upland habitats suffer from lead poisoning. - The bones (humerus and/or femur) of 229 birds of prey from 11 species were analyzed for Pb and As to evaluate their exposure to Pb shot. The species with the highest mean Pb levels were red kite (Milvus milvus) and Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus), and the species with the lowest levels were Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) and booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). Red kite also had the highest mean As level, an element present in small amounts in Pb shot. Elevated bone Pb concentrations (>10 {mu}g/g dry weight) were found in 10 birds from six species. Clinical signs compatible with lethal Pb poisoning and/or excessive bone Pb concentrations (>20 {mu}g/g) were observed in one Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), one red kite, and one Eurasian griffon. Pb poisoning has been diagnosed in eight upland raptor species in Spain to date.

  1. Lead and arsenic in bones of birds of prey from Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mateo, R.; Taggart, M.; Meharg, A.A.

    2003-01-01

    Raptors feeding on species targeted by hunters in upland habitats suffer from lead poisoning. - The bones (humerus and/or femur) of 229 birds of prey from 11 species were analyzed for Pb and As to evaluate their exposure to Pb shot. The species with the highest mean Pb levels were red kite (Milvus milvus) and Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus), and the species with the lowest levels were Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) and booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). Red kite also had the highest mean As level, an element present in small amounts in Pb shot. Elevated bone Pb concentrations (>10 μg/g dry weight) were found in 10 birds from six species. Clinical signs compatible with lethal Pb poisoning and/or excessive bone Pb concentrations (>20 μg/g) were observed in one Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), one red kite, and one Eurasian griffon. Pb poisoning has been diagnosed in eight upland raptor species in Spain to date

  2. Marine fish community structure and habitat associations on the Canadian Beaufort shelf and slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewski, Andrew R.; Atchison, Sheila; MacPhee, Shannon; Eert, Jane; Niemi, Andrea; Michel, Christine; Reist, James D.

    2017-03-01

    Marine fishes in the Canadian Beaufort Sea have complex interactions with habitats and prey, and occupy a pivotal position in the food web by transferring energy between lower- and upper-trophic levels, and also within and among habitats (e.g., benthic-pelagic coupling). The distributions, habitat associations, and community structure of most Beaufort Sea marine fishes, however, are unknown thus precluding effective regulatory management of emerging offshore industries in the region (e.g., hydrocarbon development, shipping, and fisheries). Between 2012 and 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducted the first baseline survey of offshore marine fishes, their habitats, and ecological relationships in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Benthic trawling was conducted at 45 stations spanning 18-1001 m depths across shelf and slope habitats. Physical oceanographic variables (depth, salinity, temperature, oxygen), biological variables (benthic chlorophyll and integrated water-column chlorophyll) and sediment composition (grain size) were assessed as potential explanatory variables for fish community structure using a non-parametric statistical approach. Selected stations were re-sampled in 2013 and 2014 for a preliminary assessment of inter-annual variability in the fish community. Four distinct fish assemblages were delineated on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf and slope: 1) Nearshore-shelf: 50 and ≤200 m depths, 3) Upper-slope: ≥200 and ≤500 m depths, and 4) Lower-slope: ≥500 m depths. Depth was the environmental variable that best explained fish community structure, and each species assemblage was spatially associated with distinct aspects of the vertical water mass profile. Significant differences in the fish community from east to west were not detected, and the species composition of the assemblages on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf have not changed substantially over the past decade. This community analysis provides a framework for testing hypotheses regarding the trophic

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, Hayley S; Tambling, Craig J; Hayward, Matt W; Kerley, Graham I H

    2014-01-01

    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 species.

  5. Post-attack aposematic display in prey facilitates predator avoidance learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Changku eKang

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Warning signals protect unpalatable prey from predation because predators who learn the association between the warning signal and prey unprofitability decrease attacks on the prey. Most of the research have focused on visual aposematic signals that are constantly presented and visible to the predators. But a variety of chemically defended insects are rather cryptic when resting, and only in response to predator attacks (post-attack they perform displays of conspicuous abdomens or hindwings normally hidden under forewings. The function of those displays in unpalatable insects is not well understood. We examined two adaptive hypotheses on this facultative aposematic display using wild-caught oriental tits (Parus minor as predators. First, we tested whether the display increases the rejection of the prey by predators upon seeing the display (i.e. at the moment of attack through learning trials (aposematic signaling hypothesis. Second, we tested whether the display facilitates the memory formation between cryptic visible form of the prey and prey defense so that it prevents the predators initiate an attack upon seeing the cryptic form (facilitation hypothesis. We found that predators learned to avoid attacking the prey which supports the facilitation hypothesis. However, the support for the aposematic signaling hypothesis was equivocal. Our results open new directions of research by highlighting the possibility that similar facilitation effects may contribute to the evolution of various forms of post-attack visual displays in chemically, or otherwise, defended animals.

  6. Do phytoseiid mites select the best prey species in terms of reproductive success?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Sabelis, M.W.; Jong, de M.; Alers, M.P.T.

    1990-01-01

    Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators prefer those prey species that are most rewarding in terms of reproductive success, which is dependent on prey quality and prey availability. To investigate which selection pressures may have moulded prey preference in an acarine system consisting of

  7. Prey handling using whole-body fluid dynamics in batoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilga, Cheryl D; Maia, Anabela; Nauwelaerts, Sandra; Lauder, George V

    2012-02-01

    Fluid flow generated by body movements is a foraging tactic that has been exploited by many benthic species. In this study, the kinematics and hydrodynamics of prey handling behavior in little skates, Leucoraja erinacea, and round stingrays, Urobatis halleri, are compared using kinematics and particle image velocimetry. Both species use the body to form a tent to constrain the prey with the pectoral fin edges pressed against the substrate. Stingrays then elevate the head, which increases the volume between the body and the substrate to generate suction, while maintaining pectoral fin contact with the substrate. Meanwhile, the tip of the rostrum is curled upwards to create an opening where fluid is drawn under the body, functionally analogous to suction-feeding fishes. Skates also rotate the rostrum upwards although with the open rostral sides and the smaller fin area weaker fluid flow is generated. However, skates also use a rostral strike behavior in which the rostrum is rapidly rotated downwards pushing fluid towards the substrate to potentially stun or uncover prey. Thus, both species use the anterior portion of the body to direct fluid flow to handle prey albeit in different ways, which may be explained by differences in morphology. Rostral stiffness and pectoral fin insertion onto the rostrum differ between skates and rays and this corresponds to behavioral differences in prey handling resulting in distinct fluid flow patterns. The flexible muscular rostrum and greater fin area of stingrays allow more extensive use of suction to handle prey while the stiff cartilaginous rostrum of skates lacking extensive fin insertion is used as a paddle to strike prey as well as to clear away sand cover. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  8. 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...... (similar to 1 m h(- 1)). In stagnant water, clearance rates of latex spheres (5-80 mu m) increased approximately with prey particle size squared. This scaling is consistent with N.scintillans being an interception feeder. However, absolute clearance rates were substantially lower than those predicted...... higher rates than latex beads and other phytoplankters, particularly dinoflagellates. We propose that diatoms stick more efficiently than latex beads to the mucus of N.scintillans and that dinoflagellates reduce fatal contact behaviorally. We conclude that N.scintillans is an interception feeder...

  9. Rearing environment influences boldness and prey acquisition behavior, and brain and lens development of bull trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brignon, William R.; Pike, Martin M.; Ebbesson, Lars O.E.; Schaller, Howard A.; Peterson, James T.; Schreck, Carl B.

    2018-01-01

    Animals reared in barren captive environments exhibit different developmental trajectories and behaviors than wild counterparts. Hence, the captive phenotypes may influence the success of reintroduction and recovery programs for threatened and endangered species. We collected wild bull trout embryos from the Metolius River Basin, Oregon and reared them in differing environments to better understand how captivity affects the bull trout Salvelinus confluentusphenotype. We compared the boldness and prey acquisition behaviors and development of the brain and eye lens of bull trout reared in conventional barren and more structurally complex captive environments with that of wild fish. Wild fish and captive reared fish from complex habitats exhibited a greater level of boldness and prey acquisition ability, than fish reared in conventional captive environments. In addition, the eye lens of conventionally reared bull trout was larger than complex reared captive fish or same age wild fish. Interestingly, we detected wild fish had a smaller relative cerebellum than either captive reared treatment. Our results suggest that rearing fish in more complex captive environments can create a more wild-like phenotype than conventional rearing practices. A better understanding of the effects of captivity on the development and behavior of bull trout can inform rearing and reintroduction programs though prediction of the performance of released individuals.

  10. Sintopy of two Tropidurus lizard species (Squamata: Tropiduridae) in a rocky Cerrado habitat in Central Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Faria,R. G.; Araujo,A. F. B.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the ecology of Tropidurus itambere and T. oreadicus that occur syntopically in rocky habitats of Cerrado vegetation in central Brazil during the dry season (April to September 2000). The two species are ecologically similar, but somewhat differentiated in vertical microhabitat use. The two species preferred rocky surface microhabitat. Both species demonstrated a unimodal activity pattern, with a peak between 10 and 15 h. Their diets were similar in composition and prey size. The mo...

  11. Floodplain farm fields provide novel rearing habitat for Chinook salmon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob V E Katz

    Full Text Available When inundated by floodwaters, river floodplains provide critical habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, but many river valleys have been extensively leveed and floodplain wetlands drained for flood control and agriculture. In the Central Valley of California, USA, where less than 5% of floodplain wetland habitats remain, a critical conservation question is how can farmland occupying the historical floodplains be better managed to improve benefits for native fish and wildlife. In this study fields on the Sacramento River floodplain were intentionally flooded after the autumn rice harvest to determine if they could provide shallow-water rearing habitat for Sacramento River fall-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Approximately 10,000 juvenile fish (ca. 48 mm, 1.1 g were reared on two hectares for six weeks (Feb-March between the fall harvest and spring planting. A subsample of the fish were uniquely tagged to allow tracking of individual growth rates (average 0.76 mm/day which were among the highest recorded in fresh water in California. Zooplankton sampled from the water column of the fields were compared to fish stomach contents. The primary prey was zooplankton in the order Cladocera, commonly called water fleas. The compatibility, on the same farm fields, of summer crop production and native fish habitat during winter demonstrates that land management combining agriculture with conservation ecology may benefit recovery of native fish species, such as endangered Chinook salmon.

