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Sample records for integrons potentially predating

  1. The commensal infant gut meta-mobilome as a potential reservoir for persistent multidrug resistance integrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravi, Anuradha; Avershina, Ekaterina; Foley, Steven L; Ludvigsen, Jane; Storrø, Ola; Øien, Torbjørn; Johnsen, Roar; McCartney, Anne L; L'Abée-Lund, Trine M; Rudi, Knut

    2015-10-28

    Despite the accumulating knowledge on the development and establishment of the gut microbiota, its role as a reservoir for multidrug resistance is not well understood. This study investigated the prevalence and persistence patterns of an integrase gene (int1), used as a proxy for integrons (which often carry multiple antimicrobial resistance genes), in the fecal microbiota of 147 mothers and their children sampled longitudinally from birth to 2 years. The study showed the int1 gene was detected in 15% of the study population, and apparently more persistent than the microbial community structure itself. We found int1 to be persistent throughout the first two years of life, as well as between mothers and their 2-year-old children. Metagenome sequencing revealed integrons in the gut meta-mobilome that were associated with plasmids and multidrug resistance. In conclusion, the persistent nature of integrons in the infant gut microbiota makes it a potential reservoir of mobile multidrug resistance.

  2. The Integron: Adaptation On Demand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, José Antonio; Loot, Céline; Nivina, Aleksandra; Mazel, Didier

    2015-04-01

    The integron is a powerful system which, by capturing, stockpiling, and rearranging new functions carried by gene encoding cassettes, confers upon bacteria a rapid adaptation capability in changing environments. Chromosomally located integrons (CI) have been identified in a large number of environmental Gram-negative bacteria. Integron evolutionary history suggests that these sedentary CIs acquired mobility among bacterial species through their association with transposable elements and conjugative plasmids. As a result of massive antibiotic use, these so-called mobile integrons are now widespread in clinically relevant bacteria and are considered to be the principal agent in the emergence and rise of antibiotic multiresistance in Gram-negative bacteria. Cassette rearrangements are catalyzed by the integron integrase, a site-specific tyrosine recombinase. Central to these reactions is the single-stranded DNA nature of one of the recombination partners, the attC site. This makes the integron a unique recombination system. This review describes the current knowledge on this atypical recombination mechanism, its implications in the reactions involving the different types of sites, attC and attI, and focuses on the tight regulation exerted by the host on integron activity through the control of attC site folding. Furthermore, cassette and integrase expression are also highly controlled by host regulatory networks and the bacterial stress (SOS) response. These intimate connections to the host make the integron a genetically stable and efficient system, granting the bacteria a low cost, highly adaptive evolution potential "on demand".

  3. Antibiotic Resistance Genetic Markers and Integrons in White Soft Cheese: Aspects of Clinical Resistome and Potentiality of Horizontal Gene Transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Paula, Ana Caroline L; Medeiros, Julliane D; de Azevedo, Analice C; de Assis Chagas, Jéssica M; da Silva, Vânia L; Diniz, Cláudio G

    2018-02-19

    Antibiotic resistance poses an important threat to global public health and has become a challenge to modern medicine. The occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a broad range of foods has led to a growing concern about the impact that food may have as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. Considering Minas Frescal Cheese (MFC)-a typical Brazilian white soft cheese-and its economic and cultural values, in this study, medically relevant antimicrobial-resistance genetic markers (AR genes) were screened, and the occurrence of integrons were evaluated in manufactured MFC using culture-independent approaches. Through a fingerprinting analysis, the tested MFCs were brand-clustered, indicating reproducibility along the production chain. A common core of resistance markers in all brands evaluated and related antimicrobials such as β-lactams, tetracyclines, quinolones, and sulfonamide was detected. Several other markers, including efflux pumps and aminoglycosides-resistance were distributed among brands. Class 1 and 2 integrons were observed, respectively, in 77% and 97% of the samples. The presence of AR genes is of special interest due to their clinical relevance. Taken together, the data may suggest that the production chain of MFC might contribute to the spread of putative drug-resistant bacteria, which could greatly impact human health. Furthermore, detection of class 1 and class 2 integrons in MFC has led to discussions about resistance gene spread in this traditional cheese, providing evidence of potential horizontal transfer of AR genes to human gut microbiota.

  4. Antibiotic Resistance Genetic Markers and Integrons in White Soft Cheese: Aspects of Clinical Resistome and Potentiality of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Caroline L. de Paula

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotic resistance poses an important threat to global public health and has become a challenge to modern medicine. The occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a broad range of foods has led to a growing concern about the impact that food may have as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. Considering Minas Frescal Cheese (MFC—a typical Brazilian white soft cheese—and its economic and cultural values, in this study, medically relevant antimicrobial-resistance genetic markers (AR genes were screened, and the occurrence of integrons were evaluated in manufactured MFC using culture-independent approaches. Through a fingerprinting analysis, the tested MFCs were brand-clustered, indicating reproducibility along the production chain. A common core of resistance markers in all brands evaluated and related antimicrobials such as β-lactams, tetracyclines, quinolones, and sulfonamide was detected. Several other markers, including efflux pumps and aminoglycosides-resistance were distributed among brands. Class 1 and 2 integrons were observed, respectively, in 77% and 97% of the samples. The presence of AR genes is of special interest due to their clinical relevance. Taken together, the data may suggest that the production chain of MFC might contribute to the spread of putative drug-resistant bacteria, which could greatly impact human health. Furthermore, detection of class 1 and class 2 integrons in MFC has led to discussions about resistance gene spread in this traditional cheese, providing evidence of potential horizontal transfer of AR genes to human gut microbiota.

  5. The commensal infant gut meta-mobilome as a potential reservoir for persistent multidrug resistance integrons

    OpenAIRE

    Anuradha Ravi; Ekaterina Avershina; Steven L. Foley; Jane Ludvigsen; Ola Storrø; Torbjørn Øien; Roar Johnsen; Anne L. McCartney; Trine M. L’Abée-Lund; Knut Rudi

    2015-01-01

    Despite the accumulating knowledge on the development and establishment of the gut microbiota, its role as a reservoir for multidrug resistance is not well understood. This study investigated the prevalence and persistence patterns of an integrase gene (int1), used as a proxy for integrons (which often carry multiple antimicrobial resistance genes), in the fecal microbiota of 147 mothers and their children sampled longitudinally from birth to 2 years. The study showed the int1 gene was detect...

  6. Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Donald D.; McCabe, Thomas R.; Ambrose, Robert E.; Garner, Gerald W.; Weiler, Greg J.; Reynolds, Harry V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Reed, Dan J.; Griffith, Brad; Douglas, David C.; Reynolds, Patricia E.; Rhode, E.B.

    2002-01-01

    Calving caribou (Rangifer tarandus) of the Central Arctic herd, Alaska, have avoided the infrastructure associated with the complex of petroleum development areas from Prudhoe Bay to Kuparuk (Cameron et al. 1992, Nellemann and Cameron 1998, and Section 4 of this document). Calving females of the Porcupine caribou herd may similarly avoid any oil field roads and pipelines developed in areas traditionally used during the calving and post-calving periods. This may displace the caribou females and calves to areas east and south of the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Increased calf mortality could occur if calving caribou are displaced into areas that have a higher density of predators, higher rates of predation, or where a higher proportion of the predators regularly use caribou as a food source (Whitten et al. 1992).Our study assessed predation risks to caribou calving in the 1002 Area versus calving in potential displacement areas. Due to funding constraints, our research focused on grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), with wolves (Camus lupus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) receiving only cursory attention. Our research objectives were 1) to compare relative abundance of predators within the 1002 Area with that in adjacent peripheral areas, 2) to determine factors affecting predator abundance on the calving grounds, and 3) to quantify the use of caribou as a food source for predators and the importance of caribou to the productivity of predator populations using the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  7. Gene Expression in Class 2 Integrons Is SOS-Independent and Involves Two Pc Promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jové, Thomas; Da Re, Sandra; Tabesse, Aurore; Gassama-Sow, Amy; Ploy, Marie-Cécile

    2017-01-01

    Integrons are powerful bacterial genetic elements that permit the expression and dissemination of antibiotic-resistance gene cassettes. They contain a promoter Pc that allows the expression of gene cassettes captured through site-specific recombination catalyzed by IntI, the integron-encoded integrase. Class 1 and 2 integrons are found in both clinical and environmental settings. The regulation of intI and of Pc promoters has been extensively studied in class 1 integrons and the regulatory role of the SOS response on intI expression has been shown. Here we investigated class 2 integrons. We characterized the P intI2 promoter and showed that intI2 expression is not regulated via the SOS response. We also showed that, unlike class 1 integrons, class 2 integrons possess not one but two active Pc promoters that are located within the attI2 region that seem to contribute equally to gene cassette expression. Class 2 integrons mostly encode an inactive truncated integrase, but the rare class 2 integrons that encode an active integrase are associated with less efficient Pc2 promoter variants. We propose an evolutionary model for class 2 integrons in which the absence of repression of the integrase gene expression led to mutations resulting in either inactive integrase or Pc variants of weaker activity, thereby reducing the potential fitness cost of these integrons.

  8. Integrones: los coleccionistas de genes Integrons: gene collectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. Di Conza

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Los integrones son estructuras genéticas que han despertado gran interés, debido a que algunos de ellos vehiculizan genes de resistencia a los antimicrobianos. Están formados por un fragmento que codifica una integrasa (intI y, a continuación, una secuencia attI a la que se unen los genes en casetes que codifican diferentes mecanismos de resistencia. Dentro de intI, en su extremo 3´, hay una secuencia promotora Pc a partir de la cual se transcriben los casetes de resistencia integrados, ya que estos genes carecen de promotor. Sin embargo, estos casetes presentan una secuencia específica denominada attC, la cual es reconocida por la integrasa que se une, por recombinación, a la secuencia attI del integrón en la orientación adecuada para su expresión. Los integrones se han clasificado según la secuencia de su integrasa, pero en la actualidad se prefiere clasificarlos según su localización. Se habla, en general, de "integrones móviles" para referirse a aquellos asociados a secuencias de inserción, transposones y/o plásmidos conjugativos, los que en su mayoría median mecanismos de resistencia, y de "superintegrones", de localización cromosómica y con grandes arreglos de genes en casetes. Los integrones móviles de clase 1 son los más abundantes en aislamientos clínicos y suelen estar asociados a transposones del subgrupo Tn21, seguidos por los de clase 2, derivados principalmente de Tn7. Estos elementos no son móviles por sí mismos, pero su asociación con elementos que sí lo son facilita su transferencia horizontal, lo que explica su amplia difusión entre las bacterias. Esta revisión intenta recopilar la información disponible acerca de los integrones móviles descritos en Argentina hasta la fecha.Integrons gained great interest due to their participation in resistance gene recruitment and expression. Their basic structure includes a fragment that encodes an integrase (intI followed by a recognition sequence (attI into

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gosch N.J.C.

    2011-08-01

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

  10. Protozoan predation in soil slurries compromises determination of contaminant mineralization potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badawi, Nora; Johnsen, Anders R.; Brandt, Kristian K.; Sørensen, Jan; Aamand, Jens

    2012-01-01

    Soil suspensions (slurries) are commonly used to estimate the potential of soil microbial communities to mineralize organic contaminants. The preparation of soil slurries disrupts soil structure, however, potentially affecting both the bacterial populations and their protozoan predators. We studied the importance of this “slurry effect” on mineralization of the herbicide 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA, 14 C-labelled), focussing on the effects of protozoan predation. Mineralization of MCPA was studied in “intact” soil and soil slurries differing in soil:water ratio, both in the presence and absence of the protozoan activity inhibitor cycloheximide. Protozoan predation inhibited mineralization in dense slurry of subsoil (soil:water ratio 1:3), but only in the most dilute slurry of topsoil (soil:water ratio 1:100). Our results demonstrate that protozoan predation in soil slurries may compromise quantification of contaminant mineralization potential, especially when the initial density of degrader bacteria is low and their growth is controlled by predation during the incubation period. - Highlights: ► We studied the protozoan impact on MCPA mineralization in soil slurries. ► Cycloheximide was used as protozoan inhibitor. ► Protozoa inhibited MCPA mineralization in dilute topsoil slurry and subsoil slurry. ► Mineralization potentials may be underestimated when using soil slurries. - Protozoan predation may strongly bias the quantification of mineralization potential when performed in soil slurries, especially when the initial density of degrader bacteria is low such as in subsoil or very dilute topsoil slurries.

  11. Assessing Potential Vulnerability and Response of Fish to Simulated Avian Predation after Exposure to Psychotropic Pharmaceuticals

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    Melanie L. Hedgespeth

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Psychotropic pharmaceuticals present in the environment may impact organisms both directly and via interaction strengths with other organisms, including predators; therefore, this study examined the potential effects of pharmaceuticals on behavioral responses of fish to avian predators. Wild-caught juvenile perch (Perca fluviatilis were assayed using a striking bird model after a seven-day exposure to psychotropic pharmaceuticals (the antidepressants fluoxetine or sertraline, or the β-blocker propranolol under the hypotheses that exposure would increase vulnerability to avian predation via increasing the probability of predator encounter as well as degrading evasive behaviors upon encounter. None of the substances significantly affected swimming activity of the fish, nor did they increase vulnerability by affecting encounter probability or evasive endpoints compared to control treatments. Counter to our expectations, fish exposed to 100 μg/L fluoxetine (but no other concentrations or pharmaceuticals were less likely to enter the open area of the arena, i.e., less likely to engage in risky behavior that could lead to predator encounters. Additionally, all fish exposed to environmentally relevant, low concentrations of sertraline (0.12 μg/L and propranolol (0.1 μg/L sought refuge after the simulated attack. Our unexpected results warrant further research as they have interesting implications on how these psychotropic pharmaceuticals may affect predator-prey interactions spanning the terrestrial-aquatic interface.

  12. ACID: annotation of cassette and integron data

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    Stokes Harold W

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Although integrons and their associated gene cassettes are present in ~10% of bacteria and can represent up to 3% of the genome in which they are found, very few have been properly identified and annotated in public databases. These genetic elements have been overlooked in comparison to other vectors that facilitate lateral gene transfer between microorganisms. Description By automating the identification of integron integrase genes and of the non-coding cassette-associated attC recombination sites, we were able to assemble a database containing all publicly available sequence information regarding these genetic elements. Specialists manually curated the database and this information was used to improve the automated detection and annotation of integrons and their encoded gene cassettes. ACID (annotation of cassette and integron data can be searched using a range of queries and the data can be downloaded in a number of formats. Users can readily annotate their own data and integrate it into ACID using the tools provided. Conclusion ACID is a community resource providing easy access to annotations of integrons and making tools available to detect them in novel sequence data. ACID also hosts a forum to prompt integron-related discussion, which can hopefully lead to a more universal definition of this genetic element.

  13. A potential predator-prey interaction of an American badger and an Agassiz's desert tortoise with a review of badger predation on turtles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Amanda L.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Tennant, Laura A.; Arundel, Terry; Vamstad, Michael S.; Brundige, Kathleen D.

    2016-01-01

    The federally threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1990, but thus far, recovery efforts have been unsuccessful (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2015). Predation has been identified as a contributing factor to declining G. agassizii populations range-wide (e.g., Esque et al. 2010, Lovich et al. 2014). Understanding and managing for predator-prey dynamics is thus an important part of the recovery and conservation of this threatened species (USFWS 2011). Desert tortoises have a host of predators at all stages of their life cycle. Over 20 species of birds, mammals, and reptiles have been recorded as known or suspected predators (Woodbury and Hardy 1948, Luckenbach 1982, Ernst and Lovich 2009). American badgers (Taxidea taxus, family: Mustelidae) are confirmed excavators of desert tortoise nests (Turner and Berry 1984). They are also suspected predators of adult desert tortoises, a possibility which has been presented in some studies but without empirical verification (Luckenbach 1982, Turner and Berry 1984). Active mostly at night, badgers are solitary, secretive predators (Lindzey 1978, 1982; Armitage 2004) that are extremely difficult to observe in predatory encounters. Recently, strong circumstantial evidence presented by Emblidge et al. (2015) suggests that badgers do prey on adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises based on observations of more than two dozen dead tortoises in the Western Mojave Desert of California. In this note, we present another case of potential badger predation on a large adult desert tortoise in the Sonoran Desert of California. Collectively, these recent two cases potentially indicate that badger predation may be more common and widespread than previously thought. In addition, we review the worldwide literature of badger predation on turtles in general and summarize reported badger observations in Joshua Tree National Park, where our observation occurred, over a

  14. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  15. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  16. Escape by the Balearic Lizard (Podarcis lilfordi is affected by elevation of an approaching predator, but not by some other potential predation risk factors

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    William E. Cooper

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Many predation risk factors to affect escape behavior by lizards, but effects of some potential risk factors are unknown or are variable among species. We studied effects of several risk factors on escape responses by the Balearic lizard (Podarcis lilfordi, Lacertidae on escape responses. Escape was elicited by an approaching experimenter who recorded flight initiation distance (predator-prey distance when escape begins and distance fled. When an experimenter approached from above (upslope, flight initiation distance and distance fled were longer than when the experimenter approached from below. This novel effect suggests that lizards exposed to aerial predation might have been naturally selected to respond rapidly to predators approaching from above or that effects of path inclination of escape ability may differ between predators and prey in a manner requiring a larger margin of safety during approaches from above than below. Although sex differences in aspects of escape occur in some lizards, including lacertids, no sex difference was observed in P. lilfordi. Because vigilance and some other aspects of antipredatory behavior exhibit cortical lateralization, we tested effects of approach from the left and right sides of lizards. As predicted by optimal escape theory, side of approach did not affect flight initiation distance. Because many lizards have color vision and respond to pigmentation of conspecifics in social settings, researchers have often worn only drably colored clothing when simulating predators. This precaution may be unnecessary because flight initiation distance did not differ among investigator shirt colors (red, orange, olive.

  17. Assessing the potential for fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): Insight from bioenergetics models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggleton, M.A.; Miranda, L.E.; Kirk, J.P.

    2004-01-01

    Rates of annual food consumption and biomass were modeled for several fish species across representative rivers and lakes in eastern North America. Results were combined to assess the relative potential of fish predation to impact zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Predicted annual food consumption by fishes in southern waters was over 100% greater than that in northern systems because of warmer annual water temperatures and presumed increases in metabolic demand. Although generally increasing with latitude, biomasses of several key zebra mussel fish predators did not change significantly across latitudes. Biomasses of some less abundant fish predators did increase significantly with latitude, but increases were not of the magnitude to offset predicted decreases in food consumption. Our results generally support the premise that fishes in rivers and lakes of the southern United States (U.S.) have inherently greater potential to impact zebra mussels by predation. Our simulations may provide a partial explanation of why zebra mussel invasions have not been as rapid and widespread in southern U.S. waters compared to the Great Lakes region. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  18. Screening for Hepatozoon parasites in gerbils and potential predators in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D James; Pereira, Ana; Halajian, Ali; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Kunutu, Katlego D

    2017-02-08

    Samples of gerbils and their potential predators were screened for the presence of Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) using both microscopic examination and sequencing of partial 18S rRNA sequences. Positive samples were compared to published sequences in a phylogenetic framework. The results indicate that genets can be infected with Hepatozoon felis. A Cape fox was infected with Hepatozoon canis, whereas the sequence from an infected rodent fell within a group of parasites primarily recovered from other rodents and snakes.

  19. Screening for Hepatozoon parasites in gerbils and potential predators in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. James Harris

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Samples of gerbils and their potential predators were screened for the presence of Hepatozoon parasites (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina using both microscopic examination and sequencing of partial 18S rRNA sequences. Positive samples were compared to published sequences in a phylogenetic framework. The results indicate that genets can be infected with Hepatozoon felis. A Cape fox was infected with Hepatozoon canis, whereas the sequence from an infected rodent fell within a group of parasites primarily recovered from other rodents and snakes.

  20. Clearance rates of jellyfish and their potential predation impact on zooplankton and fish larvae in a neritic ecosystem (Limfjorden, Denmark)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansson, L. J.; Moeslund, O.; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    clearance potential were given assumed clearance rate values, but the collective predation potential by these species was evaluated to be small. Hydromedusae dominated numerically and had their highest potential clearance impact in spring, but overall jellyfish clearance potential on copepods was low during...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Byers, James E

    2006-07-01

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

  2. Insights and inferences about integron evolution from genomic data

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    Martin Andrew P

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Integrons are mechanisms that facilitate horizontal gene transfer, allowing bacteria to integrate and express foreign DNA. These are important in the exchange of antibiotic resistance determinants, but can also transfer a diverse suite of genes unrelated to pathogenicity. Here, we provide a systematic analysis of the distribution and diversity of integron intI genes and integron-containing bacteria. Results We found integrons in 103 different pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria, in six major phyla. Integrons were widely scattered, and their presence was not confined to specific clades within bacterial orders. Nearly 1/3 of the intI genes that we identified were pseudogenes, containing either an internal stop codon or a frameshift mutation that would render the protein product non-functional. Additionally, 20% of bacteria contained more than one integrase gene. dN/dS ratios revealed mutational hotspots in clades of Vibrio and Shewanella intI genes. Finally, we characterized the gene cassettes associated with integrons in Methylobacillus flagellatus KT and Dechloromonas aromatica RCB, and found a heavy metal efflux gene as well as genes involved in protein folding and stability. Conclusion Our analysis suggests that the present distribution of integrons is due to multiple losses and gene transfer events. While, in some cases, the ability to integrate and excise foreign DNA may be selectively advantageous, the gain, loss, or rearrangment of gene cassettes could also be deleterious, selecting against functional integrases. Thus, such a high fraction of pseudogenes may suggest that the selective impact of integrons on genomes is variable, oscillating between beneficial and deleterious, possibly depending on environmental conditions.

  3. Feeding under predation risk: potential sex-specific response of perch (Perca fluviatilis).

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Estlander, Satu; Nurminen, L.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 3 (2014), s. 478-480 ISSN 0906-6691 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : foraging * sexual size dimorphism * predation * perch * pike Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.701, year: 2014

  4. Characterization of integrons in Burkholderia cepacia clinical isolates

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    Linda Furlanis

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Burkholderia cepacia is an opportunistic pathogen able to colonize the airways of Cystic Fibrosis (CF patients, frequently developing chronic infections. In 20% of cases these infections cause severe and poorly controlled pathological situations because of the intrinsic antibiotic resistance expressed by the microorganism. CF patients are often subjected to antibiotic therapy: this facilitates the acquisition of antibiotic resistance determinants by the infecting bacteria. Integrons are mobile genetic elements that are widespread in bacterial populations and favor the acquisition of gene cassettes coding for these determinants.The presence of class 1 integrons was investigated by PCR with primers specific for the 5’ and 3’ ends in Burkholderia isolates recovered from patients in treatment at the CF center of Friuli Venezia Giulia. The same integron, carrying an uncommon allelic form (Ib of the aacA4 gene in its cassette array and conferring resistance to some aminoglycosides, was found in two independent isolates (different RAPD profiles infecting two different patients. In both isolates the integron was carried by plasmids and was still present 3 and 6 years later the first finding. Despite the exchange of integrons between bacterial pathogens is fully described, these items were not frequently found in Burkholderia isolates. Although the clinical relevance of the integron we identified is low (a single gene cassette encoding a widespread resistance,we feel concerned that these genetic elements begin to circulate in this bacterial species, as this could make more and more troublesome the treatment of infections notoriously difficult to eradicate.

  5. Presence of a predator image in potential breeding sites and oviposition responses of a dengue vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dieng, Hamady; Satho, Tomomitsu; Suradi, Nur Farrahana Binti; Hakim, Hafijah; Abang, Fatimah; Aliasan, Nur Ezzati; Miake, Fumio; Zuharah, Wan Fatma; Kassim, Nur Faeza A; Majid, Abdul Hafiz A; Fadzly, Nik; Vargas, Ronald E Morales; Morales, Noppawan P; Noweg, Gabriel Tonga

    2017-12-01

    In dengue vector control, attempts to minimize or replace the use of pesticides have mostly involved use of predators, but success has been severely impeded by difficulties associated with financial and environmental costs, predator mass production, and persistence in target habitats. Visual deterrents have been used successfully to control animal pests, in some cases in an effort to replace pesticide use. Despite evidence that visual signals are crucial in site choice for egg deposition by dengue vectors, and that female mosquitoes respond to artificial predation, the role of predator intimidation as it affects the oviposition behavior of dengue vectors remains largely unexplored. Here, we examined the oviposition responses of Aedes aegypti exposed to various mosquito predator pictures. Gravid females were presented with equal opportunities to oviposit in two cups with predator images [Toxorhynchites splendens-TXI, Goldfish (Carassius auratus)-small (SFI) and large (LFI) and Tx. splendens+Goldfish-TXFI] and two others without pictures. Differences in egg deposition were examined between sites with and without these images. When given a chance to oviposit in cups with and without TXI, Ae. aegypti females were similarly attracted to both sites. When provided an opportunity to oviposit in cups displaying pictures of fish (SFI or LFI) and blank cups, egg deposition rates were much lower in the fish picture sites. Females showed a preference for blank cups over TXFI for egg deposition. They also equally avoided cups with pictures of fish, regardless of the size of the picture. Our results indicate that the presence of images of goldfish and their association with Tx. larvae significantly reduced egg deposition by Ae. aegypti, and this was not the case with the predatory larvae alone. The observations that the images of natural predators can repel gravid females of a dengue vector provide novel possibilities to develop effective and inexpensive alternative tools to

  6. Salticid predation as one potential driving force of ant mimicry in jumping spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin-Nan; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Li, Daiqin; Tso, I-Min

    2011-01-01

    Many spiders possess myrmecomorphy, and species of the jumping spider genus Myrmarachne exhibit nearly perfect ant mimicry. Most salticids are diurnal predators with unusually high visual acuity that prey on various arthropods, including conspecifics. In this study, we tested whether predation pressure from large jumping spiders is one possible driving force of perfect ant mimicry in jumping spiders. The results showed that small non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders were readily treated as prey by large ones (no matter whether heterospecific or conspecific) and suffered high attack and mortality rates. The size difference between small and large jumping spiders significantly affected the outcomes of predatory interactions between them: the smaller the juvenile jumping spiders, the higher the predation risk from large ones. The attack and mortality rates of ant-mimicking jumping spiders were significantly lower than those of non-ant-mimicking jumping spiders, indicating that a resemblance to ants could provide protection against salticid predation. However, results of multivariate behavioural analyses showed that the responses of large jumping spiders to ants and ant-mimicking salticids differed significantly. Results of this study indicate that predation pressure from large jumping spiders might be one selection force driving the evolution of nearly perfect myrmecomorphy in spiders and other arthropods. PMID:20961898

  7. Responses of tadpoles to hybrid predator odours: strong maternal signatures and the potential risk/response mismatch

    OpenAIRE

    Chivers, Douglas P.; Mathiron, Anthony; Sloychuk, Janelle R.; Ferrari, Maud C. O.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have established that when a prey animal knows the identity of a particular predator, it can use this knowledge to make an ‘educated guess' about similar novel predators. Such generalization of predator recognition may be particularly beneficial when prey are exposed to introduced and invasive species of predators or hybrids. Here, we examined generalization of predator recognition for woodfrog tadpoles exposed to novel trout predators. Tadpoles conditioned to recognize tiger...

  8. Predation and caribou populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dale R. Seip

    1991-10-01

    Full Text Available Predation, especially wolf (Canis lupus predation, limits many North American caribou (Rangifer tarandus populations below the density that food resources could sustain. The impact of predation depends on the parameters for the functional and numerical response of the wolves, relative to the potential annual increment of the caribou population. Differences in predator-avoidance strategies largely explain the major differences in caribou densities that occur naturally in North America. Caribou migrations that spatially separate caribou from wolves allow relatively high densities of caribou to survive. Non-migratory caribou that live in areas where wolf populations are sustained by alternate prey can be eliminated by wolf predation.

  9. Tits recognize the potential dangers of predators and harmless birds in feeder experiments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tvardíková, Kateřina; Fuchs, R.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 1 (2012), s. 157-165 ISSN 0289-0771 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) IAA601410803 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : feeders * predator recognition * risk Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.000, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/2338033t30261604/fulltext.pdf

  10. Lepidopteran defence droplets - a composite physical and chemical weapon against potential predators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, Stefan; Zagrobelny, Mika; Khakimov, Bekzod

    2016-01-01

    predators together and immobilised them. Droplets were characterised by a matrix of an aqueous solution of glycine-rich peptides (H-WG11 -NH2) with significant amounts of proteins and glucose. Among the proteins, defensive proteins such as protease inhibitors, proteases and oxidases were abundant...

  11. Avian predation pressure as a potential driver of periodical cicada cycle length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter E. Koenig; Andrew M. Liebhold

    2013-01-01

    The extraordinarily long life cycles, synchronous emergences at 13- or 17-year intervals, and complex geographic distribution of periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) in eastern North America are a long-standing evolutionary enigma. Although a variety of factors, including satiation of aboveground predators and avoidance of interbrood hybridization,...

  12. Comment on “Bateman in Nature: Predation on Offspring Reduces the Potential for Sexual Selection”

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramm, S.A.; Jonker, R.M.; Reinhold, K.; Szekely, T.; Trillmich, F.; Schmoll, T.; Schielzeth, H.; Freckleton, R.P.

    2013-01-01

    Byers and Dunn’s (Reports, 9 November 2012, p.802) conclusion that predation constrains sexual selection is problematic for three reasons: their nonstandard calculation of Bateman slopes; their assertion that random processes do not influence reproductive success; and the statistically unjustifiable

  13. An experimental study of Aurelia aurita feeding behaviour: Inference of the potential predation impact on a temperate estuarine nursery area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Rita; Teodósio, Maria Alexandra; Garrido, Susana

    2014-06-01

    Temperate estuaries are nursery areas for economically important fisheries resources. The common jellyfish Aurelia aurita is a resident species in many of these areas, where it can reach high abundances. This work aimed to determine the potential for predation of A. aurita on zooplanktonic organisms and early life stages of fishes, measuring feeding rates at concentrations that mimic those occurring for zooplankton, fish eggs and larvae in an estuarine nursery area. A set of experiments was aimed at determining the feeding selectivity of jellyfish when offered a mixture of fish eggs and larvae and wild plankton. Clearance rates varied markedly with prey availability and concentrations. When given mixtures of different prey types, jellyfish preferentially elected some taxa (copepods and fish eggs). Data obtained in the laboratory experiments were used to infer the potential impact of jellyfish predation upon zooplankton and ichthyoplankton in the Guadiana estuary (Southern Iberia). Repeated sampling of zooplankton, fish eggs and medusae was undertaken during the summer season of 2011. Abundance determinations were combined with experimentally estimated clearance rates of individual medusa to infer the potential jellyfish-induced mortality on prey in the area. In June and early August jellyfish-induced mortality rates were very high, and half-life times (t1/2) were consequently short for the zooplankton and ichthyoplankton. Although the potentially overestimation of our feeding rates typical of confined laboratory experiments, the results show high ingestion and clearance rates at high temperatures, typical from summer condition, and results also suggest that either by predation on early life stages of fish, or by competition for food resources, jellyfish may have a significant impact on estuarine communities and its nursery function.

  14. Characterisation of integrons and antibiotic resistance genes in Danish multiresistant Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvang, Dorthe; Aarestrup, Frank Møller; Jensen, Lars Bogø

    1997-01-01

    The presence and genetic content of integrons was investigated in eight Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104 isolates from different pig herds in Denmark. Two different integrons were identified using PCR and sequencing. Each of the integrons carried a single resistance cassette in addition...... to the sul1 and qacE Delta 1 genes characteristic of integrons. The first integron encoded the ant (3 ")-Ia gene that specified resistance to spectinomycin and streptomycin. The second contained the pse-l beta-lactamase gene. All the multiresistant strains contained both integrons. The presence of these two...... integrons did not account for the total phenotypic resistance of all the isolates and does not exclude the presence of other mobile DNA elements....

  15. Characterisation of integrons and antibiotic resistance genes in Danish multiresistant Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvang, Dorthe; Aarestrup, Frank Møller; Jensen, Lars Bogø

    1998-01-01

    The presence and genetic content of integrons was investigated in eight Salmonella enteritica Typhimurium DT104 isolates from different pig herds in Denmark. Two different integrons were identified using PCR and sequencing. Each of the integrons carried a single resistance cassette in addition...... to the sul1 and qacE Delta 1 genes characteristic of integrons. The first integron encoded the ant (3")-Ia gene that specified resistance to spectinomycin and streptomycin. The second contained the pse-1 beta-lactamase gene. All the multiresistant strains contained both integrons. The presence of these two...... integrons did not account for the total phenotypic resistance of all the isolates and does not exclude the presence of other mobile DNA elements....

  16. Antimicrobial resistance, class 1 integrons, and genomic island 1 in Salmonella isolates from Vietnam.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    An T T Vo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The objective was to investigate the phenotypic and genotypic resistance and the horizontal transfer of resistance determinants from Salmonella isolates from humans and animals in Vietnam. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The susceptibility of 297 epidemiologically unrelated non-typhoid Salmonella isolates was investigated by disk diffusion assay. The isolates were screened for the presence of class 1 integrons and Salmonella genomic island 1 by PCR. The potential for the transfer of resistance determinants was investigated by conjugation experiments. Resistance to gentamicin, kanamycin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, trimethoprim, ampicillin, nalidixic acid, sulphonamides, and tetracycline was found in 13 to 50% of the isolates. Nine distinct integron types were detected in 28% of the isolates belonging to 11 Salmonella serovars including S. Tallahassee. Gene cassettes identified were aadA1, aadA2, aadA5, bla(PSE-1, bla(OXA-30, dfrA1, dfrA12, dfrA17, and sat, as well as open reading frames with unknown functions. Most integrons were located on conjugative plasmids, which can transfer their antimicrobial resistance determinants to Escherichia coli or Salmonella Enteritidis, or with Salmonella Genomic Island 1 or its variants. The resistance gene cluster in serovar Emek identified by PCR mapping and nucleotide sequencing contained SGI1-J3 which is integrated in SGI1 at another position than the majority of SGI1. This is the second report on the insertion of SGI1 at this position. High-level resistance to fluoroquinolones was found in 3 multiresistant S. Typhimurium isolates and was associated with mutations in the gyrA gene leading to the amino acid changes Ser83Phe and Asp87Asn. CONCLUSIONS: Resistance was common among Vietnamese Salmonella isolates from different sources. Legislation to enforce a more prudent use of antibiotics in both human and veterinary medicine should be implemented by the authorities in Vietnam.

  17. White sucker Catostomus commersonii respond to conspecific and sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus alarm cues but not potential predator cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordbro, Ethan J.; Di Rocco, Richard T.; Imre, Istvan; Johnson, Nicholas; Brown, Grant E.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies proposed the use of chemosensory alarm cues to control the distribution of invasive sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes and necessitate the evaluation of sea lamprey chemosensory alarm cues on valuable sympatric species such as white sucker. In two laboratory experiments, 10 replicate groups (10 animals each) of migratory white suckers were exposed to deionized water (control), conspecific whole-body extract, heterospecific whole-body extract (sea lamprey) and two potential predator cues (2-phenylethylamine HCl (PEA HCl) and human saliva) during the day, and exposed to the first four of the above cues at night. White suckers avoided the conspecific and the sea lamprey whole-body extract both during the day and at night to the same extent. Human saliva did not induce avoidance during the day. PEA HCl did not induce avoidance at a higher concentration during the day, or at night at the minimum concentration that was previously shown to induce maximum avoidance by sea lamprey under laboratory conditions. Our findings suggest that human saliva and PEA HCl may be potential species-specific predator cues for sea lamprey.

  18. A novel functional class 2 integron in clinical Proteus mirabilis isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Quhao; Hu, Qingfeng; Li, Shanshan; Lu, Huoyang; Chen, Guoqiang; Shen, Beiqiong; Zhang, Ping; Zhou, Yonglie

    2014-04-01

    To describe a novel functional class 2 integron that was found in clinical Proteus mirabilis isolates. Class 1 and 2 integrons were screened by PCR in 153 clinical Proteus isolates. The variable regions of class 1 and 2 integrons were determined by restriction analysis and sequencing. The mutations of internal stop codons in class 2 integrons and their common promoters were also determined by sequencing. Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR was used to analyse the phylogenetic relations of class 2 integron-positive P. mirabilis isolates. Class 1 integrons were detected in 96 (63%) of 153 Proteus isolates: eight different gene cassette arrays were detected, including dfrA32-ereA1-aadA2, which was detected for the first time in P. mirabilis. Class 2 integrons were detected in 101 (66%) of 153 Proteus isolates: four different gene cassette arrays were detected, including dfrA1-catB2-sat2-aadA1, which was detected for the first time in a class 2 integron. A novel functional class 2 integron was detected in 38 P. mirabilis isolates with a common promoter (-35 TTTAAT|16 bp|-10 TAAAGT). The variable region of this functional class 2 integron contained dfrA14 and three novel open reading frames with unknown functions. Very similar ERIC-PCR fingerprinting patterns were detected in these 38 P. mirabilis isolates and were different from other class 2 integron-positive isolates. A novel functional class 2 integron was found for the first time in P. mirabilis. These functional class 2 integron-harbouring P. mirabilis isolates were likely to be clonally spread in our hospital.

  19. Effect of female weight on reproductive potential of the predator Brontocoris tabidus (Signoret, 1852 (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isaias Oliveira

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this work was to determine the fecundity of the predator Brontocoris tabidus (Signoret (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae females of two weight classes aiming to define, which one presented higher productivity in the laboratory. Males and females of B. tabidus were reared from nymphs fed with Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae pupae in laboratory. Females of B. tabidus weighting 95 to 150 mg and those with 160 to 220 mg constituted two treatments. Oviposition period and numbers of egg masses, eggs and nymphs per female of B. tabidus were higher in the treatment with heavier females, while the periods of preoviposition, between egg mass laying, egg incubation and number of eggs per egg mass, besides the percentage of nymphs hatched and adult longevity were similar between treatments. Heavier females of B. tabidus presented better productivity and for this reason they should be used in programs of mass rearing this predator.Este trabalho apresenta a fecundidade de fêmeas do predador Brontocoris tabidus (Signoret (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae de duas classes de peso, objetivando avaliar qual delas apresenta melhor produtividade em criações mantidas em laboratório. Machos e fêmeas foram alimentadas, desde o estádio ninfal, com pupas do besouro Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae. Fêmeas de B. tabidus pesando entre 95 e 150 mg e entre 160 e 220 mg constituíram as duas classes de peso. O período de oviposição e os números de posturas, de ovos e ninfas por fêmea de B. tabidus foram maiores naquelas fêmeas pertencentes à classe mais pesada, enquanto os períodos de pré-oviposição, entre posturas, incubação dos ovos e número de ovos por postura, bem como a percentagem de eclosão de ninfas e a longevidade dos adultos foram semelhantes entre ambas as classes de peso. Fêmeas mais pesadas de B. tabidus apresentaram maior número de ovos por fêmea e por esta razão devem ser utilizadas em programas de cria

  20. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays for screening of bacterial integrons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangchao Yu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The occurrence and prevalence of integrons in clinical microorganisms and their role played in antimicrobial resistance have been well studied recently. As screening and detection of integrons are concerned, current diagnostic methodologies are restricted by significant drawbacks and novel methods are required for integrons detection. RESULTS: In this study, three loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP assays targeting on class 1, 2 and 3 integrons were implemented and evaluated. Optimization of these detection assays were performed, including studing on the reaction temperature, volume, time, sensitivity and specificity (both primers and targets. Application of the established LAMP assays were further verified on a total of 1082 isolates (previously identified to be 397 integron-positive and 685 integron-negative strains. According to the results, the indispensability of each primer had been confirmed and the optimal reaction temperature, volume and time were found to be 65°C, 45 min and 25 µL, respectively. As application was concerned, 361, 28 and 8 isolates carrying intI1, intI2 and intI3 yielded positive amplicons, respectively. Other 685 integron-negative bacteria were negative for the integron-screening LAMP assays, totaling the detection rate and specificity to be 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The intI1-, intI2- and intI3-LAMP assays established in this study were demonstrated to be the valid and rapid detection methodologies for the screening of bacterial integrons.

  1. Predators and patterns of within-host growth can mediate both among-host competition and evolution of transmission potential of parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Auld, Stuart K J R; Hall, Spencer R; Housley Ochs, Jessica; Sebastian, Mathew; Duffy, Meghan A

    2014-08-01

    Parasite prevalence shows tremendous spatiotemporal variation. Theory indicates that this variation might stem from life-history characteristics of parasites and key ecological factors. Here, we illustrate how the interaction of an important predator and the schedule of transmission potential of two parasites can explain parasite abundance. A field survey showed that a noncastrating fungus (Metschnikowia bicuspidata) commonly infected a dominant zooplankton host (Daphnia dentifera), while a castrating bacterial parasite (Pasteuria ramosa) was rare. This result seemed surprising given that the bacterium produces many more infectious propagules (spores) than the fungus upon host death. The fungus's dominance can be explained by the schedule of within-host growth of parasites (i.e., how transmission potential changes over the course of infection) and the release of spores from "sloppy" predators (Chaoborus spp., who consume Daphnia prey whole and then later regurgitate the carapace and parasite spores). In essence, sloppy predators create a niche that the faster-schedule fungus currently occupies. However, a selection experiment showed that the slower-schedule bacterium can evolve into this faster-schedule, predator-mediated niche (but pays a cost in maximal spore yield to do so). Hence, our study shows how parasite life history can interact with predation to strongly influence the ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of infectious disease.

  2. Diverse gene cassettes in class 1 integrons of facultative oligotrophic bacteria of River Mahananda,West Bengal, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranadhir Chakraborty

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In this study a large random collection (n=2188 of facultative oligotrophic bacteria, from 90 water samples gathered in three consecutive years (2007-2009 from three different sampling sites of River Mahananda in Siliguri, West Bengal, India, were investigated for the presence of class 1 integrons and sequences of the amplification products. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Replica plating method was employed for determining the antibiotic resistance profile of the randomly assorted facultative oligotrophic isolates. Genomic DNA from each isolate was analyzed by PCR for the presence of class 1 integron. Amplicons were cloned and sequenced. Numerical taxonomy and 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses were done to ascertain putative genera of the class 1 integron bearing isolates. Out of 2188 isolates, 1667 (76.19% were antibiotic-resistant comprising of both single-antibiotic resistance (SAR and multiple-antibiotic resistant (MAR, and 521 (23.81% were sensitive to all twelve different antibiotics used in this study. Ninety out of 2188 isolates produced amplicon(s of varying sizes from 0.15 to 3.45 KB. Chi-square (χ(2 test revealed that the possession of class 1 integron in sensitive, SAR and MAR is not equally probable at the 1% level of significance. Diverse antibiotic-resistance gene cassettes, aadA1, aadA2, aadA4, aadA5, dfrA1, dfrA5, dfrA7, dfrA12, dfrA16, dfrA17, dfrA28, dfrA30, dfr-IIe, blaIMP-9, aacA4, Ac-6'-Ib, oxa1, oxa10 and arr2 were detected in 64 isolates. The novel cassettes encoding proteins unrelated to any known antibiotic resistance gene function were identified in 26 isolates. Antibiotic-sensitive isolates have a greater propensity to carry gene cassettes unrelated to known antibiotic-resistance genes. The integron-positive isolates under the class Betaproteobacteria comprised of only two genera, Comamonas and Acidovorax of family Comamonadaceae, while isolates under class Gammaproteobacteria fell under the families

  3. Lepidopteran defence droplets - A composite physical and chemical weapon against potential predators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentzold, S.; Zagrobelny, Mika; Khakimov, Bekzod

    2016-01-01

    Insects often release noxious substances for their defence. Larvae of Zygaena filipendulae (Lepidoptera) secrete viscous and cyanogenic glucoside-containing droplets, whose effectiveness was associated with their physical and chemical properties. The droplets glued mandibles and legs of potential...

  4. Integrons in Escherichia coli from food-producing animals in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Box, A.T.; Mevius, D.J.; Schellen, P.; Verhoef, J.; Fluit, A.C.

    2005-01-01

    The presence and character of class 1 integrons in multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli from slaughter animals and meat was determined by integrase-specific PCR and conserved segment PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). At least five different class 1 integron types were found and

  5. Local adaptation and the potential effects of a contaminant on predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming: a space-for-time substitution approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, Lizanne; Dinh Van, Khuong; Debecker, Sara; Bervoets, Lieven; Stoks, Robby

    2014-01-01

    The ability to deal with temperature-induced changes in interactions with contaminants and predators under global warming is one of the outstanding, applied evolutionary questions. For this, it is crucial to understand how contaminants will affect activity levels, predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming and to what extent gradual thermal evolution may mitigate these effects. Using a space-for-time substitution approach, we assessed the potential for gradual thermal evolution shaping activity (mobility and foraging), predator avoidance and antipredator responses when Ischnura elegans damselfly larvae were exposed to zinc in a common-garden warming experiment at the mean summer water temperatures of shallow water bodies at southern and northern latitudes (24 and 20°C, respectively). Zinc reduced mobility and foraging, predator avoidance and escape swimming speed. Importantly, high-latitude populations showed stronger zinc-induced reductions in escape swimming speed at both temperatures, and in activity levels at the high temperature. The latter indicates that local thermal adaptation may strongly change the ecological impact of contaminants under global warming. Our study underscores the critical importance of considering local adaptation along natural gradients when integrating biotic interactions in ecological risk assessment, and the potential of gradual thermal evolution mitigating the effects of warming on the vulnerability to contaminants. PMID:24665344

  6. Local adaptation and the potential effects of a contaminant on predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming: a space-for-time substitution approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janssens, Lizanne; Dinh Van, Khuong; Debecker, Sara; Bervoets, Lieven; Stoks, Robby

    2014-03-01

    The ability to deal with temperature-induced changes in interactions with contaminants and predators under global warming is one of the outstanding, applied evolutionary questions. For this, it is crucial to understand how contaminants will affect activity levels, predator avoidance and antipredator responses under global warming and to what extent gradual thermal evolution may mitigate these effects. Using a space-for-time substitution approach, we assessed the potential for gradual thermal evolution shaping activity (mobility and foraging), predator avoidance and antipredator responses when Ischnura elegans damselfly larvae were exposed to zinc in a common-garden warming experiment at the mean summer water temperatures of shallow water bodies at southern and northern latitudes (24 and 20°C, respectively). Zinc reduced mobility and foraging, predator avoidance and escape swimming speed. Importantly, high-latitude populations showed stronger zinc-induced reductions in escape swimming speed at both temperatures, and in activity levels at the high temperature. The latter indicates that local thermal adaptation may strongly change the ecological impact of contaminants under global warming. Our study underscores the critical importance of considering local adaptation along natural gradients when integrating biotic interactions in ecological risk assessment, and the potential of gradual thermal evolution mitigating the effects of warming on the vulnerability to contaminants.

  7. Influence of container design on predation rate of potential biocontrol agent, Toxorhynchites splendens (Diptera: Culicidae) against dengue vector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad, N; Zuharah, W F

    2014-03-01

    Toxorhynchites splendens larvae are a natural predator of dengue vector mosquito larvae, Aedes albopictus. This study was carried out to evaluate the predation rate of Tx. splendens third instar larvae on Ae. albopictus larvae in 24 h. Each predator was offered prey at a density between 10 to 50 individuals. Predation rate of Tx. splendens were also tested with two manipulated factors; various types of container and different water volumes. The experiment was evaluated in man-made containers (tin cans, plastic drinking glasses and rubber tires) and natural container (bamboo stumps) which were filled with different water volumes (full, half full, 1/4 full, and 1/8 full). The prey density and the characteristics of the container were found as significant factors which influence the predation rate of Tx. splendens. The predator consumed significantly more prey at higher prey densities (40 and 50 preys) compared to the lowest density (10 preys) (F=3.935, df=4, p=0.008). The results showed significantly higher consumption in horizontal shaped container of rubber tire than in vertical shape of bamboo stumps (F=3.100, df=3, p=0.029). However, the water volume had no significant effect on predation rate of Tx. splendens (F=1.736, df=3, p=0.162). We generally suggest that Tx. splendens is best to be released in discarded tires or any other containers with horizontal shape design with wide opening since Tx. splendens can become more effective in searching prey in this type of container design. This predator is also a suitable biocontrol candidates to be introduced either in wet and dry seasons in Malaysia.

  8. Odonate Nymphs: Generalist Predators and their Potential in the Management of Dengue Mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waseem Akram

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Dengue is amongst the most serious mosquito-borne infectious disease with hot spots in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Unfortunately, no licensed vaccine for the disease is currently available in medicine markets. The only option available is the management of dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae.Method: Predatory potential of five odonate nymphs namely Anax parthenope, Bradinopyga geminate, Ischnura forcipata, Rhinocypha quadrimaculata, and Orthetrum sabina were evaluated against the 4th instar larvae of the den­gue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti, under laboratory conditions. The consumption of the mosquito larvae was eval­uated at three water volume levels viz., 1 liter, 2 liter and 3 liter.Results: The number of Ae. aegypti larvae consumed varied significantly among the five species, and at different levels of water volume (P< 0.01. However, the interaction between odonate nymphs and the water volumes was statistically non-significant (P> 0.05. Ischnura forcipata consumed the highest number of Ae. aegypti larvae (n=56 followed by A. parthenope (n=47 and B. geminate (n=46. The number of larvae consumed was decreased with in­creasing search area or water volume, and the highest predation was observed at 1-liter water volume.Conclusion: The odonate nymphs could be a good source of biological agents for the management of the mosquitoes at larval stages. 

  9. Morphological selection and the evaluation of potential tradeoffs between escape from predators and the climbing of waterfalls in the Hawaiian stream goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blob, Richard W; Kawano, Sandy M; Moody, Kristine N; Bridges, William C; Maie, Takashi; Ptacek, Margaret B; Julius, Matthew L; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2010-12-01

    Environmental pressures may vary over the geographic range of a species, exposing subpopulations to divergent functional demands. How does exposure to competing demands shape the morphology of species and influence the divergence of populations? We explored these questions by performing selection experiments on juveniles of the Hawaiian goby Sicyopterus stimpsoni, an amphidromous fish that exhibits morphological differences across portions of its geographic range where different environmental pressures predominate. Juvenile S. stimpsoni face two primary and potentially opposing selective pressures on body shape as they return from the ocean to freshwater streams on islands: (1) avoiding predators in the lower reaches of a stream; and (2) climbing waterfalls to reach the habitats occupied by adults. These pressures differ in importance across the Hawaiian Islands. On the youngest island, Hawai'i, waterfalls are close to shore, thereby minimizing exposure to predators and placing a premium on climbing performance. In contrast, on the oldest major island, Kaua'i, waterfalls have eroded further inland, lengthening the exposure of juveniles to predators before migrating juveniles begin climbing. Both juvenile and adult fish show differences in body shape between these islands that would be predicted to improve evasion of predators by fish from Kaua'i (e.g., taller bodies that improve thrust) and climbing performance for fish from Hawai'i (e.g., narrower bodies that reduce drag), matching the prevailing environmental demand on each island. To evaluate how competing selection pressures and functional tradeoffs contribute to the divergence in body shape observed in S. stimpsoni, we compared selection imposed on juvenile body shape by (1) predation by the native fish Eleotris sandwicensis versus (2) climbing an artificial waterfall (∼100 body lengths). Some variables showed opposing patterns of selection that matched predictions: for example, survivors of predation had

  10. Rats and seabirds: effects of egg size on predation risk and the potential of conditioned taste aversion as a mitigation method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latorre, Lucía; Larrinaga, Asier R; Santamaría, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Seabirds nesting on islands are threatened by invasive rodents, such as mice and rats, which may attack eggs, chicks and even adults. The low feasibility of rat eradications on many islands makes the development of alternate control plans necessary. We used a combination of field experiments on a Mediterranean island invaded by black rats (Rattusrattus) to evaluate (1) the predation risk posed to different-sized seabird eggs and (2), the potential of two deterrent methods (electronic and chemical) to reduce its impact. Rats were able to consume eggs of all sizes (12 to 68 g), but survival increased 13 times from the smallest to the largest eggs (which also had more resistant eggshells). Extrapolation to seabird eggs suggests that the smallest species (Hydrobatespelagicus) suffer the most severe predation risk, but even the largest (Larusmichahellis) could suffer >60% mortality. Nest attack was not reduced by the deterrents. However, chemical deterrence (conditioned taste aversion by lithium chloride) slowed the increase in predation rate over time, which resulted in a three-fold increase in egg survival to predation as compared to both control and electronic deterrence. At the end of the experimental period, this effect was confirmed by a treatment swap, which showed that conferred protection remains at least 15 days after cessation of the treatment. Results indicate that small seabird species are likely to suffer severe rates of nest predation by rats and that conditioned taste aversion, but not electronic repellents, may represent a suitable method to protect colonies when eradication or control is not feasible or cost-effective.

  11. Occurrence of antibiotic resistance and characterization of resistant genes and integrons in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from integrated fish farms south China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Hao-Chang; Ying, Guang-Guo; Tao, Ran; Zhang, Rui-Quan; Fogarty, Lisa R.; Kolpin, Dana W.

    2011-01-01

    Antibiotics are still widely applied in animal husbandry to prevent diseases and used as feed additives to promote animal growth. This could result in antibiotic resistance to bacteria and antibiotic residues in animals. In this paper, Enterobacteriaceae isolated from four integrated fish farms in Zhongshan, South China were tested for antibiotic resistance, tetracycline resistance genes, sulfonamide resistance genes, and class 1 integrons. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were carried out to test antibiotic susceptibility and resistance genes, respectively. Relatively high antibiotic resistance frequencies were found, especially for ampicillin (80%), tetracycline (52%), and trimethoprim (50%). Out of 203 Enterobacteriaceae isolates, 98.5% were resistant to one or more antibiotics tested. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) was found highest in animal manures with a MAR index of 0.56. Tetracycline resistance genes (tet(A), tet(C)) and sulfonamide resistance genes (sul2) were detected in more than 50% of the isolates. The intI1 gene was found in 170 isolates (83.7%). Both classic and non-classic class 1 integrons were found. Four genes, aadA5, aadA22, dfr2, and dfrA17, were detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report for molecular characterization of antibiotic resistance genes in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from integrated fish farms in China and the first time that gene cassette array dfrA17-aadA5 has been detected in such fish farms. Results of this study indicated that fish farms may be a reservoir of highly diverse and abundant antibiotic resistant genes and gene cassettes. Integrons may play a key role in multiple antibiotic resistances posing potential health risks to the general public and aquaculture.

  12. Class 1 integrons in environments with different degrees of urbanization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Nardelli

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Class 1 integrons are one of the most successful elements in the acquisition, expression and spread of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG among clinical isolates. Little is known about the gene flow of the components of the genetic platforms of class 1 integrons within and between bacterial communities. Thus it is important to better understand the interactions among "environmental" intI1, its genetic platforms and its distribution with human activities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An evaluation of two types of genetic determinants, ARG (sul1 and qacE1/qacEΔ1 genes and lateral genetic elements (LGE (intI1, ISCR1 and tniC genes in a model of a culture-based method without antibiotic selection was conducted in a gradient of anthropogenic disturbances in a Patagonian island recognized as being one of the last regions containing wild areas. The intI1, ISCR1 genes and intI1 pseudogenes that were found widespread throughout natural communities were not associated with urbanization (p>0.05. Each ARG that is embedded in the most common genetic platform of clinical class 1 integrons, showed different ecological and molecular behaviours in environmental samples. While the sul1 gene frequency was associated with urbanization, the qacE1/qacEΔ1 gene showed an adaptive role to several habitats. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The high frequency of intI1 pseudogenes suggests that, although intI1 has a deleterious impact within several genomes, it can easily be disseminated among natural bacterial communities. The widespread occurrence of ISCR1 and intI1 throughout Patagonian sites with different degree of urbanization, and within different taxa, could be one of the causes of the increasing frequency of multidrug-resistant isolates that have characterized Argentina for decades. The flow of ARG and LGE between natural and clinical communities cannot be explained with a single general process but is a direct consequence of the interaction of multiple

  13. Predators with multiple ontogenetic niche shifts have limited potential for population growth and top-down control of their prey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, A.; Huss, M.; Gårdmark, A.; Casini, M.; Vitale, F.; Hjelm, J.; Persson, L.; de Roos, A.M.

    2013-01-01

    Catastrophic collapses of top predators have revealed trophic cascades and community structuring by top-down control. When populations fail to recover after a collapse, this may indicate alternative stable states in the system. Overfishing has caused several of the most compelling cases of these

  14. Limited predation potential by adult and larval lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) on Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs and nymphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) co-occur in many habitats with many arthropods that are of suitable size as prey. The Pentatomidae (Hemiptera) are one such group of insects with eggs and early instars that could be susceptible to predation by Coccinellidae. The objective of this laboratory study wa...

  15. Predator Politics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mary Louisa Cappelli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire and Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer urges readers to see coyotes as crucial members of the natural community whose predation is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological stability. Their cultural production provides a human story of ecocritical engagement for understanding the cascading effects of removing top predators from their ecosystems. By envisioning biocentric possibilities within place-based and scientific contexts, Edward Abbey and Barbara Kingsolver share a common theme of political ecology: political processes shape ecological conditions. A close reading of Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire and Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer provides a literary entryway to connect research, arguments, and discourse across disciplines tasking readers to engage in political discussions of environmental sustainability and to consider viable solutions to preserve the ecological diversity of our predator populations and ecosystems.

  16. Spread of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli harboring integron via swine farm waste water treatment plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Jin-Hyeong; Kim, Young-Ji; Binn-Kim; Seo, Kun-Ho

    2018-03-01

    Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that release treated wastewater into the environment have emerged as a major threat to public health. In this study, we investigated Escherichia coli load and antibiotic-resistance profiles across different treatment processes at a swine farm WWTP. The frequency of the detection of class 1 and 2 integrons, and their association with antibiotic resistance, were also analyzed. Samples were obtained at each of five sampling sites that represented each processing step within the WWTP. The largest decrease in E. coli load was observed during the anaerobic digestion step (from 4.86 to 2.89log CFU/mL). Isolates resistant to β-lactam antibiotics were efficiently removed after a series of treatment steps, whereas the proportions of isolates resistant to non-β-lactam antibiotics and multidrug-resistant strains were maintained across treatments. The occurrence of integron-positive strains was not significantly different at the various sampling sites (43.4-70%; p>0.05). Of the class 1 integron-positive isolates, 17.9% harbored the integron-associated gene cassettes aadA2, aadA12, aadA22, and dfrA15. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of a class 1 integron containing the aadA12 gene cassette from a swine farm and the presence of a class 1 integron containing dfrA15 in E. coli. This suggests that novel antibiotic-resistance gene cassette arrays could be generated in swine farm WWTPs. Moreover, 75% of integron-positive strains were categorized as multidrug resistant, whereas only 15.4% of integron-negative strains were multidrug resistant (pswine farm WWTPs in terms of the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the aquatic environment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Pasta Predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waugh, Michael L.

    1986-01-01

    Presents a predator-prey simulation which involves students in collecting data, solving problems, and making predictions on the evolution of prey populations. Provides directives on how to perform the chi-square test and also includes an Applesoft BASK program that performs the calculations. (ML)

  18. Inverse correlation between promoter strength and excision activity in class 1 integrons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Jové

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Class 1 integrons are widespread genetic elements that allow bacteria to capture and express gene cassettes that are usually promoterless. These integrons play a major role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance among Gram-negative bacteria. They typically consist of a gene (intI encoding an integrase (that catalyzes the gene cassette movement by site-specific recombination, a recombination site (attI1, and a promoter (Pc responsible for the expression of inserted gene cassettes. The Pc promoter can occasionally be combined with a second promoter designated P2, and several Pc variants with different strengths have been described, although their relative distribution is not known. The Pc promoter in class 1 integrons is located within the intI1 coding sequence. The Pc polymorphism affects the amino acid sequence of IntI1 and the effect of this feature on the integrase recombination activity has not previously been investigated. We therefore conducted an extensive in silico study of class 1 integron sequences in order to assess the distribution of Pc variants. We also measured these promoters' strength by means of transcriptional reporter gene fusion experiments and estimated the excision and integration activities of the different IntI1 variants. We found that there are currently 13 Pc variants, leading to 10 IntI1 variants, that have a highly uneven distribution. There are five main Pc-P2 combinations, corresponding to five promoter strengths, and three main integrases displaying similar integration activity but very different excision efficiency. Promoter strength correlates with integrase excision activity: the weaker the promoter, the stronger the integrase. The tight relationship between the aptitude of class 1 integrons to recombine cassettes and express gene cassettes may be a key to understanding the short-term evolution of integrons. Dissemination of integron-driven drug resistance is therefore more complex than previously thought.

  19. Coliform bacteria isolated from recreational lakes carry class 1 and class 2 integrons and virulence-associated genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koczura, R; Krysiak, N; Taraszewska, A; Mokracka, J

    2015-08-01

    To characterize the integron-harbouring Gram-negative bacteria in recreational lakes, with focus on the genetic content of integrons, antimicrobial resistance profiles and virulence-associated genes. The presence and structure of integrons in coliform bacteria isolated from the water of four recreational lakes located in Poznań, Poland, was determined by PCR method. Antimicrobial resistance testing was done by disc diffusion method. Virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing Escherichia coli isolates were detected by PCR. A total of 155 integron-bearing strains of coliform bacteria were cultured. Sequence analysis showed the presence of dfrA7, aadA1, dfrA1-aadA1, dfrA17-aadA5 and dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 gene cassette arrays in class 1 integrons and dfrA1-sat2-aadA1 in class 2 integrons. Higher frequency of integron-positive bacteria and higher antimicrobial resistance ranges were noted in colder months (January and November) compared with spring and summer months. The integron-harbouring E. coli carried up to nine virulence-associated genes, with the highest frequency of kpsMT (84.6%) and traT (783%), coding for group 2 capsule and determining human serum resistance respectively. Integron-bearing multidrug resistant coliform bacteria carrying virulence genes are present in waters of recreational lakes. This study presents antimicrobial resistance and virulence-associated genes in integron-bearing coliform bacteria present in the waters of recreational lakes, which showed that multidrug resistant bacteria with virulence traits might pose a threat to public health. Moreover, the presence of genes typical for enterotoxigenic and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli is a concern. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Recovery and evolutionary analysis of complete integron gene cassette arrays from Vibrio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillings Michael R

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Integrons are genetic elements capable of the acquisition, rearrangement and expression of genes contained in gene cassettes. Gene cassettes generally consist of a promoterless gene associated with a recombination site known as a 59-base element (59-be. Multiple insertion events can lead to the assembly of large integron-associated cassette arrays. The most striking examples are found in Vibrio, where such cassette arrays are widespread and can range from 30 kb to 150 kb. Besides those found in completely sequenced genomes, no such array has yet been recovered in its entirety. We describe an approach to systematically isolate, sequence and annotate large integron gene cassette arrays from bacterial strains. Results The complete Vibrio sp. DAT722 integron cassette array was determined through the streamlined approach described here. To place it in an evolutionary context, we compare the DAT722 array to known vibrio arrays and performed phylogenetic analyses for all of its components (integrase, 59-be sites, gene cassette encoded genes. It differs extensively in terms of genomic context as well as gene cassette content and organization. The phylogenetic tree of the 59-be sites collectively found in the Vibrio gene cassette pool suggests frequent transfer of cassettes within and between Vibrio species, with slower transfer rates between more phylogenetically distant relatives. We also identify multiple cases where non-integron chromosomal genes seem to have been assembled into gene cassettes and others where cassettes have been inserted into chromosomal locations outside integrons. Conclusion Our systematic approach greatly facilitates the isolation and annotation of large integrons gene cassette arrays. Comparative analysis of the Vibrio sp. DAT722 integron obtained through this approach to those found in other vibrios confirms the role of this genetic element in promoting lateral gene transfer and suggests a high rate of gene

  1. Potential toxicological hazard due to endocrine-disrupting chemicals on Mediterranean top predators: State of art, gender differences and methodological tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fossi, M.C.; Casini, S.; Marsili, L.

    2007-01-01

    Man-made endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) range across all continents and oceans. Some geographic areas are potentially more threatened than others: one of these is the Mediterranean Sea. Levels of some xenobiotics are much higher here than in other seas and oceans. In this paper we review the final results of a project supported by the Italian Ministry of the Environment, in which the hypothesis that Mediterranean top predator species (such as large pelagic fish and marine mammals) are potentially at risk due to EDCs was investigated. We illustrate the need to develop and apply sensitive methodological tools, such as biomarkers (Vitellogenin, Zona Radiata proteins and CYP1A activities) for evaluation of toxicological risk in large pelagic fish top predators (Swordfish (Xiphias gladius), Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus thynnus)) and nondestructive biomarkers (CYP1A activities and fibroblast cell culture in skin biopsy), for the hazard assessment of threatened marine mammals species (Striped Dolphin, (Stenella coeruleoalba), Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus))exposed to EDCs. Differential gender susceptibility to EDCs is also explored both in large pelagic fish and in cetaceans. In cetaceans, male specimens showed higher cytochrome P450 induction (BPMO in skyn biopsies, CYP2B in fibroblasts cell cultures) by xenobiotics with respect to females

  2. Occurrence of integrons and antimicrobial resistance genes among Salmonella enterica from Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peirano, G.; Agersø, Yvonne; Aarestrup, Frank Møller

    2006-01-01

    = 13) sources. The gene cassette arrangements could be determined in 51 of the positive isolates, which harboured one [dfrA22, aadA1 or orf3 (putative trimethoprim resistance)], two [aadA1-dfrA1, aac(6)-lb-orf1 (unknown function) or aacA4-aadA1], three [dfrA15b-cmlA4-aadA2, orf2 (unknown function......Objectives: To determine the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance genes and role of integrons among 135 anti microbial-resistant Salmonella enterica from Brazil. Methods: The presence of antimicrobial resistance genes, class 1 and 2 integrons and gene cassettes was analysed by PCR and sequencing....... The genetic location of class 1 integrons was determined in 25 isolates by hybridization and plasmid transfer experiments. Results: Fifty-five of the isolates were positive for class I integrons. Integron-positive isolates represented 17 different serovars and were mainly from human (n = 28) and animal (n...

  3. Characterization of integron mediated antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella isolated from diseased swine

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, David G.; Zhao, Shaohua; McDermott, Patrick F.; Ayers, Sherry; Friedman, Sharon; Sherwood, Julie; Breider-Foley, Missy; Nolan, Lisa K.

    2003-01-01

    Forty-two Salmonella isolates obtained from diseased swine were genetically characterized for the presence of specific antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. Twenty of these isolates were characterized as S. Typhimurium DT104 strains. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used to determine genetic relatedness and revealed 20 distinct genetic patterns among the 42 isolates. However, all DT104 isolates fell within 2 closely related genetic clusters. Other Salmonella isolates were genetically grouped together according to serotype. All DT104 isolates displayed the penta-resistance phenotype to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, and tetracycline. Resistance to sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, streptomycin, kanamycin, and ampicillin was most common among the non-DT104 Salmonella isolates. All DT104 strains contained 2 chromosomal integrons of 1000 and 1200 base pairs. The DNA sequencing revealed that the 2 integrons contained genes encoding a resistance to streptomycin and ampicillin, respectively. None of the non-DT104 strains showed the same pattern, although several strains possessed integrons of 1000 base pairs or larger. However, the majority of non-DT104 Salmonella strains did not possess any integrons. Two Salmonella isolates displayed tolerance to the organic solvent cyclohexane, indicating the possibility that they are overexpressing chromosomal regulatory genes marA or soxS or the associated multidrug efflux pump, acrAB. This research suggests that integrons contribute to antimicrobial resistance among specific swine Salmonella serotypes; however, they are not as widely disseminated among non-Typhimurium swine Salmonella serotypes as previously thought. PMID:12528827

  4. Identification and Characterization of Putative Integron-Like Elements of the Heavy-Metal-Hypertolerant Strains of Pseudomonas spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciok, Anna; Adamczuk, Marcin; Bartosik, Dariusz; Dziewit, Lukasz

    2016-11-28

    Pseudomonas strains isolated from the heavily contaminated Lubin copper mine and Zelazny Most post-flotation waste reservoir in Poland were screened for the presence of integrons. This analysis revealed that two strains carried homologous DNA regions composed of a gene encoding a DNA_BRE_C domain-containing tyrosine recombinase (with no significant sequence similarity to other integrases of integrons) plus a three-component array of putative integron gene cassettes. The predicted gene cassettes encode three putative polypeptides with homology to (i) transmembrane proteins, (ii) GCN5 family acetyltransferases, and (iii) hypothetical proteins of unknown function (homologous proteins are encoded by the gene cassettes of several class 1 integrons). Comparative sequence analyses identified three structural variants of these novel integron-like elements within the sequenced bacterial genomes. Analysis of their distribution revealed that they are found exclusively in strains of the genus Pseudomonas .

  5. Predation risk of artificial ground nests in managed floodplain meadows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbeiter, Susanne; Franke, Elisabeth

    2018-01-01

    Nest predation highly determines the reproductive success in birds. In agricultural grasslands, vegetation characteristics and management practices influences the predation risk of ground breeders. Little is known so far on the predation pressure on non-passerine nests in tall swards. Investigations on the interaction of land use with nesting site conditions and the habitat selection of nest predators are crucial to develop effective conservation measures for grassland birds. In this study, we used artificial nests baited with quail and plasticine eggs to identify potential predators of ground nests in floodplain meadows and related predation risk to vegetation structure and grassland management. Mean daily predation rate was 0.01 (±0.012) after an exposure duration of 21 days. 70% of all observed nest predations were caused by mammals (Red Fox and mustelids) and 17.5% by avian predators (corvids). Nest sites close to the meadow edge and those providing low forb cover were faced with a higher daily predation risk. Predation risk also increased later in the season. Land use in the preceding year had a significant effect on predation risk, showing higher predation rates on unmanaged sites than on mown sites. Unused meadows probably attract mammalian predators, because they provide a high abundance of small rodents and a more favourable vegetation structure for foraging, increasing also the risk of incidental nest predations. Although mowing operation is a major threat to ground-nesting birds, our results suggest that an annual removal of vegetation may reduce predation risk in the subsequent year.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

    Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the emerging and likely widespread effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) levels on marine invertebrate behaviour are still little understood. Here, we show that ocean acidification alters and impairs key ecological behaviours of the predatory cone snail Conus marmoreus Projected near-future seawater CO 2 levels (975 µatm) increased activity in this coral reef molluscivore more than threefold (from less than 4 to more than 12 mm min -1 ) and decreased the time spent buried to less than one-third when compared with the present-day control conditions (390 µatm). Despite increasing activity, elevated CO 2 reduced predation rate during predator-prey interactions with control-treated humpbacked conch, Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus; 60% of control predators successfully captured and consumed their prey, compared with only 10% of elevated CO 2 predators. The alteration of key ecological behaviours of predatory invertebrates by near-future ocean acidification could have potentially far-reaching implications for predator-prey interactions and trophic dynamics in marine ecosystems. Combined evidence that the behaviours of both species in this predator-prey relationship are altered by elevated CO 2 suggests food web interactions and ecosystem structure will become increasingly difficult to predict as ocean acidification advances over coming decades. © 2017 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkwitt, Cassandra E

    2017-04-01

    During major life-history transitions, animals often experience high mortality rates due to predation, making predator avoidance particularly advantageous during these times. There is mixed evidence from a limited number of studies, however, regarding how predator presence influences settlement of coral-reef fishes and it is unknown how other potentially mediating factors, including predator origin (native vs. nonnative) or interactions among conspecific recruits, mediate the non-consumptive effects of predators on reef fish settlement. During a field experiment in the Caribbean, approximately 52% fewer mahogany snapper (Lutjanus mahogoni) recruited to reefs with a native predator (graysby grouper, Cephalopholis cruentata) than to predator-free control reefs and reefs with an invasive predator (red lionfish, Pterois volitans) regardless of predator diet. These results suggest that snapper recruits do not recognize nonnative lionfish as a threat. However, these effects depended on the density of conspecific recruits, with evidence that competition may limit the response of snapper to even native predators at the highest recruit densities. In contrast, there was no effect of predator presence or conspecific density on the recruitment of bicolor damselfish (Stegastes partitus). These context-dependent responses of coral-reef fishes to predators during settlement may influence individual survival and shape subsequent population and community dynamics. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. The Relationship Between Class I and II Integrons and Antibiotic Resistance Among Escherichia coli Isolates From Urinary Tract Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farshad Nojoomi

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Objective: the aim of this study was determination of antibiotic resistance profile, investigation of class I and II integrons among Escherichia coli (E. coli isolates from urinary tract infections. This study was conducted for the investigation of the prevalence of class I and II Integrons among E. coli Isolates from urinary tract infections. Materials and Methods: A total of 100 E. coli clinical isolates were collected from urinary tract infections in Borujerd city, Iran, from… to …. All the isolates were identified with standard laboratory procedures as described everywhere. The antibiotic susceptibility profile was conducted against adopted antibiotic disks following CLSI 2016 guidelines. All the isolates were enrolled in the PCR technique for the presence of class I and II integrons. Results: the highest resistance was against amoxicillin (72%, ciprofloxacin (69%, nalidixic acid (55% and tetracycline (51%. The prevalence of class I and II integrons was 31% and 21%, respectively. A significant relation was observed between resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (p<0.001, nalidixic acid (p<0.01 and tetracycline (p<0.005 with the presence of class I integron. The rate of class I integron in the E. coli isolates was high, possibly playing a role in the spread of multidrug resistant isolates. Conclusion: considering the significant relation observed between the presence of class I integron among multidrug-resistant isolates, establishment implementation of proper procedures to control and suitable treatment strategies in hospitals seems essential for the prevention of more spread of these isolates.

  9. Prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and integrons in Escherichia Coli from Punjab, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idrees Muhammad

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial resistance was studied in Escherichia coli strains isolated from urine samples of 457 patients suffering from urinary tract infection. High prevalence of class 1 integrons (43.56%, sulfamethoxazole resistance genes sul1 (45.54% and sul2 (51.48% along with occurrence of quinolone resistance genes was detected in multi drug resistance isolates.

  10. First observation of excision and integration in Class 1 integron in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    So in this study, we tested in S. aureus, the class 1 integron mediated excision and integration. We first asked 8 plasmids from previous studies, then established some transformants and perform the excision and integration reaction. As the results revealed, we observed positive excision assay, which had been confirmed by ...

  11. Conservation implications when the nest predators are known

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribic, Christine; Thompson, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Conservation and management of passerines has largely focused on habitat manipulation or restoration because the natural communities on which these birds depend have been destroyed and fragmented. However, productivity is another important aspect of avian conservation, and nest predation can be a large source of nesting mortality for passerines. Recent studies using video surveillance to identify nest predators allow researchers to start evaluating what methods could be used to mitigate nest predation to help passerines of conservation concern. From recent studies, we identified latitudinal and habitat-related patterns in the importance of predator groups that depredate passerine nests. We then reviewed how knowledge of specific nest predators can benefit conservation of bird species of concern. Mammals were the dominant predator group in northern grasslands. Snakes were the dominant predator group in southern habitats. Fire ants were only a nest predator in southern latitudes. Differences in the importance of predator species or groups were likely the result of both their geographic patterns of distribution and habitat preferences. Some direct and indirect predator control measures developed for waterfowl management potentially could be used to benefit passerine productivity. We reviewed three examples-cowbirds, snakes in shrublands, and ground squirrels in grasslands-to illustrate how different predator control strategies may be needed in different situations. Mitigation of passerine nest predation will need to be based on knowledge of predator communities to be effective. This requires large samples of predation events with identified predators; video technology is essential for this task.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  13. Transmissible Plasmids and Integrons Shift Escherichia coli Population Toward Larger Multiple Drug Resistance Numbers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhartono, Suhartono; Savin, Mary C; Gbur, Edward E

    2018-04-01

    Transmissible plasmids and integrons may play important roles in the persistence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria throughout aquatic environment by accumulating antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Class 1 and class 2 integron (intI), mobilization (mob), sulfamethoxazole resistance (sul), and trimethoprim resistance (dfr) genes were PCR-amplified and confirmed through DNA sequencing following plasmid extraction from 139 antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli. E. coli had previously been recovered from wastewater treatment plant effluent and receiving stream water in Northwest Arkansas and isolates had expressed resistance to one to six antibiotics. Almost half of the total isolates (47%) carried putatively transmissible plasmids with mob F12 gene as the most frequently detected mobilization gene. When two or three mob genes were detected per isolate, there was a significant shift in the population toward larger multiple drug resistance (MDR) number. Class 1 and/or 2 integrons were prevalent (46%), and the presence of integron significantly shifted the isolate population toward larger MDR number. More isolates carried single or coexistence of two or three sul genes (99.3%), and single or a combination up to five dfr genes (89.3%) than had exhibited in vitro resistance to the respective antibiotics. These findings indicate not only the role of the wastewater treatment effluent and the stream environment in coaccumulation of ARG with transmissible plasmids and integrons in multiple antibiotic-resistant E. coli populations but also suggest that density of sul and dfr resistance genes within an isolate may serve as a biomarker for mobile MDR in general.

  14. A treatment plant receiving waste water from multiple bulk drug manufacturers is a reservoir for highly multi-drug resistant integron-bearing bacteria.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nachiket P Marathe

    Full Text Available The arenas and detailed mechanisms for transfer of antibiotic resistance genes between environmental bacteria and pathogens are largely unclear. Selection pressures from antibiotics in situations where environmental bacteria and human pathogens meet are expected to increase the risks for such gene transfer events. We hypothesize that waste-water treatment plants (WWTPs serving antibiotic manufacturing industries may provide such spawning grounds, given the high bacterial densities present there together with exceptionally strong and persistent selection pressures from the antibiotic-contaminated waste. Previous analyses of effluent from an Indian industrial WWTP that processes waste from bulk drug production revealed the presence of a range of drugs, including broad spectrum antibiotics at extremely high concentrations (mg/L range. In this study, we have characterized the antibiotic resistance profiles of 93 bacterial strains sampled at different stages of the treatment process from the WWTP against 39 antibiotics belonging to 12 different classes. A large majority (86% of the strains were resistant to 20 or more antibiotics. Although there were no classically-recognized human pathogens among the 93 isolated strains, opportunistic pathogens such as Ochrobactrum intermedium, Providencia rettgeri, vancomycin resistant Enterococci (VRE, Aerococcus sp. and Citrobacter freundii were found to be highly resistant. One of the O. intermedium strains (ER1 was resistant to 36 antibiotics, while P. rettgeri (OSR3 was resistant to 35 antibiotics. Class 1 and 2 integrons were detected in 74/93 (80% strains each, and 88/93 (95% strains harbored at least one type of integron. The qPCR analysis of community DNA also showed an unprecedented high prevalence of integrons, suggesting that the bacteria living under such high selective pressure have an appreciable potential for genetic exchange of resistance genes via mobile gene cassettes. The present study provides

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

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    Nyindo Mramba

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    Current models of social organization assume that predation is one of the major forces that promotes group living in diurnal primates. As large body size renders some protection against predators, gregariousness of great apes and other large primate species is usually related to other parameters. The low frequency of observed cases of nonhuman predation on great apes seems to support this assumption. However, recent efforts to study potential predator species have increasingly accumulated direct and indirect evidence of predation by leopards (Panthera pardus) on chimpanzees and gorillas. The following report provides the first evidence of predation by a leopard on bonobos (Pan paniscus). Copyright 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Characterization of class 1 integrons associated with R-plasmids in clinical Aeromonas salmonicida isolates from various geographical areas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, A.S.; Bruun, Morten Sichlau; Larsen, J.L.

    2001-01-01

    Class 1 integrons were found in 26 of 40 antibiotic-resistant isolates of the fish pathogen Aeromonas salmonicida from Northern Europe and North America. Three different dhfr genes, conferring trimethoprim resistance, and one ant(3 " )1a aminoglycoside resistance gene were identified as gene...... inserts. The gene cassettes tended to be conserved among isolates from a particular geographical area. Nineteen isolates transferred R- plasmids carrying different tet determinants to Escherichia coli in filter mating assays, and in 15 cases, the class 1 integrons were co-transferred. Transferable...... sulphadiazine, trimethoprim and streptomycin resistances were invariably encoded by integrons. It thus appears that integron-encoded antibiotic resistance genes contribute substantially to the horizontal spread of antimicrobial resistance within this species, being associated with conjugative plasmids....

  18. Mossambicus tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) collected from water bodies impacted by urban waste carries extended-spectrum beta-lactamases and integron-bearing gut bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marathe, Nachiket P; Gaikwad, Swapnil S; Vaishampayan, Ankita A; Rasane, Mandar H; Shouche, Yogesh S; Gade, Wasudev N

    2016-09-01

    Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters 1852) (Tilapia) is one of the most consumed fish globally. Tilapia thrives well in environments polluted by urban waste, which invariably contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Thus, Tilapia surviving in such polluted environments may serve as a potential source for dissemination of ARGs. To investigate this, we isolated bacterial strains from gut of Tilapia found in polluted rivers and lakes near Pune, India, and studied the prevalence of resistance genes by molecular methods. A total of 91 bacterial strains were obtained, which include fish pathogens and human pathogens such as Aeromonas hydrophila, Klebsiella pneumoniae, E. coli, Serratia marcescens, Enterobacter spp. and Shigella spp. Overall the prevalence of class 1 integrons, class 2 integrons, extended-spectrum betalactamases (ESBLs) blaCTX-M, blaSHV and aac(6')-Ib-cr gene was 38 percent, 24 percent, 38 percent, 31 percent and 31 percent respectively. Forty-two percent of the Enterobacteriaceae strains carried blaCTX-M gene, which is a common ESBL gene in clinics. The study demonstrates that tilapia found in the polluted waters can serve as reservoirs and an alternative route for human exposure to clinically important ARG-carrying bacteria. The consumption and handling of these fish may pose a potential health risk.

  19. Novel environmental class 1 integrons and cassette arrays recovered from an on-farm bio-purification plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martini, María Carla; Quiroga, María Paula; Pistorio, Mariano; Lagares, Antonio; Centrón, Daniela; Del Papa, María Florencia

    2018-03-01

    Rapid dissemination and emergence of novel antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria are rising problems worldwide. Since their discovery in clinical isolates in the late 1980s, class 1 integrons have been found in a wide range of bacterial genera and have been extensively studied as contributors to dissemination of antibiotic resistance. The present study aimed to investigate the presence and structure of class 1 integrons in plasmid-carrying bacterial isolates obtained from a biopurification system used for decontamination of pesticide-contaminated water as well as their possible role as reservoir of antimicrobial resistance gene cassettes. A total of 35 representative isolates were screened for the presence of class 1 integron integrase encoded by intI1. PCR and DNA sequencing revealed the presence of six class 1 integrons with four variable regions: 5΄CS-aadA1b-3΄CS, 5΄CS-aadA2-3΄CS, 5΄CS-aadA11cΔ-3΄CS and 5΄CS-dfrB3-aadA1di-catB2-aadA6k-3΄CS, the last two being unseen arrays of antimicrobial resistance gene cassettes associated with novel environmental alleles of intI1. These four class 1 integrons were identified as being present in four different genera, including Ochrobactrum, and Variovorax, where class 1 integrons have not been previously reported. The results provide evidence of the biopurification systems as a tank of class 1 integron carrying strains and novel environmental class 1 integron integrases associated with antimicrobial resistance gene cassette arrays. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Wary invaders and clever natives: sympatric house geckos show disparate responses to predator scent

    OpenAIRE

    Adam Cisterne; Eric P. Vanderduys; David A. Pike; Lin Schwarzkopf

    2014-01-01

    The ability to detect and avoid potential predators can enhance fitness, but also has costs, and thus many animals respond to potential predators either in a general (avoid all potential predators) or threat-sensitive (selectively avoid dangerous predators) manner. We used 2-choice trials to investigate strategies used by globally invasive house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) and native Australian house geckos (Gehyra dubia) to avoid chemical cues from potential snake predators (Acanthophis a...

  1. Potential use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana against the western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis without reducing the effectiveness of its natural predator Orius sauteri (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orius sauteri (Poppius) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) is an important predator of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Orius sauteri would be directly exposed to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuillemin in the field should the fu...

  2. Survey of cyclopids (Crustacea, Copepoda in Brazil and preliminary screening of their potential as dengue vector predators

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    Santos Luciana Urbano dos

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Cyclopid copepods are known to be good mosquito controllers, specially as regards the larvae of the dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus. MATERIAL AND METHOD: The objective of the study was to survey the local copepod fauna and search for new strains of M. longisetus var. longisetus, comparing the potential of the samples found with the current strain ML-01 against Ae. albopictus larvae, under laboratory conditions. Eleven bodies of water in Campinas, SP, Brazil, were screened for copepods by collecting 1.5 l of water from each of then. The predatory potential of adults copepods was evaluated over 24 h, in the laboratory, for groups of 5 individuals preying upon 30 first instar Ae. albopictus larvae. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The following cyclopid species were found: Metacyclops mendocinus, Tropocyclops prasinus, Eucyclops sp, Eucyclops serrulatus, Eucyclops solitarius, Eucyclops ensifer, Macrocyclops albidus var. albidus and Mesocyclops longisetus var. longisetus. The predatory potential of these copepods ranged from nil to 97.3%. A sample collected in the field containing only M. longisetus var. longisetus showed the best control efficiency with no significant difference from a three-year old laboratory culture (ML-01 of the same species evaluated for comparison. The sample with few M. albidus var. albidus was ranked in second place showing an average 25.9% efficiency. The use of copepods in trap tires as dengue vector controllers is discussed.

  3. Multipurpose effectiveness of Couroupita guianensis-synthesized gold nanoparticles: high antiplasmodial potential, field efficacy against malaria vectors and synergy with Aplocheilus lineatus predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Jayapal; Murugan, Kadarkarai; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Kovendan, Kalimuthu; Madhiyazhagan, Pari; Dinesh, Devakumar; Kumar, Palanisamy Mahesh; Chandramohan, Balamurugan; Suresh, Udaiyan; Rajaganesh, Rajapandian; Alsalhi, Mohamad Saleh; Devanesan, Sandhanasamy; Nicoletti, Marcello; Canale, Angelo; Benelli, Giovanni

    2016-04-01

    Mosquito-borne diseases represent a deadly threat for millions of people worldwide. According to recent estimates, about 3.2 billion people, almost half of the world's population, are at risk of malaria. Malaria control is particularly challenging due to a growing number of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium and pesticide-resistant Anopheles vectors. Newer and safer control tools are required. In this research, gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were biosynthesized using a cheap flower extract of Couroupita guianensis as reducing and stabilizing agent. The biofabrication of AuNP was confirmed by UV-vis spectrophotometry, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), zeta potential, and particle size analysis. AuNP showed different shapes including spheres, ovals, and triangles. AuNPs were crystalline in nature with face-centered cubic geometry; mean size was 29.2-43.8 nm. In laboratory conditions, AuNPs were toxic against Anopheles stephensi larvae, pupae, and adults. LC50 was 17.36 ppm (larva I), 19.79 ppm (larva II), 21.69 ppm (larva III), 24.57 ppm (larva IV), 28.78 ppm (pupa), and 11.23 ppm (adult). In the field, a single treatment with C. guianensis flower extract and AuNP (10 × LC50) led to complete larval mortality after 72 h. In standard laboratory conditions, the predation efficiency of golden wonder killifish, Aplocheilus lineatus, against A. stephensi IV instar larvae was 56.38 %, while in an aquatic environment treated with sub-lethal doses of the flower extract or AuNP, predation efficiency was boosted to 83.98 and 98.04 %, respectively. Lastly, the antiplasmodial activity of C. guianensis flower extract and AuNP was evaluated against CQ-resistant (CQ-r) and CQ-sensitive (CQ-s) strains of Plasmodium falciparum. IC50 of C. guianensis flower extract was 43.21 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 51.16 μg/ml (CQ-r). AuNP IC50 was 69.47 μg/ml (CQ-s) and 76

  4. Selective predation and prey class behaviour as possible ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To test these mechanisms, a study was conducted on Samara Private Game Reserve to investigate the potential impact cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) predation has had on the kudu (Tragelaphus strepciseros) population. Kudu age and sex data were collected across both predator-present and predator-absent sections using ...

  5. Nest predators of open and cavity nesting birds in oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Jared Verner

    1999-01-01

    Camera setups revealed at least three species of rodents and seven species of birds as potential predators at artificial open nests. Surprisingly, among avian predators identified at open nests, one third were Bullock's Orioles (Icterus bullockii). Two rodent species and three bird species were potential predators at artificial cavity nests. This high predator...

  6. Study of class I integron in a Burkholderia cepacia complex strain isolated from blood colture

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    Linda Furlanis

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc consists of several species that cause lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis but are also capable to colonize immunocompromised patients. Once established, the infection is usually difficult to eradicate, as Bcc is intrinsically resistant to many antibiotics. Besides, the acquisition of additional resistance determinants by horizontal gene transfer makes very difficult the therapeutic approach to these infections. Among horizontally acquired DNAs, integrons have been frequently reported in many Gramnegative bacteria that affect human health, but they have not been found frequently in Burkholderia isolates until now. In the present work we report on a Bcc isolate, recovered from the blood of an immunocompromised patient, that carries a 2.3 kb class I integron already described in a Salmonella enterica isolate eight years ago, coding for aacA4, aadA1 and catB2 in its cassette array.

  7. Occurrence of integrons and resistance genes among sulphonamide-resistant Shigella spp. from Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peirano, G.; Agersø, Yvonne; Aarestrup, Frank Møller

    2005-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the occurrence of class 1 and 2 integrons and antimicrobial resistance genes among sulphonamide-resistant Shigella strains isolated in Brazil during 1999-2003. Methods: Sixty-two Shigella (Shigella flexneri, n = 47 and Shigella sonnei, n = 15) were tested against 21...... antimicrobial agents. The presence of integrons classes 1 and 2 and antimicrobial resistance genes was investigated by PCR using specific primers. Results: A total of eight antimicrobial resistance profiles were identified, with the profile of resistance to sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, spectinomycin...... of 2214 bp harbouring a gene cassette array conferring resistance to trimethoprim, streptothricin and spectinomycin/streptomycin. The genes coding for resistance to chloramphenicol (catA1), tetracycline [tet(A) and tet(B)] and ampicillin (bla(OXA) and bla(TEM)), were detected in resistant strains...

  8. Detection of Class I and II integrons for the assessment of antibiotic and multidrug resistance among Escherichia coli isolates from agricultural irrigation waters in Bulacan, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paraoan, Cielo Emar M; Rivera, Windell L; Vital, Pierangeli G

    2017-05-04

    Contaminated irrigation water may greatly affect not only the quality of produce but also the people exposed to it. In this study, agricultural irrigation waters in Bulacan, Philippines were assessed and found to be contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. coli) ranging from 0.58 to 4.51 log 10 CFU/mL. A total of 79 isolates of E. coli were confirmed through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplifying the uidA gene and were tested for phenotypic resistance using 10 antimicrobials through the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. Forty-six isolates (58.22%) were noted to be multidrug resistant (MDR) with high resistance rate to cephalothin, tetracycline, streptomycin, ampicillin, trimethoprim, nalidixic acid, and chloramphenicol. Moreover, this study also examined the prevalence of Class I and II integrons accounting to 67.39% and 17.39%, respectively, of the MDR E. coli strains using multiplex PCR. The results imply that the agricultural water used in Bulacan is contaminated with the fecal material of man or other animals present in the area, and the presence of MDR bacteria, which pose a potential threat to individuals in these areas, is alarming. In addition, detection of integrons could be a good marker for the identification of MDR isolates. Lastly, this study could develop strategies for the proper management of farming sites leading to the detection of food-borne pathogens and prevention of infectious diseases.