  12. 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

  13. Influence of prey body characteristics and performance on predator selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Thomas H; McCormick, Mark I

    2009-03-01

    At the time of settlement to the reef environment, coral reef fishes differ in a number of characteristics that may influence their survival during a predatory encounter. This study investigated the selective nature of predation by both a multi-species predator pool, and a single common predator (Pseudochromis fuscus), on the reef fish, Pomacentrus amboinensis. The study focused on the early post-settlement period of P. amboinensis, when mortality, and hence selection, is known to be highest. Correlations between nine different measures of body condition/performance were examined at the time of settlement, in order to elucidate the relationships between different traits. Single-predator (P. fuscus) choice trials were conducted in 57.4-l aquaria with respect to three different prey characteristics [standard length (SL), body weight and burst swimming speed], whilst multi-species trials were conducted on open patch reefs, manipulating prey body weight only. Relationships between the nine measures of condition/performance were generally poor, with the strongest correlations occurring between the morphological measures and within the performance measures. During aquaria trials, P. fuscus was found to be selective with respect to prey SL only, with larger individuals being selected significantly more often. Multi-species predator communities, however, were selective with respect to prey body weight, with heavier individuals being selected significantly more often than their lighter counterparts. Our results suggest that under controlled conditions, body length may be the most important prey characteristic influencing prey survival during predatory encounters with P. fuscus. In such cases, larger prey size may actually be a distinct disadvantage to survival. However, these relationships appear to be more complex under natural conditions, where the expression of prey characteristics, the selectivity fields of a number of different predators, their relative abundance, and

  14. A tiger beetle’s pursuit of prey depends on distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noest, R. M.; Wang, Z. Jane

    2017-04-01

    Tiger beetles pursue prey by adjusting their heading according to a time-delayed proportional control law that minimizes the error angle (Haselsteiner et al 2014 J. R. Soc. Interface 11 20140216). This control law can be further interpreted in terms of mechanical actuation: to catch prey, tiger beetles exert a sideways force by biasing their tripod gait in proportion to the error angle measured half a stride earlier. The proportional gain was found to be nearly optimal in the sense that it minimizes the time to point directly toward the prey. For a time-delayed linear proportional controller, the optimal gain, k, is inversely proportional to the time delay, τ, and satisfies kτ =1/e . Here we present evidence that tiger beetles adjust their control gain during their pursuit of prey. Our analysis shows two critical distances: one corresponding to the beetle’s final approach to the prey, and the second, less expected, occurring at a distance around 10 cm for a prey size of 4.5 mm. The beetle initiates its chase using a sub-critical gain and increases the gain to the optimal value once the prey is within this critical distance. Insects use a variety of methods to detect distance, often involving different visual cues. Here we examine two such methods: one based on motion parallax and the other based on the prey’s elevation angle. We show that, in order for the motion parallax method to explain the observed data, the beetle needs to correct for the ratio of the prey’s sideways velocity relative to its own. On the other hand, the simpler method based on the elevation angle can detect both the distance and the prey’s size. Moreover we find that the transition distance corresponds to the accuracy required to distinguish small prey from large predators.

  15. 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.

  16. Cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, balance turn capacity with pace when chasing prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John W.; Mills, Michael G. L.; Wilson, Rory P.; Peters, Gerrit; Mills, Margaret E. J.; Speakman, John R.; Durant, Sarah M.; Bennett, Nigel C.; Marks, Nikki J.; Scantlebury, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Predator–prey interactions are fundamental in the evolution and structure of ecological communities. Our understanding, however, of the strategies used in pursuit and evasion remains limited. Here, we report on the hunting dynamics of the world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus. Using miniaturized data loggers, we recorded fine-scale movement, speed and acceleration of free-ranging cheetahs to measure how hunting dynamics relate to chasing different sized prey. Cheetahs attained hunting speeds of up to 18.94 m s−1 and accelerated up to 7.5 m s−2 with greatest angular velocities achieved during the terminal phase of the hunt. The interplay between forward and lateral acceleration during chases showed that the total forces involved in speed changes and turning were approximately constant over time but varied with prey type. Thus, rather than a simple maximum speed chase, cheetahs first accelerate to decrease the distance to their prey, before reducing speed 5–8 s from the end of the hunt, so as to facilitate rapid turns to match prey escape tactics, varying the precise strategy according to prey species. Predator and prey thus pit a fine balance of speed against manoeuvring capability in a race for survival. PMID:24004493

  17. Cheetahs, Acinonyx jubatus, balance turn capacity with pace when chasing prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, John W; Mills, Michael G L; Wilson, Rory P; Peters, Gerrit; Mills, Margaret E J; Speakman, John R; Durant, Sarah M; Bennett, Nigel C; Marks, Nikki J; Scantlebury, Michael

    2013-10-23

    Predator-prey interactions are fundamental in the evolution and structure of ecological communities. Our understanding, however, of the strategies used in pursuit and evasion remains limited. Here, we report on the hunting dynamics of the world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus. Using miniaturized data loggers, we recorded fine-scale movement, speed and acceleration of free-ranging cheetahs to measure how hunting dynamics relate to chasing different sized prey. Cheetahs attained hunting speeds of up to 18.94 m s(-1) and accelerated up to 7.5 m s(-2) with greatest angular velocities achieved during the terminal phase of the hunt. The interplay between forward and lateral acceleration during chases showed that the total forces involved in speed changes and turning were approximately constant over time but varied with prey type. Thus, rather than a simple maximum speed chase, cheetahs first accelerate to decrease the distance to their prey, before reducing speed 5-8 s from the end of the hunt, so as to facilitate rapid turns to match prey escape tactics, varying the precise strategy according to prey species. Predator and prey thus pit a fine balance of speed against manoeuvring capability in a race for survival.

  18. Dolphin underwater bait-balling behaviors in relation to group and prey ball sizes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn-Hirshorn, Robin L; Muzi, Elisa; Richardson, Jessica L; Fox, Gabriella J; Hansen, Lauren N; Salley, Alyce M; Dudzinski, Kathleen M; Würsig, Bernd

    2013-09-01

    We characterized dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) feeding behaviors recorded on underwater video, and related behaviors to variation in prey ball sizes, dolphin group sizes, and study site (Argentina versus New Zealand, NZ). Herding behaviors most often involved dolphins swimming around the side or under prey balls, but dolphins in Argentina more often swam under prey balls (48% of passes) than did dolphins in NZ (34% of passes). This result may have been due to differences in group sizes between sites, since groups are larger in Argentina. Additionally, in NZ, group size was positively correlated with proportion of passes that occurred under prey balls (pdolphins in Argentina more often swam through prey balls (8% of attempts) than did dolphins in NZ (4% of attempts). This result may have been due to differences in prey ball sizes between sites, since dolphins fed on larger prey balls in Argentina (>74m(2)) than in NZ (maximum 33m(2)). Additionally, in NZ, dolphins were more likely to swim through prey balls to capture fish when they fed on larger prey balls (p=0.025). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Prey preferences of aquatic insects: potential implications for the regulation of wetland mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, N; Aditya, G; Saha, G K

    2014-03-01

    Wetlands are potential sites for mosquito breeding and are thus important in the context of public health. The use of chemical and microbial controls is constrained in wetlands in view of their potential impact on the diverse biota. Biological control using generalist aquatic insects can be effective, provided a preference for mosquito larvae is exhibited. The mosquito prey preferences of water bugs and larvae of odonate species were evaluated using chironomid larvae, fish fingerlings and tadpoles as alternative prey. Manly's selectivity (αi ) values with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to judge prey preference patterns. Multivariate analysis of variance (manova) and standardized canonical coefficients were used to test the effects of density on prey selectivity. The αi values indicated a significant preference (P insect predators tested for mosquito larvae over the alternative prey as a density-dependent function. On a comparative scale, chironomid larvae had the highest impact as alternative prey. In a multiple-prey experiment, predators showed a similar pattern of preference for mosquito larvae over alternative prey, reflecting a significant (P insect predators can effectively reduce mosquito density in the presence of multiple alternative prey. © 2013 The Royal Entomological Society.

  20. 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.

  1. Three-dimensional foraging habitat use and niche partitioning in two sympatric seabird species, Phalacrocorax auritus and P. penicillatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peck-Richardson, Adam G.; Lyons, Donald E.; Roby, Daniel D.; Cushing, Daniel A.; Lerczak, James A.

    2018-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that co-existing, morphologically similar species will partition prey resources when faced with resource limitations. We investigated local movements, foraging dive behavior, and foraging habitat selection by breeding adults of 2 closely related cormorant species, double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus and Brandt’s cormorants P. penicillatus. These species nest sympatrically at East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary at the border of Oregon and Washington states, USA. Breeding individuals of each species were tracked using GPS tags with integrated temperature and depth data-loggers. The overall foraging areas and core foraging areas (defined as the 95% and 50% kernel density estimates of dive locations, respectively) of double-crested cormorants were much larger and covered a broader range of riverine, mixed-estuarine, and nearshore marine habitats. Brandt’s cormorant foraging areas were less expansive, were exclusively marine, and mostly overlapped with double-crested cormorant foraging areas. Within these areas of overlap, Brandt’s cormorants tended to dive deeper (median depth = 6.48 m) than double-crested cormorants (median depth = 2.67 m), and selected dive locations where the water was deeper. Brandt’s cormorants also utilized a deeper, more benthic portion of the water column than did double-crested cormorants. Nevertheless, the substantial overlap in foraging habitat between the 2 cormorant species in the Columbia River estuary, particularly for Brandt’s cormorants, suggests that superabundant prey resources allow these 2 large and productive cormorant colonies to coexist on a single island near the mouth of the Columbia River.