  9. Salmonella enterica isolates from pasture-raised poultry exhibit antimicrobial resistance and class I integrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melendez, S N; Hanning, I; Han, J; Nayak, R; Clement, A R; Wooming, A; Hererra, P; Jones, F T; Foley, S L; Ricke, S C

    2010-12-01

    While considerable foodborne pathogen research has been conducted on conventionally produced broilers and turkeys, few studies have focused on free-range (organic) or pastured poultry. The current surveillance study was designed to isolate, identify and genetically characterize Salmonella from pastured poultry farm environment and from retail samples. In this study, 59 isolates were collected from two pastured poultry farms (n = 164; pens, feed, water and insect traps) and retail carcasses (n = 36) from a local natural foods store and a local processing plant. All isolates were serotyped and analysed phenotypically (antimicrobial resistance profiles) and genotypically (DNA fingerprints, plasmid profiles and integron analysis). Salmonella enterica was detected using standard microbiological methods. Salmonella Kentucky was the most prevalent serotype detected from the sampled sources (53%), followed by Salmonella Enteritidis (24%), Bareilly (10%), Mbandaka (7%), Montevideo (5%) or Newport (2%). All isolates were resistant to sulfisoxazole and novobiocin, and the majority (40/59) possessed class I integrons shown by PCR detection. Each Salmonella serotype elicited a distinct pulsed-field gel electrophoresis fingerprint profile, and unique differences were observed among the serotypes.  The findings of this study show that Salmonella serotypes isolated from pasture-raised poultry exhibit antimicrobial resistance and class I integrons.  This study demonstrates that despite the cessation of antibiotic usage in poultry production, antibiotic resistant Salmonella may still be recovered from the environment and poultry products. © 2010 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. Antibiotic Resistance and Carriage Integron Classes in Clinical Isolates of Acinetobacter Baumannii from Isfahan Hospitals, Iran

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    Fahimeh Nourbakhsh

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Acinetobacter baumannii is a significant nosocomial pathogen around the world, especially in the intensive care unit that most A. baumannii infections are caused by the outbreak strains. Objectives This study has been performed in Acinetobacter baumannii isolates, aimed to detect integron classes I, II, III and molecular typing of A. baumannii genes. Methods In this Cross-sectional study, Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from 150 patients in Isfahan hospitals then antibiotic resistance pattern was determined by disk diffusion method (Kirby Bauer. The presence of genes coding in antibiotic resistance and integrons class I, II, III were analyzed by using of M-PCR method. The data were analyzed by Chi-square, Fischer’s test and SPSS statistical software version 16. Results Antibiotic resistance pattern for Acinetobacter baumannii show that the high resistance was for ciprofloxacin with frequency of 98.3%, ceftazidime with 89.4%, and tetracycline with frequency of 87.3%. The most sensitive antibiotics were chloramphenicol, and nitrofurantoin with frequency of 3.5% and 3.2% resistance. The detection of dfrA1 (63.7%, sul1 (68.6%, aac (3-IV (54.4%, tet (B (22.4%, tet (A (78.3%, aadA1 (15.4%, CITM (17. %, vim (12.2%, Qnr (17.1%, blaSHV (19.8%, sim (7.8%, Oxa-24-like (13.2%, Oxa-51-like (11.9%, Oxa-58-like (39.4%, Oxa-23-like (12.6%, imp (9.2%, cmlA (19% and cat1 (8.6% were respectively reported too. Also in this study Frequency of integrons class 1, 2, 3 were (100%, (28%, (6.6% respectively. Conclusions High prevalence of integrons among Acinetobater baumannii isolated from Isfahan hospitals indicate the importance role of integron classes in multidrug resistance. Considering the increasing pattern of MDR infections is one of the important issues of treatment which can be effective strategy for curing.

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

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    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.

  12. The occurrence of antimicrobial resistance and class 1 integrons among commensal Escherichia coli isolates from infants and elderly persons

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    Kõljalg Siiri

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of our study was to compare the presence of the intI1 gene and its associations with the antibiotic resistance of commensal Escherichia coli strains in children with/without previous antibiotic treatments and elderly hospitalized/healthy individuals. Methods One-hundred-and-fifteen intestinal E. coli strains were analyzed: 30 strains from 10 antibiotic-naive infants; 27 from 9 antibiotic-treated outpatient infants; 30 from 9 healthy elderly volunteers; and 28 from 9 hospitalized elderly patients. The MIC values of ampicillin, cefuroxime, cefotaxime, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, and sulfamethoxazole were measured by E-test and IntI1 was detected by PCR. Results Out of the 115 strains, 56 (49% carried class 1 integron genes. Comparing persons without medical interventions, we found in antibiotic-naive children a significantly higher frequency of integron-bearing strains and MIC values than in healthy elderly persons (53% versus 17%; p Conclusion The prevalence of integrons in commensal E. coli strains in persons without previous medical intervention depended on age. The resistance of integron-carrying and non-carrying strains is more dependent on influencing factors (hospitalization and antibiotic administration in particular groups than merely the presence or absence of integrons.

  13. The importance of high-level predators in marine protected area management: Consequences of their decline and their potential recovery in the Mediterranean context

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    Giulia Prato

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available High-level predators have been depleted in the oceans worldwide following centuries of selective fishing. There is widespread evidence that high-level predators’ extirpation may trigger trophic cascades leading to the degradation of marine ecosystems. Restoration of large carnivores to former levels of abundance might lead to ecosystem recovery, but very few pristine ecosystems are left as baselines for comparison. Marine protected areas (MPAs can trigger initial rapid increases of high-level predator abundance and biomass. Nevertheless, long term protection is needed before the ecosystem's carrying capacity for large carnivores is approached and indirect effects on lower trophic levels are observed. The Mediterranean is probably very far from its pristine condition, due to a long history of fishing. Today small to medium-sized consumers (e.g. sea breams are the most abundant predators shaping coastal benthic communities, while historical reconstructions depict abundant populations of large piscivores and sharks inhabiting coastal areas. Mediterranean MPAs are following a promising trajectory of ecosystem recovery, as suggested by a strong gradient of fish biomass increase. Consistent monitoring methods to assess relative variations of high-level predators, together with food-web models aimed at disentangling the indirect effects of their recovery, could be useful tools to help set up appropriate management strategies of MPAs.

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

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    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.

  15. Species diversity modulates predation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kratina, P.; Vos, M.; Anholt, B.R.

    2007-01-01

    Predation occurs in a context defined by both prey and non-prey species. At present it is largely unknown how species diversity in general, and species that are not included in a predator's diet in particular, modify predator–prey interactions.Therefore we studied how both the density and diversity

  16. Characteriz ation of integrons and associated gene cassettes in Acinetobacter baumannii strains isolated from intensive care unit in Tehran, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Goudarzi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To determine the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns, the frequency of integrons and associated gene cassettes in Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii strains isolated from selected hospital intensive care units. Methods: During a ten-month period, 120 A. baumannii isolates were studied. The resistance rates to different classes of antimicrobial agents were determined. PCR was used to detect different types of integrons and associated gene cassettes. Results: The resistance rates to the majority of antibiotics tested were found to be between 39.3% and 99.1%. No isolate was observed to be resistant to colistin and polymyxin B. The rate of extensive drug-resistance among these clinical isolates was 62.5%. The prevalence of class 1 and 2 integrons was found to be 74.1% and 12.5%, respectively. Seven different gene cassettes (ampC, aacA4-catB8, ISAba1-blaOXA-23-GES-14, aadA2-cm1A6-GES-14-qacF, VIM-25-GES-24-qacF, dfrA5-ISAba1-blaOXA-51-blaOXA-40 and aadA2-GES-11-IMP-1 were observed in Class 1 integron-carrying strains. Three gene cassettes (IMP-4, VIM-2-VEB-aacA4 and dfrA2-sat-2-aadA4 were detected in class 2 integron-bearing A. baumannii strains. Conclusions: A high prevalence of integron was described among multidrug resistant A. baumannii in the hospital. The findings highlighted the need for continuous surveillance in order to prevent dissemination of multidrug resistance among A. baumannii strains in Iran.

  17. Architecture of class 1, 2 and 3 integrons from Gram negative bacteria recovered among fruits and vegetables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Jones-Dias

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria throughout the food chain constitutes a public health concern. To understand the contribution of fresh produce in shaping antibiotic resistance bacteria and integron prevalence in the food chain, 333 antibiotic resistance Gram negative isolates were collected from organic and conventionally produced fruits (pears, apples and strawberries and vegetables (lettuces, tomatoes and carrots. Although low levels of resistance have been detected, the bacterial genera identified in the assessed fresh produce are often described not only as environmental, but mostly as commensals and opportunistic pathogens. The genomic characterization of integron-harboring isolates revealed a high number of mobile genetic elements and clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes, of which we highlight the presence of as mcr-1, qnrA1, blaGES-11, mphA and oqxAB. The study of class 1 (n=8, class 2 (n=3 and class 3 (n=1 integrons, harbored by species such as Morganella morganii, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, led to the identification of different integron promoters (PcW, PcH1, PcS and PcWTNG-10 and cassette arrays (containing drfA, aadA, cmlA, estX, sat and blaGES. In fact, the diverse integron backbones were associated with transposable elements (e.g. Tn402, Tn7, ISCR1, Tn2*, IS26, IS1326 and IS3 that conferred greater mobility. This is also the first appearance of In1258, In1259 and In3-13, which should be monitored to prevent their establishment as successfully dispersed mobile resistance integrons. These results underscore the growing concern about the dissemination of acquired resistance genes by mobile elements in the food chain.

  18. Enhancement of the reproductive potential of Mallada boninensis Okamoto (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae, a predator of red spider mite infesting tea: An evaluation of artificial diets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasanthakumar Duraikkannu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Green lacewing Mallada boninensis is an important predator of various soft-bodied arthropods, including red spider mites in tea. Efforts were made to develop mass rearing technology for this predator in a cost effective manner. Three combinations of artificial diets (Protinex (AD1, egg yolk (AD2 and royal jelly (AD3 based were evaluated in comparison with standard diet (Protinex + Honey. All the tested diets influenced the egg-laying capacity of M. boninensis. The egg yolk-based diet resulted in more egg production than the other two diets. Survival of all life stages of M. boninensis was also observed on each diet and no significant difference was noticed. Results revealed that the egg yolk-based diet is the best of the three diet combinations tested in view of high fecundity and survival rate of M. boninensis.

  19. Escape Behavior and Predation Risk of Mainland and Island Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaura hemilopha)

    OpenAIRE

    Blázquez, M.C.; Rodríguez-Estrella, Ricardo; Delibes, M.

    1997-01-01

    We investigated the relationships between predator avoidance behavior and predation risk by comparing the wariness of iguanas (Ctenosaura hemilopha) belonging to an island population with few predators with that of iguanas belonging to a mainland population under high predation pressure. We predicted that island iguanas would be less wary than mainland ones. Island iguanas allowed the closer approach of potential predators before their first reaction and fleeing. The responses of both sexes d...

  20. Birds as predators in tropical agroforestry systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  1. Transfer patterns of integron-associated and antibiotic resistance genes in S. flexneri during different time intervals in Tianjin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Wang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Shigella is one of the common genera of pathogens responsible for bacterial diarrhoea in humans. According to World Health Organisation (WHO, 800,000-1,700,000 patients in China were infected with Shigella spp. in 2000, and Shigella flexneri is the most common serotype (86%. Objectives: We investigated the transfer patterns of integron-associated and antibiotic resistance genes in S. flexneri during different time intervals in the city of Tianjin in the People′s Republic of China. Materials and Methods: The integrase-encoding and variable regions of the integrons of the bacterial strains were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR, followed by gene sequencing. Fifty-six S. flexneri strains, 32 of which were stored in our laboratory and the other 24 were isolated from tertiary hospitals in Tianjin during different time intervals, were tested for their sensitivity to 12 antibiotics by using the Kirby-Bauer antibiotic testing method (K-B method. Results and Conclusion: Of the 32 strains of S. flexneri isolated from 1981 to 1983 and stored in our laboratory, class 1 integron was detected in 28 strains (87.50%, while 27 strains (84.37% harboured an aminoglycoside resistance gene, aadA, in the variable region of their integrons. Class 1 integron was identified in 22 (91.67% of the 24 S. flexneri strains isolated from 2009 to 2010, whereas the variable region and 3′-end amplification were not present in any of the strains. Class 2 integron was not found in the 1981-1983 group (group A of strains; although 19 (79.17% of the 24 strains in the 2009-2010 group (group B possessed class 2 integron, and the variable region of the integron harboured dfrA1 + sat1 + aadA1 genes, which, respectively, mediate antibiotic resistance to trimethoprim, streptothricin and streptomycin. Seventeen strains of the total 56 possessed both class 1 and 2 integrons. Strains belonging to group A were highly resistant to tetracycline, chloramphenicol and a

  2. Inorganic and organic fertilizers impact the abundance and proportion of antibiotic resistance and integron-integrase genes in agricultural grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nõlvak, Hiie; Truu, Marika; Kanger, Kärt; Tampere, Mailiis; Espenberg, Mikk; Loit, Evelin; Raave, Henn; Truu, Jaak

    2016-08-15

    Soil fertilization with animal manure or its digestate may facilitate an important antibiotic resistance dissemination route from anthropogenic sources to the environment. This study examines the effect of mineral fertilizer (NH4NO3), cattle slurry and cattle slurry digestate amendment on the abundance and proportion dynamics of five antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and two classes of integron-integrase genes (intI1 and intI2) in agricultural grassland soil. Fertilization was performed thrice throughout one vegetation period. The targeted ARGs (sul1, tetA, blaCTX-M, blaOXA2 and qnrS) encode resistance to several major antibiotic classes used in veterinary medicine such as sulfonamides, tetracycline, cephalosporins, penicillin and fluoroquinolones, respectively. The non-fertilized grassland soil contained a stable background of tetA, blaCTX-M and sul1 genes. The type of applied fertilizer significantly affected ARGs and integron-integrase genes abundances and proportions in the bacterial community (porganic fertilizer's application event, but this increase was followed by a stage of decrease, suggesting that microbes possessing these genes were predominantly entrained into soil via cattle slurry or its digestate application and had somewhat limited survival potential in a soil environment. However, the abundance of these three target genes did not decrease to a background level by the end of the study period. TetA was most abundant in mineral fertilizer treated soil and blaCTX-M in cattle slurry digestate amended soil. Despite significantly different abundances, the abundance dynamics of bacteria possessing these genes were similar (p<0.05 in all cases) in different treatments and resembled the dynamics of the whole bacterial community abundance in each soil treatment. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Occurance and characteristics of class 1, 2 and 3 integrons in Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Essen-Zandbergen, van A.; Smith, H.E.; Veldman, K.T.; Mevius, D.J.

    2007-01-01

    Objectives: To determine the occurrence and transmission of class 1, 2 and 3 integrons in multidrug-resistant or sulfamethoxazole-resistant Salmonella from human and animal sources and in Campylobacter spp. and Escherichia coli from broilers isolated in the Netherlands in 2004. Methods: PCR,

  4. Dissemination of Multidrug-Resistant, Class I and II Integrons and Molecular Typing of CTX-M-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akya, Alisha; Elahi, Azam; Chegenelorestani, Roya; Rezaee, Mahya

    2018-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae ( K. pneumoniae ) is an important opportunistic pathogen causes serious community and hospital-acquired infections, which is highly resistant to antibiotics. We aimed to determine the frequency of multidrug resistant (MDR) and molecular typing of clinical isolates of K. pneumoniae . One hundred isolates of K. pneumoniae were collected from clinical samples in three general hospitals in Kermanshah. The antimicrobial susceptibility and extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) production of isolates were determined using disk diffusion and combined disk methods, respectively. The bla CTX-M gene, class I and II integrons were detected using polymerase chain reaction. The bla CTX-M positive isolates were selected for genotyping using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). MDR phenotype was observed in 56% of isolates. The 40% of isolates were ESBL positive and 35 isolates contained bla CTX-M . Class I and II of integrons were detected in 50 (89.2%) and 39 (69.6%) of MDR isolates, respectively. PFGE patterns of K. pneumoniae bla CTX-M positive isolates indicated 19 clusters (X 1-19 ) with different genotype patterns. The study findings highlight the concern of circulating MDR strains of K. pneumoniae with bla CTX-M and class I and II integrons in Kermanshah hospitals. The presence of integrons among isolates may facilitate the spread of new resistance genes in this bacterium. Therefore, surveillance for the spread of MDR strains of this bacterium is recommended in hospitals.

  5. Distinct effects of struvite and biochar amendment on the class 1 integron antibiotic resistance gene cassettes in phyllosphere and rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Xin-Li; Chen, Qing-Lin; Zhu, Dong; Su, Jian-Qiang

    2018-08-01

    Struvite recovered from wastewater is promising for recycling phosphorus into soil as fertilizers. However, struvite application may prompt the proliferation of antibiotic resistance in soil and plant. This study examined the impacts of struvite application and biochar amendment on integrons abundance and gene cassette contexts in rhizosphere soil and phyllosphere using quantitative PCR and clone library analysis. Microcosm experiments revealed that class 1 integron was the most prevalent in all samples, with higher concentration and higher relative abundance in rhizosphere than those in phyllosphere. The majority of resistance gene cassettes were associated with genes encoding resistance to aminoglycosides, beta-lactams and chloramphenicols. Struvite application significantly increased the genetic diversity of antibiotic resistance gene cassettes in both rhizosphere and phyllosphere. However, biochar amendment attenuated the increasing effect of struvite application exerting on the class 1 integron antibiotic resistance gene cassette pool in phyllosphere. These findings highlighted human activities to be the source of integron gene cassette pool and raised the possibility of using biochar amendment as an alternative mean for mitigating antibiotic resistance in environments. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Technological and cross-border mixture value chain of science and engineering of multi-integrative mechatronics-integronics-adaptronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gheorghe, Gh. Ion; Popan, Gheorghe

    2013-10-01

    This scientific paper presents in national premiere and in original concept of the author, the scientific national and the author's original concept, the technological and cross-border mixture value chain of science and engineering of multi-integrative Mechatronics-Integronics-Adaptronics, as high-tech vector support development, for viability and sustainability of a new intelligent and competitive labour market.

  7. Antibiotic resistance, integrons and Salmonella genomic island 1 among non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars in The Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vo, An T T; Duijkeren, Engeline van; Fluit, Ad C; Wannet, Wim J B; Verbruggen, Anjo J; Maas, Henny M E; Gaastra, Wim

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial resistance patterns, integron characteristics and gene cassettes as well as the presence of Salmonella genomic island 1 (SGI1) in non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS) isolates from human and animal origin. Epidemiologically unrelated Dutch

  8. Integron gene cassettes and degradation of compounds associated with industrial waste: the case of the Sydney tar ponds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy E Koenig

    Full Text Available Integrons are genetic platforms that accelerate lateral gene transfer (LGT among bacteria. They were first detected on plasmids bearing single and multiple drug resistance determinants in human pathogens, and it is abundantly clear that integrons have played a major role in the evolution of this public health menace. Similar genetic elements can be found in nonpathogenic environmental bacteria and in metagenomic environmental DNA samples, and it is reasonable to suppose that integrons have facilitated microbial adaptation through LGT in niches outside infectious disease wards. Here we show that a heavily impacted estuary, exposed for almost a century to products of coal and steel industries, has developed a rich and unique cassette metagenome, containing genes likely to aid in the catabolism of compounds associated with industrial waste found there. In addition, we report that the most abundant cassette recovered in this study is one that encodes a putative LysR protein. This autoregulatory transcriptional regulator is known to activate transcription of linked target genes or unlinked regulons encoding diverse functions including chlorocatechol and dichlorophenol catabolism. Finally, only class 1 integrase genes were amplified in this study despite using different primer sets, and it may be that the cassettes present in the Tar Ponds will prove to be associated with class 1 integrase genes. Nevertheless, our cassette library provides a snapshot of a complex evolutionary process involving integron-meditated LGT likely to be important in natural bioremediation.

  9. Distribution and content of class 1 integrons in different Vibrio cholerae O-serotype strains isolated in Thailand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Anders; Forslund, Anita; Serichantalergs, Oralak

    2000-01-01

    only a single antibiotic resistance gene. Although resistance genes in class 1 integrons were found in strains from the same epidemic, as well as in unrelated non-O1, non-O139 strains isolated from children with diarrhea, they were found to encode only some of the antibiotic resistance expressed...

  10. Reproductive Consequences of Nest Site Use in Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska: Potential Lasting Effects of an Introduced Predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brie A. Drummond

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined the reproductive consequences of differential nest site use in Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma furcata in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, where birds on islands where foxes were introduced nest in rocky substrate rather than in typical soil habitat. We investigated how physical and microclimatic nest site characteristics influenced storm-petrel breeding success 20 years after fox removal. We then examined whether those nest site characteristics that affected success were related to the amount of rock that composed the nest. In both years of our study, nest temperature had the strongest influence on chick survival and overall reproductive success, appearing in all the top models and alone explaining 14-35% of the variation in chick survival. The relationship between reproductive success and nest temperature was positive in both years, with higher survival in warmer nests. In turn, the best predictor of nest temperature was the amount of rock that composed the site. Rockier nests had colder average temperatures, which were driven by lower daily minimum temperatures, compared to nests with more soil. Thus, the rockiness of the nest site appeared to affect chick survival and overall reproductive success through its influence on nest temperature. This study suggests that the use of rocky nest sites, presumed to be a result of historic predation from introduced foxes, could decrease breeding success in this recovering population, and thus be a long-lasting effect of introduced predators.

  11. The contribution of Escherichia coli from human and animal sources to the integron gene pool in coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Alexandra; Araújo, Susana; Alves, Marta S.; Henriques, Isabel; Pereira, Anabela; Correia, António C. M.

    2014-01-01

    To understand the contribution of animal- and human-derived fecal pollution sources in shaping integron prevalence and diversity in beach waters, 414 Escherichia coli strains were collected from beach waters (BW, n = 166), seagull feces (SF, n = 179), and wastewaters (WW, n = 69), on the World Biosphere Reserve of the Berlenga Island, Portugal. Statistical differences were found between the prevalence of integrons in BW (21%) and WW (10%), but not between BW and SF (19%). The majority of integrase-positive (intI+)-strains affiliated to commensal phylogroups B1 (37%), A0 (24%), and A1 (20%). Eighteen different gene cassette arrays were detected, most of them coding for resistances to aminoglycosides, trimethoprim, chloramphenicol, and quaternary ammonia compounds. Common arrays were found among strains from different sources. Multi-resistance to three or more different classes of antibiotics was observed in 89, 82, and 57% of intI+-strains from BW, SF and WW, respectively. Plasmids were detected in 79% of strains (60/76) revealing a high diversity of replicons in all sources, mostly belonging to IncF (Frep, FIA, and FIB subgroups), IncI1, IncN, IncY, and IncK incompatibility groups. In 20% (15/76) of strains, integrons were successfully mobilized through conjugation to E. coli CV601. Results obtained support the existence of a diverse integron pool in the E. coli strains from this coastal environment, associated with different resistance traits and plasmid incompatibility groups, mainly shaped by animal fecal pollution inputs. These findings underscore the role of wild life in dissemination of integrons and antibiotic resistance traits in natural environments. PMID:25161650

  12. Molecular detection of β-lactamase and integron genes in clinical strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae by multiplex polymerase chain reaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Sedighi

    Full Text Available Abstract INTRODUCTION: Infections caused by β-lactamase-producing gram-negative bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, are increasing globally with high morbidity and mortality. The aim of the current study was to determine antimicrobial susceptibility patterns and the prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes (β-lactamase and integron genes using multiplex PCR. METHODS One-hundred K. pneumoniae isolates were collected from different clinical samples. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed with thirteen different antibiotics. Multiplex-PCR was used to detect β-lactamase (bla TEM, bla CTX-M, bla SHV , bla VEB, bla PER, bla GES, bla VIM, bla IMP, bla OXA, and bla KPC and integron genes (int I, int II, and int III. RESULTS: The highest and lowest rate of resistance was exhibited against amikacin (93% and imipenem (8%, respectively. The frequency of β-lactamase-positive K. pneumoniae was 37%, and the prevalence of the bla TEM, bla CTX-M, bla SHV , bla VEB, bla PER, bla GES, bla VIM, bla IMP, bla OXA, and bla KPC genes was 38%, 24%, 19%, 12%, 6%, 11%, 33%, 0%, 28%, and 23%, respectively. Of the 100 isolates, eight (8% were positive for class I integrons; however, class II and III integrons were not detected in any of the strains. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate co-carriage of a number of β-lactamase genes and antibiotic resistance integrons on the same plasmids harboring multi-drug resistance genes. It seems that these properties help to decrease treatment complications due to resistant bacterial infections by rapid detection, infection-control programs and prevention of transmission of drug resistance.

  13. Class 1 and 2 integrons, sul resistance genes and antibiotic resistance in Escherichia coli isolated from Dongjiang River, South China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su Haochang; Ying Guangguo; Tao Ran; Zhang Ruiquan; Zhao Jianliang; Liu Yousheng

    2012-01-01

    Antibiotic susceptibility, detection of sul gene types and presence of class 1, 2 and 3 integrons and gene cassettes using PCR assays were investigated in 3456 Escherichia coli isolates obtained from 38 sampling sites of the Dongjiang River catchment in the dry and wet seasons. 89.1% of the isolates were resistant and 87.5% showed resistance to at least three antibiotics. sul2 was detected most frequently in 89.2% of 1403 SXT-resistant isolates. The presence of integrons (class 1 and 2) was frequently observed (82.3%) while no class 3 integron was found. In these integrons, 21 resistance genes of 14 gene cassette arrays and 10 different families of resistance genes were identified. Three gene cassette arrays, aac(6')-Ib-cr-aar-3-dfrA27-aadA16, aacA4-catB3-dfrA1 and aadA2-lnuF, were detected for the first time in surface water. The results showed that bacterial resistance in the catchment was seriously influenced by human activities, especially discharge of wastewater. Highlights: ► Antibiotic resistance was investigated for a river catchment of southern China. ► 87.5% of E coli isolates showed resistance to at least three antibiotics. ► The presence of integrons (class 1 and 2) was frequently observed (82.3%). ► Bacterial resistance in the catchment was seriously influenced by human activities. - Bacterial resistance to antibiotics in a catchment is related to the discharge of wastewater into the aquatic environment.

  14. The importance of integrons for development and propagation of resistance in Shigella: the case of Latin America

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    Kenia Barrantes

    Full Text Available Abstract In Latin America, the disease burden of shigellosis is found to coexist with the rapid and rampant spread of resistance to commonly used antibiotics. The molecular basis of antibiotic resistance lies within genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, integrons, genomic islands, etc., which are found in the bacterial genome. Integrons are known to acquire, exchange, and express genes within gene cassettes and it is hypothesized that they play a significant role in the transmission of multidrug resistance genes in several Gram-negative bacteria including Shigella. A few studies have described antibiotic resistance genes and integrons among multidrug resistant Shigella isolates found in Latin America. For example, in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, class 1 and class 2 integrons have been detected among multidrug resistant strains of Shigella; this phenomenon is more frequently observed in S. flexneri isolates that are resistant to trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline. The gene cassette sul2, which is frequently detected in Shigella strains resistant to the sulfonamides, suggests that the sulfonamide-resistant phenotype can be explained by the presence of the sul2 genes independent of the integron class detected. It is to be noted that sul3 was negative in all isolates analyzed in these studies.The high frequency of sulfonamide (as encoded by sul2 and trimethoprim resistance is likely to be a result of the recurrent use of trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole as a popular regimen for the treatment of shigellosis. The observed resistance profiles of Shigella strains confirm that ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are ineffective as therapeutic options. In-depth information regarding antibiotic resistance mechanism in this pathogen is needed in order to develop suitable intervention strategies. There is a pressing need for regional and local antimicrobial resistance

  15. The importance of integrons for development and propagation of resistance in Shigella: the case of Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrantes, Kenia; Achí, Rosario

    In Latin America, the disease burden of shigellosis is found to coexist with the rapid and rampant spread of resistance to commonly used antibiotics. The molecular basis of antibiotic resistance lies within genetic elements such as plasmids, transposons, integrons, genomic islands, etc., which are found in the bacterial genome. Integrons are known to acquire, exchange, and express genes within gene cassettes and it is hypothesized that they play a significant role in the transmission of multidrug resistance genes in several Gram-negative bacteria including Shigella. A few studies have described antibiotic resistance genes and integrons among multidrug resistant Shigella isolates found in Latin America. For example, in Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica and Peru, class 1 and class 2 integrons have been detected among multidrug resistant strains of Shigella; this phenomenon is more frequently observed in S. flexneri isolates that are resistant to trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline. The gene cassette sul2, which is frequently detected in Shigella strains resistant to the sulfonamides, suggests that the sulfonamide-resistant phenotype can be explained by the presence of the sul2 genes independent of the integron class detected. It is to be noted that sul3 was negative in all isolates analyzed in these studies. The high frequency of sulfonamide (as encoded by sul2) and trimethoprim resistance is likely to be a result of the recurrent use of trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole as a popular regimen for the treatment of shigellosis. The observed resistance profiles of Shigella strains confirm that ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are ineffective as therapeutic options. In-depth information regarding antibiotic resistance mechanism in this pathogen is needed in order to develop suitable intervention strategies. There is a pressing need for regional and local antimicrobial resistance profiling of Shigella to be

  16. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry

    2012-01-01

    Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked with VHF transmitters along the Pacific coast, mortalities were recovered in association with just two identifiable categories of predators: in southeast Alaska recoveries occurred mainly near mustelid feeding areas, while those in southern British Columbia and Washington occurred mainly near feeding areas of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus (L., 1766)). Determining whether marked Scoters had been depredated versus scavenged was often not possible, but mortalities occurred more frequently during winter than during wing molt (13.1% versus 0.7% of both species combined, excluding Scoters that died within a postrelease adjustment period). In two sites heavily used by Scoters, diurnal observations revealed no predation attempts and low rates of predator disturbances that altered Scoter behavior (≤ 0.22/h). These and other results suggest that predation by Bald Eagles occurs mainly at sites and times where densities of Scoters are low, while most predation by mustelids probably occurs when Scoters are energetically compromised.

  17. Characterization and mosquitocidal potential of neem cake-synthesized silver nanoparticles: genotoxicity and impact on predation efficiency of mosquito natural enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandramohan, Balamurugan; Murugan, Kadarkarai; Panneerselvam, Chellasamy; Madhiyazhagan, Pari; Chandirasekar, Ramachandran; Dinesh, Devakumar; Kumar, Palanisamy Mahesh; Kovendan, Kalimuthu; Suresh, Udaiyan; Subramaniam, Jayapal; Rajaganesh, Rajapandian; Aziz, Al Thabiani; Syuhei, Ban; Alsalhi, Mohamad Saleh; Devanesan, Sandhanasamy; Nicoletti, Marcello; Wei, Hui; Benelli, Giovanni

    2016-03-01

    Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) serve as important vectors for a wide number of parasites and pathogens of huge medical and veterinary importance. Aedes aegypti is a primary dengue vector in tropical and subtropical urban areas. There is an urgent need to develop eco-friendly mosquitocides. In this study, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) were biosynthesized using neem cake, a by-product of the neem oil extraction from the seed kernels of Azadirachta indica. AgNP were characterized using a variety of biophysical methods, including UV-vis spectrophotometry, FTIR, SEM, EDX, and XRD analyses. Furthermore, the neem cake extract and the biosynthesized AgNP were tested for acute toxicity against larvae and pupae of the dengue vector Ae. aegypti. LC50 values achieved by the neem cake extract ranged from 106.53 (larva I) to 235.36 ppm (pupa), while AgNP LC50 ranged from 3.969 (larva I) to 8.308 ppm (pupa). In standard laboratory conditions, the predation efficiency of a Carassius auratus per day was 7.9 (larva II) and 5.5 individuals (larva III). Post-treatment with sub-lethal doses of AgNP, the predation efficiency was boosted to 9.2 (larva II) and 8.1 individuals (larva III). The genotoxic effect of AgNP was studied on C. auratus using the comet assay and micronucleus frequency test. DNA damage was evaluated on peripheral erythrocytes sampled at different time intervals from the treatment; experiments showed no significant damages at doses below 12 ppm. Overall, this research pointed out that neem cake-fabricated AgNP are easy to produce, stable over time, and can be employed at low dosages to reduce populations of dengue vectors, with moderate detrimental effects on non-target mosquito natural enemies.

  18. Transferable integrons of Gram-negative bacteria isolated from the gut of a wild boar in the buffer zone of a national park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mokracka, Joanna; Koczura, Ryszard; Kaznowski, Adam

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the presence of integron-bearing Gram-negative bacteria in the gut of a wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) shot in the buffer zone of a national park. Five Gram-negative strains of Escherichia coli, Serratia odorifera, Hafnia alvei and Pseudomonas sp. were isolated. Four of these strains had class 2 integrase (intI2), and one harbored class 1 integrase (intI1). The integron-positive strains were multiresistant, i.e., resistant to at least three unrelated antibiotics. All of the integrons were transferred to E. coli J-53 (Rif(R)) in a conjugation assay. The results showed that a number of multiresistant, integron-containing bacterial strains of different genera may inhabit a single individual of a wild animal, allowing the possibility of transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.

  19. Development of a novel in vitro assay for the evaluation of integron DNA integrase activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatemeh Tohidi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Integrons play an important role in multidrug resistance. The integron platform codes for integrase (intI that is required for gene cassette integration through site-specific recombination. The recombination crossover occurs between the G and TT nucleotides in non-palindromic attI and palindromic attC sites. The aim of this study was to establish an efficient in vitro assay for integrase purification and activity detection. To this end, the intI gene was cloned into the pET-22b plasmid. Then, the resulting recombinant plasmid was transformed into Escherichia coli Origami™ strain. The recombinant protein expression was confirmed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE and western blot assays. The recombinant intI protein was purified by nickel–nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni–NTA affinity chromatography, and its activity was measured by a newly introduced assay. Briefly, specific primers for each side of attI and attC were used, thereby, a polymerase chain reaction would be performed, if a fused plasmid containing both attI and attC sites was created upon recombination. SDS-PAGE and western blotting confirmed the presence of a 38-kDa recombinant protein. Optimum conditions were established for the measurement of the integrase activity and a new model assay was conducted to analyse the recombination activity in vitro. Although the electrophoretic mobility shift assay is an efficient and reliable method, the newly introduced assay provided new or enhanced capability to determine the integrase activity, suggesting that there is no need for expensive and advanced equipment.

  20. Characteristics of Integrons and Associated Gene Cassettes in Antibiotic-Resistant Escherichia coli Isolated from Free-Ranging Food Animals in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehman, Mujeeb Ur; Zhang, Hui; Huang, Shucheng; Iqbal, Muhammad Kashif; Mehmood, Khalid; Luo, Houqiang; Li, Jiakui

    2017-08-01

    We investigated the occurrence of integrons in antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli strains isolated from free-ranging food animals, including yaks, piglets, and chickens, in China, and characterized the gene cassettes harbored within the integrons. We examined 432 E. coli strains that exhibited resistance to at least one class of antibiotics. Integrase genes and associated gene cassettes were characterized by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, restriction fragment-length polymorphism, DNA sequencing, conjugation experiments, and plasmid analysis. Twenty-nine (6.7%) integrons were amplified from the 432 antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) isolates evaluated. Specifically, class 1 and 2 integrons were detected in 26 (6%) and 3 (0.7%) strains, respectively. Meanwhile, 6 different gene cassettes, dfrA1, dfr12, aadA1, aadA2, sat1, and orfF, were detected within 6 variable regions (VRs), of which the dfrA1 + aadA1 array was the most common, identified in 12 of 26 class 1 integrons (46.1%). Meanwhile, only one class 2 integron contained a cassette, and the remaining two contained undetermined VRs. Finally, a conjugation assay confirmed the transfer of 4 different types of class 1 integrons into recipient strains, with plasmid sizes ranging from 20 to 30 kb. This is the first report examining the baseline AMR characteristics of E. coli within an extensive farming system of livestock animals in China. Given that integrons were detected in >6% of resistant E. coli strains, precautionary measures are required to prevent the spread of mobile genetic resistance determinants in food animals and monitor their emergence. © 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  1. Investigation of class 1 integrons in Klebsiella pneumoniae clinical and microbiota isolates belonging to different phylogenetic groups in Recife, State of Pernambuco

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    Alexsandra Maria Silva Lima

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction The high prevalence of Klebsiella pneumoniae infections is related to the ability of K. pneumoniae to acquire and disseminate exogenous genes associated with mobile elements, such as R plasmids, transposons and integrons. This study investigated the presence of class 1 integrons in clinical and microbiota isolates of K. pneumoniae belonging to different phylogenetic groups and correlated these results with the antimicrobial resistance profiles of the studied isolates. Methods Of the 51 isolates of K. pneumoniae selected for this study, 29 were from multidrug-resistant clinical isolates, and 22 were from children's microbiota. The susceptibility profile was determined using the disk diffusion method, and class 1 integrons were detected through polymerase chain reaction (PCR. Results The results showed that none of the 22 microbiota isolates carried class 1 integrons. Among the 29 clinical isolates, 19 (65.5% contained class 1 integrons, and resistance to sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim was identified in 18 of these isolates (94.7%. Among the K. pneumoniae isolates with class 1 integrons, 47% belonged to the KpI phylogenetic group, and one isolate (14.3% carrying these genetic elements belonged to the KpIII group. Conclusions The wide variety of detected class 1 integrons supports the presence of high rates of antimicrobial resistance, genetic variability, and rapid dissemination of beta-lactamase genes among K. pneumoniae clinical isolates in recent years in hospitals in Recife-PE, Brazil. The findings of this study indicate that the surveillance of K. pneumoniae integrons in clinical isolates could be useful for monitoring the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in the hospital environment.

  2. Detection of Class 1 and 2 Integrons, β-Lactamase Genes and Molecular Characterization of Sulfonamide Resistance in Escherichia coli Isolates Recovered from Poultry in China

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    Jam Kashif§, Rehana Buriro§, Javed Memon, Muhammad Yaqoob, Jamila Soomro§, Diao Dongxue, Huang Jinhu and Wang Liping*

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to detect integrons, β-lactamase genes and to characterize sulfonamide resistant E. coli isolates recovered from poultry. All the isolates (n=38 were investigated for the presence of integrons, Sul1, Sul2, Sul3 genes by PCR. Class 1 and class 2 integron were present in 79 and 16%, respectively. Additional resistance gene cassette embedded in class 1 and 2 integrons was aadA1, aadA5, dfrA17 and aadA22, dfrA, respectively. Sul1 and Sul2 genes were detected in 42.1 and 60.5% isolates, respectively. Both the Sul1 and Sul2 were present in 23% isolates. However, Sul3 gene was not present. Co-existence of Sul1 and Sul2 with class 1 integrons was found in 28.9 and 60.5% of class 1 integron positive isolates, respectively. Whereas, a less percentage of isolates showed a low level of resistance to β-lactams and no blaCTX-M, blaSHV and blaTEM was found. The MIC results showed resistance to sulfadiazine and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim in 88 and 84% isolates, resistance to penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin was 52, 52 and 44%, respectively. Chloramphenicol, florfenicol, tetracycline and gentamycin resistance was found in 51, 5, 42 and 67% isolates, respectively. This study revealed high frequency of class 1 integrons, Sul genes among poultry E. coli isolates, therefore further spread of Sul genes and integrons is predictable.

  3. Determining sensitive stages for learning to detect predators in ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-07-10

    Jul 10, 2014 ... Successful survival and reproduction of prey organisms depend on their ability to detect their potential predators accurately and respond ... Numerous aquatic prey including insects, ... window (pre-gastrulation, neurulation, post-hatching or ..... their increased encounter rates with predators provide them the.

  4. First report on class 1 integrons and Trimethoprim-resistance genes from dfrA group in uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) from the Aleppo area in Syria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Assil, Bodour; Mahfoud, Maysa; Hamzeh, Abdul Rezzak

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) introduces advantageous genetic elements into pathogenic bacteria using tools such as class1 integrons. This study aimed at investigating the distribution of these integrons among uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) isolated from patients in Aleppo, Syria. It also set to uncover the frequencies of the clinically relevant DfrA1 and DfrA17,7, as well as various associations leading to reduced susceptibility. This study involved 75 Trimethoprim-resistant E. coli isolates from in- and outpatients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) from 3 major hospitals in Aleppo. Bacterial identification, resistance and extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) production testing were performed according to Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Detection of integrons and DfrA genes was done using PCR and statistical significance was inferred through χ2 (Fisher’s) test. Class1 integrons were detected in 54.6% of isolates while DfrA1 and DfrA17,7 were found in 16% and 70.6% of tested samples respectively. Furthermore, only DfrA17,7 were strongly associated with class1 integrons, as were reduced susceptibility to the majority of individual antibiotics, multidrug resistance and ESBL production. This study demonstrated the high prevalence of class1 integrons among UPEC strains in Aleppo, Syria, as well as their significant associations with MDR. This data give information for local healthcare provision using antibiotic chemotherapy. PMID:23956949

  5. Distribution of class 1 integrons with IS26-mediated deletions in their 3'-conserved segments in Escherichia coli of human and animal origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fay E Dawes

    Full Text Available Class 1 integrons play a role in the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria by facilitating the recruitment of gene cassettes encoding antibiotic resistance genes. 512 E. coli strains sourced from humans (n = 202, animals (n = 304 and the environment (n = 6 were screened for the presence of the intI1 gene. In 31/79 integron positive E. coli strains, the gene cassette regions could not be PCR amplified using standard primers. DNA sequence analysis of 6 serologically diverse strains revealed atypical integrons harboured the dfrA5 cassette gene and only 24 bp of the integron 3'-conserved segment (CS remained, due to the insertion of IS26. PCR targeting intI1 and IS26 followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP analysis identified the integron-dfrA5-IS26 element in 27 E. coli strains of bovine origin and 4 strains of human origin. Southern hybridization and transformation studies revealed the integron-dfrA5-IS26 gene arrangement was either chromosomally located or plasmid borne. Plasmid location in 4/9 E. coli strains and PCR linkage of Tn21 transposition genes with the intI1 gene in 20/31 strains, suggests this element is readily disseminated by horizontal transfer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Cooperation under Predation Risk: Experiments on Costs and Benefits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milinski, Manfred; Luthi, Jean H.; Eggler, Rolf; Parker, Geoffrey A.

    1997-06-01

    Two fish that cooperatively inspect a predator may have negotiated the share of the risk that each takes. A test of both the costs of predator inspection dependent on the distance from which the predator is approached and the potential benefits of cooperation was carried out strictly experimentally. We made either singletons or pairs of dead sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus, approach hungry pike, Esox lucius, by remote control according to an algorithm that mimicked natural inspection. The predation risk of both single inspectors and parallel inspecting pairs increased with closer inspection distances. A member of an inspecting pair had only about half the risk of that of a single inspector. In pairs, a companion diluted the lead fish's risk of being caught, depending on its distance behind the leader. The absolute risk difference between leader and follower was greatest for close inspection distances and decreased further away from the predator. The leader's relative risk increased with its distance ahead of the laggard. However, for a given distance between leader and laggard, the relative risks to the two fish remained similar with distance from the predator. The cost side of the inequalities that define a 'Prisoner's Dilemma' has thus been measured for this system. In a second experiment the 'attack deterrence hypothesis' of predator inspection (i.e. inspection decreases attack probability) was tested. The pike was offered a choice between two sticklebacks, one of which had carried out a predator inspection visit. There was no indication of attack deterrence through predator inspection.

  8. Factors influencing the predation rates of Anisops breddini (Hemiptera: Notonectidae feeding on mosquito larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Weterings

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Notonectidae are a family of water bugs that are known to be important predators of mosquito larvae and have great potential in the biological control of vector mosquitoes. An experiment was conducted to assess mosquito larvae predation by Anisops breddini, a species common to Southeast Asia. The predation rates were recorded in context of prey density, predator density, predator size and prey type. Predation rates were strongly affected by prey type and less by prey density and predator density. They ranged between 1.2 prey items per day for pupae of Aedes aegeypti and Armigeres moultoni to 5.9 for Ae. aegypti larvae. Compared with studies on other Notonectidae species, the predation rates appear low, which is probably caused by the relative small size of the specimens used in this study. An. breddini is very common in the region and often found in urban areas; therefore, the species has potential as a biological control agent.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Metal levels in flathead sole (Hippoglossoides elassodon) and great sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus) from Adak Island, Alaska: Potential risk to predators and fishermen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Burke, Sean; Stamm, Timothy

    2007-01-01

    Increasingly there is a need to assess the contaminant levels in fish as indicators of the health and well-being of both the fish and their consumers, including humans. This paper examines the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, and selenium in the kidney, liver, and muscle of great sculpin and flathead sole from Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Both species are consumed by the local Aleuts and others. There were significant differences in the levels of heavy metals as a function of tissue for both fish species; the liver of sculpin and sole generally had the highest levels of most metals, except for arsenic, lead, and selenium. Sole had significantly higher mean levels of arsenic in kidney (32,384 vs. 531 ppb, wet weight), liver (18,954 vs. 2532 ppb), and muscle (19,452 vs. 1343 ppb) than did sculpin. Sole also had higher mean levels of cadmium (230 vs. 63 ppb), lead (1236 vs. 48 ppb), mercury (150 vs. 107 ppb), and selenium (5215 vs. 1861 ppb) in kidney than did sculpin. There were significant correlations among weight and length measurements for both species. However, except for mercury, there were few significant correlations among tissue types for most metals. Only mercury and manganese levels were significantly correlated with size for sculpin (but not for sole). Levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury may pose a risk to predators that consume them, and arsenic and mercury may pose a risk to human consumers

  11. Predation and Mergers: Is Merger Law Counterproductive?

    OpenAIRE

    Persson, Lars

    1999-01-01

    This Paper shows that predation might help firms overcome the free riding problem of mergers by changing the acquisition situation in the buyer's favour relative to the firms outside the merger. It is also shown that the bidding competition for the prey's assets is most harmful to predators when the use of the prey's assets exerts strong negative externalities on rivals, i.e. when their use severely reduces competitors' profits. The reason is that potential buyers are then willing to pay a hi...

  12. Class 1 integrons and tetracycline resistance genes in Alcaligenes, Arthrobacter, and Pseudomonas spp. isolated from pigsties and manured soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agersø, Yvonne; Sandvang, Dorthe

    2005-01-01

    The presence of tetracycline resistance (Tc-r) genes and class I integrons (in-1), and their ability to cotransfer were investigated in Tc-r gram-negative (185 strains) and gram-positive (72 strains) bacteria from Danish farmland and pigsties. The isolates belonged to the groups or species...... tet(33). No isolates contained more than one tet gene. The in-l-positive isolates were tested for resistance to selected antimicrobial agents and showed resistance to three to nine drugs. Filter-mating experiments showed cotransfer of Tc-r and class I integrons from soil isolates to Escherichia coli...... and/or Pseudomonas putida. We conclude that soil bacteria in close contact to manure or pigsty environment may thus have an important role in horizontal spread of resistance. Use of tetracyclines in food animal production may increase not only Tc-r but also multidrug resistance (caused by the presence...

  13. Widespread dissemination of class 1 integron components in soils and related ecosystems as revealed by cultivation-independent analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Jechalke, Sven; Schreiter, Susanne; Wolters, Birgit; Dealtry, Simone; Heuer, Holger; Smalla, Kornelia

    2014-01-01

    Class 1 integrons contribute to the emerging problem of antibiotic resistance in human medicine by acquisition, exchange, and expression of resistance genes embedded within gene cassettes. Besides the clinical setting they were recently reported from environmental habitats and often located on plasmids and transposons, facilitating their transfer and spread within bacterial communities. In this study we aimed to provide insights into the occurrence of genes typically associated with the class...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora B Lima

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Stress triangle: do introduced predators exert indirect costs on native predators and prey?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer R Anson

    Full Text Available Non-consumptive effects of predators on each other and on prey populations often exceed the effects of direct predation. These effects can arise from fear responses elevating glucocorticoid (GC hormone levels (predator stress hypothesis or from increased vigilance that reduces foraging efficiency and body condition (predator sensitive foraging hypothesis; both responses can lead to immunosuppression and increased parasite loads. Non-consumptive effects of invasive predators have been little studied, even though their direct impacts on local species are usually greater than those of their native counterparts. To address this issue, we explored the non-consumptive effects of the invasive red fox Vulpes vulpes on two native species in eastern Australia: a reptilian predator, the lace monitor Varanus varius and a marsupial, the ringtail possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus. In particular, we tested predictions derived from the above two hypotheses by comparing the basal glucocorticoid levels, foraging behaviour, body condition and haemoparasite loads of both native species in areas with and without fox suppression. Lace monitors showed no GC response or differences in haemoparasite loads but were more likely to trade safety for higher food rewards, and had higher body condition, in areas of fox suppression than in areas where foxes remained abundant. In contrast, ringtails showed no physiological or behavioural differences between fox-suppressed and control areas. Predator sensitive foraging is a non-consumptive cost for lace monitors in the presence of the fox and most likely represents a response to competition. The ringtail's lack of response to the fox potentially represents complete naiveté or strong and rapid selection to the invasive predator. We suggest evolutionary responses are often overlooked in interactions between native and introduced species, but must be incorporated if we are to understand the suite of forces that shape community

  17. Reduced foraging in the presence of predator cues by the Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura similis (Sauria: Iguanidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent R. Farallo

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The presence of a predator may have direct and indirect effects on the behavior of the prey. Although altered behavior may help prey avoid predators, it also can have a potential impact on critical activities such as foraging. Predator-prey interactions are routinely studied in laboratory-based experiments owing to theperceived difficulties of conducting such experiments in natural settings. We conducted an experimental study under field conditions in Palo Verde National Park in northwestern Costa Rica to assess behavioral responses of Black Spiny-tailed Iguanas (Ctenosaurasimilis to the presence of predators and predator cues. Free-roaming iguanas were offered mango in designated areas in the presence of a predator (Boa constrictor, a predator cue (B. constrictor feces, and a control (no predator or predator cue. Results indicate that iguanas reduced their foraging efforts in the presence of both a predator and its cue.

  18. Widespread dissemination of class 1 integron components in soils and related ecosystems as revealed by cultivation-independent analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jechalke, Sven; Schreiter, Susanne; Wolters, Birgit; Dealtry, Simone; Heuer, Holger; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-01-01

    Class 1 integrons contribute to the emerging problem of antibiotic resistance in human medicine by acquisition, exchange, and expression of resistance genes embedded within gene cassettes. Besides the clinical setting they were recently reported from environmental habitats and often located on plasmids and transposons, facilitating their transfer and spread within bacterial communities. In this study we aimed to provide insights into the occurrence of genes typically associated with the class 1 integrons in previously not studied environments with or without human impact and their association with IncP-1 plasmids. Total community DNA was extracted from manure-treated and untreated soils, lettuce and potato rhizosphere, digestates, and an on-farm biopurification system and screened by PCR with subsequent Southern blot hybridization for the presence of the class 1 integrase gene intI1 as well as qacE and qacEΔ 1 resistance genes. The results revealed a widespread dissemination of class 1 integrons in the environments analyzed, mainly related to the presence of qacEΔ 1 genes. All 28 IncP-1ε plasmids carrying class 1 integrons, which were captured exogenously in a recent study from piggery manure and soils treated with manure, carried qacEΔ 1 genes. Based on the strong hybridization signals in the rhizosphere of lettuce compared to the potato rhizosphere, the abundances of intI1, qacE/qacEΔ 1, and sul1 genes were quantified relative to the 16S rRNA gene abundance by real-time PCR in the rhizosphere of lettuce planted in three different soils and in the corresponding bulk soil. A significant enrichment of intI1 and qacE/qacEΔ 1 genes was confirmed in the rhizosphere of lettuce compared to bulk soil. Additionally, the relative abundance of korB genes specific for IncP-1 plasmids was enriched in the rhizosphere and correlated to the intI1 gene abundance indicating that IncP-1 plasmids might have contributed to the spread of class 1 integrons in the analyzed soils.

  19. Widespread dissemination of class 1 integron components in soils and related ecosystems as revealed by cultivation-independent analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eJechalke

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Class 1 integrons contribute to the emerging problem of antibiotic resistance in human medicine by acquisition, exchange, and expression of resistance genes embedded within gene cassettes. Besides the clinical setting they were recently reported from environmental habitats and often located on plasmids and transposons, facilitating their transfer and spread within bacterial communities. In this study we aimed to provide insights into the occurrence of genes typically associated with the class 1 integrons in previously not studied environments with or without human impact and their association with IncP-1 plasmids. Total community DNA was extracted from manure-treated and untreated soils, lettuce and potato rhizosphere, digestates, and an on-farm biopurification system and screened by PCR with subsequent Southern blot hybridization for the presence of the class 1 integrase gene intI1 as well as qacE and qacEΔ1 resistance genes. The results revealed a widespread dissemination of class 1 integrons in the environments analyzed, mainly related to the presence of qacEΔ1 genes. All 28 IncP-1ε plasmids carrying class 1 integrons, which were captured exogenously in a recent study from piggery manure and soils treated with manure, carried qacEΔ1 genes. Based on the strong hybridization signals in the rhizosphere of lettuce compared to the potato rhizosphere, the abundances of intI1, qacE/qacEΔ1, and sul1 genes were quantified relative to the 16S rRNA gene abundance by real time PCR in the rhizosphere of lettuce planted in three different soils and in the corresponding bulk soil. A significant enrichment of intI1 and qacE/qacEΔ1 genes was confirmed in the rhizosphere of lettuce compared to bulk soil. Additionally, the relative abundance of korB genes specific for IncP-1 plasmids was enriched in the rhizosphere and correlated to the intI1 gene abundance indicating that IncP-1 plasmids might have contributed to the spread of class 1 integrons in the

  20. Does predation risk affect mating behavior? An experimental test in dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda M Franklin

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

  1. Predator-induced reduction of freshwater carbon dioxide emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  2. Predator avoidance in extremophile fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-06

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

  3. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis. PMID:25371337

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zu, Jian; Yuan, Bo; Du, Jianqiang

    2015-12-21

    We analyze the evolutionary branching phenomenon of intermediate predator species in a tritrophic food chain model by using adaptive dynamics theory. Specifically, we consider the adaptive diversification of an intermediate predator species that feeds on a prey species and is fed upon by a top predator species. We assume that the intermediate predator׳s ability to forage on the prey can adaptively improve, but this comes at the cost of decreased defense ability against the top predator. First, we identify the general properties of trade-off relationships that lead to a continuously stable strategy or to evolutionary branching in the intermediate predator species. We find that if there is an accelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy is continuously stable. In contrast, if there is a mildly decelerating cost near the singular strategy, then that strategy may be an evolutionary branching point. Second, we find that after branching has occurred, depending on the specific shape and strength of the trade-off relationship, the intermediate predator species may reach an evolutionarily stable dimorphism or one of the two resultant predator lineages goes extinct. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  7. Understanding predation: implications toward forest management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey R. Smith

    1991-01-01

    It is generally accepted that when gypsy moths rest in the litter survival is low due to predation by ground-foraging generalist predators and that predation can maintain these populations indefinitely. Forest Service research on predators of gypsy moth continues to focus on population dynamics, the mechanisms of predation and forest management implications.

  8. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Bonnie L.; Kus, Barbara E.; Deutschman, Douglas H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  9. Bat Predation by Spiders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (∼90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed. PMID:23516436

  10. Bat predation by spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyffeler, Martin; Knörnschild, Mirjam

    2013-01-01

    In this paper more than 50 incidences of bats being captured by spiders are reviewed. Bat-catching spiders have been reported from virtually every continent with the exception of Antarctica (≈ 90% of the incidences occurring in the warmer areas of the globe between latitude 30° N and 30° S). Most reports refer to the Neotropics (42% of observed incidences), Asia (28.8%), and Australia-Papua New Guinea (13.5%). Bat-catching spiders belong to the mygalomorph family Theraphosidae and the araneomorph families Nephilidae, Araneidae, and Sparassidae. In addition to this, an attack attempt by a large araneomorph hunting spider of the family Pisauridae on an immature bat was witnessed. Eighty-eight percent of the reported incidences of bat catches were attributable to web-building spiders and 12% to hunting spiders. Large tropical orb-weavers of the genera Nephila and Eriophora in particular have been observed catching bats in their huge, strong orb-webs (of up to 1.5 m diameter). The majority of identifiable captured bats were small aerial insectivorous bats, belonging to the families Vespertilionidae (64%) and Emballonuridae (22%) and usually being among the most common bat species in their respective geographic area. While in some instances bats entangled in spider webs may have died of exhaustion, starvation, dehydration, and/or hyperthermia (i.e., non-predation death), there were numerous other instances where spiders were seen actively attacking, killing, and eating the captured bats (i.e., predation). This evidence suggests that spider predation on flying vertebrates is more widespread than previously assumed.

  11. Bald eagle predation on common loon egg

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Inhibition between invasives: a newly introduced predator moderates the impacts of a previously established invasive predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Guy, Travis; Buck, Julia C

    2008-01-01

    1. With continued globalization, species are being transported and introduced into novel habitats at an accelerating rate. Interactions between invasive species may provide important mechanisms that moderate their impacts on native species. 2. The European green crab Carcinus maenas is an aggressive predator that was introduced to the east coast of North America in the mid-1800 s and is capable of rapid consumption of bivalve prey. A newer invasive predator, the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus, was first discovered on the Atlantic coast in the 1980s, and now inhabits many of the same regions as C. maenas within the Gulf of Maine. Using a series of field and laboratory investigations, we examined the consequences of interactions between these predators. 3. Density patterns of these two species at different spatial scales are consistent with negative interactions. As a result of these interactions, C. maenas alters its diet to consume fewer mussels, its preferred prey, in the presence of H. sanguineus. Decreased mussel consumption in turn leads to lower growth rates for C. maenas, with potential detrimental effects on C. maenas populations. 4. Rather than an invasional meltdown, this study demonstrates that, within the Gulf of Maine, this new invasive predator can moderate the impacts of the older invasive predator.

  13. Integron, Plasmid and Host Strain Characteristics of Escherichia coli from Humans and Food Included in the Norwegian Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunde, Marianne; Simonsen, Gunnar Skov; Slettemeås, Jannice Schau; Böckerman, Inger; Norström, Madelaine

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli (n=331) isolates from humans with bloodstream infections were investigated for the presence of class 1 and class 2 integrons. The integron cassettes arrays were characterized and the findings were compared with data from similar investigations on resistant E. coli from meat and meat products (n=241) produced during the same time period. All isolates were obtained from the Norwegian monitoring programs for antimicrobial resistance in human pathogens and in the veterinary sector. Methods used included PCR, sequencing, conjugation experiments, plasmid replicon typing and subtyping, pulsed-field-gel-electrophoresis and serotyping. Integrons of class 1 and 2 occurred significantly more frequently among human isolates; 45.4% (95% CI: 39.9-50.9) than among isolates from meat; 18% (95% CI: 13.2 -23.3), (pfood source and from a human clinical sample highlights the possible role of meat as a source of resistance elements for pathogenic bacteria.

  14. Prevalence and Characterization of Integrons in Multidrug Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Eastern China: A Multiple-Hospital Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Chen

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The aim of this multiple-hospital study was to investigate the prevalence of integrons in multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDRAB in Eastern China, and characterize the integron-integrase genes, so as to provide evidence for the management and appropriate antibiotic use of MDRAB infections. Methods: A total of 425 clinical isolates of A. baumannii were collected from 16 tertiary hospitals in 11 cities of four provinces (Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shandong from January 2009 to June 2012. The susceptibility of A. baumannii isolates to ampicillin/sulbactam, piperacillin/tazobactam, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, cefepime, aztreonam, meropenem, amikacin, gentamicin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole/trimenthoprim, minocycline and imipenem was tested, and integrons and their gene cassettes were characterized in these isolates using PCR assay. In addition, integron-positive A. baumannii isolates were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE assay, and intI1 gene cassette was sequenced. Results: intI1 gene was carried in 69.6% of total A. baumannii isolates, while intI2 and intI3 genes were not detected. The prevalence of resistance to ampicillin/sulbactam, piperacillin/tazobactam, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, cefepime, aztreonam, imipenem, meropenem, amikacin, gentamicin, tobramycin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole/trimenthoprim was significantly higher in integron-positive A. baumannii isolates than in negative isolates (all p values <0.05, while no significant difference was observed in the prevalence of minocycline resistance (p > 0.05. PFGE assay revealed 27 PFGE genotypes and 4 predominant genotypes, P1, P4, P7 and P19. The PFGE genotype P1 contained 13 extensive-drug resistant and 89 non-extensive-drug resistant A. baumannii isolates, while the genotype P4 contained 34 extensive-drug resistant and 67 non-extensive-drug resistant isolates, appearing a significant

  15. Integron types, gene cassettes and antimicrobial resistance profile of Acinetobacter baumannii isolated from BAL samples in Babol, north of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akrami, Fariba; Shahandashti, Elaheh Ferdosi; Yahyapour, Yousef; Sadeghi, Mohsen; Khafri, Soraya; Pournajaf, Abazar; Rajabnia, Ramazan

    2017-08-01

    Multi-drug resistant isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii have created therapeutic problems worldwide. This current study was intended to determine the Integron types, gene cassettes and antimicrobial resistance profile of A. baumannii isolated from BAL samples in Babol, north of Iran. During a 15-month period, 35 A. baumannii isolates were studied. Different classes of antimicrobial agents were used to determine the resistance ratios. Multiplex-PCR was used to detect different types of integrons and associated gene cassettes. The resistance rates to GM, FEP, AK, TOB, CP, PIP, SAM, IPM, SXT, CTX, CAZ, CL, TIM, MEM, and TZP were 85.7%, 100%, 91.4%, 68.5%, 94.3%, 88.5%, 97.1%, 94.3%, 100%, 100%, 100%, 0.0%, 91.4%, 94.3% and 91.4%, respectively. The distribution analysis of int genes showed that 25.7%, 88.6% and 28.6% of isolates carried the intI, intII and intIII genes, respectively. The prevalence of aadB, dfrA1, bla-OXA 30 and aadA1 genes were 94.3%, 77.1%, 40% and 5.7%, respectively. The current study showed that a high level of A. baumannii isolates harbor integrons in our therapeutic center, which may lead to distribution of multiple antimicrobial resistance. The different types of gene cassette arrays in the present study highlight the important role of geographical features in MDR isolates dissemination which could be credited to different profiles of drug consumption in different areas. The findings emphasized that the need for continuous surveillance to prevent distribution of multidrug resistance among A. baumannii strains in Iran. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Transposons and integrons in colistin-resistant clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii with epidemic or sporadic behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arduino, Sonia M; Quiroga, María Paula; Ramírez, María Soledad; Merkier, Andrea Karina; Errecalde, Laura; Di Martino, Ana; Smayevsky, Jorgelina; Kaufman, Sara; Centrón, Daniela

    2012-10-01

    Multiple transposons, integrons and carbapenemases were found in Klebsiella pneumoniae colistin-resistant isolates as well as a genomic resistance island of the AbaR type in Acinetobacter baumannii colistin-resistant isolates from different hospitals from Buenos Aires City. PFGE analysis showed a polyclonal dissemination of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms among K. pneumoniae isolates, while in A. baumannii isolates the epidemic clone 1 from South America was found. Resistance determinants associated with horizontal gene transfer are contributing to the evolution to pandrug resistance in both epidemic and sporadic clones.

  17. A tropical horde of counterfeit predator eyes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-29

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

  18. Aquatic macroinvertebrate responses to native and non-native predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddaway N. R.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Non-native species can profoundly affect native ecosystems through trophic interactions with native species. Native prey may respond differently to non-native versus native predators since they lack prior experience. Here we investigate antipredator responses of two common freshwater macroinvertebrates, Gammarus pulex and Potamopyrgus jenkinsi, to olfactory cues from three predators; sympatric native fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus, sympatric native crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes, and novel invasive crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus. G. pulex responded differently to fish and crayfish; showing enhanced locomotion in response to fish, but a preference for the dark over the light in response to the crayfish. P.jenkinsi showed increased vertical migration in response to all three predator cues relative to controls. These different responses to fish and crayfish are hypothesised to reflect the predators’ differing predation types; benthic for crayfish and pelagic for fish. However, we found no difference in response to native versus invasive crayfish, indicating that prey naiveté is unlikely to drive the impacts of invasive crayfish. The Predator Recognition Continuum Hypothesis proposes that benefits of generalisable predator recognition outweigh costs when predators are diverse. Generalised responses of prey as observed here will be adaptive in the presence of an invader, and may reduce novel predators’ potential impacts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2004-05-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Landscape features influence postrelease predation on endangered black-footed ferrets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poessel, S.A.; Breck, S.W.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Crooks, K.R.; Angeloni, L.

    2011-01-01

    Predation can be a critical factor influencing recovery of endangered species. In most recovery efforts lethal and nonlethal influences of predators are not sufficiently understood to allow prediction of predation risk, despite its importance. We investigated whether landscape features could be used to model predation risk from coyotes (Canis latrans) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) on the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). We used location data of reintroduced ferrets from 3 sites in South Dakota to determine whether exposure to landscape features typically associated with predators affected survival of ferrets, and whether ferrets considered predation risk when choosing habitat near perches potentially used by owls or near linear features predicted to be used by coyotes. Exposure to areas near likely owl perches reduced ferret survival, but landscape features potentially associated with coyote movements had no appreciable effect on survival. Ferrets were located within 90 m of perches more than expected in 2 study sites that also had higher ferret mortality due to owl predation. Densities of potential coyote travel routes near ferret locations were no different than expected in all 3 sites. Repatriated ferrets might have selected resources based on factors other than predator avoidance. Considering an easily quantified landscape feature (i.e., owl perches) can enhance success of reintroduction efforts for ferrets. Nonetheless, development of predictive models of predation risk and management strategies to mitigate that risk is not necessarily straightforward for more generalist predators such as coyotes. ?? 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.

  3. Generalization of predator recognition: Velvet geckos display anti-predator behaviours in response to chemicals from non-dangerous elapid snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan K. WEBB, Weiguo DU, David PIKE, Richard SHINE

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Many prey species detect chemical cues from predators and modify their behaviours in ways that reduce their risk of predation. Theory predicts that prey should modify their anti-predator responses according to the degree of threat posed by the predator. That is, prey should show the strongest responses to chemicals of highly dangerous prey, but should ignore or respond weakly to chemicals from non-dangerous predators. However, if anti-predator behaviours are not costly, and predators are rarely encountered, prey may exhibit generalised antipredator behaviours to dangerous and non-dangerous predators. In Australia, most elapid snakes eat lizards, and are therefore potentially dangerous to lizard prey. Recently, we found that the nocturnal velvet gecko Oedura lesueurii responds to chemicals from dangerous and non-dangerous elapid snakes, suggesting that it displays generalised anti-predator behaviours to chemicals from elapid snakes. To explore the generality of this result, we videotaped the behaviour of velvet geckos in the presence of chemical cues from two small elapid snakes that rarely consume geckos: the nocturnal golden-crowned snake Cacophis squamulosus and the diurnal marsh snake Hemiaspis signata. We also videotaped geckos in trials involving unscented cards (controls and cologne-scented cards (pungency controls. In trials involving Cacophis and Hemiaspis chemicals, 50% and 63% of geckos spent long time periods (> 3 min freezing whilst pressed flat against the substrate, respectively. Over half the geckos tested exhibited anti-predator behaviours (tail waving, tail vibration, running in response to Cacophis (67% or Hemiaspis (63% chemicals. These behaviours were not observed in control or pungency control trials. Our results support the idea that the velvet gecko displays generalised anti-predator responses to chemical cues from elapid snakes. Generalised responses to predator chemicals may be common in prey species that co-occur with

  4. Predators on private land: broad-scale socioeconomic interactions influence large predator management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayley S. Clements

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The proliferation of private land conservation areas (PLCAs is placing increasing pressure on conservation authorities to effectively regulate their ecological management. Many PLCAs depend on tourism for income, and charismatic large mammal species are considered important for attracting international visitors. Broad-scale socioeconomic factors therefore have the potential to drive fine-scale ecological management, creating a systemic scale mismatch that can reduce long-term sustainability in cases where economic and conservation objectives are not perfectly aligned. We assessed the socioeconomic drivers and outcomes of large predator management on 71 PLCAs in South Africa. Owners of PLCAs that are stocking free-roaming large predators identified revenue generation as influencing most or all of their management decisions, and rated profit generation as a more important objective than did the owners of PLCAs that did not stock large predators. Ecotourism revenue increased with increasing lion (Panthera leo density, which created a potential economic incentive for stocking lion at high densities. Despite this potential mismatch between economic and ecological objectives, lion densities were sustainable relative to available prey. Regional-scale policy guidelines for free-roaming lion management were ecologically sound. By contrast, policy guidelines underestimated the area required to sustain cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, which occurred at unsustainable densities relative to available prey. Evidence of predator overstocking included predator diet supplementation and frequent reintroduction of game. We conclude that effective facilitation of conservation on private land requires consideration of the strong and not necessarily beneficial multiscale socioeconomic factors that influence private land management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloggett, John J

    2012-07-18

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

  6. The profile of antibiotics resistance and integrons of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing thermotolerant coliforms isolated from the Yangtze River basin in Chongqing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Hao; Shu Weiqun; Chang Xiaosong; Chen Jian; Guo Yebin; Tan Yao

    2010-01-01

    The spreading of extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL)-producing thermotolerant coliforms (TC) in the water environment is a threat to human health but little is known about ESBL-producing TCs in the Yangtze River. We received 319 ESBL-producing stains obtained from the Chongqing basin and we investigated antibiotic susceptibility, bla gene types and the presence of integrons and gene cassettes. 16.8% of TC isolates were ESBL-producing bacteria and bla TEM+CTx-M was the predominant ESBL type. 65.2% of isolates contained class 1 integrons, but only 3 carried intI 2. Gene cassettes were amplified and sequenced. aadA, drfA, cmlA, sat1, aar3 and two ORF cassettes were found. In conclusion, Yangtze River is heavily polluted by ESBL-producing TC bacteria and the combined bla gene type could enhance antibiotic resistance. Class 1 integrons were widespread in ESBL-producing isolates and play an important role in multi-drug resistance. Characterization of gene cassettes could reveal the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. - Yangtze River is heavily polluted by ESBL-producing TC bacteria and Class 1 integrons play an important role in multi-drug resistance.

  7. Incidence, distribution, and spread of tetracycline resistance determinants and integron-associated antibiotic resistance genes among motile aeromonads from a fish farming environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Anja S.; Bruun, Morten Sichlau; Dalsgaard, Inger

    2001-01-01

    . Microbiol. 66:4908-4915, 2000), the predominant resistance phenotype (37%) being a combined oxytetracycline (OTC) and sulphadiazine/trimethoprim resistance. Combined sulphonamide/trimethoprim resistance (135 isolates) appeared closely related to the presence of a class 1 integron (141 strains). Among...

  8. The profile of antibiotics resistance and integrons of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing thermotolerant coliforms isolated from the Yangtze River basin in Chongqing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Hao [Department of Environmental Hygiene, School of Military Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, 30 Gaotanyan Street, Chongqing 400038 (China); Shu Weiqun, E-mail: west2003@sohu.co [Department of Environmental Hygiene, School of Military Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, 30 Gaotanyan Street, Chongqing 400038 (China); Chang Xiaosong; Chen Jian; Guo Yebin; Tan Yao [Department of Environmental Hygiene, School of Military Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, 30 Gaotanyan Street, Chongqing 400038 (China)

    2010-07-15

    The spreading of extended-spectrum {beta}-lactamases (ESBL)-producing thermotolerant coliforms (TC) in the water environment is a threat to human health but little is known about ESBL-producing TCs in the Yangtze River. We received 319 ESBL-producing stains obtained from the Chongqing basin and we investigated antibiotic susceptibility, bla gene types and the presence of integrons and gene cassettes. 16.8% of TC isolates were ESBL-producing bacteria and bla{sub TEM+CTx-M} was the predominant ESBL type. 65.2% of isolates contained class 1 integrons, but only 3 carried intI 2. Gene cassettes were amplified and sequenced. aadA, drfA, cmlA, sat1, aar3 and two ORF cassettes were found. In conclusion, Yangtze River is heavily polluted by ESBL-producing TC bacteria and the combined bla gene type could enhance antibiotic resistance. Class 1 integrons were widespread in ESBL-producing isolates and play an important role in multi-drug resistance. Characterization of gene cassettes could reveal the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. - Yangtze River is heavily polluted by ESBL-producing TC bacteria and Class 1 integrons play an important role in multi-drug resistance.

  9. Predator-induced changes of female mating preferences: innate and experiential effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indy Jeane

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In many species males face a higher predation risk than females because males display elaborate traits that evolved under sexual selection, which may attract not only females but also predators. Females are, therefore, predicted to avoid such conspicuous males under predation risk. The present study was designed to investigate predator-induced changes of female mating preferences in Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana. Males of this species show a pronounced polymorphism in body size and coloration, and females prefer large, colorful males in the absence of predators. Results In dichotomous choice tests predator-naïve (lab-reared females altered their initial preference for larger males in the presence of the cichlid Cichlasoma salvini, a natural predator of P. mexicana, and preferred small males instead. This effect was considerably weaker when females were confronted visually with the non-piscivorous cichlid Vieja bifasciata or the introduced non-piscivorous Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus. In contrast, predator experienced (wild-caught females did not respond to the same extent to the presence of a predator, most likely due to a learned ability to evaluate their predators' motivation to prey. Conclusions Our study highlights that (a predatory fish can have a profound influence on the expression of mating preferences of their prey (thus potentially affecting the strength of sexual selection, and females may alter their mate choice behavior strategically to reduce their own exposure to predators. (b Prey species can evolve visual predator recognition mechanisms and alter their mate choice only when a natural predator is present. (c Finally, experiential effects can play an important role, and prey species may learn to evaluate the motivational state of their predators.

  10. Response of predators to Western Sandpiper nest exclosures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Bagworm bags as portable armour against invertebrate predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugiura, Shinji

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Can cat predation help competitors coexist in seabird communities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pontier, Dominique; Fouchet, David; Bried, Joël

    2010-01-07

    On oceanic islands, nest site availability can be an important factor regulating seabird population dynamics. The potential for birds to secure a nest to reproduce can be an important component of their life histories. The dates at which different seabird species arrive at colonies to breed will have important consequences for their relative chances of success. Early arrival on the island allows birds to obtain nests more easily and have higher reproductive success. However, the presence of an introduced predator may reverse this situation. For instance, in the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen archipelago, early arriving birds suffer heavy predation from introduced cats. Cats progressively switch from seabirds to rabbits, since the local rabbit population starts to peak after early arriving seabird species have already returned to the colony. When late-arriving birds arrive, cat predation pressure on seabirds is thus weaker. In this paper, we investigate the assumption that the advantage of early nest mnopolization conferred to early arriving birds may be counterbalanced by the cost resulting from predation. We develop a mathematical model representing a simplified situation in which two insular seabird species differ only in their arrival date at the colony site and compete for nesting sites. We conclude that predation may ensure the coexistence of the two bird species or favor the late-arriving species, but only when seasonal variations in predation pressure are large. Interestingly, we conclude that arriving early is only favorable until a given level where high reproductive success no longer compensates for the long exposure to strong predation pressure. Our work suggests that predation can help to maintain the balance between species of different phenologies.

  13. Predation vulnerability of planktonic copepods: consequences of predator foraging strategies and prey sensory abilities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Viitasalo, M; Kiørboe, T; Flinkman, J.

    1998-01-01

    We investigated the vulnerability of 2 copepod species (Eurytemora affinis and Temora longicornis) to predation by predators with different foraging modes, three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus juveniles and mysid shrimps Neomysis integer. Copepods were videofilmed escaping from predators...

  14. Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, S M; Hamilton, S L; Ruttenberg, B I; Donovan, M K; Sandin, S A

    2012-03-01

    To examine the indirect effects of fishing on energy allocation in non-target prey species, condition and reproductive potential were measured for five representative species (two-spot red snapper Lutjanus bohar, arc-eye hawkfish Paracirrhites arcatus, blackbar devil Plectroglyphidodon dickii, bicolour chromis Chromis margaritifer and whitecheek surgeonfish Acanthurus nigricans) from three reef-fish communities with different levels of fishing and predator abundance in the northern Line Islands, central Pacific Ocean. Predator abundance differed by five to seven-fold among islands, and despite no clear differences in prey abundance, differences in prey condition and reproductive potential among islands were found. Body condition (mean body mass adjusted for length) was consistently lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the four prey species. Mean liver mass (adjusted for total body mass), an indicator of energy reserves, was also lower at sites with higher predator abundance for three of the prey species and the predator. Trends in reproductive potential were less clear. Mean gonad mass (adjusted for total body mass) was high where predator abundance was high for only one of the three species in which it was measured. Evidence of consistently low prey body condition and energy reserves in a diverse suite of species at reefs with high predator abundance suggests that fishing may indirectly affect non-target prey-fish populations through changes in predation and predation risk. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2012 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  15. The roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems: new insights from long term ecological research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mather, Martha E.; Matich, Philip; Nifong, James C.; Ripple, William J.; Silliman, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    During recent human history, human activities such as overhunting and habitat destruction have severely impacted many large top predator populations around the world. Studies from a variety of ecosystems show that loss or diminishment of top predator populations can have serious consequences for population and community dynamics and ecosystem stability. However, there are relatively few studies of the roles of large top predators in coastal ecosystems, so that we do not yet completely understand what could happen to coastal areas if large top predators are extirpated or significantly reduced in number. This lack of knowledge is surprising given that coastal areas around the globe are highly valued and densely populated by humans, and thus coastal large top predator populations frequently come into conflict with coastal human populations. This paper reviews what is known about the ecological roles of large top predators in coastal systems and presents a synthesis of recent work from three coastal eastern US Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites where long-term studies reveal what appear to be common themes relating to the roles of large top predators in coastal systems. We discuss three specific themes: (1) large top predators acting as mobile links between disparate habitats, (2) large top predators potentially affecting nutrient and biogeochemical dynamics through localized behaviors, and (3) individual specialization of large top predator behaviors. We also discuss how research within the LTER network has led to enhanced understanding of the ecological roles of coastal large top predators. Highlighting this work is intended to encourage further investigation of the roles of large top predators across diverse coastal aquatic habitats and to better inform researchers and ecosystem managers about the importance of large top predators for coastal ecosystem health and stability.

  16. Antimicrobial resistance, heavy metal resistance and integron content in bacteria isolated from a South African tilapia aquaculture system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenia, Hafizah Y; Jacobs, Anelet

    2017-11-21

    Antibacterial compounds and metals co-select for antimicrobial resistance when bacteria harbour resistance genes towards both types of compounds, facilitating the proliferation and evolution of antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance. Antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance indices of 42 Gram-negative bacteria from a tilapia aquaculture system were determined to identify possible correlations between these phenotypes. Agar dilution assays were carried out to determine susceptibility to cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, chromate and zinc, while susceptibility to 21 antimicrobial agents was investigated by disk diffusion assays. Presence of merA, the mercury resistance gene, was determined by dot-blot hybridizations and PCR. Association of mercury resistance with integrons and transposon Tn21 was also investigated by PCR. Isolates displayed a high frequency of antimicrobial (erythromycin: 100%; ampicillin: 85%; trimethoprim: 78%) and heavy metal (Zn2+: 95%; Cd2+: 91%) resistance. No correlation was established between heavy metal and multiple antibiotic resistance indices. Significant positive correlations were observed between heavy metal resistance profiles, indices, Cu2+ and Cr3+ resistance with erythromycin resistance. Significant positive correlations were observed between merA (24%)/Tn21 (24%) presence and heavy metal resistance profiles and indices; however, significant negative correlations were obtained between integron-associated qacE∆1 (43%) and sulI (26%) gene presence and heavy metal resistance indices. Heavy metal and antimicrobial agents co-select for resistance, with fish-associated, resistant bacteria demonstrating simultaneous heavy metal resistance. Thus, care should be taken when using anti-fouling heavy metals as feed additives in aquaculture facilities.

  17. Are lemmings prey or predators?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchin, P.; Oksanen, L.; Ekerholm, P.; Oksanen, T.; Henttonen, H.

    2000-06-01

    Large oscillations in the populations of Norwegian lemmings have mystified both professional ecologists and lay public. Ecologists suspect that these oscillations are driven by a trophic mechanism: either an interaction between lemmings and their food supply, or an interaction between lemmings and their predators. If lemming cycles are indeed driven by a trophic interaction, can we tell whether lemmings act as the resource (`prey') or the consumer (`predator')? In trophic interaction models, peaks of resource density generally have a blunt, rounded shape, whereas peaks of consumer density are sharp and angular. Here we have applied several statistical tests to three lemming datasets and contrasted them with comparable data for cyclic voles. We find that vole peaks are blunt, consistent with their cycles being driven by the interaction with predators. In contrast, the shape of lemming peaks is consistent with the hypothesis that lemmings are functional predators, that is, their cycles are driven by their interaction with food plants. Our findings suggest that a single mechanism, such as interaction between rodents and predators, is unlikely to provide the `universal' explanation of all cyclic rodent dynamics.

  18. Selective attention in peacocks during predator detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorzinski, Jessica L; Platt, Michael L

    2014-05-01

    Predation can exert strong selective pressure on the evolution of behavioral and morphological traits in birds. Because predator avoidance is key to survival and birds rely heavily on visual perception, predation may have shaped avian visual systems as well. To address this question, we examined the role of visual attention in antipredator behavior in peacocks (Pavo cristatus). Peacocks were exposed to a model predator while their gaze was continuously recorded with a telemetric eye-tracker. We found that peacocks spent more time looking at and made more fixations on the predator compared to the same spatial location before the predator was revealed. The duration of fixations they directed toward conspecifics and environmental features decreased after the predator was revealed, indicating that the peacocks were rapidly scanning their environment with their eyes. Maximum eye movement amplitudes and amplitudes of consecutive saccades were similar before and after the predator was revealed. In cases where conspecifics detected the predator first, peacocks appeared to learn that danger was present by observing conspecifics' antipredator behavior. Peacocks were faster to detect the predator when they were fixating closer to the area where the predator would eventually appear. In addition, pupil size increased after predator exposure, consistent with increased physiological arousal. These findings demonstrate that peacocks selectively direct their attention toward predatory threats and suggest that predation has influenced the evolution of visual orienting systems.

  19. Crying tapir: the functionality of errors and accuracy in predator recognition in two neotropical high-canopy primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourthé, Ítalo; Barnett, Adrian A

    2014-01-01

    Predation is often considered to be a prime driver in primate evolution, but, as predation is rarely observed in nature, little is known of primate antipredator responses. Time-limited primates should be highly discerning when responding to predators, since time spent in vigilance and avoidance behaviour may supplant other activities. We present data from two independent studies describing and quantifying the frequency, nature and duration of predator-linked behaviours in 2 high-canopy primates, Ateles belzebuth and Cacajao ouakary. We introduce the concept of 'pseudopredators' (harmless species whose appearance is sufficiently similar to that of predators to elicit antipredator responses) and predict that changes in behaviour should increase with risk posed by a perceived predator. We studied primate group encounters with non-primate vertebrates across 14 (Ateles) and 19 (Cacajao) months in 2 undisturbed Amazonian forests. Although preliminary, data on both primates revealed that they distinguished the potential predation capacities of other species, as predicted. They appeared to differentiate predators from non-predators and distinguished when potential predators were not an immediate threat, although they reacted erroneously to pseudopredators, on average in about 20% of the responses given toward other vertebrates. Reacting to pseudopredators would be interesting since, in predation, one error can be fatal to the prey. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. A Generalist Protist Predator Enables Coexistence in Multitrophic Predator-Prey Systems Containing a Phage and the Bacterial Predator Bdellovibrio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Johnke

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Complex ecosystems harbor multiple predators and prey species whose direct and indirect interactions are under study. In particular, the combined effects of predator diversity and resource preference on prey removal are not known. To understand the effect of interspecies interactions, combinations of micro-predators—i.e., protists (generalists, predatory bacteria (semi-specialists, and phages (specialists—and bacterial prey were tracked over a 72-h period in miniature membrane bioreactors. While specialist predators alone drove their preferred prey to extinction, the inclusion of a generalist resulted in uniform losses among prey species. Most importantly, presence of a generalist predator enabled coexistence of all predators and prey. As the generalist predator also negatively affected the other predators, we suggest that resource partitioning between predators and the constant availability of resources for bacterial growth due to protist predation stabilizes the system and keeps its diversity high. The appearance of resistant prey strains and subsequent evolution of specialist predators unable to infect the ancestral prey implies that multitrophic communities are able to persist and stabilize themselves. Interestingly, the appearance of BALOs and phages unable to infect their prey was only observed for the BALO or phage in the absence of additional predators or prey species indicating that competition between predators might influence coevolutionary dynamics.

  1. Predators and the public trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. Translocation of integron-associated resistance in a natural system: Acquisition of resistance determinants by Inc P and Inc W Plasmids from Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandvang, Dorthe; Diggle, M.; Platt, D.J.

    2002-01-01

    to determinate the genetic content. Translocation to R751 and R388 was associated with the loss of the indigenous trimethoprim cassette to both plasmids and also acquisition of sulfonamide resistance by R751 and RP4::Tn7, which indicated movement of the 3' terminus of one or both of the DT104 integrons......Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT104, 961368, a veterinary field isolate that encodes a chromosomal cluster of resistance genes as well as two integrons, was used to study the mobility of resistance cassettes (aadA2 and pse-1) and nonintegron-associated resistance determinants (chloramphenicol...... and tetracycline). A range of natural plasmids was used as targets for the translocation of resistance. Plasmids that acquired resistance from the DT104 chromosome were segregated by conjugation into Escherichia coli K12. Plasmids R751, R388, and RP4::Tn7 acquired several combinations of resistance determinant...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graeme Shannon

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

  4. Smelling out predators is innate in birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amo, L.; Visser, M.E.; Van Oers, K.

    2011-01-01

    The role of olfaction for predation risk assessment remains barely explored in birds, although predator chemical cues could be useful in predator detection under low visibility conditions for many bird species. We examine whether Great Tits Parus major are able to use the odour of mustelids to

  5. Role of intraguild predation in aphidophagous guilds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hemptinne, J. L.; Magro, A.; Saladin, C.; Dixon, Anthony F. G.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 136, č. 3 (2012), s. 161-170 ISSN 0931-2048 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : aphidophagous guilds * cost of intraguild predation * interspecific predation * intraguild predation * ladybird beetles * omnivory Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.560, year: 2012

  6. Bagworm bags as portable armour against invertebrate predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinji Sugiura

    2016-02-01

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

  7. An investigation of total bacterial communities, culturable antibiotic-resistant bacterial communities and integrons in the river water environments of Taipei city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chu-Wen; Chang, Yi-Tang; Chao, Wei-Liang; Shiung, Iau-Iun; Lin, Han-Sheng; Chen, Hsuan; Ho, Szu-Han; Lu, Min-Jheng; Lee, Pin-Hsuan; Fan, Shao-Ning

    2014-07-30

    The intensive use of antibiotics may accelerate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). The global geographical distribution of environmental ARB has been indicated by many studies. However, the ARB in the water environments of Taiwan has not been extensively investigated. The objective of this study was to investigate the communities of ARB in Huanghsi Stream, which presents a natural acidic (pH 4) water environment. Waishuanghsi Stream provides a neutral (pH 7) water environment and was thus also monitored to allow comparison. The plate counts of culturable bacteria in eight antibiotics indicate that the numbers of culturable carbenicillin- and vancomycin-resistant bacteria in both Huanghsi and Waishuanghsi Streams are greater than the numbers of culturable bacteria resistant to the other antibiotics tested. Using a 16S rDNA sequencing approach, both the antibiotic-resistant bacterial communities (culture-based) and the total bacterial communities (metagenome-based) in Waishuanghsi Stream exhibit a higher diversity than those in Huanghsi Stream were observed. Of the three classes of integron, only class I integrons were identified in Waishuanghsi Stream. Our results suggest that an acidic (pH 4) water environment may not only affect the community composition of antibiotic-resistant bacteria but also the horizontal gene transfer mediated by integrons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Long-term antibiotic exposure in soil is associated with changes in microbial community structure and prevalence of class 1 integrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, David W; Bishop, Alistair H; Zhang, Lihong; Topp, Edward; Wellington, Elizabeth M H; Gaze, William H

    2016-10-01

    Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most significant challenges facing the global medical community and can be attributed to the use and misuse of antibiotics. This includes use as growth promoters or for prophylaxis and treatment of bacterial infection in intensively farmed livestock from where antibiotics can enter the environment as residues in manure. We characterised the impact of the long-term application of a mixture of veterinary antibiotics alone (tylosin, sulfamethazine and chlortetracycline) on class 1 integron prevalence and soil microbiota composition. Class 1 integron prevalence increased significantly (P Soil microbiota was analysed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and revealed significant alterations in composition. Of the 19 significantly different (P < 0.05) OTUs identified, 16 were of the Class Proteobacteria and these decreased in abundance relative to the control plots. Only one OTU, of the Class Cyanobacteria, was shown to increase in abundance significantly; a curiosity given the established sensitivity of this class to antibiotics. We hypothesise that the overrepresentation of Proteobacteria as OTUs that decreased significantly in relative abundance, coupled with the observations of an increase in integron prevalence, may represent a strong selective pressure on these taxa. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction protocol for the simultaneous detection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Class 1 integron

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juthika Mandal

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To develop a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR protocol for the simultaneous detection of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi and Class 1 integron, so as to aid rapid diagnosis of S. Typhi cases and help in the selection of treatment options based on the presence of the Class 1 integron that can carry resistance cassettes to a range of antibiotics. Methods: PCR for amplification of specific regions was done using fliC-d and intl primers and agarose gel electrophoresis was used for resolution of PCR products. Results: The fliC-d primer (S. Typhi specific amplified a 587 bp region and the intl primer (Class 1 integron specific amplified two bands approximately 500 and 550 bps. The developed method was specific for S. Typhi and did not amplify any products with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC 14028, Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Conclusions: The developed multiplex PCR protocol can be used for rapid diagnosis and aid in proper treatment strategies for patients infected with S. Typhi.

  10. The Microbiota and Abundance of the Class 1 Integron-Integrase Gene in Tropical Sewage Treatment Plant Influent and Activated Sludge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magna C Paiva

    Full Text Available Bacteria are assumed to efficiently remove organic pollutants from sewage in sewage treatment plants, where antibiotic-resistance genes can move between species via mobile genetic elements known as integrons. Nevertheless, few studies have addressed bacterial diversity and class 1 integron abundance in tropical sewage. Here, we describe the extant microbiota, using V6 tag sequencing, and quantify the class 1 integron-integrase gene (intI1 in raw sewage (RS and activated sludge (AS. The analysis of 1,174,486 quality-filtered reads obtained from RS and AS samples revealed complex and distinct bacterial diversity in these samples. The RS sample, with 3,074 operational taxonomic units, exhibited the highest alpha-diversity indices. Among the 25 phyla, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes represented 85% (AS and 92% (RS of all reads. Increased relative abundance of Micrococcales, Myxococcales, and Sphingobacteriales and reduced pathogen abundance were noted in AS. At the genus level, differences were observed for the dominant genera Simplicispira and Diaphorobacter (AS as well as for Enhydrobacter (RS. The activated sludge process decreased (55% the amount of bacteria harboring the intI1 gene in the RS sample. Altogether, our results emphasize the importance of biological treatment for diminishing pathogenic bacteria and those bearing the intI1 gene that arrive at a sewage treatment plant.

  11. Class 1 integrons characterization and multilocus sequence typing of Salmonella spp. from swine production chains in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boonkhot, Phacharaporn; Tadee, Pakpoom; Yamsakul, Panuwat; Pocharoen, Chairoj; Chokesajjawatee, Nipa; Patchanee, Prapas

    2015-05-01

    Pigs and pork products are well known as an important source of Salmonella, one of the major zoonotic foodborne pathogens. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance is becoming a major public health concern worldwide. Integrons are genetic elements known to have a role in the acquisition and expression of genes conferring antibiotic resistance. This study focuses on the prevalence of class 1 integrons-carrying Salmonella, the genetic diversity of strains of those organisms obtained from swine production chains in Chiang Mai and Lamphun provinces, Thailand, using multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and comparison of genetic diversity of sequence types of Salmonella from this study with pulsotypes identified in previous study. In 175 Salmonella strains, the overall prevalence of class 1 integrons-carrying-Salmonella was 14%. The gene cassettes array pattern "dfrA12-orfF-aadA2" was the most frequently observed. Most of the antimicrobial resistance identified was not associated with related gene cassettes harbored by Salmonella. Six sequence types were generated from 30 randomly selected strains detected by MLST. Salmonella at the human-animal-environment interface was confirmed. Linkages both in the farm to slaughterhouse contamination route and the horizontal transmission of resistance genes were demonstrated. To reduce this problem, the use of antimicrobials in livestock should be controlled by veterinarians. Education and training of food handlers as well as promotion of safe methods of food consumption are important avenues for helping prevent foodborne illness.