  2. 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; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; McCard, Monica; Barrios-O’ Neill, Daniel; Anton, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooi, B W

    2015-12-01

    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 fighting is constant per fighting event. The strategy of the predator-population is quantified by a trait being the proportion of the number of predator-individuals playing hawk tactics. The dynamics of the trait is described by two models of adaptation: the replicator dynamics (RD) and the adaptive dynamics (AD). In the RD-approach a variant individual with an adapted trait value changes the population's strategy, and consequently its trait value, only when its payoff is larger than the population average. In the AD-approach successful replacement of the resident population after invasion of a rare variant population with an adapted trait value is a step in a sequence changing the population's strategy, and hence its trait value. The main aim is to compare the consequences of the two adaptation models. In an equilibrium predator-prey system this will lead to convergence to a neutral singular strategy, while in the oscillatory system to a continuous singular strategy where in this endpoint the resident population is not invasible by any variant population. In equilibrium (low prey carrying capacity) RD and AD-approach give the same results, however not always in a periodically oscillating system (high prey carrying-capacity) where the trait is density-dependent. For low costs the predator population is monomorphic (only hawks) while for high costs dimorphic (hawks and doves). These results illustrate that intra-specific trait dynamics matters in predator-prey dynamics.

  4. Perceiving the algae: How feeding-current feeding copepods detect their nonmotile prey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goncalves, Rodrigo J.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    demonstrate that (1) long-range chemical detection is incompatible with known algal leakage rates and reasonable assumptions of sensitivity, (2) that near-field chemical detection is constrained by diffusion across the boundary layer of the sensor and takes longer than observed near-contact times, and (3......Feeding-current feeding copepods detect and capture prey individually, but the mechanism by which nonmotile prey is detected has been unclear. Early reports that copepods detect phytoplankton prey at distances of one body length or more led to the hypothesis that solutes leaking from the prey would......) that most reported detection distances are well predicted by models of fluid mechanical signal generation and detection. We conclude that near-field mechanoreception is the common prey detection mode in pelagic copepods. Prey detection distances are thus governed mainly by the reach of the feeding...

  5. Prey life-history and bioenergetic responses across a predation gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rennie, M D; Purchase, C F; Shuter, B J; Collins, N C; Abrams, P A; Morgan, G E

    2010-10-01

    To evaluate the importance of non-consumptive effects of predators on prey life histories under natural conditions, an index of predator abundance was developed for naturally occurring populations of a common prey fish, the yellow perch Perca flavescens, and compared to life-history variables and rates of prey energy acquisition and allocation as estimated from mass balance models. The predation index was positively related to maximum size and size at maturity in both male and female P. flavescens, but not with life span or reproductive investment. The predation index was positively related to size-adjusted specific growth rates and growth efficiencies but negatively related to model estimates of size-adjusted specific consumption and activity rates in both vulnerable (small) and invulnerable (large) size classes of P. flavescens. These observations suggest a trade-off between growth and activity rates, mediated by reduced activity in response to increasing predator densities. Lower growth rates and growth efficiencies in populations with fewer predators, despite increased consumption suggests either 1) a reduction in prey resources at lower predator densities or 2) an intrinsic cost of rapid prey growth that makes it unfavourable unless offset by a perceived threat of predation. This study provides evidence of trade-offs between growth and activity rates induced by predation risk in natural prey fish populations and illustrates how behavioural modification induced through predation can shape the life histories of prey fish species. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  6. Niche Differentiation and Prey Selectivity among Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus Sighted in St. George Sound, Gulf of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel M. Wilson

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Two groups of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus have been identified within St. George Sound, Florida, USA: high site-fidelity individuals (HSF which are individuals sighted multiple times in the region (i.e., ≥2 months, ≥2 seasons, and ≥2 years, and low site-fidelity individuals (LSF, which are individuals sighted fewer than 2 months, in 2 different seasons among 2 different years. Our goal was to determine whether differences in foraging behaviors were correlated with differences in sighting frequency and overall usage of St. George Sound by the two groups. We used carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotopes and niche hypervolume metrics to model the foodweb of St. George Sound. Mixing model results indicated that croaker, mojarra, pigfish, pinfish, and silverperch were the most important prey items for dolphins. The hypervolume metrics demonstrate niche partitioning between HSFs and LSFs, with the HSFs relying more heavily on pinfish, pigfish, and mojarra, while the LSFs relied more on silverperch. Plankton, benthic diatoms, seagrass, and epiphytes all contributed to secondary production within St. George Sound. This diversity of source utilization by seagrass-associated consumers supported by a high rate of total production likely sustains high secondary productivity despite the potential for competition in this system. Zooplankton was the most important basal source to the system, followed by seagrass and benthic primary production (as indicated by a sanddollar proxy. The reliance of dolphins on seagrass-dependent prey indicates that alteration of seagrass habitat would significantly impact the dolphin community foraging in St. George Sound and suggests that preservation of seagrass habitat is an important component of an effective management strategy for dolphin populations in the region.

  7. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes as indicators of habitat selection by cultured and natural fish preferences. A case study of ayu

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Huang; Kyushu University, Fukuoka; Xixi Chen; Xiaobo Liu; Shinichiro Yano

    2017-01-01

    Reliable indicators on whether natural and cultured fish exhibit differences in habitat preferences are lacking. In this study, δ 13 C and δ 15 N were used to distinguish the habitat preferences of cultured versus natural ayu and their prey (periphyton) in a typical riffle-pool river reach. It found that the δ 13 C of natural ayu (-13.747‰) was consistent with that of periphyton in riffles (-14.611‰), while the δ 13 C of cultured ayu (-19.088‰) was consistent with that of periphyton (-19.711‰) in pools. The results indicated that cultured ayu appear to favor pools whereas natural ayu favor riffles, and δ 13 C and δ 15 N represent potential reliable indicators of habitat preferences of cultured ayu. (author)

  8. Transport infrastructure shapes foraging habitat in a raptor community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors' foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors' response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways.

  9. Complex dynamics of a stochastic discrete modified Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Michaelis-Menten type prey harvesting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Elhassanein

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper introduced a stochastic discretized version of the modified Leslie-Gower predator-prey model with Michaelis-Menten type prey harvesting. The dynamical behavior of the proposed model was investigated. The existence and stability of the equilibria of the skeleton were studied. Numerical simulations were employed to show the model's complex dynamics by means of the largest Lyapunov exponents, bifurcations, time series diagrams and phase portraits. The effects of noise intensity on its dynamics and the intermittency phenomenon were also discussed via simulation.

  10. Managing for Caribou Survival in a Partitioned Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available Forest management guidelines for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou in Ontario need to be re-examined in light of the finding that caribou partition habitat with moose (Alces alces, partly to find virtual refuges from predation by gray wolves (Canis lupus. Forest-wide guidelines seem inappropriate for a species that is widely scattered and little known. Management should concentrate on and around currently used virtual refuges to ensure their continued habitability. Cutting these areas may force the caribou into places with higher densities of predators; winter use of roads might bring poachers, increased wolf entry, and accidents. A proposal for 100 km2 clear-cuts scheduled over 60+ years across the forest landscape would probably minimize moose/wolf densities in the long run as intended, but because of habitat partitioning might forfeit any benefits to caribou in the short-term. Sharply reducing moose densities near areas where caribou have sought refuge might incline wolves to switch to caribou. Cutting beyond caribou winter refuge areas should aim at maintaining current moose densities to prevent wolves from switching prey species. Operations level manipulation of the forest around each wintering area should provide winter habitat for the future, while treatment replications with controls across the whole forest would provide reliable knowledge about which approaches work best. The remainder of the forest should be managed to maintain suitable densities of all other species.

  11. Production of live prey for marine fish larvae

    OpenAIRE

    Kraul, S

    1989-01-01

    Tropical marine fish larvae vary in their requirements for live planktonic food. Selection of live prey species for culture depends on larval size and larval tolerance of water quality. This report describes some of the cultured prey species, and their uses and limits as effective food for fish larvae. Methods are presented for the culture of phytoplankton, rotifers, copepods, and other live feeds.

  12. Adaptive evolution of defense ability leads to diversification of prey species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zu, Jian; Wang, Jinliang; Du, Jianqiang

    2014-06-01

    In this paper, by using the adaptive dynamics approach, we investigate how the adaptive evolution of defense ability promotes the diversity of prey species in an initial one-prey-two-predator community. We assume that the prey species can evolve to a safer strategy such that it can reduce the predation risk, but a prey with a high defense ability for one predator may have a low defense ability for the other and vice versa. First, by using the method of critical function analysis, we find that if the trade-off is convex in the vicinity of the evolutionarily singular strategy, then this singular strategy is a continuously stable strategy. However, if the trade-off is weakly concave near the singular strategy and the competition between the two predators is relatively weak, then the singular strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after the branching has occurred in the prey strategy, if the trade-off curve is globally concave, then the prey species might eventually evolve into two specialists, each caught by only one predator species. However, if the trade-off curve is convex-concave-convex, the prey species might eventually branch into two partial specialists, each being caught by both of the two predators and they can stably coexist on the much longer evolutionary timescale.

  13. Effect of sublethal levels of ionizing radiation on a predator-prey interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chee, P.C.