  12. Determination of a novel integron-located variant (blaOXA -320 ) of Class D β-lactamase in Proteus mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicek, Aysegul Copur; Duzgun, Azer Ozad; Saral, Aysegul; Sandalli, Cemal

    2014-10-01

    Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) is one of Gram-negative pathogens encountered in clinical specimens. A clinical isolate (TRP41) of P. mirabilis was isolated from a Turkish patient in Turkey. The isolate was identified using the API 32GN system and 16S rRNA gene sequencing and it was found resistant to ampicillin/sulbactam, piperacillin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. This isolate was harboring a Class 1 integron gene cassette and its DNA sequence analysis revealed a novel blaOXA variant exhibiting one amino acid substitution (Asn266Ile) from blaOXA-1 . This new variant of OXA was located on Class 1 integron together with aadA1 gene encoding aminoglycoside-modifying enzymes. According to sequence records, the new variant was named as blaOXA-320 . Cassette array and size of integron were found as blaOXA-320 -aadA1 and 2086 bp, respectively. The blaOXA-320 gene is not transferable according to conjugation experiment. In this study, we report the first identification of blaOXA-320 -aadA1 gene cassette, a novel variant of Class D β-lactamase, in P. mirabilis from Turkey. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Programming of stress-related behavior and epigenetic neural gene regulation in mice offspring through maternal exposure to predator odor

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Cyr, Sophie; McGowan, Patrick O.

    2015-01-01

    Perinatal stress mediated through the mother can lead to long-term alterations in stress-related phenotypes in offspring. The capacity for adaptation to adversity in early life depends in part on the life history of the animal. This study was designed to examine the behavioral and neural response in adult offspring to prenatal exposure to predator odor: an ethologically-relevant psychological stressor. Pregnant mice were exposed daily to predator odors or distilled water control over the second half of the pregnancy. Predator odor exposure lead to a transient decrease in maternal care in the mothers. As adults, the offspring of predator odor-exposed mothers showed increased anti-predator behavior, a predator-odor induced decrease in activity and, in female offspring, an increased corticosterone (CORT) response to predator odor exposure. We found a highly specific response among stress-related genes within limbic brain regions. Transcript abundance of Corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1) was elevated in the amygdala in adult female offspring of predator odor-exposed mothers. In the hippocampus of adult female offspring, decreased Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) transcript abundance was correlated with a site-specific decrease in DNA methylation in Bdnf exon IV, indicating the potential contribution of this epigenetic mechanism to maternal programming by maternal predator odor exposure. These data indicate that maternal predator odor exposure alone is sufficient to induce an altered stress-related phenotype in adulthood, with implications for anti-predator behavior in offspring. PMID:26082698

  15. Enhanced susceptibility to predation in corals of compromised condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allan J. Bright

    2015-09-01

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

  16. Enhanced susceptibility to predation in corals of compromised condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Allan J; Cameron, Caitlin M; Miller, Margaret W

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Susceptibility of Select Agents to Predation by Predatory Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo Russo

    2015-12-01

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

  18. Swimming behaviour of Daphnia clones: differentiation through predator infochemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weber, A.; Van Noordwijk, A.J.

    2002-01-01

    We studied variation in small-scale swimming behavior (SSB) in four clones of Daphnia galeata (water flea) in response to predator infochemicals. The aim of this study was 3-fold. First, we tested for differences in SSB in Daphnia; second, we examined the potential of differences in SSB to explain

  19. Learned predation risk management by spider mites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eHackl

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation is a prime selective force shaping prey behavior. Investment in anti-predator behavior is traded-off against time and energy for other fitness-enhancing activities such as foraging or reproduction. To optimize this benefit/cost trade-off, prey should be able to innately and/or by experience modulate their behavior to the level of predation risk. Here, we assessed learned predation risk management in the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae. We exposed spider mites coming from benign (naïve or high immediate predation risk (experienced environments to latent and/or no risk and assessed their site choice, activity and oviposition. Benign environments were characterized by the absence of any predator cues, high immediate risk environments by killed spider mites, physical presence of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis and associated chemosensory traces left on the surface, and latent risk environments by only predator traces. In the no-choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites laid their first egg later on leaves with than without predator traces. Irrespective of predator traces presence/absence, experienced mites laid their first egg earlier than naïve ones did. Naïve spider mites were more active, indicating higher restlessness, and laid fewer eggs on leaves with predator traces, whereas experienced mites were less active and laid similar numbers of eggs on leaves with and without predator traces. In the choice experiment both naïve and experienced spider mites preferentially resided and oviposited on leaves without predator traces but experienced mites were less active than naïve ones. Overall, our study suggests that spider mites experienced with high predation risk behave bolder under latent risk than naïve spider mites. Since predator traces alone do not indicate immediate risk, we argue that the attenuated anti-predator response of experienced spider mites represents adaptive learned

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia A. Fleming

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Outdoor pig operations are an alternative to intensive systems of raising pigs; however for the majority of outdoor pork producers, issues of biosecurity and predation control require significant management and (or capital investment. Identifying and quantifying predation risk in outdoor pork operations has rarely been done, but such data would be informative for these producers as part of their financial and logistical planning. We quantified potential impact of fox predation on piglets bred on an outdoor pork operation in south-western Australia. We used remote sensor cameras at select sites across the farm as well as above farrowing huts to record interactions between predators and pigs (sows and piglets. We also identified animal losses from breeding records, calculating weaning rate as a proportion of piglets born. Although only few piglets were recorded lost to fox predation (recorded by piggery staff as carcasses that are “chewed”, it is likely that foxes were contributing substantially to the 20% of piglets that were reported “missing”. Both sets of cameras recorded a high incidence of fox activity; foxes appeared on camera soon after staff left for the day, were observed tracking and taking live piglets (despite the presence of sows, and removed dead carcasses from in front of the cameras. Newly born and younger piglets appeared to be the most vulnerable, especially when they are born out in the paddock, but older piglets were also lost. A significant ( p = 0.001 effect of individual sow identification on the weaning rate, but no effect of sow age (parity, suggests that individual sow behavior towards predators influences predation risk for litters. We tracked the movement of piglet carcasses by foxes, and confirmed that foxes make use of patches of native vegetation for cover, although there was no effect of paddock, distance to vegetation, or position on the farm on weaning rate. Trials with non-toxic baits reveal high levels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broom, Mark; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2012-12-21

    There has been previous theoretical explorations of the stability of signals by prey that they have detected a stalking or ambush predator, where such perceptual advertisement dissuades the predator from attacking. Here we use a game theoretical model to extend the theory to consider some empirically-motivated complexities: (i) many perceptual advertisement signals appear to have the potential to vary in intensity, (ii) higher intensity signals are likely to be most costly to produce, and (iii) some high-cost signals (such as staring directly at the predator) can only be utilised if the prey is very confident of the existence of a nearby predator (that is, there are reserved or unfakable signals). We demonstrate that these complexities still allow for stable signalling. However, we do not find solutions where prey use a range of signal intensities to signal different degrees of confidence in the proximity of a predator; with prey simply adopting a binary response of not signalling or always signalling at the same fixed level. However this fixed level will not always be the cheapest possible signal, and we predict that prey that require more certainty about proximity of a predator will use higher-cost signals. The availability of reserved signals does not prohibit the stability of signalling based on lower-cost signals, but we also find circumstances where only the reserved signal is used. We discuss the potential to empirically test our model predictions, and to develop theory further to allow perceptual advertisement to be combined with other signalling functions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Effects of seed predators of different body size on seed mortality in Bornean logged forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautier, Yann; Saner, Philippe; Philipson, Christopher; Bagchi, Robert; Ong, Robert C; Hector, Andy

    2010-07-19

    The Janzen-Connell hypothesis proposes that seed and seedling enemies play a major role in maintaining high levels of tree diversity in tropical forests. However, human disturbance may alter guilds of seed predators including their body size distribution. These changes have the potential to affect seedling survival in logged forest and may alter forest composition and diversity. We manipulated seed density in plots beneath con- and heterospecific adult trees within a logged forest and excluded vertebrate predators of different body sizes using cages. We show that small and large-bodied predators differed in their effect on con- and heterospecific seedling mortality. In combination small and large-bodied predators dramatically decreased both con- and heterospecific seedling survival. In contrast, when larger-bodied predators were excluded small-bodied predators reduced conspecific seed survival leaving seeds coming from the distant tree of a different species. Our results suggest that seed survival is affected differently by vertebrate predators according to their body size. Therefore, changes in the body size structure of the seed predator community in logged forests may change patterns of seed mortality and potentially affect recruitment and community composition.

  4. Potencial reprodutivo horário do predador de lagartas desfolhadoras do eucalipto: Podisus nigrispinus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae Hourly reproductive potential of the predator of Lepidoptera eucalypt desfoliators: Podisus nigrispinus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evaldo Martins Pires

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Insetos da subordem Heteroptera apresentam ampla diversidade faunística, incluindo predadores de pragas agrícolas e florestais. Espécies do gênero Podisus destacam-se entre os percevejos predadores no controle biológico de lagartas desfolhadoras de eucalipto, soja, algodão e tomate. O objetivo foi estudar o comportamento reprodutivo e a atividade de predação de Podisus nigrispinus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae alimentado com pupas de Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae em laboratório. Casais desse predador foram acondicionados em potes plásticos de 500 mL com pupas de T. molitor e água em tubos tipo anestésico odontológico, inseridos na tampa desses potes. Foram observados: a postura o acasalamento e a alimentação de machos e fêmeas de P. nigrispinus às 0 h, 6 h, 12 h e 18 h. O porcentual de fêmeas de P. nigrispinus predando foi de 26,26; 24,39; 15,91; e 34,21% e o de machos, de 7,41; 6,20; 4,88; e 5,77%, às 0 h, 6 h, 12 h e 18 h, respectivamente. O maior número de fêmeas ovipositando foi observado às 00 h. A maior porcentagem de fêmeas predando foi às 18 h (32,21% e a de atividade de postura, à 0 h (50,56% dos ovos depositados, enquanto foram registrados apenas 1,66% dos ovos às 12 h. O número de acasalamentos de P. nigrispinus foi maior às 12 h (34,58%, seguido das 00 h (29,65%, 18 h (22,36% e 6 h (16,60%.Insects of the sub-order Heteroptera present a wide diversity including predators of agricultural and forest pests. Species of the genus Podisus are important agents of biological control of defoliating caterpillars of eucalyptus, soybem, cotton and tomato. The objective was to study the reproductive behavior and predation rate of Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae fed with Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae pupae in the laboratory. Pairs of this predator were placed in 500 ml plastic pots with T. molitor pupae and water in tubes of anesthetic odontologic type inserted in the

  5. Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-04

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

  6. Body size, swimming speed, or thermal sensitivity? Predator-imposed selection on amphibian larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gvoždík, Lumír; Smolinský, Radovan

    2015-11-02

    Many animals rely on their escape performance during predator encounters. Because of its dependence on body size and temperature, escape velocity is fully characterized by three measures, absolute value, size-corrected value, and its response to temperature (thermal sensitivity). The primary target of the selection imposed by predators is poorly understood. We examined predator (dragonfly larva)-imposed selection on prey (newt larvae) body size and characteristics of escape velocity using replicated and controlled predation experiments under seminatural conditions. Specifically, because these species experience a wide range of temperatures throughout their larval phases, we predict that larvae achieving high swimming velocities across temperatures will have a selective advantage over more thermally sensitive individuals. Nonzero selection differentials indicated that predators selected for prey body size and both absolute and size-corrected maximum swimming velocity. Comparison of selection differentials with control confirmed selection only on body size, i.e., dragonfly larvae preferably preyed on small newt larvae. Maximum swimming velocity and its thermal sensitivity showed low group repeatability, which contributed to non-detectable selection on both characteristics of escape performance. In the newt-dragonfly larvae interaction, body size plays a more important role than maximum values and thermal sensitivity of swimming velocity during predator escape. This corroborates the general importance of body size in predator-prey interactions. The absence of an appropriate control in predation experiments may lead to potentially misleading conclusions about the primary target of predator-imposed selection. Insights from predation experiments contribute to our understanding of the link between performance and fitness, and further improve mechanistic models of predator-prey interactions and food web dynamics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Williamson, Tucker

    2008-02-01

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

  8. Emerging contaminants and nutrients synergistically affect the spread of class 1 integron-integrase (intI1) and sul1 genes within stable streambed bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subirats, Jèssica; Timoner, Xisca; Sànchez-Melsió, Alexandre; Balcázar, José Luis; Acuña, Vicenç; Sabater, Sergi; Borrego, Carles M

    2018-07-01

    Wastewater effluents increase the nutrient load of receiving streams while introducing a myriad of anthropogenic chemical pollutants that challenge the resident aquatic (micro)biota. Disentangling the effects of both kind of stressors and their potential interaction on the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes in bacterial communities requires highly controlled manipulative experiments. In this work, we investigated the effects of a combined regime of nutrients (at low, medium and high concentrations) and a mixture of emerging contaminants (ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, sulfamethoxazole, diclofenac, and methylparaben) on the bacterial composition, abundance and antibiotic resistance profile of biofilms grown in artificial streams. In particular, we investigated the effect of this combined stress on genes encoding resistance to ciprofloxacin (qnrS), erythromycin (ermB), sulfamethoxazole (sul1 and sul2) as well as the class 1 integron-integrase gene (intI1). Only genes conferring resistance to sulfonamides (sul1 and sul2) and intI1 gene were detected in all treatments during the study period. Besides, bacterial communities exposed to emerging contaminants showed higher copy numbers of sul1 and intI1 genes than those not exposed, whereas nutrient amendments did not affect their abundance. However, bacterial communities exposed to both emerging contaminants and a high nutrient concentration (1, 25 and 1 mg L -1 of phosphate, nitrate and ammonium, respectively) showed the highest increase on the abundance of sul1 and intI1 genes thus suggesting a factors synergistic effect of both stressors. Since none of the treatments caused a significant change on the composition of bacterial communities, the enrichment of sul1 and intI1 genes within the community was caused by their dissemination under the combined pressure exerted by nutrients and emerging contaminants. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the contribution of nutrients on

  9. Patch choice under predation hazard

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Křivan, Vlastimil; Vrkoč, Ivo

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 58, č. 4 (2000), s. 329-340 ISSN 0040-5809 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/98/0227; GA MŠk VS96086 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5007907; CEZ:AV0Z1019905; CEZ:AV0Z1019905 Keywords : adaptive behaviour * heterogeneous environment * predation Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 1.833, year: 2000

  10. Predation Risk within Fishing Gear and Implications for South Australian Rock Lobster Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briceño, Felipe; Linnane, Adrian Joseph; Quiroz, Juan Carlos; Gardner, Caleb; Pecl, Gretta Tatyana

    2015-01-01

    Depredation of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) within fishing gear by the Maori octopus (Pinnoctopus cordiformis) has economic and ecological impacts on valuable fisheries in South Australia. In addition, depredation rates can be highly variable resulting in uncertainties for the fishery. We examined how in-pot lobster predation was influenced by factors such as lobster size and sex, season, fishing zone, and catch rate. Using mixed modelling techniques, we found that in-pot predation risk increased with lobster size and was higher for male lobsters. In addition, the effect of catch rate of lobsters on predation risk by octopus differed among fishing zones. There was both a seasonal and a spatial component to octopus predation, with an increased risk within discrete fishing grounds in South Australia at certain times of the year. Information about predation within lobster gear can assist fishery management decision-making, potentially leading to significant reduction in economic losses to the fishery. PMID:26489035

  11. Predation Risk within Fishing Gear and Implications for South Australian Rock Lobster Fisheries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felipe Briceño

    Full Text Available Depredation of southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii within fishing gear by the Maori octopus (Pinnoctopus cordiformis has economic and ecological impacts on valuable fisheries in South Australia. In addition, depredation rates can be highly variable resulting in uncertainties for the fishery. We examined how in-pot lobster predation was influenced by factors such as lobster size and sex, season, fishing zone, and catch rate. Using mixed modelling techniques, we found that in-pot predation risk increased with lobster size and was higher for male lobsters. In addition, the effect of catch rate of lobsters on predation risk by octopus differed among fishing zones. There was both a seasonal and a spatial component to octopus predation, with an increased risk within discrete fishing grounds in South Australia at certain times of the year. Information about predation within lobster gear can assist fishery management decision-making, potentially leading to significant reduction in economic losses to the fishery.

  12. Defaunation of large mammals leads to an increase in seed predation in the Atlantic forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauro Galetti

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Defaunation can trigger cascading events in natural communities and may have strong consequences for plant recruitment in tropical forests. Several species of large seed predators, such as deer and peccaries, are facing dramatic population collapse in tropical forests yet we do not have information about the consequences of these extinctions for seed predation. Using remote camera traps we tested if defaunated forests have a lower seed predation rate of a keystone palm (Euterpe edulis than pristine areas. Contrary to our expectation, we found that seed predation rates were 2.5 higher in defaunated forests and small rodents were responsible for most of the seeds eaten. Our results found that defaunation leads to changes in the seed predator communities with potential consequences for plant–animal interactions.

  13. Optimal control of native predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; O'Connell, Allan F.; Kendall, William L.; Runge, Michael C.; Simons, Theodore R.; Waldstein, Arielle H.; Schulte, Shiloh A.; Converse, Sarah J.; Smith, Graham W.; Pinion, Timothy; Rikard, Michael; Zipkin, Elise F.

    2010-01-01

    We apply decision theory in a structured decision-making framework to evaluate how control of raccoons (Procyon lotor), a native predator, can promote the conservation of a declining population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our management objective was to maintain Oystercatcher productivity above a level deemed necessary for population recovery while minimizing raccoon removal. We evaluated several scenarios including no raccoon removal, and applied an adaptive optimization algorithm to account for parameter uncertainty. We show how adaptive optimization can be used to account for uncertainties about how raccoon control may affect Oystercatcher productivity. Adaptive management can reduce this type of uncertainty and is particularly well suited for addressing controversial management issues such as native predator control. The case study also offers several insights that may be relevant to the optimal control of other native predators. First, we found that stage-specific removal policies (e.g., yearling versus adult raccoon removals) were most efficient if the reproductive values among stage classes were very different. Second, we found that the optimal control of raccoons would result in higher Oystercatcher productivity than the minimum levels recommended for this species. Third, we found that removing more raccoons initially minimized the total number of removals necessary to meet long term management objectives. Finally, if for logistical reasons managers cannot sustain a removal program by removing a minimum number of raccoons annually, managers may run the risk of creating an ecological trap for Oystercatchers.

  14. Antibiogram, Adhesive Characteristics, and Incidence of Class 1 Integron in Aeromonas Species Isolated from Two South African Rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isoken H. Igbinosa

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Aeromonas species are well distributed in freshwater environments, and their natural susceptibility to antimicrobials renders them interesting candidates for the survey of antimicrobial resistance in freshwater milieu. Water samples were collected from Kat and Tyume rivers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, and a total of 45 isolates identified as Aeromonas species were recovered from the two rivers. All Aeromonas isolates were resistant to oxacillin, penicillin, clindamycin, cephalothin, vancomycin, and rifamycin, while appreciable susceptibilities (89.3 : 94.1%, 82.1 : 94.1%, 85.7 : 88.2%, and 92.9 : 88.2% were observed against ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, nitrofurantoin, and gentamicin from Kat and Tyume rivers, respectively. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR indices ranged from 0.016 to 0.044 for the two rivers. Class 1 integron was detected in about 20% of the isolates, and all the isolates except one showed ability to produce biofilm in vitro as weak producers (53.33%, moderate producers (15.56%, and strong producers (28.9%. This investigation provides a baseline data on antibiotic resistance as well as the adhesive characteristics of Aeromonas isolates from Tyume and Kat rivers in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

  15. Modeling the fate of antibiotic resistance genes and class 1 integrons during thermophilic anaerobic digestion of municipal wastewater solids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burch, Tucker R; Sadowsky, Michael J; LaPara, Timothy M

    2015-10-19

    This study investigated the use of thermophilic anaerobic digestion for removing antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) from residual municipal wastewater solids. Four laboratory-scale anaerobic digesters were operated in 8-day batch cycles at temperatures of 40, 56, 60, and 63 °C. Two tetracycline resistance genes (tet(W) and tet(X)), a fluoroquinolone resistance gene (qnrA), the integrase gene of class 1 integrons (intI1), 16S rRNA genes of all Bacteria, and 16S rRNA genes of methanogens were quantified using real-time quantitative PCR. ARG and intI1 quantities decreased at all temperatures and were described well by a modified form of the Collins-Selleck disinfection kinetic model. The magnitudes of Collins-Selleck kinetic parameters were significantly greater at thermophilic temperatures compared to 40 °C, but few statistically significant differences were observed among these parameters for the thermophilic anaerobic digesters. This model allows for the direct comparison of different operating conditions (e.g., temperature) on anaerobic digestion performance in mitigating the quantity of ARGs in wastewater solids and could be used to design full-scale anaerobic digesters to specifically treat for ARGs as a "pollutant" of concern.

  16. Latitude, temperature, and habitat complexity predict predation pressure in eelgrass beds across the Northern Hemisphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Pamela L; Stachowicz, John J; Hovel, Kevin; Boström, Christoffer; Boyer, Katharyn; Cusson, Mathieu; Eklöf, Johan S; Engel, Friederike G; Engelen, Aschwin H; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Fodrie, F Joel; Griffin, John N; Hereu, Clara M; Hori, Masakazu; Hanley, Torrance C; Ivanov, Mikhail; Jorgensen, Pablo; Kruschel, Claudia; Lee, Kun-Seop; McGlathery, Karen; Moksnes, Per-Olav; Nakaoka, Masahiro; O'Connor, Mary I; O'Connor, Nessa E; Orth, Robert J; Rossi, Francesca; Ruesink, Jennifer; Sotka, Erik E; Thormar, Jonas; Tomas, Fiona; Unsworth, Richard K F; Whalen, Matthew A; Duffy, J Emmett

    2018-01-01

    Latitudinal gradients in species interactions are widely cited as potential causes or consequences of global patterns of biodiversity. However, mechanistic studies documenting changes in interactions across broad geographic ranges are limited. We surveyed predation intensity on common prey (live amphipods and gastropods) in communities of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at 48 sites across its Northern Hemisphere range, encompassing over 37° of latitude and four continental coastlines. Predation on amphipods declined with latitude on all coasts but declined more strongly along western ocean margins where temperature gradients are steeper. Whereas in situ water temperature at the time of the experiments was uncorrelated with predation, mean annual temperature strongly positively predicted predation, suggesting a more complex mechanism than simply increased metabolic activity at the time of predation. This large-scale biogeographic pattern was modified by local habitat characteristics; predation declined with higher shoot density both among and within sites. Predation rates on gastropods, by contrast, were uniformly low and varied little among sites. The high replication and geographic extent of our study not only provides additional evidence to support biogeographic variation in predation intensity, but also insight into the mechanisms that relate temperature and biogeographic gradients in species interactions. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  17. A real-time PCR approach to detect predation on anchovy and sardine early life stages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuende, Elsa; Mendibil, Iñaki; Bachiller, Eneko; Álvarez, Paula; Cotano, Unai; Rodriguez-Ezpeleta, Naiara

    2017-12-01

    Recruitment of sardine (Sardina pilchardus Walbaum, 1792) and anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus Linnaeus, 1758) is thought to be regulated by predation of their eggs and larvae. Predators of sardine and anchovy can be identified by visual taxonomic identification of stomach contents, but this method is time consuming, tedious and may underestimate predation, especially in small predators such as fish larvae. Alternatively, genetic tools may offer a more cost-effective and accurate alternative. Here, we have developed a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay based on TaqMan probes to simultaneously detect sardine and anchovy remains in gut contents of potential predators. The assay combines previously described and newly generated species-specific primers and probes for anchovy and sardine detection respectively, and allows the detection of 0,001 ng of target DNA (which corresponds to about one hundredth of the total DNA present in a single egg). We applied the method to candidate anchovy and sardine egg predators in the Bay of Biscay, Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) larvae. Egg predation observed was limited primarily to those stations where sardine and/or anchovy eggs were present. Our developed assay offers a suitable tool to understand the effects of predation on the survival of anchovy and sardine early life stages.

  18. Predation on larval Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) in inshore waters of the Baltic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotterba, Paul; Moll, Dorothee; von Nordheim, Lena; Peck, Myron A.; Oesterwind, Daniel; Polte, Patrick

    2017-11-01

    In fishery science, early life-stage survival and development are regarded as major factors driving the population dynamics of marine fishes. During the last century, the main research focus has been on the spatio-temporal match of larval fish and appropriate food (bottom-up processes). However, these field studies are often criticised for their limited capability to disentangle their results from mortality caused by predation since these top-down mechanisms are rarely studied. We examined the predation on herring (Clupea harengus) larvae in a Baltic inshore lagoon by investigating the spatio-temporal overlap of larval herring and their potential predators such as the dominant threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in distinct habitats (sublittoral and littoral areas) using a set of different gears and sampling techniques. Despite significant spatial and temporal predator-prey overlap, stomach analyses suggested that very few larvae were consumed by sticklebacks, even if projected to the entire study area and season. Other well-known predators of clupeid larvae such as gelatinous plankton occur later in the year after young herring have migrated out of the system. The observed predation on herring larvae was much less than expected and appears being a minor factor in determining herring reproduction success in our study area, particularly if compared to other causes of mortality such as egg predation. Providing a relatively good shelter from predation might be a key element making transitional waters valuable nursery grounds for the offspring of migrating marine fish species.

  19. Pupation Behavior and Predation on Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Pupae in Maine Wild Blueberry Fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballman, Elissa S; Collins, Judith A; Drummond, Francis A

    2017-12-05

    Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura; Diptera: Drosophilidae) is an invasive vinegar fly and pest of soft fruits in North America, including wild blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) in Maine. Despite its presence in the continental United States for 9 yr, little is known about its natural enemy complex. Here we report the results of a 3-yr study designed to identify naturally-occurring predators in Maine's wild blueberry fields. Experiments were conducted to determine pupation site and pupation depth to understand D. suzukii's predation vulnerability. Predation rates in the field of fully-exposed, caged, and buried pupae were measured. Pitfall traps were deployed to identify the potential predator assemblage, and laboratory experiments were conducted to determine how many pupae were consumed by commonly occurring ground beetle species (Carabidae) and field crickets (Gryllus pennsylvanicus Burmeister). The most commonly collected predators were ants, ground beetles, harvestmen, and field crickets. Significantly more pupae were found to occur in the soil compared to blueberry fruit, with most pupae in the top 0.5 cm layer of soil. Pupal predation rates in the field were high, with higher rates of predation on exposed pupae compared to buried pupae. Laboratory studies revealed that ground beetles and field crickets are likely predators of D. suzukii pupae. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Reduced foraging in the presence of predator cues by the Black Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura similis (Sauria: Iguanidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Vincent R. Farallo; Mahmood Sasa; Dennis K. Wasko; Michael R. J. Forstner

    2010-01-01

    The presence of a predator may have direct and indirect effects on the behavior of the prey. Although altered behavior may help prey avoid predators, it also can have a potential impact on critical activities such as foraging. Predator-prey interactions are routinely studied in laboratory-based experiments owing to theperceived difficulties of conducting such experiments in natural settings. We conducted an experimental study under field conditions in Palo Verde National Park in northwestern ...

  1. Livestock Predation by Puma (Puma concolor) in the Highlands of a Southeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmeira, Francesca Belem Lopes; Trinca, Cristiano Trapé; Haddad, Claudio Maluf

    2015-10-01

    We evaluated local opinion about reducing livestock losses to puma (Puma concolor) and the potential for conflict among livestock breeders inside a protected area in the highlands of a southeastern Brazilian Atlantic forest. We also quantified the number and type of livestock losses, and determined if predation by puma was correlated with property profile and landscape characteristics. We conducted semistructured interviews with 42 livestock breeders sampled in 36 rural properties. When asked how to reduce predation, 33% of livestock breeders refused to answer, 26% suggested improving livestock husbandry practices, 19% stated that there was no appropriate action, 17% favored removing the "problem" individual, and 5 % suggested killing the puma. Opinion on how to solve predation was independent of herd size and history of losses, and was correlated with respondent age class. Older respondents tended to suggest removing or killing pumas. Attitudes toward predation represented high potential for conflict among livestock breeders who demonstrated high discordance among responses. Horses were the most common prey (51%), followed by cattle (28%), sheep (17%), and goats (4%); totaling 47 animals attacked between 2004 and 2007. Annual predation was approximately 12 ± 5 animals, equivalent to 0.4% of the total livestock. Property elevation and distance from the urban center were the main predictors of predation probability. This survey used a novel approach that has not been addressed directly in other studies on livestock predation and demonstrated that the high potential for conflict among livestock breeders should be considered before implementing management actions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Yun; Wedekin, Lauren

    2013-11-01

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

  3. Predator recognition in rainbowfish, Melanotaenia duboulayi, embryos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lois Jane Oulton

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

  4. Sequences of a co-existing SXT element, a chromosomal integron (CI) and an IncA/C plasmid and their roles in multidrug resistance in a Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ruibai; Li, Jie; Kan, Biao

    2016-09-01

    The ongoing seventh cholera pandemic is attributed to Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor biotype strains. Although antibiotic therapy ameliorates symptoms in patients and reduces pathogen transfer to the environment, multidrug resistance remains a major clinical threat. An O1 El Tor strain isolated from a patient in 1998 was intermediate or resistant to 13 antibiotics and could potentially produce extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), which is very rare in O1 strains. Using genome sequencing, three relevant genetic elements were identified in this strain: a hybrid SXT element (ICEVchCHN1307); a new IncA/C plasmid (pVC1307); and a chromosomal integron. Twenty antibiotic resistance genes were located on them, including blaTEM-1, blaCTX-M-14 and phenotypically silenced tetRA genes. These data elucidate the role of individual genetic components in antibiotic resistance and the accumulation of drug resistance genes in V. cholerae. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Active predation by Greenland shark Somniosus microcephalus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Julius; hedeholm, Rasmus; Simon, Malene

    2013-01-01

    and show that the sharks catch epi-benthic species with Atlantic cod being the most important (% IRI = 56 ), followed by squid (% IRI= 13 ) and wolf fish (IRI=4). Furthermore seal was found in 50 % of all stomachs (% IRI= 13). In addition to providing new knowledge of feeding habits of this species......Dansk Havforskermøde 2013 Julius Nielsen, Rasmus Hedeholm, Malene Simon og John Fleng Steffensen The Greenland shark is ubiquitous in the northern part of the North Atlantic ranging from eastern Canada to northwest Russia . Although knowledge is scarce it is believed to be abundant and potentially...... important part of the ecosystem. Whether Greenland sharks in general should be considered opportunistic scavengers or active predators is therefore important in understanding ecosystem dynamics. Due to its sluggish appearance and a maximum reported swimming speed of 74 cm per second scavenging seems...

  6. Biological control of toxic cyanobacteria by mixotrophic predators: an experimental test of intraguild predation theory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilken, S.; Verspagen, J.M.H.; Naus-Wiezer, S.M.H.; Van Donk, E.; Huisman, Jef

    2014-01-01

    Intraguild predators both feed on and compete with their intraguild prey. In theory, intraguild predators can therefore be very effective as biological control agents of intraguild prey species, especially in productive environments. We investigated this hypothesis using the mixotrophic chrysophyte

  7. 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...

  8. Neuroendocrine changes upon exposure to predator odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegab, Ibrahim M; Wei, Wanhong

    2014-05-28

    Predator odors are non-intrusive and naturalistic stressors of high ethological relevance in animals. Upon exposure to a predator or its associated cues, robust physiological and molecular anti-predator defensive strategies are elicited thereby allowing prey species to recognize, avoid and defend against a possible predation threat. In this review, we will discuss the nature of neuroendocrine stress responses upon exposure to predator odors. Predator odors can have a profound effect on the endocrine system, including activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and induction of stress hormones such as corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone. On a neural level, short-term exposure to predator odors leads to induction of the c-fos gene, while induction of ΔFosB in a different brain region is detected under chronic predation stress. Future research should aim to elucidate the relationships between neuroendocrine and behavioral outputs to gage the different levels of anti-predator responses in prey species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Species Diversity Enhances Predator Growth Rates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olson, M.H.; Jacobs, R.P.; O'Donnell, E.B.

    2007-01-01

    Predators can be important top-down regulators of community structure and are known to have both positive and negative effects on species diversity. However, little is known about the reciprocal effects of species diversity on predators. Across a set of 80 lakes in Connecticut, USA, we found a strong positive correlation between prey species diversity (using the Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index) and growth rates of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). This correlation was strongest for small predators and decreased with body size. Although the underlying mechanisms are not known, the correlation is not driven by total fish abundance, predator abundance, or productivity.

  10. Predator-induced changes in metabolism cannot explain the growth/predation risk tradeoff

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steiner, Uli; Van Buskirk, Josh

    2009-01-01

    , consistent with the "fight-or-flight" response observed in many organisms. The long term reaction showed the opposite pattern: tadpoles reduced oxygen consumption after three weeks exposure to predators, which would act to reduce the growth cost of predator defence. The results point to an instantaneous...... and reversible stress response to predation risk. This suggests that the tradeoff between avoiding predators and growing rapidly is not caused by changes in metabolic rate, and must be sought in other behavioural or physiological processes....

  11. An Analysis of Predator Selection to Affect Aposematic Coloration in a Poison Frog Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreher, Corinna E; Cummings, Molly E; Pröhl, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Natural selection is widely noted to drive divergence of phenotypic traits. Predation pressure can facilitate morphological divergence, for example the evolution of both cryptic and conspicuous coloration in animals. In this context Dendrobatid frogs have been used to study evolutionary forces inducing diversity in protective coloration. The polytypic strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio) shows strong divergence in aposematic coloration among populations. To investigate whether predation pressure is important for color divergence among populations of O. pumilio we selected four mainland populations and two island populations from Costa Rica and Panama. Spectrometric measurements of body coloration were used to calculate color and brightness contrasts of frogs as an indicator of conspicuousness for the visual systems of several potential predators (avian, crab and snake) and a conspecific observer. Additionally, we conducted experiments using clay model frogs of different coloration to investigate whether the local coloration of frogs is better protected than non-local color morphs, and if predator communities vary among populations. Overall predation risk differed strongly among populations and interestingly was higher on the two island populations. Imprints on clay models indicated that birds are the main predators while attacks of other predators were rare. Furthermore, clay models of local coloration were equally likely to be attacked as those of non-local coloration. Overall conspicuousness (and brightness contrast) of local frogs was positively correlated with attack rates by birds across populations. Together with results from earlier studies we conclude that conspicuousness honestly indicates toxicity to avian predators. The different coloration patterns among populations of strawberry poison frogs in combination with behavior and toxicity might integrate into equally efficient anti-predator strategies depending on local predation and other ecological

  12. 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

  13. An Analysis of Predator Selection to Affect Aposematic Coloration in a Poison Frog Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corinna E Dreher

    Full Text Available Natural selection is widely noted to drive divergence of phenotypic traits. Predation pressure can facilitate morphological divergence, for example the evolution of both cryptic and conspicuous coloration in animals. In this context Dendrobatid frogs have been used to study evolutionary forces inducing diversity in protective coloration. The polytypic strawberry poison frog (Oophaga pumilio shows strong divergence in aposematic coloration among populations. To investigate whether predation pressure is important for color divergence among populations of O. pumilio we selected four mainland populations and two island populations from Costa Rica and Panama. Spectrometric measurements of body coloration were used to calculate color and brightness contrasts of frogs as an indicator of conspicuousness for the visual systems of several potential predators (avian, crab and snake and a conspecific observer. Additionally, we conducted experiments using clay model frogs of different coloration to investigate whether the local coloration of frogs is better protected than non-local color morphs, and if predator communities vary among populations. Overall predation risk differed strongly among populations and interestingly was higher on the two island populations. Imprints on clay models indicated that birds are the main predators while attacks of other predators were rare. Furthermore, clay models of local coloration were equally likely to be attacked as those of non-local coloration. Overall conspicuousness (and brightness contrast of local frogs was positively correlated with attack rates by birds across populations. Together with results from earlier studies we conclude that conspicuousness honestly indicates toxicity to avian predators. The different coloration patterns among populations of strawberry poison frogs in combination with behavior and toxicity might integrate into equally efficient anti-predator strategies depending on local predation and

  14. Compensatory Feeding Following a Predator Removal Program : Detection and Mechanisms, 1982-1996 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petersen, James H.

    2002-02-28

    Predator removal is one of the oldest management tools in existence, with evidence that ancient Greeks used a bounty reward for wolves over 3,000 years ago (Anonymous 1964). Efforts to control predators on fish have been documented in scientific journals for at least 60 years (Eschmeyer 1937; Lagler 1939; Foerster and Ricker 1941; Smith and Swingle 1941; Jeppson and Platts 1959), and has likely been attempted for much longer. Complete eradication of a target species from a body of water has rarely been the objective of predator removal programs, which instead have attempted to eliminate predators from specific areas, to reduce the density or standing stock of predators, or to kill the largest individuals in the population (Meronek et al. 1996). In evaluating management programs that remove only part of a predator population, the compensatory response(s) of the remaining predators must be considered. Some potential compensatory responses by remaining individuals include increased reproductive output, increased growth rate, or increased consumption of certain prey species (Jude et al. 1987). If compensation by predators that remain in the system following a removal effort occurs, it may reduce the effectiveness of the predator control program. Northern pike-minnow Ptychocheilus oregonensis (formerly called northern squawfish) consume juvenile salmon in rivers, lakes, and reservoirs in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California. Northern pikeminnow have been estimated to consume about 11% of all juvenile salmon that migrate through John Day Reservoir on the Columbia River (Rieman et al. 1991). Modeling studies suggested that removal of 20% of the northern pikeminnow population in John Day Reservoir would result in a 50% decrease in predation-related mortality of juvenile salmon migrating through this reach (Beamesderfer et al. 1991). Since the early 1940's, other programs have been implemented to remove northern pikeminnow, with hopes of

  15. Main predators of insect pests: screening and evaluation through comprehensive indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tingbang; Liu, Jie; Yuan, Longyu; Zhang, Yang; Peng, Yu; Li, Daiqin; Chen, Jian

    2017-11-01

    Predatory natural enemies play key functional roles in integrated pest management. However, the screening and evaluation of the main predators of insect pests has seldom been reported in the field. Here, we employed comprehensive indices for evaluating the predation of a common pest (Ectropis obliqua) by nine common spider species in Chinese tea plantations. We established the relative dominance of the spider species and their phenological overlap with the pest species, and analyzed DNA from the nine spider species using targeted real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction to identify the residual DNA of E. obliqua. The predation rates and predation numbers per predator were estimated by the positive rates of target fragments and the residual minimum number of E. obliqua in predators' guts, respectively. The results showed that only four spider species preyed on E. obliqua, and the order of potential of the spiders to control E. obliqua from greatest to smallest was Neoscona mellotteei, Xysticus ephippiatus, Evarcha albaria and Coleosoma octomaculatum by the Z-score method. The orb-weaving spider N. mellotteei has the maximum potential as a biological control agent of E. obliqua in an integrated pest management strategy. An approach of screening and evaluating main predators of insect pests through comprehensive indices was preliminarily established. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Compensatory growth following transient intraguild predation risk in predatory mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walzer, Andreas; Lepp, Natalia; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-05-01

    Compensatory or catch-up growth following growth impairment caused by transient environmental stress, due to adverse abiotic factors or food, is widespread in animals. Such growth strategies commonly balance retarded development and reduced growth. They depend on the type of stressor but are unknown for predation risk, a prime selective force shaping life history. Anti-predator behaviours by immature prey typically come at the cost of reduced growth rates with potential negative consequences on age and size at maturity. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that transient intraguild predation (IGP) risk induces compensatory or catch-up growth in the plant-inhabiting predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis . Immature P. persimilis were exposed in the larval stage to no, low or high IGP risk, and kept under benign conditions in the next developmental stage, the protonymph. High but not low IGP risk prolonged development of P. persimilis larvae, which was compensated in the protonymphal stage by increased foraging activity and accelerated development, resulting in optimal age and size at maturity. Our study provides the first experimental evidence that prey may balance developmental costs accruing from anti-predator behaviour by compensatory growth.

  17. Temporal dynamics of top predators interactions in the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durant, Joël M; Skern-Mauritzen, Mette; Krasnov, Yuri V; Nikolaeva, Natalia G; Lindstrøm, Ulf; Dolgov, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    The Barents Sea system is often depicted as a simple food web in terms of number of dominant feeding links. The most conspicuous feeding link is between the Northeast Arctic cod Gadus morhua, the world's largest cod stock which is presently at a historical high level, and capelin Mallotus villosus. The system also holds diverse seabird and marine mammal communities. Previous diet studies may suggest that these top predators (cod, bird and sea mammals) compete for food particularly with respect to pelagic fish such as capelin and juvenile herring (Clupea harengus), and krill. In this paper we explored the diet of some Barents Sea top predators (cod, Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Common guillemot Uria aalge, and Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata). We developed a GAM modelling approach to analyse the temporal variation diet composition within and between predators, to explore intra- and inter-specific interactions. The GAM models demonstrated that the seabird diet is temperature dependent while the diet of Minke whale and cod is prey dependent; Minke whale and cod diets depend on the abundance of herring and capelin, respectively. There was significant diet overlap between cod and Minke whale, and between kittiwake and guillemot. In general, the diet overlap between predators increased with changes in herring and krill abundances. The diet overlap models developed in this study may help to identify inter-specific interactions and their dynamics that potentially affect the stocks targeted by fisheries.

  18. Killing the killer: predation between protists and predatory bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnke, Julia; Boenigk, Jens; Harms, Hauke; Chatzinotas, Antonis

    2017-05-01

    Predation by microbes is one of the main drivers of bacterial mortality in the environment. In most ecosystems multiple micropredators compete at least partially for the same bacterial resource. Predatory interactions between these micropredators might lead to shifts within microbial communities. Integrating these interactions is therefore crucial for the understanding of ecosystem functioning. In this study, we investigated the predation between two groups of micropredators, i.e. phagotrophic protists and Bdellovibrio and like organisms (BALOs). BALOs are obligate predators of Gram-negative bacteria. We hypothesised that protists can prey upon BALOs despite the small size and high swimming speed of the latter, which makes them potentially hard to capture. Predation experiments including three protists, i.e. one filter feeder and two interception feeder, showed that BALOs are a relevant prey for these protists. The growth rate on BALOs differed for the respective protists. The filter feeding ciliate was growing equally well on the BALOs and on Escherichia coli, whereas the two flagellate species grew less well on the BALOs compared to E. coli. However, BALOs might not be a favourable food source in resource-rich environments as they are not enabling all protists to grow as much as on bacteria of bigger volume. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. A test of the predator satiation hypothesis, acorn predator size, and acorn preference

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.H. Greenberg; S.J. Zarnoch

    2018-01-01

    Mast seeding is hypothesized to satiate seed predators with heavy production and reduce populations with crop failure, thereby increasing seed survival. Preference for red or white oak acorns could influence recruitment among oak species. We tested the predator satiation hypothesis, acorn preference, and predator size by concurrently...

  20. Landscape forest cover and edge effects on songbird nest predation vary by nest predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Andrew Cox; Frank R. III Thompson; John. Faaborg

    2012-01-01

    Rates of nest predation for birds vary between and within species across multiple spatial scales, but we have a poor understanding of which predators drive such patterns. We video-monitored nests and identified predators at 120 nests of the Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) and the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) at eight...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiter, Michael; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Characterization of the Complete Nucleotide Sequences of IncA/C2 Plasmids Carrying In809-Like Integrons from Enterobacteriaceae Isolates of Wildlife Origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannitsis, Costas C; Kutilova, Iva; Medvecky, Matej; Hrabak, Jaroslav; Dolejska, Monika

    2017-09-01

    A total of 18 Enterobacteriaceae (17 from gulls and 1 from a clinical sample) collected from Australia, carrying IncA/C plasmids with the IMP-encoding In809-like integrons, were studied. Seven plasmids, being representatives of different origins, plasmid sizes, replicon combinations, and resistance genes, were completely sequenced. Plasmid pEc158, identified in a clinical Escherichia coli ST752 isolate, showed extensive similarity to type 2 IncA/C 2 plasmids. pEc158 carried none of the bla CMY-2 -like region or ARI-B and ARI-A regions, while it contained a hybrid transposon structure. The six remaining plasmids, which were of wildlife origin, were highly similar to each other and probably were fusion derivatives of type 1 and type 2 A/C 2 plasmids. The latter plasmids contained an ARI-B region and hybrid transposon structures. In all plasmids, hybrid transposon structures containing In809-like integrons were inserted 3,434 bp downstream of the rhs2 start codon. In all cases, the one outermost 38-bp inverted repeat (IR) of the transposon was associated with the Tn 1696 tnp module, while the other outermost 38-bp IR of the transposon was associated with either a Tn 6317 -like module or a Tn 21 mer module. However, the internal structure of the transposon and the resistance genes were different in each plasmid. These findings indicated that, for the specific periods of time and settings, different IncA/C 2 plasmid types carrying In809-like elements circulated among isolates of wildlife and clinical origins. Additionally, they provided the basis for speculations regarding the reshuffling of IncA/C 2 plasmids with In809-like integrons and confirmed the rapid evolution of IncA/C 2 plasmid lineages. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  3. Structural features of single-stranded integron cassette attC sites and their role in strand selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Bouvier

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available We recently showed that cassette integration and deletion in integron platforms were occurring through unconventional site-specific recombination reactions involving only the bottom strand of attC sites. The lack of sequence conservation among attC sites led us to hypothesize that sequence-independent structural recognition determinants must exist within attC sites. The structural data obtained from a synaptic complex of the Vibrio cholerae integrase with the bottom strand of an attC site has shown the importance of extra helical bases (EHB inside the stem-loop structure formed from the bottom strand. Here, we systematically determined the contribution of three structural elements common to all known single-stranded attC site recombination substrates (the EHBs, the unpaired central spacer (UCS, and the variable terminal structure (VTS to strand choice and recombination. Their roles have been evaluated in vivo in the attIxattC reaction context using the suicide conjugation assay we previously developed, but also in an attCxattC reaction using a deletion assay. Conjugation was used to deliver the attC sites in single-stranded form. Our results show that strand choice is primarily directed by the first EHB, but the presence of the two other EHBs also serves to increase this strand selection. We found that the structure of the central spacer is essential to achieve high level recombination of the bottom strand, suggesting a dual role for this structure in active site exclusion and for hindering the reverse reaction after the first strand exchange. Moreover, we have shown that the VTS has apparently no role in strand selectivity.

  4. Costs and limits of dosage response to predation risk: to what extent can tadpoles invest in anti-predator morphology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teplitsky, Céline; Plénet, Sandrine; Joly, Pierre

    2005-09-01

    Inducible defences have long been considered as a polyphenism opposing defended and undefended morphs. However, in nature, preys are exposed to various levels of predation risk and scale their investment in defence to actual predation risk. Still, among the traits that are involved in the defence, some are specific to one predator type while others act as a more generalised defence. The existence of defence costs could prevent an individual investing in all these traits simultaneously. In this study, we investigate the impact of an increasing level of predator density (stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus) on the expression of morphological inducible defences in tadpoles of Rana dalmatina. In this species, investment in tail length and tail muscle is a stickleback-specific response while increased tail fin depth is a more general defence. As expected, we found a relationship between investment in defence and level of risk through the responses of tail fin depth and tail length. We also found an exponential increase of defence cost, notably expressed by convex decrease of growth and developmental rates. We found a relative independence of investment in the different traits that compose the defence, revealing a high potential for fine tuning the expression of defended phenotypes with respect to local ecological conditions.

  5. The consequences of a sudden demographic change on the seroprevalence pattern, virulence genes, identification and characterisation of integron-mediated antibiotic resistance in the Salmonella enterica isolated from clinically diarrhoeic humans in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osman, K M; Hassan, W M M; Mohamed, R A H

    2014-08-01

    The present study was undertaken to identify and characterise integrons and integrated resistance gene cassettes among eight multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella serovars isolated from humans in Egypt. Virulotyping by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for the detection of the presence of virulence genes. Integron PCR was used to detect the presence of class 1 in the MDR strains. The associated individual resistance gene cassettes were identified using specific PCRs. The isolated serovars were Salmonella Grampian (C1; 2/5), Larose (C1; 1/5), Hato (B; 1/5) and Texas (B; 1/5). Among the Salmonella serovars, five Salmonella isolates showed the highest resistance to amoxicillin, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, lincomycin, gentamicin, nalidixic acid, streptomycin and trimethoprim (100%), followed by neomycin, norfloxacin and tetracycline (80%), while the lowest resistance was recorded to colistin sulphate and ciprofloxacin in percentages of 20 and 40%, respectively. The invA, avrA, ssaQ, mgtC, siiD and sopB genes were detected in all isolates (100%), while the spvC and gipA genes were totally (100%) absent from all isolates. The remaining three virulence genes were diversely distributed as follows: the bcfC gene was detected in all isolates except Salmonella Hato (80%); the sodC1 gene was detected only in Salmonella Grampian and Salmonella Texas (60%); and the sopE1 gene was detected only in Salmonella Grampian, Hato and Texas (60%). Class 1 integrons were detected in 90% of the MDR isolates, comprising serovars Muenster, Florian, Noya, Grampian, Larose, Hato and Texas. Of the class 1 integron-positive isolates, 45% harboured Salmonella genomic island 1 (SGI1) either right junction or right and left junction having an A-C-S-T phenotype. Of the class 1 integron-positive isolates, 44% harboured integron gene cassette aadA2, while 11% harboured the floR gene present in multidrug resistance flanked by two integrons of SGI1. The results of the present study indicate that

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franck A Hollander

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

  8. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: Implications for anti-predator strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Curé, C.; Antunes, R.; Alves, A.C.; Visser, F.; Kvadsheim, P.H.; Miller, P.J.O.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could

  9. Titmouse calling and foraging are affected by head and body orientation of cat predator models and possible experience with real cats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Book, D L; Freeberg, Todd M

    2015-09-01

    Although anti-predator behavior systems have been studied in diverse taxa, less is known about how prey species detect and assess the immediate threat posed by a predator based on its behavior. In this study, we evaluated a potential cue that some species may utilize when assessing predation threat-the predator's body and head orientation. We tested the effect of this orientation cue on signaling and predation-risk-sensitive foraging of a prey species, tufted titmice (Baeolophus bicolor). Earlier work revealed sensitivity of titmice and related species to the presence of predator stimuli. Here, we manipulated cat models to face either toward or away from a food source preferred by titmice and then measured titmouse calling and seed-taking behavior. Titmice showed greater feeder avoidance when the cat predator models faced the feeder, compared to when the models faced away from the feeder or when titmice were exposed to control stimuli. Titmouse calling was also sensitive to predator head/body orientation, depending upon whether titmice were from sites where real cats had been observed or not. This study experimentally demonstrated that both calling and foraging of prey species can be affected by the head and body orientation of an important terrestrial predator. Prey species may therefore signal in strategic ways to conspecifics not just about predator presence, but also urgency of threat related to the more subtle cue of the head and body orientation of the predator. These findings hold potential implications for understanding animal cognition and learning processes.

  10. Diel predator activity drives a dynamic landscape of fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Michel T.; Stahler, Daniel R.; Metz, Matthew C.; Forester, James D.; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Varley, Nathan; White, P.J.; Smith, Douglas W.; MacNulty, Daniel R.

    2017-01-01

    A "landscape of fear" (LOF) is a map that describes continuous spatial variation in an animal's perception of predation risk. The relief on this map reflects, for example, places that an animal avoids to minimize risk. Although the LOF concept is a potential unifying theme in ecology that is often invoked to explain the ecological and conservation significance of fear, quantified examples of a LOF over large spatial scales are lacking as is knowledge about the daily dynamics of a LOF. Despite theory and data to the contrary, investigators often assume, implicitly or explicitly, that a LOF is a static consequence of a predator's mere presence. We tested the prediction that a LOF in a large-scale, free-living system is a highly-dynamic map with "peaks" and "valleys" that alternate across the diel (24-hour) cycle in response to daily lulls in predator activity. We did so with extensive data from the case study of Yellowstone elk (Cervus elaphus) and wolves (Canis lupus) that was the original basis for the LOF concept. We quantified the elk LOF, defined here as spatial allocation of time away from risky places and times, across nearly 1000-km2 of northern Yellowstone National Park and found that it fluctuated with the crepuscular activity pattern of wolves, enabling elk to use risky places during wolf downtimes. This may help explain evidence that wolf predation risk has no effect on elk stress levels, body condition, pregnancy, or herbivory. The ability of free-living animals to adaptively allocate habitat use across periods of high and low predator activity within the diel cycle is an underappreciated aspect of animal behavior that helps explain why strong antipredator responses may trigger weak ecological effects, and why a LOF may have less conceptual and practical importance than direct killing.

  11. 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.

  12. The functional response of a generalist predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Smout

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

  13. Vertebrate predator-prey interactions in a seasonal environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels Martin; Berg, Thomas B; Forchhammer, Mads

    2008-01-01

    erminea predation and stabilising predation from the generalist predators, in Zackenbergdalen mainly the arctic fox Alopex lagopus. In Zackenbergdalen, however, the coupling between the specialist stoat and the lemming population is relatively weak. During summer, the predation pressure is high......The High Arctic, with its low number of species, is characterised by a relatively simple ecosystem, and the vertebrate predator-prey interactions in the valley Zackenbergdalen in Northeast Greenland are centred around the collared lemming Dicrostonyx groenlandicus and its multiple predators...

  14. 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.

  15. Can Camera Traps Monitor Komodo Dragons a Large Ectothermic Predator?

    OpenAIRE

    Ariefiandy, Achmad; Purwandana, Deni; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Jessop, Tim S.

    2013-01-01

    Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor...

  16. Short-term exposure to predation affects body elemental composition, climbing speed and survival ability in Drosophila melanogaster

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indrikis Krams

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Factors such as temperature, habitat, larval density, food availability and food quality substantially affect organismal development. In addition, risk of predation has a complex impact on the behavioural and morphological life history responses of prey. Responses to predation risk seem to be mediated by physiological stress, which is an adaptation for maintaining homeostasis and improving survivorship during life-threatening situations. We tested whether predator exposure during the larval phase of development has any influence on body elemental composition, energy reserves, body size, climbing speed and survival ability of adult Drosophila melanogaster. Fruit fly larvae were exposed to predation by jumping spiders (Phidippus apacheanus, and the percentage of carbon (C and nitrogen (N content, extracted lipids, escape response and survival were measured from predator-exposed and control adult flies. The results revealed predation as an important determinant of adult phenotype formation and survival ability. D. melanogaster reared together with spiders had a higher concentration of body N (but equal body C, a lower body mass and lipid reserves, a higher climbing speed and improved adult survival ability. The results suggest that the potential of predators to affect the development and the adult phenotype of D. melanogaster is high enough to use predators as a more natural stimulus in laboratory experiments when testing, for example, fruit fly memory and learning ability, or when comparing natural populations living under different predation pressures.

  17. Effects of seed density and proximity to refuge habitat on seed predation rates for a rare and a common Lupinus species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardini, Eleanor A; Patten, Melissa V; Knight, Tiffany M

    2017-03-01

    Biotic interactions such as seed predation can play a role in explaining patterns of abundance among plant species. The effect of seed predation will depend on how the strength of predation differs across species and environments, and on the degree to which seed loss at one life-cycle phase increases fitness at another phase. Few studies have simultaneously quantified predispersal and postdispersal predation in co-occurring rare and common congeners, despite the value of estimating both for understanding causes of rarity. We quantified predispersal seed predation on the rare, herbaceous species Lupinus tidestromii (Fabaceae) and its common, shrubby congener L. chamissonis across multiple years in the same community. We experimentally measured postdispersal seed predation at two seed densities and locations near or far from an exotic grass housing high densities of deer mice ( Peromyscus maniculatus ), their primary, native seed predator. The common L. chamissonis had the lowest predispersal seed predation of the two lupine species, potentially because of its height: its high racemes received less predation than those low to the ground. By contrast, the same species experienced higher postdispersal seed predation, and at predators traveled long distances away from refuge habitat to consume their seeds. Across both plant species, mice preferentially predated high-density seed sources. Our results show differences in the magnitude and direction of seed predation between the species across different life-cycle phases. We demonstrated possible roles of proximity to refuge habitat, seed density, and seed size in these patterns. Congeneric comparisons would benefit from a comprehensive framework that considers seed predation across different life-cycle phases and the environmental context of predation. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  18. Drosophila increase exploration after visually detecting predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel de la Flor

    Full Text Available Novel stimuli elicit behaviors that are collectively known as specific exploration. These behaviors allow the animal to become more familiar with the novel objects within its environment. Specific exploration is frequently suppressed by defensive reactions to predator cues. Herein, we examine if this suppression occurs in Drosophila melanogaster by measuring the response of these flies to wild harvested predators. The flies used in our experiments have been cultured and had not lived under predator threat for multiple decades. In a circular arena with centrally-caged predators, wild type Drosophila actively avoided the pantropical jumping spider, Plexippus paykulli, and the Texas unicorn mantis, Phyllovates chlorophaena, indicating an innate defensive reaction to these predators. Interestingly, wild type Drosophila males also avoided a centrally-caged mock spider, and the avoidance of the mock spider became exaggerated when it was made to move within the cage. Visually impaired Drosophila failed to detect and avoid the Plexippus paykulli and the moving mock spider, while the broadly anosmic orco2 mutants were fully capable of detecting and avoiding Plexippus paykulli, indicating that these flies principally relied upon vison to perceive the predator stimuli. During early exploration of the arena, exploratory activity increased in the presence of Plexippus paykulli and the moving mock spider. The elevated activity induced by Plexippus paykulli disappeared after the fly had finished exploring, suggesting the flies were capable of habituating the predator cues. Taken together, these results indicate that despite being isolated from predators for decades Drosophila will visually detect these predators, retain innate defensive behaviors, respond by increasing exploratory activity in the arena rather than suppressing activity, and may habituate to normal predator cues.

  19. Role of integrons, plasmids and SXT elements in multidrug resistance of Vibrio cholerae and Providencia vermicola obtained from a clinical isolate of diarrhea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha eRajpara

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The isolates of Vibrio cholerae and Providencia vermicola obtained from a diarrhoeal patient were investigated for genetic elements governing their drug resistance phenotypes. Out of fourteen antibiotics tested, V. cholerae Vc IDH02365 isolate showed resistance to nine antibiotics, while P. vermicola Pv NBA2365 was found to be resistant to all the antibiotics except polymyxin B. Though SXT integrase was depicted in both the bacteria, class 1 integron was found to be associated only with Pv NBA2365. Integrons in Pv NBA2365 conferred resistance to β-lactams, aminoglycosides and trimethoprim. Pv NBA2365 carried two transformable plasmids imparting distinct antibiotic resistance traits to their Escherichia coli transformants. In rabbit ileal loop assays, Pv NBA2365 did not show any fluid accumulation in contrast with Vc IDH02365 that showed high fluid accumulation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a highly drug resistant P.vermicola and additionally co-existence of multidrug resistant V. cholerae and P. vermicola. Both the microbes appeared to possess a wide array of mobile genetic elements for a large spectrum of antimicrobial agents, some of which are being used in the treatment of acute diarrhoea.

  20. Antipredatory reaction of the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius to snake predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landová, Eva; Musilová, Veronika; Polák, Jakub; Sedláčková, Kristýna; Frynta, Daniel

    2016-10-01

    Ability to recognize a risk of predation and react with adaptive antipredatory behavior can enhance fitness, but has some costs as well. Animals can either specifically react on the most dangerous predators (threat-sensitive avoidance) or they have safe but costly general wariness avoiding all potential predators. The level of threat may depend on the predator's foraging ecology and distribution with the prey with sympatric and specialist species being the most dangerous. We used 2 choice trials to investigate antipredatory behavior of captive born and wild-caught leopard geckos confronted with different snake predators from 2 families (Colubridae, Boidae) varying in foraging ecology and sympatric/allopatric distribution with the geckos. Predator-naïve subadult individuals have general wariness, explore both chemically and visually, and perform antipredatory postures toward a majority of snake predators regardless of their sympatry/allopatry or food specialization. The most exaggerated antipredatory postures in both subadult and adult geckos were toward 2 sympatric snake species, the spotted whip snake Hemorrhois ravergieri , an active forager, and the red sand boa Eryx johnii , a subterranean snake with a sit-and-wait strategy. In contrast, also subterranean but allopatric the Kenyan sand boa Eryx colubrinus did not elicit any antipredatory reaction. We conclude that the leopard gecko possesses an innate general antipredatory reaction to different species of snake predators, while a specific reaction to 2 particular sympatric species can be observed. Moreover, adult wild caught geckos show lower reactivity compared with the captive born ones, presumably due to an experience of a real predation event that can hardly be simulated under laboratory conditions.

  1. Do Père David's deer lose memories of their ancestral predators?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunwang Li

    Full Text Available Whether prey retains antipredator behavior after a long period of predator relaxation is an important question in predator-prey evolution. Père David's deer have been raised in enclosures for more than 1200 years and this isolation provides an opportunity to study whether Père David's deer still respond to the cues of their ancestral predators or to novel predators. We played back the sounds of crows (familiar sound and domestic dogs (familiar non-predators, of tigers and wolves (ancestral predators, and of lions (potential naïve predator to Père David's deer in paddocks, and blank sounds to the control group, and videoed the behavior of the deer during the experiment. We also showed life-size photo models of dog, leopard, bear, tiger, wolf, and lion to the deer and video taped their responses after seeing these models. Père David's deer stared at and approached the hidden loudspeaker when they heard the roars of tiger or lion. The deer listened to tiger roars longer, approached to tiger roars more and spent more time staring at the tiger model. The stags were also found to forage less in the trials of tiger roars than that of other sound playbacks. Additionally, it took longer for the deer to restore their normal behavior after they heard tiger roars, which was longer than that after the trial of other sound playbacks. Moreover, the deer were only found to walk away after hearing the sounds of tiger and wolf. Therefore, the tiger was probably the main predator for Père David's deer in ancient time. Our study implies that Père David's deer still retain the memories of the acoustic and visual cues of their ancestral predators in spite of the long term isolation from natural habitat.

  2. Laying the Foundations for a Human-Predator Conflict Solution: Assessing the Impact of Bonelli's Eagle on Rabbits and Partridges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Gil-Sánchez, José M.; Barea-Azcón, José M.; Ballesteros-Duperón, Elena; Virgós, Emilio

    2011-01-01

    Background Predation may potentially lead to negative effects on both prey (directly via predators) and predators (indirectly via human persecution). Predation pressure studies are, therefore, of major interest in the fields of theoretical knowledge and conservation of prey or predator species, with wide ramifications and profound implications in human-wildlife conflicts. However, detailed works on this issue in highly valuable –in conservation terms– Mediterranean ecosystems are virtually absent. This paper explores the predator-hunting conflict by examining a paradigmatic, Mediterranean-wide (endangered) predator-two prey (small game) system. Methodology/Principal Findings We estimated the predation impact (‘kill rate’ and ‘predation rate’, i.e., number of prey and proportion of the prey population eaten, respectively) of Bonelli's eagle Aquila fasciata on rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa populations in two seasons (the eagle's breeding and non-breeding periods, 100 days each) in SE Spain. The mean estimated kill rate by the seven eagle reproductive units in the study area was c. 304 rabbits and c. 262 partridges in the breeding season, and c. 237 rabbits and c. 121 partridges in the non-breeding period. This resulted in very low predation rates (range: 0.3–2.5%) for both prey and seasons. Conclusions/Significance The potential role of Bonelli's eagles as a limiting factor for rabbits and partridges at the population scale was very poor. The conflict between game profitability and conservation interest of either prey or predators is apparently very localised, and eagles, quarry species and game interests seem compatible in most of the study area. Currently, both the persecution and negative perception of Bonelli's eagle (the ‘partridge-eating eagle’ in Spanish) have a null theoretical basis in most of this area. PMID:21818399

  3. Laying the foundations for a human-predator conflict solution: assessing the impact of Bonelli's eagle on rabbits and partridges.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Moleón

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Predation may potentially lead to negative effects on both prey (directly via predators and predators (indirectly via human persecution. Predation pressure studies are, therefore, of major interest in the fields of theoretical knowledge and conservation of prey or predator species, with wide ramifications and profound implications in human-wildlife conflicts. However, detailed works on this issue in highly valuable--in conservation terms--Mediterranean ecosystems are virtually absent. This paper explores the predator-hunting conflict by examining a paradigmatic, Mediterranean-wide (endangered predator-two prey (small game system. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We estimated the predation impact ('kill rate' and 'predation rate', i.e., number of prey and proportion of the prey population eaten, respectively of Bonelli's eagle Aquila fasciata on rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa populations in two seasons (the eagle's breeding and non-breeding periods, 100 days each in SE Spain. The mean estimated kill rate by the seven eagle reproductive units in the study area was c. 304 rabbits and c. 262 partridges in the breeding season, and c. 237 rabbits and c. 121 partridges in the non-breeding period. This resulted in very low predation rates (range: 0.3-2.5% for both prey and seasons. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The potential role of Bonelli's eagles as a limiting factor for rabbits and partridges at the population scale was very poor. The conflict between game profitability and conservation interest of either prey or predators is apparently very localised, and eagles, quarry species and game interests seem compatible in most of the study area. Currently, both the persecution and negative perception of Bonelli's eagle (the 'partridge-eating eagle' in Spanish have a null theoretical basis in most of this area.

  4. Laying the foundations for a human-predator conflict solution: assessing the impact of Bonelli's eagle on rabbits and partridges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Gil-Sánchez, José M; Barea-Azcón, José M; Ballesteros-Duperón, Elena; Virgós, Emilio

    2011-01-01

    Predation may potentially lead to negative effects on both prey (directly via predators) and predators (indirectly via human persecution). Predation pressure studies are, therefore, of major interest in the fields of theoretical knowledge and conservation of prey or predator species, with wide ramifications and profound implications in human-wildlife conflicts. However, detailed works on this issue in highly valuable--in conservation terms--Mediterranean ecosystems are virtually absent. This paper explores the predator-hunting conflict by examining a paradigmatic, Mediterranean-wide (endangered) predator-two prey (small game) system. We estimated the predation impact ('kill rate' and 'predation rate', i.e., number of prey and proportion of the prey population eaten, respectively) of Bonelli's eagle Aquila fasciata on rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and red-legged partridge Alectoris rufa populations in two seasons (the eagle's breeding and non-breeding periods, 100 days each) in SE Spain. The mean estimated kill rate by the seven eagle reproductive units in the study area was c. 304 rabbits and c. 262 partridges in the breeding season, and c. 237 rabbits and c. 121 partridges in the non-breeding period. This resulted in very low predation rates (range: 0.3-2.5%) for both prey and seasons. The potential role of Bonelli's eagles as a limiting factor for rabbits and partridges at the population scale was very poor. The conflict between game profitability and conservation interest of either prey or predators is apparently very localised, and eagles, quarry species and game interests seem compatible in most of the study area. Currently, both the persecution and negative perception of Bonelli's eagle (the 'partridge-eating eagle' in Spanish) have a null theoretical basis in most of this area.

  5. 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.

  6. Predation on rose galls: parasitoids and predators determine gall size through directional selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán László

    Full Text Available Both predators and parasitoids can have significant effects on species' life history traits, such as longevity or clutch size. In the case of gall inducers, sporadically there is evidence to suggest that both vertebrate predation and insect parasitoid attack may shape the optimal gall size. While the effects of parasitoids have been studied in detail, the influence of vertebrate predation is less well-investigated. To better understand this aspect of gall size evolution, we studied vertebrate predation on galls of Diplolepis rosae on rose (Rosa canina shrubs. We measured predation frequency, predation incidence, and predation rate in a large-scale observational field study, as well as an experimental field study. Our combined results suggest that, similarly to parasitoids, vertebrate predation makes a considerable contribution to mortality of gall inducer larvae. On the other hand, its influence on gall size is in direct contrast to the effect of parasitoids, as frequency of vertebrate predation increases with gall size. This suggests that the balance between predation and parasitoid attack shapes the optimal size of D. rosae galls.

  7. Aquatic insect predators and mosquito control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaalan, Essam Abdel-Salam; Canyon, Deon V

    2009-12-01

    Mosquitoes are serious biting pests and obligate vectors of many vertebrate pathogens. Their immature larval and pupal life stages are a common feature in most tropical and many temperate water bodies and often form a significant proportion of the biomass. Control strategies rely primarily on the use of larvicides and environmental modification to reduce recruitment and adulticides during periods of disease transmission. Larvicides are usually chemical but can involve biological toxins, agents or organisms. The use of insect predators in mosquito control has been exploited in a limited fashion and there is much room for further investigation and implementation. Insects that are recognized as having predatorial capacity with regard to mosquito prey have been identified in the Orders Odonata, Coleoptera, Diptera (primarily aquatic predators), and Hemiptera (primarily surface predators). Although their capacity is affected by certain biological and physical factors, they could play a major role in mosquito control. Furthermore, better understanding for the mosquitoes-predators relationship(s) could probably lead to satisfactory reduction of mosquito-borne diseases by utilizing either these predators in control programs, for instance biological and/or integrated control, or their kairomones as mosquitoes' ovipoisting repellents. This review covers the predation of different insect species on mosquito larvae, predator-prey-habitat relationships, co-habitation developmental issues, survival and abundance, oviposition avoidance, predatorial capacity and integrated vector control.

  8. The increased risk of predation enhances cooperation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Human Activity Determines the Presence of Integron-Associated and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Southwestern British Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel I. Uyaguari-Díaz

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria from anthropogenic sources into the environment poses an emerging public health threat. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs and gene-capturing systems such as integron-associated integrase genes (intI play a key role in alterations of microbial communities and the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment. In order to assess the effect of anthropogenic activities on watersheds in southwestern British Columbia, the presence of putative antibiotic resistance and integrase genes was analyzed in the microbiome of agricultural, urban influenced, and protected watersheds. A metagenomics approach and high-throughput quantitative PCR (HT qPCR were used to screen for elements of resistance including ARGs and intI. Metagenomic sequencing of bacterial genomic DNA was used to characterize the resistome of microbial communities present in watersheds over a 1-year period. There was a low prevalence of ARGs relative to the microbial population (<1%. Analysis of the metagenomic sequences detected a total of 60 elements of resistance including 46 ARGs, intI1, and groEL/intI1 genes and 12 quaternary ammonium compounds (qac resistance genes across all watershed locations. The relative abundance and richness of ARGs was found to be highest in agriculture impacted watersheds compared to urban and protected watersheds. A downstream transport pattern was observed in the impacted watersheds (urban and agricultural during dry months. Similar to other reports, this study found a strong association between intI1 and ARGs (e.g., sul1, an association which may be used as a proxy for anthropogenic activities. Chemical analysis of water samples for three major groups of antibiotics was below the detection limit. However, the high richness and gene copy numbers (GCNs of ARGs in impacted sites suggest that the effects of effluents on microbial communities are occurring even at low concentrations of

  10. Human Activity Determines the Presence of Integron-Associated and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Southwestern British Columbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyaguari-Díaz, Miguel I; Croxen, Matthew A; Luo, Zhiyao; Cronin, Kirby I; Chan, Michael; Baticados, Waren N; Nesbitt, Matthew J; Li, Shaorong; Miller, Kristina M; Dooley, Damion; Hsiao, William; Isaac-Renton, Judith L; Tang, Patrick; Prystajecky, Natalie

    2018-01-01

    The dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria from anthropogenic sources into the environment poses an emerging public health threat. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and gene-capturing systems such as integron-associated integrase genes ( intI ) play a key role in alterations of microbial communities and the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment. In order to assess the effect of anthropogenic activities on watersheds in southwestern British Columbia, the presence of putative antibiotic resistance and integrase genes was analyzed in the microbiome of agricultural, urban influenced, and protected watersheds. A metagenomics approach and high-throughput quantitative PCR (HT qPCR) were used to screen for elements of resistance including ARGs and intI . Metagenomic sequencing of bacterial genomic DNA was used to characterize the resistome of microbial communities present in watersheds over a 1-year period. There was a low prevalence of ARGs relative to the microbial population (<1%). Analysis of the metagenomic sequences detected a total of 60 elements of resistance including 46 ARGs, intI1 , and groEL/ intI1 genes and 12 quaternary ammonium compounds ( qac ) resistance genes across all watershed locations. The relative abundance and richness of ARGs was found to be highest in agriculture impacted watersheds compared to urban and protected watersheds. A downstream transport pattern was observed in the impacted watersheds (urban and agricultural) during dry months. Similar to other reports, this study found a strong association between intI1 and ARGs (e.g., sul1 ), an association which may be used as a proxy for anthropogenic activities. Chemical analysis of water samples for three major groups of antibiotics was below the detection limit. However, the high richness and gene copy numbers (GCNs) of ARGs in impacted sites suggest that the effects of effluents on microbial communities are occurring even at low concentrations of antimicrobials

  11. Class 1 Integrons and the Antiseptic Resistance Gene (qacEΔ1) in Municipal and Swine Slaughterhouse Wastewater Treatment Plants and Wastewater-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Min Tao; Chou, Chin Cheng

    2015-06-02

    Class 1 integrons are mobile gene elements (MGEs) containing qacEΔ1 that are resistant to quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) disinfectants. This study compared the abundances of class 1 integrons and antiseptic resistance genes in municipal (M) and swine slaughterhouse (S) wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and investigated the presence of class 1 integrons and antiseptic resistance genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from wastewater samples. The abundances of intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes in 96 wastewater samples were quantified using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time qPCR), and 113 MRSA isolates recovered from the wastewater samples were detected class 1 integrons and linked antiseptic resistance genes (qacEΔ1), and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for QAC antiseptics. The intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes were detected in all the wastewater samples, and they were more abundant in S-WWTP samples than in M-WWTP samples. A higher percentage of MRSA isolates carried qacEΔ1 in MRSA from swine wastewater samples (62.8%) than in municipal MRSA (3.7%). All the MRSA isolates showed high MICs for antiseptic agents. This study provides important evidence regarding the abundances of intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes in municipal and swine slaughterhouse wastewater, and antiseptic-resistant MRSA strains were detected in swine slaughterhouse wastewater.

  12. Class 1 Integrons and the Antiseptic Resistance Gene (qacEΔ1) in Municipal and Swine Slaughterhouse Wastewater Treatment Plants and Wastewater—Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Min Tao; Chou, Chin Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Class 1 integrons are mobile gene elements (MGEs) containing qacEΔ1 that are resistant to quaternary ammonium compound (QAC) disinfectants. This study compared the abundances of class 1 integrons and antiseptic resistance genes in municipal (M) and swine slaughterhouse (S) wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and investigated the presence of class 1 integrons and antiseptic resistance genes in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from wastewater samples. The abundances of intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes in 96 wastewater samples were quantified using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time qPCR), and 113 MRSA isolates recovered from the wastewater samples were detected class 1 integrons and linked antiseptic resistance genes (qacEΔ1), and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for QAC antiseptics. The intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes were detected in all the wastewater samples, and they were more abundant in S-WWTP samples than in M-WWTP samples. A higher percentage of MRSA isolates carried qacEΔ1 in MRSA from swine wastewater samples (62.8%) than in municipal MRSA (3.7%). All the MRSA isolates showed high MICs for antiseptic agents. This study provides important evidence regarding the abundances of intI1 and qacEΔ1 genes in municipal and swine slaughterhouse wastewater, and antiseptic-resistant MRSA strains were detected in swine slaughterhouse wastewater. PMID:26042365

  13. Predation and selection for antibiotic resistance in natural environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leisner, Jørgen; Jørgensen, Niels O. G.; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    Genes encoding resistance to antibiotics appear, like the antibiotics themselves, to be ancient, originating long before the rise of the era of anthropogenic antibiotics. However, detailed understanding of the specific biological advantages of antibiotic resistance in natural environments is still...... lacking, thus limiting our efforts to prevent environmental influx of resistance genes. Here, we propose that antibiotic-resistant cells not only evade predation from antibiotic producers but also take advantage of nutrients released from cells that are killed by the antibiotic-producing bacteria. Thus......, predation is potentially an important mechanism for driving antibiotic resistance during slow or stationary phase of growth when nutrients are deprived. This adds to explain the ancient nature and widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance in natural environments unaffected by anthropogenic antibiotics...

  14. Response of brown anoles Anolis sagrei to multimodal signals from a native and novel predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar L. ELMASRI, Marcus S. MORENO, Courtney A. NEUMANN, Daniel T. BLUMSTEIN

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Multiple studies have focused on the importance of single modalities (visual, auditory, olfactory in eliciting anti-predator behavior, however multiple channels are often engaged simultaneously. While examining responses to multiple cues can potentially reveal more complex behavioral responses, little is known about how multimodal processing evolves. By contrasting response to familiar and novel predators, insights can be gained into the evolution of multimodal responses. We studied brown anoles’ (Anolis sagrei response to acoustic and visual predatory cues of a common potential predator, the great-tailed grackle Quiscalus mexicanus and to the American kestrel Falco sparverius, a species found in other populations but not present in our study population. We observed anole behavior before and after a stimulus and quantified rates of looking, display, and locomotion. Anoles increased their rate of locomotion in response to grackle models, an effect modulated by grackle vocalizations. No such response or modulation was seen when anoles were presented with kestrel stimuli. This suggests that the degree of sophistication of anole response to predators is experience dependent and that relaxed selection can result in reduced anti-predator response following loss of predators [Current Zoology 58 (6: 791–796, 2012].

  15. 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.

  16. Potencial reprodutivo de Supputius cincticeps (Stal (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae influenciado pelo peso do corpo da fêmea - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v25i1.2081 Reproductive potential of the predator Supputius cincticeps (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae affected by female body weight - DOI: 10.4025/actascibiolsci.v25i1.2081

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Eduardo Serrão

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available O potencial reprodutivo de fêmeas de Supputius cincticeps (Stal (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae de duas classes de peso foi avaliado. Machos e fêmeas desse predador foram obtidos de ninfas alimentadas com pupas de Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae. Foram analisadas fêmeas com peso inferior a 45 mg (fêmeas leves e superior a 60 mg (fêmeas pesadas. A longevidade e os períodos de pré-oviposição, oviposição e pós-oviposição foram semelhantes entre fêmeas das duas classes de peso, enquanto aquelas mais pesadas apresentaram maior número de posturas, ovos, ovos/postura e ninfas. Períodos entre posturas e de incubação dos ovos foram menores para fêmeas com peso superior a 60mg. Esses resultados são discutidos em relação ao uso de fêmeas mais pesadas de S. cincticeps para aumentar a produção em criação massal desse predadorThe reproductive potential of Supputius cincticeps (Stal (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae females of two weight classes was evaluated with males and females of this predator obtained from nymphs fed on Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae pupae. Females of S. cincticeps weighing less than 45 mg (light females and more than 60 mg (heavy females constituted the treatments. Pre-oviposition, oviposition and post-oviposition periods besides adult longevity were similar between treatments while number of egg masses, eggs, eggs/egg mass and number of nymphs hatched were higher for heavier females. Periods between egg mass laying and egg incubation were shorter for insects of the last treatment. These results are discussed in relation to the use of heavier females of S. cincticeps to improve mass rearing of this predator in laboratory

  17. A predator-prey system with stage-structure for predator and nonlocal delay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lin, Z.G.; Pedersen, Michael; Zhang, Lai

    2010-01-01

    This paper deals with the behavior of solutions to the reaction-diffusion system under homogeneous Neumann boundary condition, which describes a prey-predator model with nonlocal delay. Sufficient conditions for the global stability of each equilibrium are derived by the Lyapunov functional...... and the results show that the introduction of stage-structure into predator positively affects the coexistence of prey and predator. Numerical simulations are performed to illustrate the results....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius ...

  19. Predator attack rate evolution in space: the role of ecology mediated by complex emergent spatial structure and self-shading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messinger, Susanna M; Ostling, Annette

    2013-11-01

    Predation interactions are an important element of ecological communities. Population spatial structure has been shown to influence predator evolution, resulting in the evolution of a reduced predator attack rate; however, the evolutionary role of traits governing predator and prey ecology is unknown. The evolutionary effect of spatial structure on a predator's attack rate has primarily been explored assuming a fixed metapopulation spatial structure, and understood in terms of group selection. But endogenously generated, emergent spatial structure is common in nature. Furthermore, the evolutionary influence of ecological traits may be mediated through the spatial self-structuring process. Drawing from theory on pathogens, the evolutionary effect of emergent spatial structure can be understood in terms of self-shading, where a voracious predator limits its long-term invasion potential by reducing local prey availability. Here we formalize the effects of self-shading for predators using spatial moment equations. Then, through simulations, we show that in a spatial context self-shading leads to relationships between predator-prey ecology and the predator's attack rate that are not expected in a non-spatial context. Some relationships are analogous to relationships already shown for host-pathogen interactions, but others represent new trait dimensions. Finally, since understanding the effects of ecology using existing self-shading theory requires simplifications of the emergent spatial structure that do not apply well here, we also develop metrics describing the complex spatial structure of the predator and prey populations to help us explain the evolutionary effect of predator and prey ecology in the context of self-shading. The identification of these metrics may provide a step towards expansion of the predictive domain of self-shading theory to more complex spatial dynamics. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Biodiversity effects of the predation gauntlet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stier, Adrian C.; Stallings, Christopher D.; Samhouri, Jameal F.; Albins, Mark A.; Almany, Glenn R.

    2017-06-01

    The ubiquity of trophic downgrading has led to interest in the consequences of mesopredator release on prey communities and ecosystems. This issue is of particular concern for reef-fish communities, where predation is a key process driving ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Here, we synthesize existing experiments that have isolated the effects of mesopredators to quantify the role of predation in driving changes in the abundance and biodiversity of recently settled reef fishes. On average, predators reduced prey abundance through generalist foraging behavior, which, through a statistical sampling artifact, caused a reduction in alpha diversity and an increase in beta diversity. Thus, the synthesized experiments provide evidence that predation reduces overall abundance within prey communities, but—after accounting for sampling effects—does not cause disproportionate effects on biodiversity.

  1. Apex Predators Program Age and Growth Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Apex Predators Program staff have collected vertebral centra from sportfishing tournaments, cruises, commercial fishermen and strandings in the Northeast US since...

  2. Apex Predators Program Sportfishing Tournament Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Apex Predators Program staff have collected shark sportfishing tournamant data from the Northeast US since the 1960's. These tournaments offer a unique opportunity...

  3. Dynamics of a Stochastic Intraguild Predation Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zejing Xing

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Intraguild predation (IGP is a widespread ecological phenomenon which occurs when one predator species attacks another predator species with which it competes for a shared prey species. The objective of this paper is to study the dynamical properties of a stochastic intraguild predation model. We analyze stochastic persistence and extinction of the stochastic IGP model containing five cases and establish the sufficient criteria for global asymptotic stability of the positive solutions. This study shows that it is possible for the coexistence of three species under the influence of environmental noise, and that the noise may have a positive effect for IGP species. A stationary distribution of the stochastic IGP model is established and it has the ergodic property, suggesting that the time average of population size with the development of time is equal to the stationary distribution in space. Finally, we show that our results may be extended to two well-known biological systems: food chains and exploitative competition.

  4. The Effects of Predator Evolution and Genetic Variation on Predator-Prey Population-Level Dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortez, Michael H; Patel, Swati

    2017-07-01

    This paper explores how predator evolution and the magnitude of predator genetic variation alter the population-level dynamics of predator-prey systems. We do this by analyzing a general eco-evolutionary predator-prey model using four methods: Method 1 identifies how eco-evolutionary feedbacks alter system stability in the fast and slow evolution limits; Method 2 identifies how the amount of standing predator genetic variation alters system stability; Method 3 identifies how the phase lags in predator-prey cycles depend on the amount of genetic variation; and Method 4 determines conditions for different cycle shapes in the fast and slow evolution limits using geometric singular perturbation theory. With these four methods, we identify the conditions under which predator evolution alters system stability and shapes of predator-prey cycles, and how those effect depend on the amount of genetic variation in the predator population. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method and the relations between the four methods. This work shows how the four methods can be used in tandem to make general predictions about eco-evolutionary dynamics and feedbacks.

  5. Predators indirectly control vector-borne disease: linking predator-prey and host-pathogen models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Sean M; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez R

    2010-01-06

    Pathogens transmitted by arthropod vectors are common in human populations, agricultural systems and natural communities. Transmission of these vector-borne pathogens depends on the population dynamics of the vector species as well as its interactions with other species within the community. In particular, predation may be sufficient to control pathogen prevalence indirectly via the vector. To examine the indirect effect of predators on vectored-pathogen dynamics, we developed a theoretical model that integrates predator-prey and host-pathogen theory. We used this model to determine whether predation can prevent pathogen persistence or alter the stability of host-pathogen dynamics. We found that, in the absence of predation, pathogen prevalence in the host increases with vector fecundity, whereas predation on the vector causes pathogen prevalence to decline, or even become extinct, with increasing vector fecundity. We also found that predation on a vector may drastically slow the initial spread of a pathogen. The predator can increase host abundance indirectly by reducing or eliminating infection in the host population. These results highlight the importance of studying interactions that, within the greater community, may alter our predictions when studying disease dynamics. From an applied perspective, these results also suggest situations where an introduced predator or the natural enemies of a vector may slow the rate of spread of an emerging vector-borne pathogen.

  6. Weed seed predation in organic and conventional fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navntoft, Søren; Wratten, S.D.; Kristensen, Kristian

    2009-01-01

    Enhanced biological control of weed seeds may improve sustainability of agricultural production. Biological control due to seed predation may be higher in organic fields because organic production generally supports more seed predators. To investigate such a difference, weed seed predation...... University and in two of the fields used for estimating seed predation. Recording of predators had therefore limited overlap with seed predation assays but was expected to give important information on key seed predators in the region. The mean seed removal rate was 17% in organic fields compared with 10...... edges. Overall, there was no consistent effect of distance from the field edge. Vegetation had a significant influence on the predation rates, with maximum rates at a medium-dense plant cover. Based on the video images, birds were the most important seed predators. The higher weed seed predation rate...

  7. Hypothalamic Circuits for Predation and Evasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zeng, Jiawei; Zhang, Juen; Yue, Chenyu; Zhong, Weixin; Liu, Zhixiang; Feng, Qiru; Luo, Minmin

    2018-02-21

    The interactions between predator and prey represent some of the most dramatic events in nature and constitute a matter of life and death for both sides. The hypothalamus has been implicated in driving predation and evasion; however, the exact hypothalamic neural circuits underlying these behaviors remain poorly defined. Here, we demonstrate that inhibitory and excitatory projections from the mouse lateral hypothalamus (LH) to the periaqueductal gray (PAG) in the midbrain drive, respectively, predation and evasion. LH GABA neurons were activated during predation. Optogenetically stimulating PAG-projecting LH GABA neurons drove strong predatory attack, and inhibiting these cells reversibly blocked predation. In contrast, LH glutamate neurons were activated during evasion. Stimulating PAG-projecting LH glutamate neurons drove evasion and inhibiting them impeded predictive evasion. Therefore, the seemingly opposite behaviors of predation and evasion are tightly regulated by two dissociable modular command systems within a single neural projection from the LH to the PAG. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Marine biofilm bacteria evade eukaryotic predation by targeted chemical defense.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carsten Matz

    Full Text Available Many plants and animals are defended from predation or herbivory by inhibitory secondary metabolites, which in the marine environment are very common among sessile organisms. Among bacteria, where there is the greatest metabolic potential, little is known about chemical defenses against bacterivorous consumers. An emerging hypothesis is that sessile bacterial communities organized as biofilms serve as bacterial refuge from predation. By testing growth and survival of two common bacterivorous nanoflagellates, we find evidence that chemically mediated resistance against protozoan predators is common among biofilm populations in a diverse set of marine bacteria. Using bioassay-guided chemical and genetic analysis, we identified one of the most effective antiprotozoal compounds as violacein, an alkaloid that we demonstrate is produced predominately within biofilm cells. Nanomolar concentrations of violacein inhibit protozoan feeding by inducing a conserved eukaryotic cell death program. Such biofilm-specific chemical defenses could contribute to the successful persistence of biofilm bacteria in various environments and provide the ecological and evolutionary context for a number of eukaryote-targeting bacterial metabolites.

  9. AFSC/ABL: Adult Pink Salmon Predation in Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska, 2009-2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The project objectives were to assess potential salmon predation impact on juvenile salmon and herring by: (1) comparing diets of adult pink salmon during their...

  10. Behavioural adjustment in response to increased predation risk: a study in three duck species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Zimmer

    Full Text Available Predation directly triggers behavioural decisions designed to increase immediate survival. However, these behavioural modifications can have long term costs. There is therefore a trade-off between antipredator behaviours and other activities. This trade-off is generally considered between vigilance and only one other behaviour, thus neglecting potential compensations. In this study, we considered the effect of an increase in predation risk on the diurnal time-budget of three captive duck species during the wintering period. We artificially increased predation risk by disturbing two groups of 14 mallard and teals at different frequencies, and one group of 14 tufted ducks with a radio-controlled stressor. We recorded foraging, vigilance, preening and sleeping durations the week before, during and after disturbance sessions. Disturbed groups were compared to an undisturbed control group. We showed that in all three species, the increase in predation risk resulted in a decrease in foraging and preening and led to an increase in sleeping. It is worth noting that contrary to common observations, vigilance did not increase. However, ducks are known to be vigilant while sleeping. This complex behavioural adjustment therefore seems to be optimal as it may allow ducks to reduce their predation risk. Our results highlight the fact that it is necessary to encompass the whole individual time-budget when studying behavioural modifications under predation risk. Finally, we propose that studies of behavioural time-budget changes under predation risk should be included in the more general framework of the starvation-predation risk trade-off.

  11. Non-pest prey do not disrupt aphid predation by a web-building spider.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, K D; Whitney, T D; Harwood, J D

    2016-02-01

    A generalist predator's ability to contribute to biological control is influenced by the decisions it makes during foraging. Predators often use flexible foraging tactics, which allows them to pursue specific types of prey at the cost of reducing the likelihood of capturing other types of prey. When a pest insect has low nutritional quality or palatability for a predator, the predator is likely to reject that prey in favour of pursuing alternative, non-pest prey. This is often thought to limit the effectiveness of generalist predators in consuming aphids, which are of low nutritional quality for many generalist predators. Here, we report behavioural assays that test the hypothesis that the generalist predator, Grammonota inornata (Araneae: Linyphiidae), preferentially forages for a non-pest prey with high nutritional quality (springtails), and rejects a pest prey with low nutritional quality (aphids). In no-choice assays, molecular gut-content analysis revealed that spiders continued to feed on the low-quality aphids at high rates, even when high-quality springtails were readily available. When provided a choice between aphids and springtails in two-way choice tests, spiders did not show the expected preference for springtails. Decision-making by spiders during foraging therefore appears to be sub-optimal, possibly because of attraction to the less frequently encountered of two preys as part of a dietary diversification strategy. These results indicate that behavioural preferences alone do not necessarily compromise the pest-suppression capacity of natural enemies: even nutritionally sub-optimal pest prey can potentially be subject to predation and suppression by natural enemies.