    1976-01-01

    The predator-prey interaction studied was that between the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) in an artificial test environment. Experiments were first conducted to determine the 50% lethal dose at 30 days of the minnow. Three different dose rates were used to test the effect of dose rate on the 50% lethal dose value. After the 50% lethal dose was determined the predator-prey interaction experiment was conducted using 30% of the 50% lethal dose as the highest radiation dose, this dose being considered the upper limit to sublethal radiation levels. A 4 x 4 Latin square design was chosen for the experiment, with four treatment levels (control plus three radiation levels) and four replicates. In each test 10 prey minnow were offered to one predator bass and the number of prey left after 14 days was the parameter of interest. A predator-prey interaction experiment using a single high level of radiation and two types of controls as conducted to ascertain the ability of the test environment to detect changes in the predator-prey interaction. The two types of controls were irradiated prey not exposed to predation and non-irradiated prey exposed to predation. An experiment was also conducted to test the correlation between the physical activity patterns of minnow and different doses of radiation. At a dose rate of 37.8 rad/min the 50% lethal dose at 30 days for minnow was found to be 2650 rad. It was found that dose rate had a strong influence on the 50% lethal dose. In the predator-prey interaction test it was found that the 14-day survival rate of prey was unaffected by sublethal levels of ionizing radiation. No significant correlation was detected between the physical activity patterns of minnow and radiation dose

  14. Habitat features influencing jaguar Panthera onca (Carnivora: Felidae occupancy in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanny Arroyo-Arce

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat characteristics and human activities are known to play a major role in the occupancy of jaguars Panthera onca across their range, however the key variables influencing jaguar distribution in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica, have yet to be identified. This study evaluated jaguar occupancy in Tortuguero National Park and the surrounding area. Jaguar detection/non-detection data was collected using digital camera traps distributed within the boundaries of the protected area. Local community members were also interviewed to determine jaguar occurrence in the Park’s buffer zone. Occupancy models were then applied to identify the habitat characteristics that may better explain jaguar distribution across the study area. From June 2012 to June 2013, a total of 4 339 camera trap days were used to identify 18 individual jaguars inside the protected area; 17 of these jaguars were exclusively detected within the coastal habitat, whilst the remaining individual was detected solely within the interior of the Park. Interviewees reported 61 occasions of jaguar presence inside the buffer zone, between 1995 and 2013, with 80% of these described by the communities of Lomas de Sierpe, Barra de Parismina and La Aurora. These communities also reported the highest levels of livestock predation by jaguars (85% of attacks. In the study area, jaguar occurrence was positively correlated with the seasonal presence of nesting green turtles Chelonia mydas, and negatively correlated with distance to the Park boundary. Our findings suggested that the current occupancy of the jaguar in the study area may be a response to: 1 the vast availability of prey (marine turtles on Tortuguero beach, 2 the decline of its primary prey species as a result of illegal hunting inside the Park, and 3 the increase in anthropogenic pressures in the Park boundaries. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (4: 1449-1458. Epub 2014 December 01.

  15. Molecular analysis of faecal samples from birds to identify potential crop pests and useful biocontrol agents in natural areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, R A; Symondson, W O C; Thomas, R J

    2015-06-01

    Wild habitats adjoining farmland are potentially valuable sources of natural enemies, but also of pests. Here we tested the utility of birds as 'sampling devices', to identify the diversity of prey available to predators and particularly to screen for pests and natural enemies using natural ecosystems as refugia. Here we used PCR to amplify prey DNA from three sympatric songbirds foraging on small invertebrates in Phragmites reedbed ecosystems, namely the Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti). A recently described general invertebrate primer pair was used for the first time to analyse diets. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced, then identified by reference to the Barcoding of Life Database and to our own sequences obtained from fresh invertebrates. Forty-five distinct prey DNA sequences were obtained from 11 faecal samples, of which 39 could be identified to species or genus. Targeting three warbler species ensured that species-specific differences in prey choice broadened the range of prey taken. Amongst the prey found in reedbeds were major pests (including the tomato moth Lacanobia oleracea) as well as many potentially valuable natural enemies including aphidophagous hoverflies and braconid wasps. Given the mobility of birds, this approach provides a practical way of sampling a whole habitat at once, providing growers with information on possible invasion by locally resident pests and the colonization potential of natural enemies from local natural habitats.

  16. Selective olfactory attention of a specialised predator to intraspecific chemical signals of its prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cárdenas, Manuel; Jiroš, Pavel; Pekár, Stano

    2012-08-01

    Prey-specialised predators have evolved specific cognitive adaptations that increase their prey searching efficiency. In particular, when the prey is social, selection probably favours the use of prey intraspecific chemical signals by predatory arthropods. Using a specialised ant-eating zodariid spider, Zodarion rubidum, which is known to prey on several ant species and possesses capture and venom adaptations more effective on Formicinae ants, we tested its ability to recognise chemical cues produced by several ant species. Using an olfactometer, we tested the response of Z. rubidum towards air with chemical cues from six different ant species: Camponotus ligniperda, Lasius platythorax and Formica rufibarbis (all Formicinae); and Messor structor, Myrmica scabrinodis and Tetramorium caespitum (all Myrmicinae). Z. rubidum was attracted to air carrying chemical cues only from F. rufibarbis and L. platythorax. Then, we identified that the spiders were attracted to airborne cues coming from the F. rufibarbis gaster and Dufour's gland, in particular. Finally, we found that among several synthetic blends, the decyl acetate and undecane mixture produced significant attraction of spiders. These chemicals are produced only by three Formicine genera. Furthermore, we investigated the role of these chemical cues in the communication of F. rufibarbis and found that this blend reduces their movement. This study demonstrates the chemical cognitive capacity of Z. rubidum to locate its ant prey using chemical signals produced by the ants. The innate capacity of Z. rubidum to olfactory detect different ant species is narrow, as it includes only two ant genera, confirming trophic specialisation at lower than subfamily level. The olfactory cue detected by Zodarion spiders is probably a component of the recruitment or trail pheromone.

  17. The global stability of a delayed predator-prey system with two stage-structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Fengyan; Pang Guoping

    2009-01-01

    Based on the classical delayed stage-structured model and Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, we introduce and study a delayed predator-prey system, where prey and predator have two stages, an immature stage and a mature stage. The time delays are the time lengths between the immature's birth and maturity of prey and predator species. Results on global asymptotic stability of nonnegative equilibria of the delay system are given, which generalize and suggest that good continuity exists between the predator-prey system and its corresponding stage-structured system.

  18. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    the 1) surface habitat concept definition, 2) inflatable surface habitat development, and 3) autonomous habitat operations, and 4) cross-cutting / systems engineering. In subsequent years, the SHS-FIG will solicit a call for innovations and technologies that will support the development of these four development areas. The other development areas will be assessed yearly and identified on the SHS-FIG s Strategic Development Roadmap. Initial investment projects that are funded by the Constellation Program Office (CxPO), LSSPO, or the Exploration Technology Development Projects (ETDP) will also be included on the Roadmap. For example, in one or two years from now, the autonomous habitat operations and testbed would collaborations with the Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) and Automation for Operations ETDP projects, which will give the surface habitat projects an integrated habitat autonomy testbed to test software and systems. The SHS-FIG scope is to provide focused direction for multiple innovations, technologies and subsystems that are needed to support humans at a remote planetary surface habitat during the concept development, design definition, and integration phases of that project. Subsystems include: habitability, lightweight structures, power management, communications, autonomy, deployment, outfitting, life support, wireless connectivity, lighting, thermal and more.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apfelbach, Raimund; Parsons, Michael H; Soini, Helena A; Novotny, Milos V

    2015-01-01

    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 toward 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 understand all the

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C.

    2003-01-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination

  4. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C

    2003-03-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination.

  5. Diet, Prey Selection, and Body Condition of Age-0 Delta Smelt, Hypomesus transpacificus, in the Upper San Francisco Estuary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven B. Slater

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Steven B. Slater and Randall D. Baxterdoi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15447/sfews.2014v12iss3art1The Delta Smelt, an endangered fish, has suffered a long-term decline in abundance, believed to result from, in part, to changes in the pelagic food web of the upper San Francisco Estuary. To investigate the current role of food as a factor in Delta Smelt well-being, we developed reference criteria for gut fullness and body condition based on allometric growth. We then examined monthly diet, prey selectivity, and gut fullness of larvae and juvenile Delta Smelt collected April through September in 2005 and 2006 for evidence of feeding difficulties leading to reduced body condition. Calanoid copepods Eurytemora affinis and Pseudodiaptomus forbesi remained major food items during spring and from early summer through fall, respectively. Other much larger copepods and macroinvertebrates contributed in lesser numbers to the diet of older juvenile fish from mid-summer through fall. In fall, juvenile Delta Smelt periodically relied heavily on very small prey and prey potentially associated with demersal habitat, suggesting typical pelagic food items were in short supply. We found a strong positive selection for E. affinis and P. forbesi, neutral to negative selection for evasive calanoid Sinocalanus doerrii, and neutral to negative selection for the small cyclopoid copepod Limnoithona tetraspina and copepod nauplii, which were consumed only when extremely numerous in the environment. Feeding incidence was significantly higher in 2006, but among successfully feeding fish we found no between year difference in gut fullness. However, we did detect differences in fullness across months in both years. We found no difference in body condition of Delta Smelt between years yet our sample sizes were low in September when Delta Smelt reverted to feeding on very small organisms and fullness declined, so the longer-term effect remains unknown. Our findings suggest that: Delta

  6. 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…

  7. Clicking in shallow rivers: short-range echolocation of Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins in a shallow, acoustically complex habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frants H Jensen

    Full Text Available Toothed whales (Cetacea, odontoceti use biosonar to navigate their environment and to find and catch prey. All studied toothed whale species have evolved highly directional, high-amplitude ultrasonic clicks suited for long-range echolocation of prey in open water. Little is known about the biosonar signals of toothed whale species inhabiting freshwater habitats such as endangered river dolphins. To address the evolutionary pressures shaping the echolocation signal parameters of non-marine toothed whales, we investigated the biosonar source parameters of Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica gangetica and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris within the river systems of the Sundarban mangrove forest. Both Ganges and Irrawaddy dolphins produced echolocation clicks with a high repetition rate and low source level compared to marine species. Irrawaddy dolphins, inhabiting coastal and riverine habitats, produced a mean source level of 195 dB (max 203 dB re 1 µPapp whereas Ganges river dolphins, living exclusively upriver, produced a mean source level of 184 dB (max 191 re 1 µPapp. These source levels are 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than those of similar sized marine delphinids and may reflect an adaptation to a shallow, acoustically complex freshwater habitat with high reverberation and acoustic clutter. The centroid frequency of Ganges river dolphin clicks are an octave lower than predicted from scaling, but with an estimated beamwidth comparable to that of porpoises. The unique bony maxillary crests found in the Platanista forehead may help achieve a higher directionality than expected using clicks nearly an octave lower than similar sized odontocetes.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Effective prey attraction in the rare Drosophyllum lusitanicum, a flypaper-trap carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertol, Nils; Paniw, Maria; Ojeda, Fernando