  12. Morphological plasticity in the tropical sponge Anthosigmella varians: responses to predators and wave energy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Malcolm S; Hill, April L

    2002-02-01

    The goal of the research presented here was to examine phenotypic plasticity exhibited by three morphotypes of the common Caribbean sponge Anthosigmella varians (Duchassaing & Michelotti). We were interested in examining the biotic (and, to a lesser extent, abiotic) factors responsible for branch production in this species. We also tested the hypothesis that the skeleton may serve an antipredator function in this sponge, focusing on vertebrate fish predators (i.e., angelfish) in this work. In transplant and caging experiments, unprotected forma varians replicates were immediately consumed by angelfish, while caged replicates persisted on the reef for several months. These findings support the hypothesis that predators (and not wave energy) restrict forma varians to lagoonal habitats. Branch production was not observed in A. varians forma incrustans when sponges were protected from predators or placed in predator-free, low-wave-energy environments. It is not clear from our work whether forma incrustans is capable of producing branches (i.e., whether branch production is a plastic trait in this morph). Additional field experiments demonstrated that A. varians forma varians increased spicule concentrations, compared to uninjured sponges, in response to artificial predation events, and A. varians forma rigida reduced spicule concentrations, compared to uncaged controls, when protected from predators. These findings indicate that spicule concentration is a plastic morphological trait that can be induced by damage, and that A. varians may be able to reduce spicule concentrations when environmental conditions change (e.g., in the absence of predators). The potential significance of inducible defenses and structural anti-predator defenses in sponges is discussed in relation to recent work on sponge chemical defenses.

  13. Interactions among predators and plant specificity protect herbivores from top predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosc, Christopher; Pauw, Anton; Roets, Francois; Hui, Cang

    2018-05-04

    The worldwide loss of top predators from natural and agricultural systems has heightened the need to understand how important they are in controlling herbivore abundance. The effect of top predators on herbivore species is likely to depend on 1) the importance of the consumption of intermediate predators by top predators (intra-guild predation; IGP), but also on 2) plant specificity by herbivores, because specialists may defend themselves better (enemy-free space; EFS). Insectivorous birds, as top predators, are generally known to effectively control herbivorous insects, despite also consuming intermediate predators such as spiders, but how this effect varies among herbivore species in relation to the cascading effects of IGP and EFS is not known. To explore this, we excluded birds from natural fynbos vegetation in South Africa using large netted cages and recorded changes in abundance relative to control plots for 199 plant-dwelling intermediate predator and 341 herbivore morpho-species that varied in their estimated plant specificity. We found a strong negative effect of birds on the total abundance of all intermediate predators, with especially clear effects on spiders (strong IGP). In contrast with previous studies, which document a negative effect of birds on herbivores, we found an overall neutral effect of birds on herbivore abundance, but the effect varied among species: some species were negatively affected by birds, suggesting that they were mainly consumed by birds, whereas others, likely released from spiders by IGP, were positively affected. Some species were also effectively neutrally affected by birds. These tended to be more specialized to plants compared to the other species, which may imply that some plant specialists benefited from protection provided by EFS from both birds and spiders. These results suggest that the response of herbivore species to top predators may depend on cascading effects of interactions among predators and on their degree

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Predator-induced changes in metabolism cannot explain the growth/predation risk tradeoff.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich K Steiner

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Defence against predators is usually accompanied by declining rates of growth or development. The classical growth/predation risk tradeoff assumes reduced activity as the cause of these declines. However, in many cases these costs cannot be explained by reduced foraging effort or enhanced allocation to defensive structures under predation risk. Here, we tested for a physiological origin of defence costs by measuring oxygen consumption in tadpoles (Rana temporaria exposed to predation risk over short and long periods of time. The short term reaction was an increase in oxygen consumption, consistent with the "fight-or-flight" response observed in many organisms. The long term reaction showed the opposite pattern: tadpoles reduced oxygen consumption after three weeks exposure to predators, which would act to reduce the growth cost of predator defence. The results point to an instantaneous and reversible stress response to predation risk. This suggests that the tradeoff between avoiding predators and growing rapidly is not caused by changes in metabolic rate, and must be sought in other behavioural or physiological processes.

  16. Interactions of bullfrog tadpole predators and an insecticide: Predation release and facilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2003-01-01

    The effect of a contaminant on a community may not be easily predicted, given that complex changes in food resources and predator-prey dynamics may result. The objectives of our study were to determine the interactive effects of the insecticide carbaryl and predators on body size, development, survival, and activity of tadpoles of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). We conducted the study in cattle tank mesocosm ponds exposed to 0, 3.5, or 7.0 mg/l carbaryl, and no predators or two red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), or crayfish (Orconectes sp.). Carbaryl negatively affected predator survival by eliminating crayfish from all ponds, and by eliminating bluegill sunfish from ponds exposed to the highest concentration of carbaryl; carbaryl exposure did not effect survival of red-spotted newts. Because crayfish were eliminated by carbaryl, bullfrogs were released from predation and survival was near that of predator controls at low concentrations of carbaryl exposure. High concentrations of carbaryl reduced tadpole survival regardless of whether predators survived carbaryl exposure or not. Presence of crayfish and newts reduced tadpole survival, while bluegill sunfish appeared to facilitate bullfrog tadpole survival. Presence of carbaryl stimulated bullfrog tadpole mass and development. Our study demonstrates that the presence of a contaminant stress can alter community regulation by releasing prey from predators that are vulnerable to contaminants in some exposure scenarios.

  17. Do Predation Rates on Artificial Nests Accurately Reflect Predation Rates on Natural Bird Nests?

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf; Curtice R. Griffin; Thomas J. Maier

    1999-01-01

    Artificial nests are widely used in avian field studies. However, it is unclear how well predation rates on artificial nests reflect predation rates on natural nests. Therefore, we compared survival rates of artificial nests (unused natural nests baited with House Sparrow eggs) with survival rates of active bird nests in the same habitat at the same sites. Survival...

  18. A predator-2 prey fast-slow dynamical system for rapid predator evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Piltz, Sofia Helena; Veerman, Frits; Maini, Philip K.

    2017-01-01

    We consider adaptive change of diet of a predator population that switches its feeding between two prey populations. We develop a novel 1 fast-3 slow dynamical system to describe the dynamics of the three populations amidst continuous but rapid evolution of the predator's diet choice. The two ext...

  19. Genome analysis of a clinical isolate of Shewanella sp. uncovered an active hybrid integrative and conjugative element carrying an integron platform inserted in a novel genomic locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmeciano Di Noto, Gisela; Jara, Eugenio; Iriarte, Andrés; Centrón, Daniela; Quiroga, Cecilia

    2016-08-01

    Shewanella spp. are currently considered to be emerging pathogens that can code for a blaOXA carbapenemase in their chromosome. Complete genome analysis of the clinical isolate Shewanella sp. Sh95 revealed that this strain is a novel species, which shares a lineage with marine isolates. Characterization of its resistome showed that it codes for genes drfA15, qacH and blaOXA-48. We propose that Shewanella sp. Sh95 acts as reservoir of blaOXA-48. Moreover, analysis of mobilome showed that it contains a novel integrative and conjugative element (ICE), named ICESh95. Comparative analysis between the close relatives ICESpuPO1 from Shewanella sp. W3-18-1 and ICE SXTMO10 from Vibrio cholerae showed that ICESh95 encompassed two new regions, a type III restriction modification system and a multidrug resistance integron. The integron platform contained a novel arrangement formed by gene cassettes drfA15 and qacH, and a class C-attC group II intron. Furthermore, insertion of ICESh95 occurred at a unique target site, which correlated with the presence of a different xis/int module. Mobility of ICESh95 was assessed and demonstrated its ability to self-transfer with high efficiency to different species of bacteria. Our results show that ICESh95 is a self-transmissible, mobile element, which can contribute to the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance; this is clearly a threat when natural bacteria from water ecosystems, such as Shewanella, act as vectors in its propagation.

  20. Class 1 integrons and plasmid-mediated multiple resistance genes of the Campylobacter species from pediatric patient of a university hospital in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yi-Chih; Tien, Ni; Yang, Jai-Sing; Lu, Chi-Cheng; Tsai, Fuu-Jen; Huang, Tsurng-Juhn; Wang, I-Kuan

    2017-01-01

    The Campylobacter species usually causes infection between humans and livestock interaction via livestock breeding. The studies of the Campylobacter species thus far in all clinical isolates were to show the many kinds of antibiotic phenomenon that were produced. Their integrons cause the induction of antibiotic resistance between bacterial species in the Campylobacter species. The bacterial strains from the diarrhea of pediatric patient which isolated by China Medical University Hospital storage bank. These isolates were identified by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The anti-microbial susceptibility test showed that Campylobacter species resistant to cefepime, streptomycin, tobramycin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (all C. jejuni and C. coli isolates), ampicillin (89% of C. jejuni ; 75% of C. coli ), cefotaxime (78% of C. jejuni ; 100% of C. coli ), nalidixic acid (78% of C. jejuni ; 100% of C. coli ), tetracycline (89% of C. jejuni ; 25% C. coli ), ciprofloxacin (67% of C. jejuni ; 50% C. coli ), kanamycin (33% of C. jejuni ; 75% C. coli ) and the C. fetus isolate resisted to ampicillin, cefotaxime, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, kanamycin by disc-diffusion method. The effect for ciprofloxacin and tetracycline of the Campylobacter species was tested using an E-test. The tet, erm , and integron genes were detected by PCR assay. According to the sequencing analysis (type I: dfr12 - gcuF - aadA2 genes and type II: dfrA7 gene), the cassette type was identified. The most common gene cassette type (type I: 9 C. jejuni and 2 C. coli isolates; type II: 1 C. coli isolates) was found in 12 class I integrase-positive isolates. Our results suggested an important information in the latency of Campylobacter species with resistance genes, and irrational antimicrobial use should be concerned.

  1. Is it safe to nest near conspicuous neighbours? Spatial patterns in predation risk associated with the density of American Golden-Plover nests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Andrée Giroux

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Predation is one of the main factors explaining nesting mortality in most bird species. Birds can avoid nest predation or reduce predation pressure by breeding at higher latitude, showing anti-predator behaviour, selecting nest sites protected from predators, and nesting in association with protective species. American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica defend their territory by using various warning and distraction behaviours displayed at varying levels of intensity (hereafter “conspicuous behaviour”, as well as more aggressive behaviours such as aerial attacks, but only in some populations. Such antipredator behaviour has the potential to repel predators and thus benefit the neighbouring nests by decreasing their predation risk. Yet, conspicuous behaviour could also attract predators by signalling the presence of a nest. To test for the existence of a protective effect associated with the conspicuous antipredator behaviour of American Golden-Plovers, we studied the influence of proximity to plover nests on predation risk of artificial nests on Igloolik Island (Nunavut, Canada in July 2014. We predicted that the predation risk of artificial nests would decrease with proximity to and density of plover nests. We monitored 18 plover nests and set 35 artificial nests at 30, 50, 100, 200, and 500 m from seven of those plover nests. We found that the predation risk of artificial nests increases with the density of active plover nests. We also found a significant negative effect of the distance to the nearest active protector nest on predation risk of artificial nests. Understanding how the composition and structure of shorebird communities generate spatial patterns in predation risks represents a key step to better understand the importance of these species of conservation concern in tundra food webs.

  2. Is it safe to nest near conspicuous neighbours? Spatial patterns in predation risk associated with the density of American Golden-Plover nests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giroux, Marie-Andrée; Trottier-Paquet, Myriam; Bêty, Joël; Lamarre, Vincent; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Predation is one of the main factors explaining nesting mortality in most bird species. Birds can avoid nest predation or reduce predation pressure by breeding at higher latitude, showing anti-predator behaviour, selecting nest sites protected from predators, and nesting in association with protective species. American Golden-Plovers (Pluvialis dominica) defend their territory by using various warning and distraction behaviours displayed at varying levels of intensity (hereafter "conspicuous behaviour"), as well as more aggressive behaviours such as aerial attacks, but only in some populations. Such antipredator behaviour has the potential to repel predators and thus benefit the neighbouring nests by decreasing their predation risk. Yet, conspicuous behaviour could also attract predators by signalling the presence of a nest. To test for the existence of a protective effect associated with the conspicuous antipredator behaviour of American Golden-Plovers, we studied the influence of proximity to plover nests on predation risk of artificial nests on Igloolik Island (Nunavut, Canada) in July 2014. We predicted that the predation risk of artificial nests would decrease with proximity to and density of plover nests. We monitored 18 plover nests and set 35 artificial nests at 30, 50, 100, 200, and 500 m from seven of those plover nests. We found that the predation risk of artificial nests increases with the density of active plover nests. We also found a significant negative effect of the distance to the nearest active protector nest on predation risk of artificial nests. Understanding how the composition and structure of shorebird communities generate spatial patterns in predation risks represents a key step to better understand the importance of these species of conservation concern in tundra food webs.

  3. Characterisation of IncA/C2 plasmids carrying an In416-like integron with the blaVIM-19 gene from Klebsiella pneumoniae ST383 of Greek origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papagiannitsis, Costas C; Dolejska, Monika; Izdebski, Radosław; Giakkoupi, Panagiota; Skálová, Anna; Chudějová, Kateřina; Dobiasova, Hana; Vatopoulos, Alkiviadis C; Derde, Lennie P G; Bonten, Marc J M; Gniadkowski, Marek; Hrabák, Jaroslav

    2016-02-01

    The complete nucleotide sequences of three multidrug resistance (MDR) IncA/C-like plasmids from Enterobacteriaceae isolates carrying the VIM-type carbapenemase-encoding integrons In4863 (blaVIM-19-aacA7-dfrA1-ΔaadA1-smr2) or In4873 (blaVIM-1-aacA7-dfrA1-ΔaadA1-smr2) were determined, which are the first In416-like elements identified in Greece. Plasmids pKP-Gr642 and pKP-Gr8143 were from Klebsiella pneumoniae ST383 isolates, whereas plasmid pEcl-Gr4873 was from an Enterobacter cloacae ST88 isolate. Sequencing showed that pKP-Gr642 (162787bp) and pKP-Gr8143 (154395bp) consisted of the type 1 IncA/C2 conserved backbone, the blaCMY-2-like gene-containing region, and the ARI-B (with the sul2 gene) and ARI-A (with a class 1 integron) resistance islands, like the plasmid pUMNK88_161 from the USA. The third plasmid, pEcl-Gr4873 (153958bp), exhibited extensive similarity with the type 2 IncA/C2 plasmid pR55 from France. pEcl-Gr4873 carried only one resistance island of a hybrid transposon structure inserted in a different location to ARI-A in type 1 A/C2 plasmids. In all three plasmids, the In416-like integrons In4863 or In4873 were identified within non-identical class II transposon structures. All three In416-like-carrying regions presented significant similarities with the MDR region of the IncA/C2 plasmid pCC416 from Italy, carrying the prototype In416 integron (blaVIM-4-aacA7-dfrA1-ΔaadA1-smr2). These findings provided the basis for speculations regarding the evolution of IncA/C2 plasmids with In416-like integrons, and confirmed the rapid evolution of some IncA/C2 plasmid lineages. Considering the broad host range of IncA/C2 molecules, it seems that pKP-Gr642, pKP-Gr8143 and pEcl-Gr4873 plasmids might support the diffusion of In416-like integrons among Enterobacteriaceae. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

  4. Role of MexAB-OprM and MexXY-OprM efflux pumps and class 1 integrons in resistance to antibiotics in burn and Intensive Care Unit isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goli, Hamid Reza; Nahaei, Mohammad Reza; Ahangarzadeh Rezaee, Mohammad; Hasani, Alka; Samadi Kafil, Hossein; Aghazadeh, Mohammad; Nikbakht, Mojtaba; Khalili, Younes

    2017-10-06

    The overexpression of efflux pumps and existence of class 1 integrons are the most important mechanisms that contribute to antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa especially in burn and Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The present study evaluated the role of MexAB-OprM and MexXY-OprM efflux pumps and class 1 integrons in resistance to antibiotics in burn and ICU isolates of P. aeruginosa. Fifteen burn and forty-two ICU isolates were obtained from four hospitals in Northwest Iran. The isolates were identified and evaluated by the disk diffusion and agar dilution methods for determining antibiotic resistances. The presence of class 1 integrons and associated resistance gene cassettes were detected by PCR and sequencing of the products. The expression levels of efflux pumps were evaluated by phenotypic and genotypic (Quantitative Real-time PCR) methods. The isolates were genotyped by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA Typing (RAPD-PCR). All burn isolates were integron positive and Multi-drug resistant (MDR), while 78.5% and 69% of ICU isolates were found as MDR and integron positive, respectively. The aadB gene was the most prevalent gene cassette (63.6%) followed by aacA4 (47.7%). Thirty-nine (68.4%) and 43 (75.4%) isolates exhibited an overexpression of MexAB-OprM and MexXY-OprM. Among burn isolates, 80% and 86.6% of them were mexB and mexY overexpressed, while 64.2% and 71.4% of ICU isolates exhibited mexB and mexY overexpression, correspondingly. The isolates were genotyped as 24 different RAPD profiles and were grouped into 15 clusters. The data suggested that class 1 integron had a more significant role than efflux pumps in resistance to beta-lactams and aminoglycosides in burn and ICUs except for gentamicin in burn isolates. Based on our data, it is possible that efflux pumps were not the main cause of high-level resistance to antibiotics. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Contrast in edge vegetation structure modifies the predation risk of natural ground nests in an agricultural landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole A Schneider

    Full Text Available Nest predation risk generally increases nearer forest-field edges in agricultural landscapes. However, few studies test whether differences in edge contrast (i.e. hard versus soft edges based on vegetation structure and height affect edge-related predation patterns and if such patterns are related to changes in nest conspicuousness between incubation and nestling feeding. Using data on 923 nesting attempts we analyse factors influencing nest predation risk at different edge types in an agricultural landscape of a ground-cavity breeding bird species, the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe. As for many other bird species, nest predation is a major determinant of reproductive success in this migratory passerine. Nest predation risk was higher closer to woodland and crop field edges, but only when these were hard edges in terms of ground vegetation structure (clear contrast between tall vs short ground vegetation. No such edge effect was observed at soft edges where adjacent habitats had tall ground vegetation (crop, ungrazed grassland. This edge effect on nest predation risk was evident during the incubation stage but not the nestling feeding stage. Since wheatear nests are depredated by ground-living animals our results demonstrate: (i that edge effects depend on edge contrast, (ii that edge-related nest predation patterns vary across the breeding period probably resulting from changes in parental activity at the nest between the incubation and nestling feeding stage. Edge effects should be put in the context of the nest predator community as illustrated by the elevated nest predation risk at hard but not soft habitat edges when an edge is defined in terms of ground vegetation. These results thus can potentially explain previously observed variations in edge-related nest predation risk.

  6. 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

  7. Predator-prey dynamics driven by feedback between functionally diverse trophic levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrin Tirok

    Full Text Available Neglecting the naturally existing functional diversity of communities and the resulting potential to respond to altered conditions may strongly reduce the realism and predictive power of ecological models. We therefore propose and study a predator-prey model that describes mutual feedback via species shifts in both predator and prey, using a dynamic trait approach. Species compositions of the two trophic levels were described by mean functional traits--prey edibility and predator food-selectivity--and functional diversities by the variances. Altered edibility triggered shifts in food-selectivity so that consumers continuously respond to the present prey composition, and vice versa. This trait-mediated feedback mechanism resulted in a complex dynamic behavior with ongoing oscillations in the mean trait values, reflecting continuous reorganization of the trophic levels. The feedback was only possible if sufficient functional diversity was present in both trophic levels. Functional diversity was internally maintained on the prey level as no niche existed in our system, which was ideal under any composition of the predator level due to the trade-offs between edibility, growth and carrying capacity. The predators were only subject to one trade-off between food-selectivity and grazing ability and in the absence of immigration, one predator type became abundant, i.e., functional diversity declined to zero. In the lack of functional diversity the system showed the same dynamics as conventional models of predator-prey interactions ignoring the potential for shifts in species composition. This way, our study identified the crucial role of trade-offs and their shape in physiological and ecological traits for preserving diversity.

  8. Optimal diving under the risk of predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heithaus, Michael R; Frid, Alejandro

    2003-07-07

    Many air-breathing aquatic foragers may be killed by aerial or subsurface predators while recovering oxygen at the surface; yet the influence of predation risk on time allocation during dive cycles is little known in spite of numerous studies on optimal diving. We modeled diving behavior under the risk of predation at the surface. The relationship between time spent at the surface and the risk of death is predicted to influence the optimal surface interval, regardless of whether foragers accumulate energy at a constant rate while at the food patch, deplete food resources over the course of the dive, or must search for food during the dive. When instantaneous predation risk during a single surface interval decreases with time spent at the surface, a diver should increase its surface interval relative to that which maximizes energy intake, thereby increasing dive durations and reducing the number of surfacings per foraging bout. When instantaneous risk over a single surface interval does not change or increases with increasing time at the surface, divers should decrease their surface interval (and consequently their dive duration) relative to that which maximizes energy intake resulting in more dives per foraging bout. The fitness consequences of selecting a suboptimal surface interval vary with the risk function and the way divers harvest energy when at depth. Finally, predation risk during surface intervals should have important consequences for habitat selection and other aspects of the behavioral ecology of air-breathing aquatic organisms.

  9. Invasion and predation in aquatic ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith S. WEIS

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews biological invasions in which predation (or its absence plays a major role in the success of the invader. Examples are described in which the invader out-competes native species for the same food, and cases in which the invader consumes valued native species. In many instances, better predator avoidance by the invasive species or the absence of predators in the new habitat contributes to the success of the invaders; in other cases native or introduced predators appear to be able to keep the invasive species in check. A relatively new management approach in the US is the idea of adding another trophic level – to have humans act as the predators and consume the invasive species. This approach is being utilized in Florida and throughout the Caribbean against the lionfish, but could be extended to other fishes, as well as to various invasive crustaceans and mollusks. This idea is controversial, and current regulations prohibiting the possession of individuals of the invasive species (e.g., mitten crabs or snakefish would preclude the development of a fishery for them [Current Zoology 57 (5: 613–624, 2011].

  10. 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....

  11. Predator control promotes invasive dominated ecological states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallach, Arian D; Johnson, Christopher N; Ritchie, Euan G; O'Neill, Adam J

    2010-08-01

    Invasive species are regarded as one of the top five drivers of the global extinction crisis. In response, extreme measures have been applied in an attempt to control or eradicate invasives, with little success overall. We tested the idea that state shifts to invasive dominance are symptomatic of losses in ecosystem resilience, due to the suppression of apex predators. This concept was investigated in Australia where the high rate of mammalian extinctions is largely attributed to the destructive influence of invasive species. Intensive pest control is widely applied across the continent, simultaneously eliminating Australia's apex predator, the dingo (Canis lupus dingo). We show that predator management accounts for shifts between two main ecosystem states. Lethal control fractures dingo social structure and leads to bottom-up driven increases in invasive mesopredators and herbivores. Where control is relaxed, dingoes re-establish top-down regulation of ecosystems, allowing for the recovery of biodiversity and productivity.

  12. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naddafi, Rahmat; Rudstam, Lars G

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahmat Naddafi

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

  15. Tadpoles balance foraging and predator avoidance: Effects of predation, pond drying, and hunger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, C.M.

    2002-01-01

    Organisms are predicted to make trade-offs when foraging and predator avoidance behaviors present conflicting demands. Balancing conflicting demands is important to larval amphibians because adult fitness can be strongly influenced by size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. Larvae in temporary ponds must maximize growth within a short time period to achieve metamorphosis before ponds dry, while simultaneously avoiding predators. To determine whether tadpoles trade off between conflicting demands, I examined tadpole (Pseudacris triseriata) activity and microhabitat use in the presence of red-spotted newts (Notopthalmus viridescens) under varying conditions of pond drying and hunger. Tadpoles significantly decreased activity and increased refuge use when predators were present. The proportion of active time tadpoles spent feeding was significantly greater in predator treatments, suggesting tadpoles adaptively balance the conflicting demands of foraging and predator avoidance without making apparent trade-offs. Tadpoles responded to simulated drying conditions by accelerating development. Pond drying did not modify microhabitat use or activity in the presence of predators, suggesting tadpoles perceived predation and hunger as greater immediate threats than desiccation, and did not take more risks.

  16. 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...

  17. Coexistence with predators (Coexistencia con depredadores)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bill MacDonald; Mac Donaldson; Caren Cowan

    2006-01-01

    We have asked Caren to join us, too, so we get at least three perspectives, because I don’t think there is one particular philosophy with predators that anybody can say works in every case. If you were to ask me what my predator program is, I would say I don’t really have one. That wasn’t always the case. When I was young, I took great delight in sitting for hours with...

  18. Maintenance, endogeneous, respiration, lysis, decay and predation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    loosdrecht, Marc C. M. Van; Henze, Mogens

    1999-01-01

    mechanism is microbiologically correct. The lysis/decay model mechanism is a strongly simplified representation of reality. This paper tries to review the processes grouped under endogenous respiration in activated sludge models. Mechanisms and processes such as maintenance, lysis, internal and external...... decay, predation and death-regeneration are discussed. From recent microbial research it has become evident that cells do not die by themselves. Bacteria are however subject to predation by protozoa. Bacteria store reserve polymers that in absence of external substrate are used for growth...

  19. Ensemble ecosystem modeling for predicting ecosystem response to predator reintroduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christopher M; Gordon, Ascelin; Bode, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Introducing a new or extirpated species to an ecosystem is risky, and managers need quantitative methods that can predict the consequences for the recipient ecosystem. Proponents of keystone predator reintroductions commonly argue that the presence of the predator will restore ecosystem function, but this has not always been the case, and mathematical modeling has an important role to play in predicting how reintroductions will likely play out. We devised an ensemble modeling method that integrates species interaction networks and dynamic community simulations and used it to describe the range of plausible consequences of 2 keystone-predator reintroductions: wolves (Canis lupus) to Yellowstone National Park and dingoes (Canis dingo) to a national park in Australia. Although previous methods for predicting ecosystem responses to such interventions focused on predicting changes around a given equilibrium, we used Lotka-Volterra equations to predict changing abundances through time. We applied our method to interaction networks for wolves in Yellowstone National Park and for dingoes in Australia. Our model replicated the observed dynamics in Yellowstone National Park and produced a larger range of potential outcomes for the dingo network. However, we also found that changes in small vertebrates or invertebrates gave a good indication about the potential future state of the system. Our method allowed us to predict when the systems were far from equilibrium. Our results showed that the method can also be used to predict which species may increase or decrease following a reintroduction and can identify species that are important to monitor (i.e., species whose changes in abundance give extra insight into broad changes in the system). Ensemble ecosystem modeling can also be applied to assess the ecosystem-wide implications of other types of interventions including assisted migration, biocontrol, and invasive species eradication. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Nest site attributes and temporal patterns of northern flicker nest loss: effects of predation and competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Ryan J; Wiebe, Karen L

    2006-04-01

    To date, most studies of nest site selection have failed to take into account more than one source of nest loss (or have combined all sources in one analysis) when examining nest site characteristics, leaving us with an incomplete understanding of the potential trade-offs that individuals may face when selecting a nest site. Our objectives were to determine whether northern flickers (Colaptes auratus) may experience a trade-off in nest site selection in response to mammalian nest predation and nest loss to a cavity nest competitor (European starling, Sturnus vulgaris). We also document within-season temporal patterns of these two sources of nest loss with the hypothesis that flickers may also be constrained in the timing of reproduction under both predatory and competitive influence. Mammalian predators frequently depredated flicker nests that were: lower to the ground, less concealed by vegetation around the cavity entrance and at the base of the nest tree, closer to coniferous forest edges and in forest clumps with a high percentage of conifer content. Proximity to coniferous edges or coniferous trees increased the probability of nest predation, but nests near conifers were less likely to be lost to starlings. Flickers may thus face a trade-off in nest site selection with respect to safety from predators or competitors. Models suggested that peaks of nest predation and nest loss to eviction occurred at the same time, although a competing model suggested that the peak of nest loss to starlings occurred 5 days earlier than the peak of mammalian predation. Differences in peaks of mammalian predation and loss to starlings may constrain any adjustment in clutch initiation date by flickers to avoid one source of nest loss.

  1. Trophic Transfer of Arsenic from an Aquatic Insect to Terrestrial Insect Predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L; Walton, William E; Parker, David R; Trumble, John T

    2013-01-01

    The movement of energy and nutrients from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems can be substantial, and emergent aquatic insects can serve as biovectors not only for nutrients, but also for contaminants present in the aquatic environment. The terrestrial predators Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Mantodea: Mantidae) and Tidarren haemorrhoidale (Araneae: Theridiidae) and the aquatic predator Buenoa scimitra (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) were chosen to evaluate the efficacy of arsenic transfer between aquatic and terrestrial environments. Culex tarsalis larvae were reared in either control water or water containing 1000 µg l(-1) arsenic. Adults that emerged from the control and arsenic treatments were fed to the terrestrial predators, and fourth instar larvae were fed to the aquatic predator reared in control or arsenic contaminated water. Tenodera a. sinensis fed arsenic-treated Cx. tarsalis accumulated 658±130 ng g(-1) of arsenic. There was no significant difference between control and arsenic-fed T. haemorrhoidale (range 142-290 ng g(-1)). Buenoa scimitra accumulated 5120±406 ng g(-1) of arsenic when exposed to arsenic-fed Cx. tarsalis and reared in water containing 1000 µg l(-1) arsenic. There was no significant difference between controls or arsenic-fed B. scimitra that were not exposed to water-borne arsenic, indicating that for this species environmental exposure was more important in accumulation than strictly dietary arsenic. These results indicate that transfer to terrestrial predators may play an important role in arsenic cycling, which would be particularly true during periods of mass emergence of potential insect biovectors. Trophic transfer within the aquatic environment may still occur with secondary predation, or in predators with different feeding strategies.

  2. Spatial processes decouple management from objectives in a heterogeneous landscape: predator control as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, Peter J; Young, Julie K; Hersey, Kent R; Larsen, Randy T; McMillan, Brock R; Stoner, David C

    2018-04-01

    Predator control is often implemented with the intent of disrupting top-down regulation in sensitive prey populations. However, ambiguity surrounding the efficacy of predator management, as well as the strength of top-down effects of predators in general, is often exacerbated by the spatially implicit analytical approaches used in assessing data with explicit spatial structure. Here, we highlight the importance of considering spatial context in the case of a predator control study in south-central Utah. We assessed the spatial match between aerial removal risk in coyotes (Canis latrans) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) resource selection during parturition using a spatially explicit, multi-level Bayesian model. With our model, we were able to evaluate spatial congruence between management action (i.e., coyote removal) and objective (i.e., parturient deer site selection) at two distinct scales: the level of the management unit and the individual coyote removal. In the case of the former, our results indicated substantial spatial heterogeneity in expected congruence between removal risk and parturient deer site selection across large areas, and is a reflection of logistical constraints acting on the management strategy and differences in space use between the two species. At the level of the individual removal, we demonstrated that the potential management benefits of a removed coyote were highly variable across all individuals removed and in many cases, spatially distinct from parturient deer resource selection. Our methods and results provide a means of evaluating where we might anticipate an impact of predator control, while emphasizing the need to weight individual removals based on spatial proximity to management objectives in any assessment of large-scale predator control. Although we highlight the importance of spatial context in assessments of predator control strategy, we believe our methods are readily generalizable in any management or large

  3. Trophic Transfer of Arsenic from an Aquatic Insect to Terrestrial Insect Predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogren, Christina L.; Walton, William E.; Parker, David R.; Trumble, John T.

    2013-01-01

    The movement of energy and nutrients from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems can be substantial, and emergent aquatic insects can serve as biovectors not only for nutrients, but also for contaminants present in the aquatic environment. The terrestrial predators Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Mantodea: Mantidae) and Tidarren haemorrhoidale (Araneae: Theridiidae) and the aquatic predator Buenoa scimitra (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) were chosen to evaluate the efficacy of arsenic transfer between aquatic and terrestrial environments. Culex tarsalis larvae were reared in either control water or water containing 1000 µg l−1 arsenic. Adults that emerged from the control and arsenic treatments were fed to the terrestrial predators, and fourth instar larvae were fed to the aquatic predator reared in control or arsenic contaminated water. Tenodera a. sinensis fed arsenic-treated Cx. tarsalis accumulated 658±130 ng g−1 of arsenic. There was no significant difference between control and arsenic-fed T. haemorrhoidale (range 142–290 ng g−1). Buenoa scimitra accumulated 5120±406 ng g−1 of arsenic when exposed to arsenic-fed Cx. tarsalis and reared in water containing 1000 µg l−1 arsenic. There was no significant difference between controls or arsenic-fed B. scimitra that were not exposed to water-borne arsenic, indicating that for this species environmental exposure was more important in accumulation than strictly dietary arsenic. These results indicate that transfer to terrestrial predators may play an important role in arsenic cycling, which would be particularly true during periods of mass emergence of potential insect biovectors. Trophic transfer within the aquatic environment may still occur with secondary predation, or in predators with different feeding strategies. PMID:23826344

  4. Trophic Transfer of Arsenic from an Aquatic Insect to Terrestrial Insect Predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina L Mogren

    Full Text Available The movement of energy and nutrients from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems can be substantial, and emergent aquatic insects can serve as biovectors not only for nutrients, but also for contaminants present in the aquatic environment. The terrestrial predators Tenodera aridifolia sinensis (Mantodea: Mantidae and Tidarren haemorrhoidale (Araneae: Theridiidae and the aquatic predator Buenoa scimitra (Hemiptera: Notonectidae were chosen to evaluate the efficacy of arsenic transfer between aquatic and terrestrial environments. Culex tarsalis larvae were reared in either control water or water containing 1000 µg l(-1 arsenic. Adults that emerged from the control and arsenic treatments were fed to the terrestrial predators, and fourth instar larvae were fed to the aquatic predator reared in control or arsenic contaminated water. Tenodera a. sinensis fed arsenic-treated Cx. tarsalis accumulated 658±130 ng g(-1 of arsenic. There was no significant difference between control and arsenic-fed T. haemorrhoidale (range 142-290 ng g(-1. Buenoa scimitra accumulated 5120±406 ng g(-1 of arsenic when exposed to arsenic-fed Cx. tarsalis and reared in water containing 1000 µg l(-1 arsenic. There was no significant difference between controls or arsenic-fed B. scimitra that were not exposed to water-borne arsenic, indicating that for this species environmental exposure was more important in accumulation than strictly dietary arsenic. These results indicate that transfer to terrestrial predators may play an important role in arsenic cycling, which would be particularly true during periods of mass emergence of potential insect biovectors. Trophic transfer within the aquatic environment may still occur with secondary predation, or in predators with different feeding strategies.

  5. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  6. Preference for cannibalism and ontogenetic constraints in competitive ability of piscivorous top predators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pär Byström

    interspecific prey has the potential to mediate coexistence in size structured intraguild predation systems.

  7. Preference for cannibalism and ontogenetic constraints in competitive ability of piscivorous top predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byström, Pär; Ask, Per; Andersson, Jens; Persson, Lennart

    2013-01-01

    the potential to mediate coexistence in size structured intraguild predation systems.

  8. Field experiments on responses of a freshwater, benthic macroinvertebrate community to vertebrate predators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorp, J.H.; Bergey, E.A.

    1981-01-01

    The seasonal importance of vertebrate predators in potentially regulating the abundance and diversity of the benthic macroinvertebrates in the littoral zone of a soft-bottom reservoir that receives thermal effluent from a nuclear production reactor was examined. Thirty-six predator (fish and turtle) exclusion cages (4 m 2 ) were placed in shallow water at six locations along a thermal gradient in Par Pond, a 1100-ha cooling reservoir on the Savannah River Plant near Aiken, South Carolina, USA. An additional 36 control plots (4 m 2 ) were also set up. Cages were in place during three, 3-mo test periods beginning in September 1977. Estimates of benthic density, taxon richness, and distribution within functional groups (defined by feeding mechanism) were calculated for each test period. Effects of temperature on predator-prey relationships were also determined. Experimental results of this study suggest that vertebrate predation was not the fundamental parameter organizing the benthic macroinvertebrate community in the littoral zone of this reservoir. Neither taxon richness nor density of total macroinvertebrates was conclusively related to predator treatment. Relationships between predator treatment and community response (changes in density and taxon richness) were generally unaffected by either plot locality, temperature fluctuations from thermal effluent, or seasonal changes. When data from caged and control plots were pooled, however, both location and water temperature individually had direct impacts on the benthic community. From these results and other field studies it is hypothesized that individual species of keystone benthic predators do not occur in the littoral zone of freshwater lentic environments with soft bottoms

  9. Effects of seed and seedling predation by small mammals on ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seed predation reduced seedling recruitment from seeds planted in March 1986 in mature fynbos, but ... Seed predation did not significantly reduce seedling recruitment from seed planted in July, August and ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  10. Risky business: do native rodents use habitat and odor cues to manage predation risk in Australian deserts?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma E Spencer

    Full Text Available In open, arid environments with limited shelter there may be strong selection on small prey species to develop behaviors that facilitate predator avoidance. Here, we predicted that rodents should avoid predator odor and open habitats to reduce their probability of encounter with potential predators, and tested our predictions using a native Australian desert rodent, the spinifex hopping-mouse (Notomys alexis. We tested the foraging and movement responses of N. alexis to non-native predator (fox and cat odor, in sheltered and open macro- and microhabitats. Rodents did not respond to predator odor, perhaps reflecting the inconsistent selection pressure that is imposed on prey species in the desert environment due to the transience of predator-presence. However, they foraged primarily in the open and moved preferentially across open sand. The results suggest that N. alexis relies on escape rather than avoidance behavior when managing predation risk, with its bipedal movement probably allowing it to exploit open environments most effectively.

  11. Responses of male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to killer whale sounds: implications for anti-predator strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between individuals of different cetacean species are often observed in the wild. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) can be potential predators of many other cetaceans, and the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may trigger anti-predator behavior that could mediate predator-prey interactions. We explored the anti-predator behaviour of five typically-solitary male sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Norwegian Sea by playing sounds of mammal-feeding killer whales and monitoring behavioural responses using multi-sensor tags. Our results suggest that, rather than taking advantage of their large aerobic capacities to dive away from the perceived predator, sperm whales responded to killer whale playbacks by interrupting their foraging or resting dives and returning to the surface, changing their vocal production, and initiating a surprising degree of social behaviour in these mostly solitary animals. Thus, the interception of predator vocalizations by male sperm whales disrupted functional behaviours and mediated previously unrecognized anti-predator responses.

  12. Bells, bomas and beefsteak: complex patterns of human-predator conflict at the wildlife-agropastoral interface in Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loveridge, Andrew J; Kuiper, Timothy; Parry, Roger H; Sibanda, Lovemore; Hunt, Jane Hunt; Stapelkamp, Brent; Sebele, Lovelater; Macdonald, David W

    2017-01-01

    Reports of livestock depredation by large predators were systematically collected at three study sites in northwestern Zimbabwe from 2008-2013. We recorded 1,527 incidents (2,039 animals killed and 306 injured). Lions ( Panthera leo ) and spotted hyaenas ( Crocuta crocuta ) were mostly responsible, and cattle and donkeys most frequently attacked. Patterns of predation were variable among study sites. Nevertheless, some overall patterns were apparent. Predators selected livestock close to the size of their preferred wild prey, suggesting behaviours evolved to optimise foraging success may determine the domestic species primarily preyed upon. Most attacks occurred when livestock were roaming outside and away from their 'home' protective enclosures at night. Hyaena attacks were largely nocturnal; lions and leopards ( Panthera pardus ) were more flexible, with attacks occurring by day and at night. Livestock fitted with bells suffered a disproportionate number of attacks; the sound of bells appears to have conditioned predators to associate the sound with foraging opportunities. Lion and hyaena attacks on cattle were more frequent in the wet season suggesting that seasonal herding practices may result in cattle vulnerability. Only a small proportion of conflict incidents were reported to wildlife management officials with a bias towards lion predation events, potentially prejudicing conflict management policies. Predation on domestic stock involves an intricate interplay between predator behaviour and ecology on the one hand and human behaviour and husbandry practices on the other. Our data suggest that improved livestock husbandry (supervision of grazing animals, protection at night in strong enclosures) would greatly reduce livestock depredation.

  13. Too risky to settle: avian community structure changes in response to perceived predation risk on adults and offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, Fangyuan; Fletcher, Robert J.; Sieving, Kathryn E.; Dorazio, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    Predation risk is widely hypothesized as an important force structuring communities, but this potential force is rarely tested experimentally, particularly in terrestrial vertebrate communities. How animals respond to predation risk is generally considered predictable from species life-history and natural-history traits, but rigorous tests of these predictions remain scarce. We report on a large-scale playback experiment with a forest bird community that addresses two questions: (i) does perceived predation risk shape the richness and composition of a breeding bird community? And (ii) can species life-history and natural-history traits predict prey community responses to different types of predation risk? On 9 ha plots, we manipulated cues of three avian predators that preferentially prey on either adult birds or offspring, or both, throughout the breeding season. We found that increased perception of predation risk led to generally negative responses in the abundance, occurrence and/or detection probability of most prey species, which in turn reduced the species richness and shifted the composition of the breeding bird community. Species-level responses were largely predicted from the key natural-history trait of body size, but we did not find support for the life-history theory prediction of the relationship between species' slow/fast life-history strategy and their response to predation risk.

  14. Prevalence of quinolone resistance determinant qnrA6 among broad- and extended-spectrum beta-lactam-resistant Proteus mirabilis and Morganella morganii clinical isolates with sul1-type class 1 integron association in a Tunisian Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahrouki, Sihem; Perilli, Mariagrazia; Bourouis, Amel; Chihi, Hela; Ferjani, Mustapha; Ben Moussa, Mohamed; Amicosante, Gianfranco; Belhadj, Omrane

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and the emergence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance among broad-spectrum beta-lactam-resistant Proteus mirabilis and Morganella morganii clinical isolates recovered in the Military Hospital in Tunisia. Of 200 strains examined, 50 exhibited resistance to quinolones. Quinolone resistance determinants (qnr and aac(6')-Ib-cr) were characterized by multiplex PCR and sequencing. Chromosomal quinolone resistance mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) and class 1 integron characterization were analysed by PCR and sequencing. The clonal relationship between the isolates was studied by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Fourteen isolates harboured qnrA6 and among them 8 (57%) were extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producers, whilst 12 (85%) isolates harboured blaDHA-1. Mutations in the QRDR were detected in gyrA (Ser83Ile, Glu87Lys), gyrB (Ser464Phe), and parC (Ser80Ile). qnrA6 and blaDHA-1 genes were found embedded in complex sul1-type class 1 integrons. A gene cassette carrying aac(6')-Ib-cr was found located in the class 1 integron upstream of the qacEΔ1 gene. According to the PFGE analysis, the isolates were clonally unrelated. This is the first description in North Africa of class 1 integrons carrying blaDHA-1, qnrA6 gene, and aac(6')-Ib-cr determinants in clinical strains of Proteus mirabilis and Morganella morganii.

  15. An individual-based evolving predator-prey ecosystem simulation using a fuzzy cognitive map as the behavior model

    OpenAIRE

    Gras , Robin; Devaurs , Didier; Wozniak , Adrianna; Aspinall , Adam

    2009-01-01

    International audience; This paper presents an individual-based predator-prey model with, for the first time, each agent behavior being modeled by a Fuzzy Cognitive Map (FCM), allowing the evolution of the agent behavior through the epochs of the simulation. The FCM enables the agent to evaluate its environment (e.g., distance to predator/prey, distance to potential breeding partner, distance to food, energy level), its internal state (e.g., fear, hunger, curiosity) with memory and choosing s...

  16. Linking Life Table and Predation Rate for Biological Control: A Comparative Study of Eocanthecona furcellata (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Fed on Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuan, Shu-Jen; Yeh, Chih-Chun; Atlihan, Remzi; Chi, Hsin

    2016-02-01

    To better understand the predator-prey relationship and to compare predation rates, we studied the life table and predation rate of the predator Eocanthecona furcellata Wolff (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) when reared on two major crucifer pests, Spodoptera litura (F.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) and Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). The net reproductive rate, intrinsic rate of increase, finite rate, and net predation rates of E. furcellata reared on P. xylostella were 292.4 offspring, 0.1389 d(-1), 1.1490 d(-1), and 644.1 third instars of P. xylostella, respectively. These values are significantly higher than those reared on S. litura, i.e., 272.3 offspring, 0.1220 d(-1), 1.1298 d(-1), and 863.1 third instars of S. litura. To evaluate the predation potential of E. furcellata fed on P. xylostella and S. litura, we combined both the growth rate and predation rate to calculate the finite predation rate (ω); our results showed that E. furcellata is an effective predator of both S. litura (ω = 1.6029) and P. xylostella (ω = 1.4277). © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Experimental evidence for innate predator recognition in the Seychelles warbler

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veen, Thor; Richardson, David S.; Blaakmeer, Karen; Komdeur, Jan

    2000-01-01

    Nest predation is a major determinant of fitness in birds and costly nest defence behaviours have evolved in order to reduce nest predation. Some avian studies have suggested that predator recognition is innate whereas others hate stressed the importance: of learning. However, none of these studies

  18. Species invasion shifts the importance of predator dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Delaney, David G

    2007-12-01

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

  19. A minimal model of predator-swarm interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuxin; Kolokolnikov, Theodore

    2014-05-06

    We propose a minimal model of predator-swarm interactions which captures many of the essential dynamics observed in nature. Different outcomes are observed depending on the predator strength. For a 'weak' predator, the swarm is able to escape the predator completely. As the strength is increased, the predator is able to catch up with the swarm as a whole, but the individual prey is able to escape by 'confusing' the predator: the prey forms a ring with the predator at the centre. For higher predator strength, complex chasing dynamics are observed which can become chaotic. For even higher strength, the predator is able to successfully capture the prey. Our model is simple enough to be amenable to a full mathematical analysis, which is used to predict the shape of the swarm as well as the resulting predator-prey dynamics as a function of model parameters. We show that, as the predator strength is increased, there is a transition (owing to a Hopf bifurcation) from confusion state to chasing dynamics, and we compute the threshold analytically. Our analysis indicates that the swarming behaviour is not helpful in avoiding the predator, suggesting that there are other reasons why the species may swarm. The complex shape of the swarm in our model during the chasing dynamics is similar to the shape of a flock of sheep avoiding a shepherd.