    2015-05-01

    Carnivorous plants have unusually modified leaves to trap insects as an adaptation to low-nutrient environments. Disparate mechanisms have been suggested as luring traits to attract prey insects into their deadly leaves, ranging from very elaborate to none at all. Drosophyllum lusitanicum is a rare carnivorous plant with a common flypaper-trap mechanism. Here we tested whether Drosophyllum plants lure prey insects into their leaves or they act just as passive traps. We compared prey capture between live, potted plants and Drosophyllum-shaped artificial mimics coated with odorless glue. Since this species is insect-pollinated, we also explored the possible existence of a pollinator-prey conflict by quantifying the similarity between the pollination and prey guilds in a natural population. All experiments were done in southern Spain. The sticky leaves of Drosophyllum captured significantly more prey than mimics, particularly small dipterans. Prey attraction, likely exerted by scent or visual cues, seems to be unrelated to pollinator attraction by flowers, as inferred from the low similarity between pollinator and prey insect faunas found in this species. Our results illustrate the effectiveness of this carnivorous species at attracting insects to their flypaper-trap leaves. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  11. Foraging efficiency of a predator flock for randomly moving prey: A simulation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Kwon, Ohsung

    2016-03-01

    Flocking behavior of animals is highly advantageous for taking food resources. The degree of the advantage is related to the ability of flock members to detect their prey and the mobility of prey individuals. In this study, to explore the relation, we constructed a model to simulate a predator flock and its randomly moving prey. The predator members have the prey detection ability, which was characterized as sensing distance, R, and a sensing angle, θ. The mobility of the prey individuals was characterized as the maximum traveling distance of an iteration time step, L. The relative flock foraging efficiency, ɛ, was defined as ɛ = 1 - (Td/Tup). Tup and Td represent the spent time for the flock to eat all prey individuals and to uptake the last remaining 10% prey, respectively. Simulation results showed that ɛ increased, maximized, and decreased with the increase of R, regardless of L. As the number of prey, N, increased, the tendency of the increasing and decreasing was diluted. The result was briefly discussed in relation to the flock foraging behavior and the development of the model toward applications for real ecosystems.

  12. Sequential assessment of prey through the use of multiple sensory cues by an eavesdropping bat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Rachel A.; Schnelle, Tanja; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Bunge, Thomas; Bernal, Ximena E.

    2012-06-01

    Predators are often confronted with a broad diversity of potential prey. They rely on cues associated with prey quality and palatability to optimize their hunting success and to avoid consuming toxic prey. Here, we investigate a predator's ability to assess prey cues during capture, handling, and consumption when confronted with conflicting information about prey quality. We used advertisement calls of a preferred prey item (the túngara frog) to attract fringe-lipped bats, Trachops cirrhosus, then offered palatable, poisonous, and chemically manipulated anurans as prey. Advertisement calls elicited an attack response, but as bats approached, they used additional sensory cues in a sequential manner to update their information about prey size and palatability. While both palatable and poisonous small anurans were readily captured, large poisonous toads were approached but not contacted suggesting the use of echolocation for assessment of prey size at close range. Once prey was captured, bats used chemical cues to make final, post-capture decisions about whether to consume the prey. Bats dropped small, poisonous toads as well as palatable frogs coated in toad toxins either immediately or shortly after capture. Our study suggests that echolocation and chemical cues obtained at close range supplement information obtained from acoustic cues at long range. Updating information about prey quality minimizes the occurrence of costly errors and may be advantageous in tracking temporal and spatial fluctuations of prey and exploiting novel food sources. These findings emphasize the sequential, complex nature of prey assessment that may allow exploratory and flexible hunting behaviors.

  13. Response of hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo to visual and chemical cues arising from prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiszar, David; Krauss, Susan; Shipley, Bryon; Trout, Tim; Smith, Hobart M

    2009-01-01

    Five hatchling Komodo Dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at Denver Zoo were observed in two experiments that studied the effects of visual and chemical cues arising from prey. Rate of tongue flicking was recorded in Experiment 1, and amount of time the lizards spent interacting with stimuli was recorded in Experiment 2. Our hypothesis was that young V. komodoensis would be more dependent upon vision than chemoreception, especially when dealing with live, moving, prey. Although visual cues, including prey motion, had a significant effect, chemical cues had a far stronger effect. Implications of this falsification of our initial hypothesis are discussed.

  14. Noise-induced extinction for a ratio-dependent predator-prey model with strong Allee effect in prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Partha Sarathi

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, we study a stochastically forced ratio-dependent predator-prey model with strong Allee effect in prey population. In the deterministic case, we show that the model exhibits the stable interior equilibrium point or limit cycle corresponding to the co-existence of both species. We investigate a probabilistic mechanism of the noise-induced extinction in a zone of stable interior equilibrium point. Computational methods based on the stochastic sensitivity function technique are applied for the analysis of the dispersion of random states near stable interior equilibrium point. This method allows to construct a confidence domain and estimate the threshold value of the noise intensity for a transition from the coexistence to the extinction.

  15. Modulation of shark prey capture kinematics in response to sensory deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardiner, Jayne M; Atema, Jelle; Hueter, Robert E; Motta, Philip J

    2017-02-01

    The ability of predators to modulate prey capture in response to the size, location, and behavior of prey is critical to successful feeding on a variety of prey types. Modulating in response to changes in sensory information may be critical to successful foraging in a variety of environments. Three shark species with different feeding morphologies and behaviors were filmed using high-speed videography while capturing live prey: the ram-feeding blacktip shark, the ram-biting bonnethead, and the suction-feeding nurse shark. Sharks were examined intact and after sensory information was blocked (olfaction, vision, mechanoreception, and electroreception, alone and in combination), to elucidate the contribution of the senses to the kinematics of prey capture. In response to sensory deprivation, the blacktip shark demonstrated the greatest amount of modulation, followed by the nurse shark. In the absence of olfaction, blacktip sharks open the jaws slowly, suggestive of less motivation. Without lateral line cues, blacktip sharks capture prey from greater horizontal angles using increased ram. When visual cues are absent, blacktip sharks elevate the head earlier and to a greater degree, allowing them to overcome imprecise position of the prey relative to the mouth, and capture prey using decreased ram, while suction remains unchanged. When visual cues are absent, nurse sharks open the mouth wider, extend the labial cartilages further, and increase suction while simultaneously decreasing ram. Unlike some bony fish, neither species switches feeding modalities (i.e. from ram to suction or vice versa). Bonnetheads failed to open the mouth when electrosensory cues were blocked, but otherwise little to no modulation was found in this species. These results suggest that prey capture may be less plastic in elasmobranchs than in bony fishes, possibly due to anatomical differences, and that the ability to modulate feeding kinematics in response to available sensory information varies

  16. Chlorophacinone residues in mammalian prey at a black-tailed prairie dog colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, Nimish B.; Hulse, Craig S.; Rice, Clifford P.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPDs), Cynomys ludovicianus, are an important prey for raptors; therefore, the use of the rodenticide Rozol (0.005% chlorophacinone active ingredient) to control BTPDs raises concern for secondary poisonings resulting from the consumption of contaminated prey by raptors. In the present study, the authors observed Rozol exposure and adverse effects to mammalian prey on 11 of 12 search days of the study. Mammalian hepatic chlorophacinone residues ranged from 0.44 to 7.56 µg/g. Poisoned prey availability was greater than previously reported.

  17. Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta use vision to forage on gelatinous prey in mid-water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko Narazaki

    Full Text Available Identifying characteristics of foraging activity is fundamental to understanding an animals' lifestyle and foraging ecology. Despite its importance, monitoring the foraging activities of marine animals is difficult because direct observation is rarely possible. In this study, we use an animal-borne imaging system and three-dimensional data logger simultaneously to observe the foraging behaviour of large juvenile and adult sized loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta in their natural environment. Video recordings showed that the turtles foraged on gelatinous prey while swimming in mid-water (i.e., defined as epipelagic water column deeper than 1 m in this study. By linking video and 3D data, we found that mid-water foraging events share the common feature of a marked deceleration phase associated with the capture and handling of the sluggish prey. Analysis of high-resolution 3D movements during mid-water foraging events, including presumptive events extracted from 3D data using deceleration in swim speed as a proxy for foraging (detection rate = 0.67, showed that turtles swam straight toward prey in 171 events (i.e., turning point absent but made a single turn toward the prey an average of 5.7±6.0 m before reaching the prey in 229 events (i.e., turning point present. Foraging events with a turning point tended to occur during the daytime, suggesting that turtles primarily used visual cues to locate prey. In addition, an incident of a turtle encountering a plastic bag while swimming in mid-water was recorded. The fact that the turtle's movements while approaching the plastic bag were analogous to those of a true foraging event, having a turning point and deceleration phase, also support the use of vision in mid-water foraging. Our study shows that integrated video and high-resolution 3D data analysis provides unique opportunities to understand foraging behaviours in the context of the sensory ecology involved in prey location.

  18. 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.

  19. Boundedness and permanence in a class of periodic time-dependent predator-prey system with prey dispersal and predator density-independence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Long; Teng Zhidong

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we study two species predator-prey Lotka-Volterra type dispersal system with periodic coefficients, in which the prey species can disperse among n patches, while the density-independent predator species is confined to one of the patches and cannot disperse. Sufficient conditions on the boundedness, permanence and existence of positive periodic solution for this system are established. The theoretical results are confirmed by a special example and numerical simulations

  20. Burrow characteristics and habitat associations of armadillos in Brazil and the United States of America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen M. McDonough

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available We censused and measured armadillo burrows in ten 10 m x 40 m plots in each of four habitat types at a study site in northern Florida and one in the Atlantic coastal rainforest of Brazil. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus was the only species of armadillo found in Florida, but several additional species were present in Brazil. Burrows were more numerous but smaller in Brazil than in the U. S., probably due to the inclusion of burrows dug by the smaller congener D. septemcinctus. In Brazil, burrows were larger and more numerous in swamp and forest habitats than in grassland or disturbed areas, suggesting that D. novemcinctus is found primarily in forests and swamps while D. septemcinctus is located in the other areas. This was supported by data from sightings of live animals. In Florida, burrows were more numerous in hardwood hammocks than in wetlands, fields or upland pine areas, but burrow dimensions did not vary across habitat types. In Florida, armadillos were seen more frequently than expected in hammocks and wetlands and less frequently than expected in fields and upland pine areas. There were also age (juvenile versus adult, sex, and yearly differences in habitat use in Florida. Biomass, abundance, and species diversity of terrestrial invertebrates did not vary significantly between habitat types in Florida, suggesting that habitat associations of armadillos were not influenced by prey availability.

  1. Generalist predator, cyclic voles and cavity nests: testing the alternative prey hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pöysä, Hannu; Jalava, Kaisa; Paasivaara, Antti

    2016-12-01

    The alternative prey hypothesis (APH) states that when the density of the main prey declines, generalist predators switch to alternative prey and vice versa, meaning that predation pressure on the alternative prey should be negatively correlated with the density of the main prey. We tested the APH in a system comprising one generalist predator (pine marten, Martes martes), cyclic main prey (microtine voles, Microtus agrestis and Myodes glareolus) and alternative prey (cavity nests of common goldeneye, Bucephala clangula); pine marten is an important predator of both voles and common goldeneye nests. Specifically, we studied whether annual predation rate of real common goldeneye nests and experimental nests is negatively associated with fluctuation in the density of voles in four study areas in southern Finland in 2000-2011. Both vole density and nest predation rate varied considerably between years in all study areas. However, we did not find support for the hypothesis that vole dynamics indirectly affects predation rate of cavity nests in the way predicted by the APH. On the contrary, the probability of predation increased with vole spring abundance for both real and experimental nests. Furthermore, a crash in vole abundance from previous autumn to spring did not increase the probability of predation of real nests, although it increased that of experimental nests. We suggest that learned predation by pine marten individuals, coupled with efficient search image for cavities, overrides possible indirect positive effects of high vole density on the alternative prey in our study system.

  2. Bifurcations and feedback control of a stage-structure exploited prey ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    Here, we have considered a stage structure prey-predator model with stage structure for ... N over the prey ,N β is the transition rate from mature predator population 2 ...... Mathematical Bioeconomics: The Optimal Management of Renewable ...

  3. 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.

  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 land use on bird populations and pest control services on coffee farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Railsback, Steven F; Johnson, Matthew D

    2014-04-22

    Global increases in both agriculture and biodiversity awareness raise a key question: Should cropland and biodiversity habitat be separated, or integrated in mixed land uses? Ecosystem services by wildlife make this question more complex. For example, birds benefit agriculture by preying on pest insects, but other habitat is needed to maintain the birds. Resulting land use questions include what areas and arrangements of habitat support sufficient birds to control pests, whether this pest control offsets the reduced cropland, and the comparative benefits of "land sharing" (i.e., mixed cropland and habitat) vs. "land sparing" (i.e., separate areas of intensive agriculture and habitat). Such questions are difficult to answer using field studies alone, so we use a simulation model of Jamaican coffee farms, where songbirds suppress the coffee berry borer (CBB). Simulated birds select habitat and prey in five habitat types: intact forest, trees (including forest fragments), shade coffee, sun coffee, and unsuitable habitat. The trees habitat type appears to be especially important, providing efficient foraging and roosting sites near coffee plots. Small areas of trees (but not forest alone) could support a sufficient number of birds to suppress CBB in sun coffee; the degree to which trees are dispersed within coffee had little effect. In simulations without trees, shade coffee supported sufficient birds to offset its lower yield. High areas of both trees and shade coffee reduced pest control because CBB was less often profitable prey. Because of the pest control service provided by birds, land sharing was predicted to be more beneficial than land sparing in this system.

  6. Prey selection of lions Panthera leo in a small, enclosed reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.J. Power

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Annual trends in numbers of ungulate species on a 15 km² reserve from 1993 to 1998, were evaluated in the context of lion Panthera leo reintroduction during 1996, and subsequent predation by them. The ungulate prey base was enumerated annually by aerial counts and a road count that took place during 1998. The lion prey record was obtained from direct observations of a radio-located pride of eight lions and daily reserve management records. All ungulate species that underwent precipituous declines were also the most important prey to lions, comprising over 80 % of their prey, and they were preyed upon according to their availability. Lion predation was causal for the declines in wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus, Blesbok Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi and Warthog Phacochoerus africana, while the decline in Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros was only partly ascribed to lions, as other non-lion related mortality sources were identified. The only ungulate species to increase subsequent to lion reintroduction was the Impala Aepyceros melampus, which was furthermore under-selected by lions. The uncontrolled population growth of Impala could have elicited ecological degradation, and it was advised to either not stock Impala, or otherwise control their numbers if lions are unable to do so. Lion hunting success and kill rate, were 21 % (n = 63 and 1 kill/4.4 days, respectively. Three bushpigs Potamochoerus larvatus were killed but not utilised,and this finding is corroborated by an intensive study in Kwazulu-Natal, and this aversion is discussed. Predators can cause unprecedented declines of their prey where the prey are confined to small reserves that have no refuge from predation. On an annual basis, prey may need to be augmented to sustain predators on small reserves

  7. Energetic conditions promoting top-down control of prey by predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin N Marshall

    Full Text Available Humans remove large amounts of biomass from natural ecosystems, and large bodied high trophic level animals are especially sensitive and vulnerable to exploitation. The effects of removing top-predators on food webs are often difficult to predict because of limited information on species interaction strengths. Here we used a three species predator-prey model to explore relationships between energetic properties of trophodynamic linkages and interaction strengths to provide heuristic rules that indicate observable energetic conditions that are most likely to lead to stable and strong top-down control of prey by predator species. We found that strong top-down interaction strengths resulted from low levels of energy flow from prey to predators. Strong interactions are more stable when they are a consequence of low per capita predation and when predators are subsidized by recruitment. Diet composition also affects stability, but the relationship depends on the form of the functional response. Our results imply that for generalist satiating predators, strong top-down control on prey is most likely for prey items that occupy a small portion of the diet and when density dependent recruitment is moderately high.

  8. Temperature and prey capture: opposite relationships in two predator taxa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kruse, Peter Dalgas; Toft, Søren; Sunderland, Keith

    2008-01-01

    to catch swiftly moving prey. 2. The first experiment examined the spontaneous locomotor activity of the predators and of fruit flies at different temperatures (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 °C) and light conditions (light, dark). A second experiment examined the effect of temperature and light...... different prey groups within the set of potential prey at different times of the day or at different seasons. The ability of many carabid beetles to forage at low temperatures may have nutritional benefits and increases the diversity of interactions in terrestrial food webs....

  9. Predator-prey interactions as macro-scale drivers of species diversity in mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandom, Christopher James; Sandel, Brody Steven; Dalby, Lars

    Background/Question/Methods Understanding the importance of predator-prey interactions for species diversity is a central theme in ecology, with fundamental consequences for predicting the responses of ecosystems to land use and climate change. We assessed the relative support for different...... mechanistic drivers of mammal species richness at macro-scales for two trophic levels: predators and prey. To disentangle biotic (i.e. functional predator-prey interactions) from abiotic (i.e. environmental) and bottom-up from top-down determinants we considered three hypotheses: 1) environmental factors...... that determine ecosystem productivity drive prey and predator richness (the productivity hypothesis, abiotic, bottom-up), 2) consumer richness is driven by resource diversity (the resource diversity hypothesis, biotic, bottom-up) and 3) consumers drive richness of their prey (the top-down hypothesis, biotic, top...

  10. Characterizing a novel predator–prey relationship between native Diplonychus esakii (Heteroptera: Belostomatidae and invasive Gambusia affinis (Teleostei: Poeciliidae in central China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Ouyang

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A considerable body of the literature considers the potential impact of exotic predators on native prey organisms, while comparatively, few studies have asked whether and how native predators include novel prey types into their diet spectrum. Here, we asked whether the native aquatic heteropteran Diplonychus esakii preys on the highly invasive western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis, which has been introduced to southern China and threatens native fish species through competition and predation on their fry. We conducted 48-h prey choice experiments under semi-natural conditions. In a ‘no-choice’ experiment (one predator and one potential prey; n = 200, we found the heteropterans to prey more on large-bodied fish, a pattern that was also described for other belostomatids, while prey sex had no effect on capture rates. Moreover, large-bodied heteropterans caught more fish than small-bodied individuals. However, overall capture rates in our study were low (11.5–30% compared to studies on other belostomatids, which explains why subsequent binary prey choice experiments using one predator and two prey—either large and small females or male and female (with smaller sample sizes of n = 20 and 30, respectively—did not confirm the results of our first experiment. Our study exemplifies how a pattern of body size-dependent predation can arise in a novel (not coevolved predator–prey interaction. We tentatively argue that the observed pattern could be driven by intrinsic features of the predator, namely, altered prey preferences with increasing age coupled with a general preference for large-bodied prey, or changing nutritional needs at different developmental stages.

  11. Effects of intraguild predators on nest-site selection by prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wen-San; Pike, David A

    2012-01-01

    Nest-site selection involves tradeoffs between the risk of predation (on females and/or nests) and nest-site quality (microenvironment), and consequently suitable nesting sites are often in limited supply. Interactions with "classical" predators (e.g., those not competing for shared resources) can strongly influence nest-site selection, but whether intraguild predation also influences this behavior is unknown. We tested whether risk of predation from an intraguild predator [the diurnal scincid lizard Eutropis (Mabuya) longicaudata] influences nest-site selection by its prey (the nocturnal gecko Gekko hokouensis) on Orchid Island, Taiwan. These two species putatively compete for shared resources, including invertebrate prey and nesting microhabitat, but the larger E. longicaudata also predates G. hokouensis (but not its hard-shelled eggs). Both species nested within a concrete wall containing a series of drainage holes that have either one ("closed-in") or two openings ("open"). In allopatry, E. longicaudata preferred to nest within holes that were plugged by debris (thereby protecting eggs from water intrusion), whereas G. hokouensis selected holes that were open at both ends (facilitating escape from predators). When we experimentally excluded E. longicaudata from its preferred nesting area, G. hokouensis not only nested in higher abundances, but also modified its nest-site selection, such that communal nesting was more prevalent and both open and closed-in holes were used equally. Egg viability was unaffected by the choice of hole type, but was reduced slightly (by 7%) in the predator exclusion area (presumably due to higher local incubation temperatures). Our field experiment demonstrates that intraguild predators can directly influence the nest density of prey by altering maternal nest-site selection behavior, even when the predator and prey are active at different times of day and the eggs are not at risk of predation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Han

    2011-02-01

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

  13. Mechanical work as a determinant of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, C; Bertram, J E

    1997-01-01

    In this study an in vitro analysis of the force and mechanical work required to bite prey items of different size and physical character is combined with an in vivo analysis of prey-handling behavior in the tokay gecko (Gekko gecko). The force required to bite and the work of biting increase with prey size, but the rate of increase is prey specific, with crickets (Acheta domestica) requiring substantially more force and work per bite than larvae (Galleria mellonella and Manduca sexta) for all but the smallest prey. Prey-handling behavior is also prey specific. Geckos exert more bites per feeding event on small crickets than on small insect larvae, but the number of bites increases faster with prey mass for larvae than for crickets. Combination of the in vitro mechanical measurements with the in vivo behavior analysis allows the calculation of total mechanical work per feeding event and indicates that total work increases with prey size but that the difference between prey types is far less than predicted from the differences in structural properties of the prey. This occurs because the number of bites and work per bite relationships tend to cancel the differences in the total work necessary to process each prey type. Thus, when considering the effect of prey size, a 13-fold greater rate of increase in bite force and an 18-fold greater rate of increase of work per bit for crickets over larvae was partially compensated for by a threefold increase in the number of bites used on larvae relative to crickets. These results can be interpreted in two ways. The effect of mechanical work in feeding behavior suggests that the energetics of jaw adductor musculature could play a greater role in governing the feeding behavior of this lizard than has previously been expected. Alternatively, the scaling of work in feeding over a range of prey sizes suggests distinct differences in the geometric features of the prey that determine how they are processed.

  14. Extinction in a generalized Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azmy S. Ackleh

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we discuss the asymptotic behavior of a predator-prey model with distributed growth and mortality rates. We exhibit simple criteria on the parameters which guarantee that all subpopulations but one predator-prey pair are driven to extinction as t→∞. Finally, we present numerical simulations to illustrate the theoretical results.

  15. Food web structure shaped by habitat size and climate across a latitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Gustavo Q; Piccoli, Gustavo C O; de Omena, Paula M; Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago

    2016-10-01

    Habitat size and climate are known to affect the trophic structure and dynamics of communities, but their interactive effects are poorly understood. Organisms from different trophic levels vary in terms of metabolic requirements and heat dissipation. Indeed, larger species such as keystone predators require more stable climatic conditions than their prey. Likewise, habitat size disproportionally affects large-sized predators, which require larger home ranges and are thus restricted to larger habitats. Therefore, food web structure in patchy ecosystems is expected to be shaped by habitat size and climate variations. Here we investigate this prediction using natural aquatic microcosm (bromeliad phytotelmata) food webs composed of litter resources (mainly detritus), detritivores, mesopredators, and top predators (damselflies). We surveyed 240 bromeliads of varying sizes (water retention capacity) across 12 open restingas in SE Brazil spread across a wide range of tropical latitudes (-12.6° to -27.6°, ca. 2,000 km) and climates (Δ mean annual temperature = 5.3°C). We found a strong increase in predator-to-detritivore mass ratio with habitat size, which was representative of a typical inverted trophic pyramid in larger ecosystems. However, this relationship was contingent among the restingas; slopes of linear models were steeper in more stable and favorable climates, leading to inverted trophic pyramids (and top-down control) being more pronounced in environments with more favorable climatic conditions. By contrast, detritivore-resource and mesopredator-detritivore mass ratios were not affected by habitat size or climate variations across latitudes. Our results highlight that the combined effects of habitat size, climate and predator composition are pivotal to understanding the impacts of multiple environmental factors on food web structure and dynamics. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  16. Impacts of Mesopredator Control on Conservation of Mesopredators and Their Prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Mike Conner

    Full Text Available Declining large carnivore populations, increased habitat fragmentation, declining interests in fur trapping, and other anthropogenic factors can all lead to increased mesopredator populations and these may negatively impact biodiversity. Lethal mesopredator control potentially mitigates some of these effects but can be controversial, largely because impacts on mesopredator populations have not been evaluated. Estimating these impacts may reduce controversies while increasing our understanding of when lethal control may be beneficial. Therefore, we analyzed published mesopredator removal data to determine if mesopredator removal rates changed over time. Removals of medium,(e.g., raccoons (Procyon lotor or red foxes (Vulpes vulpes, and large, i.e., bobcats (Lynx rufus or coyotes (Canis latrans, mesopredators were consistent from year to year and over the duration of study (i.e., number removed during the first and last years of studies were similar. In contrast, removals of small mesopredators, e.g., weasels (Mustela spp. or spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius, declined over the duration of study. Study area size, number of species targeted for removal, and duration of removal effort were poor predictors of removal rates. Our analyses suggest that: (1 control, as typically implemented, is unlikely to cause negative long-term impacts on populations of medium and large mesopredators but may negatively impact small mesopredators, (2 if mesopredator control benefits prey, recurring removals will generally be needed to maintain benefits, and (3 timing of removals will be important to achieve management goals. We suggest that mesopredator control efforts are frequently spatially structured harvests from continuously distributed populations. This may explain (1 why removal of small mesopredators declined over time; whereas, medium and large mesopredator removals remained consistent, and (2 why some prey failed to respond to mesopredator control efforts.

  17. 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.

  18. What you need is what you eat? Prey selection by the bat Myotis daubentonii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vesterinen, Eero J; Ruokolainen, Lasse; Wahlberg, Niklas; Peña, Carlos; Roslin, Tomas; Laine, Veronika N; Vasko, Ville; Sääksjärvi, Ilari E; Norrdahl, Kai; Lilley, Thomas M

    2016-04-01

    Optimal foraging theory predicts that predators are selective when faced with abundant prey, but become less picky when prey gets sparse. Insectivorous bats in temperate regions are faced with the challenge of building up fat reserves vital for hibernation during a period of decreasing arthropod abundances. According to optimal foraging theory, prehibernating bats should adopt a less selective feeding behavior--yet empirical studies have revealed many apparently generalized species to be composed of specialist individuals. Targeting the diet of the bat Myotis daubentonii, we used a combination of molecular techniques to test for seasonal changes in prey selectivity and individual-level variation in prey preferences. DNA metabarcoding was used to characterize both the prey contents of bat droppings and the insect community available as prey. To test for dietary differences among M. daubentonii individuals, we used ten microsatellite loci to assign droppings to individual bats. The comparison between consumed and available prey revealed a preference for certain prey items regardless of availability. Nonbiting midges (Chironomidae) remained the most highly consumed prey at all times, despite a significant increase in the availability of black flies (Simuliidae) towards the end of the season. The bats sampled showed no evidence of individual specialization in dietary preferences. Overall, our approach offers little support for optimal foraging theory. Thus, it shows how novel combinations of genetic markers can be used to test general theory, targeting patterns at both the level of prey communities and individual predators. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. L-Reactor Habitat Mitigation Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-02-01

    The L-Reactor Fish and Wildlife Resource Mitigation Study was conducted to quantify the effects on habitat of the L-Reactor restart and to identify the appropriate mitigation for these impacts. The completed project evaluated in this study includes construction of a 1000 acre reactor cooling reservoir formed by damming Steel Creek. Habitat impacts identified include a loss of approximately 3,700 average annual habitat units. This report presents a mitigation plan, Plan A, to offset these habitat losses. Plan A will offset losses for all species studied, except whitetailed deer. The South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department strongly recommends creation of a game management area to provide realistic mitigation for loss of deer habitats. 10 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs

  20. Prey selection by the Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli, 1769 in captivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Vanitha

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available We investigated prey selection of the Barn Owl Tyto alba under captive conditions where birds were allowed to choose among individuals of varying size from four field rodent species: Bandicota bengalensis, Millardia meltada, Tatera indica and Mus booduga. Owls showed little species preference and a tendency to favour the medium weight class in all prey species except M. booduga. Preference for body parts consumed varied according to prey size, ranging from the head alone in the large weight class to the entire body in the small weight class. Biochemical measurements showed that protein, carbohydrate and lipid levels were higher respectively in the brain, liver and muscles of all three species and weight classes studied. The preference for medium weight prey despite a lower nutrient content compared to large weight prey is attributed to a greater ease of capture.

  1. Infomechanical specializations for prey capture in knifefish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciver, Malcolm; Patankar, Neelesh; Curet, Oscar; Shirgaonkar, Anup

    2007-11-01

    How does an animal's mechanics and its information acquisition system work together to solve crucial behavioral tasks? We examine this question for the black ghost weakly electric knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons), which is a leading model system for the study of sensory processing in vertebrates. These animals hunt at night by detecting perturbations of a self-generated electric field caused by prey. While the fish searches for prey, it pitches at 30 . Fully resolved Navier-Stokes simulations of their swimming, which occurs through undulations of a long ribbon-like fin along the bottom edge of the body, indicates that this configuration enables maximal thrust while minimizing pitch moment. However, pitching the body also increases drag. Our analysis of the sensory volume for detection of prey shows this volume to be similar to a cylinder around the body. Thus, pitching the body enables a greater swept volume of scanned fluid. Examining the mechanical and information acquisition demands on the animal in this task gives insight into how these sometimes conflicting demands are resolved.

  2. 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.

  3. PBDEs and other POPs in urban birds of prey partly explained by trophic level and carbon source

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, John E. [Environment Canada, Science & Technology Branch, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2 (Canada); Department of Biological Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 (Canada); Brogan, Jason [Department of Biological Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6 (Canada); Lee, Sandi L. [Environment Canada, Science & Technology Branch, Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, Delta, British Columbia V4K 3N2 (Canada); Drouillard, Ken G. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON N9B 3P4 (Canada); Elliott, Kyle H. [Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec H9X 3V9 (Canada)

    2015-08-15

    As urban sprawl and agricultural intensification continue to invade prime wildlife habitat, some animals, even apex predators, are managing to adapt to this new environment. Chemical pollution is one of many stressors that wildlife encounter in urban environments. Predators are particularly sensitive to persistent chemical pollutants because they feed at a high trophic level where such pollution is biomagnified. To examine levels of pollution in urban birds of prey in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada, we analyzed persistent organic contaminants in adult birds found dead of trauma injury. The hepatic geometric mean concentration of sum polybrominated diphenyl ethers (∑PBDEs) in 13 Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) from Greater Vancouver was 1873 ng/g (lipid weight) with one bird reaching 197,000 ng/g lipid weight, the highest exposure reported to date for a wild bird. Concentrations of ∑PBDEs, ∑PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and, surprisingly, cyclodiene insecticides were greatest in the urban environment while those of DDE (1,1-dichloroethylene bis[p-chlorophenyl) were highest in a region of intensive agriculture. The level of most chlorinated and brominated contaminants increased with trophic level (δ{sup 15}N). The concentrations of some contaminants, PBDEs in particular, in these birds of prey may have some toxicological consequences. Apex predators in urban environments continue to be exposed to elevated concentrations of legacy pollutants as well as more recent brominated pollutants. - Highlights: • As urban areas expand, many animal species are adapting and invading urban areas. • Urban colonists encounter many new stressors, especially chemical pollution. • Urban birds of prey in Canada had high levels of brominated flame retardants (PBDEs). • One individual had the highest level of PBDEs ever recorded for wildlife. • Such high levels may have had toxicological implications.

  4. PBDEs and other POPs in urban birds of prey partly explained by trophic level and carbon source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliott, John E.; Brogan, Jason; Lee, Sandi L.; Drouillard, Ken G.; Elliott, Kyle H.

    2015-01-01

    As urban sprawl and agricultural intensification continue to invade prime wildlife habitat, some animals, even apex predators, are managing to adapt to this new environment. Chemical pollution is one of many stressors that wildlife encounter in urban environments. Predators are particularly sensitive to persistent chemical pollutants because they feed at a high trophic level where such pollution is biomagnified. To examine levels of pollution in urban birds of prey in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada, we analyzed persistent organic contaminants in adult birds found dead of trauma injury. The hepatic geometric mean concentration of sum polybrominated diphenyl ethers (∑PBDEs) in 13 Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) from Greater Vancouver was 1873 ng/g (lipid weight) with one bird reaching 197,000 ng/g lipid weight, the highest exposure reported to date for a wild bird. Concentrations of ∑PBDEs, ∑PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and, surprisingly, cyclodiene insecticides were greatest in the urban environment while those of DDE (1,1-dichloroethylene bis[p-chlorophenyl) were highest in a region of intensive agriculture. The level of most chlorinated and brominated contaminants increased with trophic level (δ 15 N). The concentrations of some contaminants, PBDEs in particular, in these birds of prey may have some toxicological consequences. Apex predators in urban environments continue to be exposed to elevated concentrations of legacy pollutants as well as more recent brominated pollutants. - Highlights: • As urban areas expand, many animal species are adapting and invading urban areas. • Urban colonists encounter many new stressors, especially chemical pollution. • Urban birds of prey in Canada had high levels of brominated flame retardants (PBDEs). • One individual had the highest level of PBDEs ever recorded for wildlife. • Such high levels may have had toxicological implications

  5. Let's go beyond taxonomy in diet description: testing a trait-based approach to prey-predator relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Jérôme; Ridoux, Vincent; Brind'Amour, Anik

    2014-09-01

    Understanding 'Why a prey is a prey for a given predator?' can be facilitated through trait-based approaches that identify linkages between prey and predator morphological and ecological characteristics and highlight key functions involved in prey selection. Enhanced understanding of the functional relationships between predators and their prey is now essential to go beyond the traditional taxonomic framework of dietary studies and to improve our knowledge of ecosystem functioning for wildlife conservation and management. We test the relevance of a three-matrix approach in foraging ecology among a marine mammal community in the northeast Atlantic to identify the key functional traits shaping prey selection processes regardless of the taxonomy of both the predators and prey. Our study reveals that prey found in the diet of marine mammals possess functional traits which are directly and significantly linked to predator characteristics, allowing the establishment of a functional typology of marine mammal-prey relationships. We found prey selection of marine mammals was primarily shaped by physiological and morphological traits of both predators and prey, confirming that energetic costs of foraging strategies and muscular performance are major drivers of prey selection in marine mammals. We demonstrate that trait-based approaches can provide a new definition of the resource needs of predators. This framework can be used to anticipate bottom-up effects on marine predator population dynamics and to identify predators which are sensitive to the loss of key prey functional traits when prey availability is reduced. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  6. Importance of tracks on habitat use characterization of Medium and Big mammals in Los Mangos Forest (Puerto Lopez, Meta, Colombia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guzman Lenis, Angelica; Camargo Sanabria, Angela

    2004-01-01

    Tracks and signs are very useful for detecting medium and big mammals, which usually are out of sight. These are helpful tools on field investigation, provide detailed information on the identity and activities of an animal in a place, and can provide us indications of their habitat use (Aranda, 1981a; Navarro and Munoz, 2000; Villalba and Yanosky, 2000). In this paper we characterize the habitat use of medium and big land mammals in Los Mangos Forest. We use an observation and track tramp transect, and a modification of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for evaluating habitat suitability. We detect six burrows, four footprints and five Seje palm (Oenocarpus batagua) feeding places, in addition to ten tracks compiled along the other days of field investigation. We recognized ten species of mammals, which belong to five orders, using tracks and bitted fruits. The HSI calculated was 7.30 on inner forest, indicating that the habitat is appropriate for animals, which use burrows. Resources like food (insects, fruits and preys), refuge, water and resting places converges generating favorable environment for immigration and residence of insectivore, frugivore and carnivore mammals. The fertile plane forest is an important habitat of this area because present there. It offers quality resources to the animal species in there

  7. Prey-predator dynamics driven by the solar radiation - Part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sertorio, L.

    2000-01-01

    In this paper is studied a model ecosystem represented by two components: prey and predator. The predator feeds only on the prey, the prey, in turn, feeds on the solar radiation. In this scheme the two-species dynamics is no longer independent of the external physical conditions. Such independence was instead postulated in the Lotka-Volterra scheme. In this paper is considered the growth of the prey not unbounded (exponential), but logistic, where the saturation factor is governed by the available solar flux, more precisely by the percent of the solar flux that contains the photon frequencies which can drive the photosynthesis. In this way the solar flux represents the driving term of the dynamics, as it is expected in general for a realistic ecosystem. The system is asymptotically stable. The equilibrium values of the prey and predator numbers depend on several parameters. The system contains two nonlinear coupling terms and two coupling parameters. The dependence of the equilibrium point on the coupling parameters is studied in detail. According to this model, it can be defined a predator efficiency and a global solar efficiency. It is discussed the relationship between these two functions of the coupling parameters and the maximum value that the predator population can reach

  8. Sintopia de duas espécies de Tropidurus (Squamata: Tropiduridae) em um habitat de Cerrado rupestre no Brasil Central

    OpenAIRE

    Faria, R. G.; Araujo, A. F. B.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the ecology of Tropidurus itambere and T. oreadicus that occur syntopically in rocky habitats of Cerrado vegetation in central Brazil during the dry season (April to September 2000). The two species are ecologically similar, but somewhat differentiated in vertical microhabitat use. The two species preferred rocky surface microhabitat. Both species demonstrated a unimodal activity pattern, with a peak between 10 and 15 h. Their diets were similar in composition and prey size. The mo...

  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. Clock-Controlled Prey-Predator Dynamics : Temporal Segregation of Activities

    OpenAIRE

    Hiroaki, DAIDO; Department of Mathematical Sciences, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Osaka Prefecture

    2003-01-01

    A new type of mathematical model of prey-predator dynamics is proposed. This model takes into account the fact that the daily activities of animals are governed by their body clocks. On the basis of it, we investigate the conditions under which the prey and predator can segregate into diurnal and nocturnal habits on a timescale that is short compared to evolutionary timescales.

  11. 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

  12. Joint evolution of predator body size and prey-size preference.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Troost, T.A.; Kooi, B.W.; Dieckmann, U.

    2007-01-01

    We studied the joint evolution of predator body size and prey-size preference based on dynamic energy budget theory. The predators' demography and their functional response are based on general eco-physiological principles involving the size of both predator and prey. While our model can account for

  13. Joint evolution of predator body size and prey-size preference