  20. 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

  1. Bird's nesting success and eggs predation within Arusa National ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Identification of predators was obtained indirectly through punched signs left by predators on artificial and true eggs. Observation was done daily and data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study showed no significant difference in predation effect on eggs in glade versus glade edge X2 = 3.08, Df = 1, ...

  2. Predator confusion is sufficient to evolve swarming behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Randal S; Hintze, Arend; Dyer, Fred C; Knoester, David B; Adami, Christoph

    2013-08-06

    Swarming behaviours in animals have been extensively studied owing to their implications for the evolution of cooperation, social cognition and predator-prey dynamics. An important goal of these studies is discerning which evolutionary pressures favour the formation of swarms. One hypothesis is that swarms arise because the presence of multiple moving prey in swarms causes confusion for attacking predators, but it remains unclear how important this selective force is. Using an evolutionary model of a predator-prey system, we show that predator confusion provides a sufficient selection pressure to evolve swarming behaviour in prey. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the evolutionary effect of predator confusion on prey could in turn exert pressure on the structure of the predator's visual field, favouring the frontally oriented, high-resolution visual systems commonly observed in predators that feed on swarming animals. Finally, we provide evidence that when prey evolve swarming in response to predator confusion, there is a change in the shape of the functional response curve describing the predator's consumption rate as prey density increases. Thus, we show that a relatively simple perceptual constraint--predator confusion--could have pervasive evolutionary effects on prey behaviour, predator sensory mechanisms and the ecological interactions between predators and prey.

  3. Avian nestling predation by endangered Mount Graham red squirrel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire A. Zugmeyer; John L. Koprowski

    2007-01-01

    Studies using artificial nests or remote cameras have documented avian predation by red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Although several direct observations of avian predation events are known in the northern range of the red squirrel distribution, no accounts have been reported in the southern portion. We observed predation upon a hermit thrush...

  4. 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.

  5. Sexually Violent Predators and Civil Commitment Laws

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer Kendall, Wanda D.; Cheung, Monit

    2004-01-01

    This article analyzes the civil commitment models for treating sexually violent predators (SVPs) and analyzes recent civil commitment laws. SVPs are commonly defined as sex offenders who are particularly predatory and repetitive in their sexually violent behavior. Data from policy literature, a survey to all states, and a review of law review…

  6. Cumulative human impacts on marine predators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maxwell, Sara M; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J

    2013-01-01

    Stressors associated with human activities interact in complex ways to affect marine ecosystems, yet we lack spatially explicit assessments of cumulative impacts on ecologically and economically key components such as marine predators. Here we develop a metric of cumulative utilization and impact...

  7. Climate change and marine top predators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Climate change affects all components of marine ecosystems. For endothermic top predators, i.e. seabirds and marine mammals, these impacts are often complex and mediated through trophic relationships. In this Research Topic, leading researchers attempt to identify patterns of change among seabirds...... and marine mammals, and the mechanisms through which climate change drives these changes....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-27

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

  9. What regulates crab predation on mangrove propagules?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  10. Foraging and predation risk for larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) in Lake Superior: a modelling synthesis of empirical survey data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Jared T.; Yule, Daniel L.; Jones, Michael L.; Quinlan, Henry R.; Berglund, Eric K.

    2014-01-01

    The relative importance of predation and food availability as contributors to larval cisco (Coregonus artedi) mortality in Lake Superior were investigated using a visual foraging model to evaluate potential predation pressure by rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) and a bioenergetic model to evaluate potential starvation risk. The models were informed by observations of rainbow smelt, larval cisco, and zooplankton abundance at three Lake Superior locations during the period of spring larval cisco emergence and surface-oriented foraging. Predation risk was highest at Black Bay, ON, where average rainbow smelt densities in the uppermost 10 m of the water column were >1000 ha−1. Turbid conditions at the Twin Ports, WI-MN, affected larval cisco predation risk because rainbow smelt remained suspended in the upper water column during daylight, placing them alongside larval cisco during both day and night hours. Predation risk was low at Cornucopia, WI, owing to low smelt densities (cisco survival at Black Bay and to a lesser extent at Twin Ports, and that starvation may be a major source of mortality at all three locations. The framework we describe has the potential to further our understanding of the relative importance of starvation and predation on larval fish survivorship, provided information on prey resources available to larvae are measured at sufficiently fine spatial scales and the models provide a realistic depiction of the dynamic processes that the larvae experience.

  11. Predation determines different selective pressure on pea aphid host races in a complex agricultural mosaic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adalbert Balog

    Full Text Available Field assessments were conducted to examine the interplay between host plant and predation in complex agricultural mosaic on pea aphid clover and alfalfa races. In one experiment, we examined the relative fitness on clover race (CR and alfalfa race (AR pea aphids on broad bean, red clover and alfalfa alone. But because clover is typically grown in a more complex agricultural mosaic with alfalfa and broad bean, a second experiment was conducted to assess the fitness consequences under predation in a more complex agricultural field setting that also included potential apparent competition with AR pea aphids. In a third experiment we tested for the effect of differential host race density on the fitness of the other host race mediated by a predator effect. CR pea aphids always had fitness losses when on broad bean (had lower fitness on broad bean relative to red clover and fitness benefits when on red clover (higher fitness on red clover relative to broad bean, whether or not in apparent competition with alfalfa race aphids on bean and alfalfa. AR suffered fitness loss on both alfalfa and bean in apparent competition with CR on clover. Therefore we can conclude that the predation rate between host races was highly asymmetrical. The complexity of the agricultural mosaic thus can influence prey selection by predators on different host plants. These may have evolutionary consequences through context dependent fitness benefits on particular host plants.

  12. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hackerott, Serena; Valdivia, Abel; Green, Stephanie J; Côté, Isabelle M; Cox, Courtney E; Akins, Lad; Layman, Craig A; Precht, William F; Bruno, John F

    2013-01-01

    Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles), piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass) of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition) on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

  13. Maternal programming of sex-specific responses to predator odor stress in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Cyr, Sophie; Abuaish, Sameera; Sivanathan, Shathveekan; McGowan, Patrick O

    2017-08-01

    Prenatal stress mediated through the mother can lead to long-term adaptations in stress-related phenotypes in offspring. This study tested the long-lasting effect of prenatal exposure to predator odor, an ethologically relevant and psychogenic stressor, in the second half of pregnancy. As adults, the offspring of predator odor-exposed mothers showed increased anxiety-like behaviors in commonly used laboratory tasks assessing novelty-induced anxiety, increased defensive behavior in males and increased ACTH stress reactivity in females in response to predator odor. Female offspring from predator odor-exposed dams showed increased transcript abundance of glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) on the day of birth and FK506 binding protein 5 (FKBP5) in adulthood in the amygdala. The increase in FKBP5 expression was associated with decreased DNA methylation in Fkbp5 intron V. These results indicate a sex-specific response to maternal programming by prenatal predator odor exposure and a potential epigenetic mechanism linking these responses with modifications of the stress axis in females. These results are in accordance with the mismatch hypothesis stating that an animal's response to cues within its life history reflects environmental conditions anticipated during important developmental periods and should be adaptive when these conditions are concurring. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Native predators do not influence invasion success of pacific lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serena Hackerott

    Full Text Available Biotic resistance, the process by which new colonists are excluded from a community by predation from and/or competition with resident species, can prevent or limit species invasions. We examined whether biotic resistance by native predators on Caribbean coral reefs has influenced the invasion success of red lionfishes (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles, piscivores from the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, we surveyed the abundance (density and biomass of lionfish and native predatory fishes that could interact with lionfish (either through predation or competition on 71 reefs in three biogeographic regions of the Caribbean. We recorded protection status of the reefs, and abiotic variables including depth, habitat type, and wind/wave exposure at each site. We found no relationship between the density or biomass of lionfish and that of native predators. However, lionfish densities were significantly lower on windward sites, potentially because of habitat preferences, and in marine protected areas, most likely because of ongoing removal efforts by reserve managers. Our results suggest that interactions with native predators do not influence the colonization or post-establishment population density of invasive lionfish on Caribbean reefs.

  15. Assessment of antibiotic resistance genes and integrons in commensal Escherichia coli from the Indian urban waste water: Implications and significance for public health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nambram Somendro Singh

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Antibiotics like β-lactams, quinolones/fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides and tetracycline constitute the major mainstay of treatment against most infectious diseases including Escherichia coli. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics for human and animal well-being has generated an enormous evolutionary pressure on bacteria especially E.coli, which has a highly plastic/evolving genome. Though, antibiotic resistance (AR has been extensively studied in pathogenic E.coli, commensal strains have been studied less owing to lesser clinical significance. However, commensal strains pose a serious threat as reservoirs and transmitters of resistance genes to other bacteria. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of resistance genes and integrons in commensal E.coli isolated from river Yamuna, Delhi, India, which receives plentiful urban waste water. Eighty three well-characterized E.coli strains of phylogroups A and B1 isolated from river Yamuna were investigated. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs for β-lactams, aminoglycosides, tetracycline and quinolone/fluoroquinolone were determined by disk diffusion and Etest, according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI guidelines. Production of Extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL and AmpC was investigated. Prevalence of antibiotic-resistance genes for β-lactams (blaTEM,blaSHV, blaCTX-M, blaOXA, blaCMY-42, aminoglycosides (rmtA, rmtB, rmtC, armA, str, aacC2, tetracycline (tetA, tetR, tetM, tetW, and plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance, PMQR (qnrA, qnrB, qnrC, qnrD, qnrS, qep, aac were assessed. Integrons and  gene-cassette arrays were characterized. Commensal E.coli strains showed a higher resistance to ampicillin (95%, less to cefazolin (45% and still lesser to tetracycline (15%. About 19% of these strains showed multidrug resistant (three or more classes of antibiotics, of which 15% also produced ESBLs. None of the

  16. Sharp-Tailed Grouse Nest Survival and Nest Predator Habitat Use in North Dakota's Bakken Oil Field.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul C Burr

    Full Text Available Recent advancements in extraction technologies have resulted in rapid increases of gas and oil development across the United States and specifically in western North Dakota. This expansion of energy development has unknown influences on local wildlife populations and the ecological interactions within and among species. Our objectives for this study were to evaluate nest success and nest predator dynamics of sharp-tailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus in two study sites that represented areas of high and low energy development intensities in North Dakota. During the summers of 2012 and 2013, we monitored 163 grouse nests using radio telemetry. Of these, 90 nests also were monitored using miniature cameras to accurately determine nest fates and identify nest predators. We simultaneously conducted predator surveys using camera scent stations and occupancy modeling to estimate nest predator occurrence at each site. American badgers (Taxidea taxus and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis were the primary nest predators, accounting for 56.7% of all video recorded nest depredations. Nests in our high intensity gas and oil area were 1.95 times more likely to succeed compared to our minimal intensity area. Camera monitored nests were 2.03 times more likely to succeed than non-camera monitored nests. Occupancy of mammalian nest predators was 6.9 times more likely in our study area of minimal gas and oil intensity compared to the high intensity area. Although only a correlative study, our results suggest energy development may alter the predator community, thereby increasing nest success for sharp-tailed grouse in areas of intense development, while adjacent areas may have increased predator occurrence and reduced nest success. Our study illustrates the potential influences of energy development on the nest predator-prey dynamics of sharp-tailed grouse in western North Dakota and the complexity of evaluating such impacts on wildlife.

  17. Predicting the effects of ocean acidification on predator-prey interactions: a conceptual framework based on coastal molluscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroeker, Kristy J; Sanford, Eric; Jellison, Brittany M; Gaylord, Brian

    2014-06-01

    The influence of environmental change on species interactions will affect population dynamics and community structure in the future, but our current understanding of the outcomes of species interactions in a high-CO2 world is limited. Here, we draw upon emerging experimental research examining the effects of ocean acidification on coastal molluscs to provide hypotheses of the potential impacts of high-CO2 on predator-prey interactions. Coastal molluscs, such as oysters, mussels, and snails, allocate energy among defenses, growth, and reproduction. Ocean acidification increases the energetic costs of physiological processes such as acid-base regulation and calcification. Impacted molluscs can display complex and divergent patterns of energy allocation to defenses and growth that may influence predator-prey interactions; these include changes in shell properties, body size, tissue mass, immune function, or reproductive output. Ocean acidification has also been shown to induce complex changes in chemoreception, behavior, and inducible defenses, including altered cue detection and predator avoidance behaviors. Each of these responses may ultimately alter the susceptibility of coastal molluscs to predation through effects on predator handling time, satiation, and search time. While many of these effects may manifest as increases in per capita predation rates on coastal molluscs, the ultimate outcome of predator-prey interactions will also depend on how ocean acidification affects the specified predators, which also exhibit complex responses to ocean acidification. Changes in predator-prey interactions could have profound and unexplored consequences for the population dynamics of coastal molluscs in a high-CO2 ocean. © 2014 Marine Biological Laboratory.

  18. Dynamics of a Diffusive Predator-Prey Model with Allee Effect on Predator

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqin Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The reaction-diffusion Holling-Tanner prey-predator model considering the Allee effect on predator, under zero-flux boundary conditions, is discussed. Some properties of the solutions, such as dissipation and persistence, are obtained. Local and global stability of the positive equilibrium and Turing instability are studied. With the help of the numerical simulations, the rich Turing patterns, including holes, stripes, and spots patterns, are obtained.

  19. Interclonal proteomic responses to predator exposure in Daphnia magna may depend on predator composition of habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otte, Kathrin A; Schrank, Isabella; Fröhlich, Thomas; Arnold, Georg J; Laforsch, Christian

    2015-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity, the ability of one genotype to express different phenotypes in response to changing environmental conditions, is one of the most common phenomena characterizing the living world and is not only relevant for the ecology but also for the evolution of species. Daphnia, the water flea, is a textbook example for predator-induced phenotypic plastic defences; however, the analysis of molecular mechanisms underlying these inducible defences is still in its early stages. We exposed Daphnia magna to chemical cues of the predator Triops cancriformis to identify key processes underlying plastic defensive trait formation. To get a more comprehensive idea of this phenomenon, we studied four genotypes with five biological replicates each, originating from habitats characterized by different predator composition, ranging from predator-free habitats to habitats containing T. cancriformis. We analysed the morphologies as well as proteomes of predator-exposed and control animals. Three genotypes showed morphological changes when the predator was present. Using a high-throughput proteomics approach, we found 294 proteins which were significantly altered in their abundance after predator exposure in a general or genotype-dependent manner. Proteins connected to genotype-dependent responses were related to the cuticle, protein synthesis and calcium binding, whereas the yolk protein vitellogenin increased in abundance in all genotypes, indicating their involvement in a more general response. Furthermore, genotype-dependent responses at the proteome level were most distinct for the only genotype that shares its habitat with Triops. Altogether, our study provides new insights concerning genotype-dependent and general molecular processes involved in predator-induced phenotypic plasticity in D. magna. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. The effects of recruitment to direct predator cues on predator responses in meerkats

    OpenAIRE

    Zottl, M.; Lienert, R.; Clutton-Brock, T.; Millesi, E.; Manser, M B.

    2017-01-01

    Behavioral responses of animals to direct predator cues (DPCs; e.g., urine) are common and may improve their survival. We investigated wild meerkat (Suricata suricatta) responses to DPCs by taking an experimental approach. When meerkats encounter a DPC they often recruit group members by emitting a call type, which causes the group members to interrupt foraging and approach the caller. The aim of this study was to identify the qualities of olfactory predator cues, which affect the strength of...

  1. Predation of Five Generalist Predators on Brown Planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens Stål

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Karindah

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Two generalist predators of brown planthopper,Metioche vittaticollis and Anaxipha longipennis (Gryllidae have not been much studied in Indonesia. This research was conducted to study and compare the predatory ability of M. vittaticollis, A. longipennis (Gryllidae and three coleopterans, Paederus fuscipes (Staphylinidae, Ophionea sp. (Carabidae,and Micraspis sp. (Coccinellidae against brown planthopper (fourth and fifth instars under laboratory condition. In total, 20 nymphs of N. lugens were exposed for 2 hour to each predator for 5 consecutive days. Prey consumptions by the predatory crickets, M. vittaticollis and A. longipennis were greater than the other predators and followed by A. longipennis, Micraspis sp., P. fuscipes, and Ophionea sp. respectively. Consumption rates of M. vittaticolis and A. longipenis were also higher than other predators. Micraspis sp was more active on predation in the morning,while M. vittaticollis, A. longipennis, P. fuscipes, and Ophionea sp. were more active both in the morning and the night but not in the afternoon. However, all five species of predators were not so active in preying during the afternoon. In conclusion, a major effort should be extended to conserve these predatory crickets especially M. vittaticollis and A. longipennis.

  2. Hypoxia increases the risk of egg predation in a nest-guarding fish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Karin; Kvarnemo, Charlotta; Andrén, Maria Norevik

    2016-01-01

    For fish with parental care, a nest should meet both the oxygenation needs of the eggs and help protect them against predators. While a small nest opening facilitates the latter, it impedes the former and vice versa. We investigated how the presence of potential egg predators in the form of shore...... in high oxygen reduced fanning, males in low oxygen did not. Filial cannibalism was unaffected by treatment. Sand gobies thus prioritize egg ventilation over the protection afforded by small nest openings under hypoxia and adopt defensive behaviour to avert predator attention, even though this does...... crabs Carcinus maenas affects nest building, egg fanning, defensive displays and filial cannibalism of egg-guarding male sand gobies Pomatoschistus minutus under two levels of dissolved oxygen. In the high oxygen treatment, males retained their nest opening size in the presence of crabs, while males...

  3. Predator-prey interaction reveals local effects of high-altitude insect migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    High-altitude nocturnal insect migrations represent significant pulses of resources, yet are difficult to study and poorly understood. Predator-prey interactions, specifically migratory moth consumption by high-flying bats, potentially reveal flows of migratory insects across a landscape. In North...

  4. Stabilization and complex dynamics in a predator-prey model with predator suffering from an infectious disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooi, B.W.; van Voorn, G.A.K.; Pada Das, K.

    2011-01-01

    We study the effects of a non-specified infectious disease of the predator on the dynamics a predator-prey system, by evaluating the dynamics of a three-dimensional model. The predator population in this (PSI) model is split into a susceptible and an unrecoverable infected population, while all

  5. THE ABILITY OF FAST-GROWING TRANSGENIC AFRICAN CATFISH (Clarias gariepinus ON PREDATOR AVOIDANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huria Marnis

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Research Institute for Fish Breeding has produced transgenic African catfish (Clarias gariepinus containing stripped catfish growth hormone gene (PccBA-PhGH with growth 19.86% faster than that of non-transgenic fish. This fish has high potential to be released and utilized for fish farming sector to increase national production. However, there is not yet information about environmental risk of this fish. One of the major fitness traits determining potential environmental risk is predator avoidance. This study aimed to determine the predator avoidance ability of transgenic African catfish in an experimental laboratory condition. In this study, thirty five individuals each of transgenic and non-transgenic with body weight of about 0.1 ± 0.019 g were communally stocked in 60 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm aquarium with limited feeding frequency (ad libitum twice a day. One day after the fish were stocked, the predators were added to each aquarium. The non-transgenic and transgenic with body weight of 1.0 ± 0.024 g were stocked as predators as many as five individual in each aquarium. After approximately two weeks of predation, all remaining fish were collected for transgenic verification by PCR method. Genomic DNA was isolated from fin tissue of individually survivors. The results of this study showed that the transgenic fish had worse predator avoidance and lower cannibal than non-transgenic (P0.05 in limited food. The transgenic fish may have lower fitness than non-transgenic.

  6. Effects of predation by sea ducks on clam abundance in soft-bottom intertidal habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler; Esler, Daniel N.; Boyd, W. Sean

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies have documented strong, top-down predation effects of sea ducks on mussel populations in rocky intertidal communities. However, the impact of these gregarious predators in soft-bottom communities has been largely unexplored. We evaluated effects of predation by wintering surf scoters Melanitta perspicillata and white-winged scoters M. fusca on clam populations in soft-bottom intertidal habitats of the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. Specifically, we documented spatial and temporal variation in clam density (clams m–2), scoter diet composition, and the consequences of scoter predation on clam abundance. Of the 3 most numerous clams, Manila clams Venerupis philippinarum and varnish clams Nuttallia obscurata were the primary prey items of both scoter species, while clams of the genus Macoma were rarely consumed by scoters. Between scoter arrival in the fall and departure in the spring, Manila clams decreased in density at most sample sites, while varnish clam densities did not change or declined slightly. Our estimates of numbers of clams consumed by scoters accounted for most of the observed declines in combined abundance of Manila and varnish clams, despite the presence of numerous other vertebrate and invertebrate species known to consume clams. For Macoma spp., we detected an over-winter increase in density, presumably due to growth of clams too small to be retained by our sieve (<5 mm) during fall sampling, in addition to the lack of predation pressure by scoters. These results illustrate the strong predation potential of scoters in soft-bottom intertidal habitats, as well as their potentially important role in shaping community structure.

  7. Macrozooplankton predation impact on anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) eggs mortality at the Bay of Biscay shelf break spawning centre

    KAUST Repository

    Albaina, Aitor

    2014-11-23

    A real-time PCR based method involving a species-specific probe was applied to detect Engraulis encrasicolus eggs predation by the macrozooplankton community during the 2011 spawning season. Three locations along the shelf break presenting contrasting but high prey densities were sampled. A total of 840 individuals from 38 taxa of potential macrozooplankton predators were assayed for E. encrasicolus DNA presence and 27 presented at least one positive signal. Carnivorous copepods were responsible for the most predation events (66%) followed by euphausiids (16%), chaetognaths (5%), and myctophid fish (4%). Macrozooplankton predation on anchovy eggs followed a type-I functional response with daily mortalities <4% of available prey abundance suggesting a negligible impact on the species recruitment at the shelf break spawning centre. © 2014 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 2014. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiago Acosta Oliveira

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

  10. Reduced density of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum inside a Caribbean marine reserve linked to increased predation pressure by fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, A. R.; Renaud, P. G.; Tyler, E. H. M.; Mumby, P. J.

    2009-09-01

    Disease has dramatically reduced populations of the herbivorous urchin Diadema antillarum Philippi on Caribbean reefs, contributing to an increased abundance of macroalgae and reduction of coral cover. Therefore, recovery of D. antillarum populations is critically important, but densities are still low on many reefs. Among the many potential factors limiting these densities, the focus of this study is on predation pressure by fishes. Marine reserves provide opportunities to examine large-scale manipulations of predator-prey interactions and, therefore, D. antillarum densities were compared inside and outside a reserve in The Bahamas (Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park; ECLSP). Urchins and their fish predators were surveyed at nine sites inside and outside the ECLSP. Because of lower fishing effort, the total biomass of urchin predators, weighted by their dietary preferences for urchins, was significantly higher inside the ECLSP. Furthermore, fish community structure was significantly different inside the Park because of the increased biomass of the majority of species. No urchins were seen inside the ECLSP and this was significantly lower than the density of 0.04 urchin m-2 outside the Park. Regression analysis indicated that the relationship between the biomass of urchin predators and the proportion of transects containing urchins was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in fish biomass dramatically reduce urchin abundances. The link between lower density of urchins and higher density of their predators inside the ECLSP is strengthened by discounting five alternative primary mechanisms (variations in macroalgal cover, larval supply, environmental setting, density of other urchin species and abundance of predators not surveyed). Caribbean marine reserves have an important conservation role, but increased fish predation appears to reduce densities of D. antillarum. Urchins currently have limited functional significance on Bahamian reefs, but any future recovery of

  11. Nest site selection by Kentish plover suggests a trade-off between nest-crypsis and predator detection strategies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Ángel Gómez-Serrano

    Full Text Available Predation is one of the main causes of adult mortality and breeding failure for ground-nesting birds. Micro-habitat structure around nests plays a critical role in minimizing predation risk. Plovers nest in sites with little vegetation cover to maximize the incubating adult visibility, but many studies suggest a trade-off between nest-crypsis and predator detection strategies. However, this trade-off has not been explored in detail because methods used so far do not allow estimating the visibility with regards to critical factors such as slope or plant permeability to vision. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Kentish plovers select exposed sites according to a predator detection strategy, and the hypothesis that more concealed nests survive longer according to a crypsis strategy. To this end, we obtained an accurate estimation of the incubating adult's field of vision through a custom built inverted periscope. Our results showed that plovers selected nest sites with higher visibility than control points randomly selected with regards to humans and dogs, although nests located in sites with higher vegetation cover survived longer. In addition, the flushing distance (i.e., the distance at which incubating adults leave the nest when they detect a potential predator decreased with vegetation cover. Consequently, the advantages of concealing the nest were limited by the ability to detect predators, thus indirectly supporting the existence of the trade-off between crypsis and predator detection. Finally, human disturbance also constrained nest choice, forcing plovers to move to inland sites that were less suitable because of higher vegetation cover, and modulated flushing behavior, since plovers that were habituated to humans left their nests closer to potential predators. This constraint on the width of suitable breeding habitat is particularly relevant for the conservation of Kentish Plover in sand beaches, especially under the current context of

  12. The sound of danger: threat sensitivity to predator vocalizations, alarm calls, and novelty in gulls.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A MacLean

    Full Text Available The threat sensitivity hypothesis predicts that organisms will evaluate the relative danger of and respond differentially to varying degrees of predation threat. Doing so allows potential prey to balance the costs and benefits of anti-predator behaviors. Threat sensitivity has undergone limited testing in the auditory modality, and the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is difficult to infer across populations when variables such as background risk and experience are not properly controlled. We experimentally exposed a single population of two sympatric gull species to auditory stimuli representing a range of potential threats in order to compare the relative threat of heterospecific alarm calls, conspecific alarms calls, predator vocalizations, and novel auditory cues. Gulls were able to discriminate among a diverse set of threat indicators and respond in a graded manner commensurate with the level of threat. Vocalizations of two potential predators, the human voice and bald eagle call, differed in their threat level compared to each other and to alarm calls. Conspecific alarm calls were more threatening than heterospecfic alarm calls to the larger great black-backed gull, but the smaller herring gull weighed both equally. A novel cue elicited a response intermediate between known threats and a known non-threat in herring gulls, but not great black-backed gulls. Our results show that the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is highly species-dependent, and that caution should be exercised when comparing graded and threshold threat sensitive responses.

  13. Beyond Predation: The Zoophytophagous Predator Macrolophus pygmaeus Induces Tomato Resistance against Spider Mites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria L Pappas

    Full Text Available Many predatory insects that prey on herbivores also feed on the plant, but it is unknown whether plants affect the performance of herbivores by responding to this phytophagy with defence induction. We investigate whether the prior presence of the omnivorous predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur on tomato plants affects plant resistance against two different herbivore species. Besides plant-mediated effects of M. pygmaeus on herbivore performance, we examined whether a plant defence trait that is known to be inducible by herbivory, proteinase inhibitors (PI, may also be activated in response to the interactions of this predator with the tomato plant. We show that exposing tomato plants to the omnivorous predator M. pygmaeus reduced performance of a subsequently infesting herbivore, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, but not of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood. The spider-mite infested tomato plants experience a lower herbivore load, i.e., number of eggs deposited and individuals present, when previously exposed to the zoophytophagous predator. This effect is not restricted to the exposed leaf and persists on exposed plants for at least two weeks after the removal of the predators. The decreased performance of spider mites as a result of prior exposure of the plant to M. pygmaeus is accompanied by a locally and systemically increased accumulation of transcripts and activity of proteinase inhibitors that are known to be involved in plant defence. Our results demonstrate that zoophytophagous predators can induce plant defence responses and reduce herbivore performance. Hence, the suppression of populations of certain herbivores via consumption may be strengthened by the induction of plant defences by zoophytophagous predators.

  14. Predator-guided sampling reveals biotic structure in the bathypelagic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Southall, Brandon L; Moline, Mark A

    2016-02-24

    We targeted a habitat used differentially by deep-diving, air-breathing predators to empirically sample their prey's distributions off southern California. Fine-scale measurements of the spatial variability of potential prey animals from the surface to 1,200 m were obtained using conventional fisheries echosounders aboard a surface ship and uniquely integrated into a deep-diving autonomous vehicle. Significant spatial variability in the size, composition, total biomass, and spatial organization of biota was evident over all spatial scales examined and was consistent with the general distribution patterns of foraging Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) observed in separate studies. Striking differences found in prey characteristics between regions at depth, however, did not reflect differences observed in surface layers. These differences in deep pelagic structure horizontally and relative to surface structure, absent clear physical differences, change our long-held views of this habitat as uniform. The revelation that animals deep in the water column are so spatially heterogeneous at scales from 10 m to 50 km critically affects our understanding of the processes driving predator-prey interactions, energy transfer, biogeochemical cycling, and other ecological processes in the deep sea, and the connections between the productive surface mixed layer and the deep-water column. © 2016 The Author(s).

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular characterization of Ambler class A to D β-lactamases, ISAba1, and integrons reveals multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter spp. isolates in northeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaoyu; Liu, Bin; Chen, Yan; Huang, Honglan; Wang, Guoqing; Li, Fan; Ni, Zhaohui

    2016-12-01

    The prevalence of various Ambler class A to D β-lactamases, ISAba1, and class 1 and 2 integrons as well as the clonal relatedness in 105 Acinetobacter spp. isolates found in northeastern China was investigated. All 105 Acinetobacter spp. isolates were determined to be multidrug resistant (MDR), and the resistance rates to carbapenem agents were approximately 50%. PER, IMP, AmpC, and OXA-23 were found to be dominant β-lactamases belonging to different classes, respectively. This is the first report of the coexistence of bla PER , bla IMP , bla AmpC , and bla OXA-23-like genes in Acinetobacter spp. isolates from northeastern China. ISAba1 was found upstream of the bla OXA-23-like gene in 87.8% (36/41) strains and upstream of the bla OXA-51-like gene in 26.5% (13/49) strains. ISAba3-like element was found upstream of the bla OXA-58-like gene in one bla OXA-58-like -positive strain. The presence of IntI1 was detected in 63.8% (67/105) of the isolates and the most prevalent gene cassettes were aacA4, aadA1, and catB8. The highly prevalent isolates belong to international clonal lineage (ICL)-II. These results indicate that the wide horizontal and clonal spread of MDR Acinetobacter spp. isolates harbouring multiple β-lactamase genes has become a serious problem in northeastern China.

  17. Effect of temperature on the fate of genes encoding tetracycline resistance and the integrase of class 1 integrons within anaerobic and aerobic digesters treating municipal wastewater solids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diehl, David L; LaPara, Timothy M

    2010-12-01

    The objective of this research was to investigate the ability of anaerobic and aerobic digesters to reduce the quantity of antibiotic resistant bacteria in wastewater solids. Lab-scale digesters were operated at different temperatures (22 °C, 37 °C, 46 °C, and 55 °C) under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions and fed wastewater solids collected from a full-scale treatment facility. Quantitative PCR was used to track five genes encoding tetracycline resistance (tet(A), tet(L), tet(O), tet(W), and tet(X)) and the gene encoding the integrase (intI1) of class 1 integrons. Statistically significant reductions in the quantities of these genes occurred in the anaerobic reactors at 37 °C, 46 °C, and 55 °C, with the removal rates and removal efficiencies increasing as a function of temperature. The aerobic digesters, in contrast, were generally incapable of significantly decreasing gene quantities, although these digesters were operated at much shorter mean hydraulic residence times. This research suggests that high temperature anaerobic digestion of wastewater solids would be a suitable technology for eliminating various antibiotic resistance genes, an emerging pollutant of concern.

  18. Presence and potential for horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance in oxidase-positive bacteria populating raw salad vegetables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezanson, G S; MacInnis, R; Potter, G; Hughes, T

    2008-09-30

    To assess whether domestically grown fresh salad vegetables constitute a possible reservoir of antibiotic resistance for Canadian consumers, aerobic bacteria capable of forming colonies at 30 degrees C on nutrient-limited media were recovered from a single sampling of Romaine lettuce, Savoy spinach and alfalfa sprouts, then examined for their susceptibility to ten antibiotics and the carriage of potentially mobile R-plasmids and integrons. Of the 140 isolates resistant to one or more antibiotic, 93.5 and 90.0% were resistant to ampicillin and cephalothin; 35.7% to chloramphenicol, 10.0% to streptomycin, 4.2% to nalidixic acid, 4.2% to kanamycin, and 2.8% to gentamicin. Gram-positive isolates accounted for less than 4% of the antibiotic resistant strains. A small portion (23.1%) of the predominant oxidase-positive, gram-negative isolates was resistant to two or more antimicrobials. Members of the Pseudomonas fluorescens/putida complex were most prevalent among the 34 resistant strains identified. Sphingobacterium spp. and Acinetobacter baumanni also were detected. Ten of 52 resistant strains carried plasmids, 3 of which were self-transmissible and bore resistance to ampicillin and kanamycin. Eighteen of 48 gave PCR evidence for integron DNA. Class 2 type integrons were the most prevalent, followed by class 1. We conclude that the foods examined here carry antibiotic resistant bacteria at the retail level. Further, our determination that resistant strains contain integron-specific DNA sequences and self-transmissible R-plasmids indicates their potential to influence the pool of antibiotic resistance in humans via lateral gene transfer subsequent to ingestion.

  19. 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...

  20. Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-27

    Environmental signals can induce phenotypic changes that span multiple generations. Along with phenotypic responses that occur during development (i.e. 'within-generation' plasticity), such 'transgenerational plasticity' (TGP) has been documented in a diverse array of taxa spanning many environmental perturbations. New theory predicts that temporal stability is a key driver of the evolution of TGP. We tested this prediction using natural populations of zooplankton from lakes in Connecticut that span a large gradient in the temporal dynamics of predator-induced mortality. We reared more than 120 clones of Daphnia ambigua from nine lakes for multiple generations in the presence/absence of predator cues. We found that temporal variation in mortality selects for within-generation plasticity while consistently strong (or weak) mortality selects for increased TGP. Such results provide us the first evidence for local adaptation in TGP and argue that divergent ecological conditions select for phenotypic responses within and across generations. © 2016 The Author(s).

  2. The Great White Guppy: Top Predator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, G. M.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen isotopes are often used to trace the trophic level of members of an ecosystem. As part of a stable isotope biogeochemistry and forensics course at Purdue University, students are introduced to this concept by analyzing nitrogen isotopes in sea food purchased from local grocery stores. There is a systematic increase in 15N/14N ratios going from kelp to clams/shrimp, to sardines, to tuna and finally to shark. These enrichments demonstrate how nitrogen is enriched in biomass as predators consume prey. Some of the highest nitrogen isotope enrichments observed, however, are in the common guppy. We investigated a number of aquarium fish foods and find they typically have high nitrogen isotope ratios because they are made form fish meal that is produced primarily from the remains of predator fish such as tuna. From, a isotope perspective, the guppy is the top of the food chain, more ferocious than even the Great White shark.

  3. Hydrological disturbance diminishes predator control in wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorn, Nathan J; Cook, Mark I

    2015-11-01

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

  4. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island

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    Abraham Mencía

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura, one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus. We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1 P. lilfordi of Colom, (2 P. lilfordi of Aire, (3 P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4 S. perspicillata, and (5 P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators.

  5. From tameness to wariness: chemical recognition of snake predators by lizards in a Mediterranean island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2017-01-01

    Antipredatory defenses are maintained when benefit exceeds cost. A weak predation pressure may lead insular lizards to tameness. Podarcis lilfordi exhibits a high degree of insular tameness, which may explain its extinction from the main island of Menorca when humans introduced predators. There are three species of lizards in Menorca: the native P. lilfordi, only on the surrounding islets, and two introduced lizards in the main island, Scelarcis perspicillata and Podarcis siculus. In addition, there are three species of snakes, all introduced: one non-saurophagous (Natrix maura), one potentially non-saurophagous (Rhinechis scalaris) and one saurophagous (Macroprotodon mauritanicus). We studied the reaction to snake chemical cues in five populations: (1) P. lilfordi of Colom, (2) P. lilfordi of Aire, (3) P. lilfordi of Binicodrell, (4) S. perspicillata, and (5) P. siculus, ordered by increasing level of predation pressure. The three snakes are present in the main island, while only R. scalaris is present in Colom islet, Aire and Binicodrell being snake-free islets. We aimed to assess the relationship between predation pressure and the degree of insular tameness regarding scent recognition. We hypothesized that P. lilfordi should show the highest degree of tameness, S. perspicillata should show intermediate responses, and P. siculus should show the highest wariness. Results are clear: neither P. lilfordi nor S. perspicillata recognize any of the snakes, while P. siculus recognizes the scent of M. mauritanicus and reacts to it with typical well-defined antipredatory behaviours as tail waving and slow motion. These results rise questions about the loss of chemical recognition of predators during island tameness and its related costs and benefits for lizards of insular habitats. In addition, this highlights the necessity for strong conservation measures to avoid the introduction of alien predators. PMID:28123905

  6. Predation in Ground-Nesting Birds: an Experimental Study Using Natural Egg-Color Variation

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    Aurora M. Castilla

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available We tested the hypothesis that cryptically colored eggs would suffer less predation than conspicuous eggs in the ground-nesting red-legged partridge, Alectoris rufa. We used A. rufa as a model species because it has a wide range of natural egg colors, the eggs are widely available from breeding farms, and nests are easily mimicked because they are scrapes containing no vegetation. The study was conducted in the spring of 2001 in forest and fallow fields of central Spain in Castilla La Mancha, Ciudad Real. We used 384 clutches of natural eggs that were white, white spotted, brown, or brown spotted. Within clutches, eggs were consistent in color and size; among clutches, color differences were distributed across habitats. Clutches were checked once after 2 wk of exposure. Cryptic coloration had a survival advantage that was dependent on the local suite of predators. Rodent predation was nonselective with respect to clutch color; however, avian predation was significantly higher for conspicuous clutches. In addition, there was an interaction of landscape and egg color for avian predation. In forest landscapes, the clutches with highest survival were brown spotted, whereas in fallow landscapes, brown and brown spotted clutches had higher survival than white and white potted clutches. Thus, both the predator suite and the landscape had significant effects on the value of cryptic egg coloration. Our study is relevant for conservationists and managers in charge of restocking programs in hunting areas. The release of other partridge species or their hybrids could result in hybridization with wild partridges, potentially leading to nonoptimal clutch pigmentation and reduced survival of the native species. We therefore recommend that local authorities, managers, and conservationists be cautious with the use of alien species and hybrids and release only autochthonous species of partridges within their natural ranges.

  7. Predator-induced morphological plasticity across local populations of a freshwater snail.

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    Christer Brönmark

    Full Text Available The expression of anti-predator adaptations may vary on a spatial scale, favouring traits that are advantageous in a given predation regime. Besides, evolution of different developmental strategies depends to a large extent on the grain of the environment and may result in locally canalized adaptations or, alternatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity as different predation regimes may vary across habitats. We investigated the potential for predator-driven variability in shell morphology in a freshwater snail, Radix balthica, and whether found differences were a specialized ecotype adaptation or a result of phenotypic plasticity. Shell shape was quantified in snails from geographically separated pond populations with and without molluscivorous fish. Subsequently, in a common garden experiment we investigated reaction norms of snails from populations' with/without fish when exposed to chemical cues from tench (Tinca tinca, a molluscivorous fish. We found that snails from fish-free ponds had a narrow shell with a well developed spire, whereas snails that coexisted with fish had more rotund shells with a low spire, a shell morphology known to increase survival rate from shell-crushing predators. The common garden experiment mirrored the results from the field survey and showed that snails had similar reaction norms in response to chemical predator cues, i.e. the expression of shell shape was independent of population origin. Finally, we found significant differences for the trait means among populations, within each pond category (fish/fish free, suggesting a genetic component in the determination of shell morphology that has evolved independently across ponds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walzer, Andreas; Schausberger, Peter

    2013-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Humans as predators: an overview of predation strategies of hunters with contrasting motivational drivers

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    Fredrik Dalerum

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Predator-prey theory suggests that generalist predators are linked to demographic stability of prey whereas specialists are destabilizing. We overview the demographic consequences of different predation strategies and hypothesize that subsistence hunting occurs opportunistically, persecution hunters behave like specialist predators, and recreational hunters behave like generalist predators. Under this hypothesis, persecution hunting would have destabilizing effects, whereas the effects of subsistence and recreational hunting would be neutral or stabilizing. We found poor empirical support for this hypothesis, but there was scarce empirical data. Recreational hunters mainly hunted opportunistically and hunting as managed persecution followed a type III functional response, i.e. with low hunting intensity at low game abundances and a switch to an increased intensity at some level of abundance. We suggest that recreational hunters have limited destabilizing effects on game populations and that hunting may be an ineffective way of complete the removal of invasive species. We urge for further studies quantifying the responses of hunters to game abundances, in particular studies evaluating the responses of subsistence hunters and illegal persecution.

  11. Fatal attraction? Intraguild facilitation and suppression among predators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Pozzanghera, Casey B.; Grace, James B.; Prugh, Laura R.

    2017-01-01

    Competition and suppression are recognized as dominant forces that structure predator communities. Facilitation via carrion provisioning, however, is a ubiquitous interaction among predators that could offset the strength of suppression. Understanding the relative importance of these positive and negative interactions is necessary to anticipate community-wide responses to apex predator declines and recoveries worldwide. Using state-sponsored wolf (Canis lupus) control in Alaska as a quasi experiment, we conducted snow track surveys of apex, meso-, and small predators to test for evidence of carnivore cascades (e.g., mesopredator release). We analyzed survey data using an integrative occupancy and structural equation modeling framework to quantify the strengths of hypothesized interaction pathways, and we evaluated fine-scale spatiotemporal responses of nonapex predators to wolf activity clusters identified from radio-collar data. Contrary to the carnivore cascade hypothesis, both meso- and small predator occupancy patterns indicated guild-wide, negative responses of nonapex predators to wolf abundance variations at the landscape scale. At the local scale, however, we observed a near guild-wide, positive response of nonapex predators to localized wolf activity. Local-scale association with apex predators due to scavenging could lead to landscape patterns of mesopredator suppression, suggesting a key link between occupancy patterns and the structure of predator communities at different spatial scales.

  12. Fatal Attraction? Intraguild Facilitation and Suppression among Predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivy, Kelly J; Pozzanghera, Casey B; Grace, James B; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-11-01

    Competition and suppression are recognized as dominant forces that structure predator communities. Facilitation via carrion provisioning, however, is a ubiquitous interaction among predators that could offset the strength of suppression. Understanding the relative importance of these positive and negative interactions is necessary to anticipate community-wide responses to apex predator declines and recoveries worldwide. Using state-sponsored wolf (Canis lupus) control in Alaska as a quasi experiment, we conducted snow track surveys of apex, meso-, and small predators to test for evidence of carnivore cascades (e.g., mesopredator release). We analyzed survey data using an integrative occupancy and structural equation modeling framework to quantify the strengths of hypothesized interaction pathways, and we evaluated fine-scale spatiotemporal responses of nonapex predators to wolf activity clusters identified from radio-collar data. Contrary to the carnivore cascade hypothesis, both meso- and small predator occupancy patterns indicated guild-wide, negative responses of nonapex predators to wolf abundance variations at the landscape scale. At the local scale, however, we observed a near guild-wide, positive response of nonapex predators to localized wolf activity. Local-scale association with apex predators due to scavenging could lead to landscape patterns of mesopredator suppression, suggesting a key link between occupancy patterns and the structure of predator communities at different spatial scales.

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

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    Lorey K. Takahashi

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Lorey K.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Host Range Specificity of Scymnus camptodromus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), A Predator of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limbu, Samita; Cassidy, Katie; Keena, Melody; Tobin, Patrick; Hoover, Kelli

    2016-02-01

    Scymnus (Neopullus) camptodromus Yu and Liu (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) was brought to the United States from China as a potential biological control agent for hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae). Scymnus camptodromus phenology is closely synchronized with that of A. tsugae and has several characteristics of a promising biological control agent. As a prerequisite to field release, S. camptodromus was evaluated for potential nontarget impacts. In host range studies, the predator was given the choice of sympatric adelgid and nonadelgid prey items. Nontarget testing showed that S. camptodromus will feed to some degree on other adelgid species, but highly prefers A. tsugae. We also evaluated larval development of S. camptodromus on pine bark adelgid (Pineus strobi (Hartig)) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) and larch adelgid (Adelges laricis Vallot) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae); a small proportion of predator larvae was able to develop to adulthood on P. strobi or A. laricis alone. Scymnus camptodromus showed no interest in feeding on woolly alder aphid (Paraprociphilus tessellatus Fitch) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) or woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum (Hausmann)) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and minimal interest in cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in choice and no-choice experiments. Scymnus camptodromus females did not oviposit on any host material other than A. tsugae-infested hemlock. Under the circumstances of the study, S. camptodromus appears to be a specific predator of A. tsugae, with minimal risk to nontarget species. Although the predator can develop on P. strobi, the likelihood that S. camptodromus would oviposit on pine hosts of this adelgid is small.

  17. Hyperspectral imaging of cuttlefish camouflage indicates good color match in the eyes of fish predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiao, Chuan-Chin; Wickiser, J Kenneth; Allen, Justine J; Genter, Brock; Hanlon, Roger T

    2011-05-31

    Camouflage is a widespread phenomenon throughout nature and an important antipredator tactic in natural selection. Many visual predators have keen color perception, and thus camouflage patterns should provide some degree of color matching in addition to other visual factors such as pattern, contrast, and texture. Quantifying camouflage effectiveness in the eyes of the predator is a challenge from the perspectives of both biology and optical imaging technology. Here we take advantage of hyperspectral imaging (HSI), which records full-spectrum light data, to simultaneously visualize color match and pattern match in the spectral and the spatial domains, respectively. Cuttlefish can dynamically camouflage themselves on any natural substrate and, despite their colorblindness, produce body patterns that appear to have high-fidelity color matches to the substrate when viewed directly by humans or with RGB images. Live camouflaged cuttlefish on natural backgrounds were imaged using HSI, and subsequent spectral analysis revealed that most reflectance spectra of individual cuttlefish and substrates were similar, rendering the color match possible. Modeling color vision of potential di- and trichromatic fish predators of cuttlefish corroborated the spectral match analysis and demonstrated that camouflaged cuttlefish show good color match as well as pattern match in the eyes of fish predators. These findings (i) indicate the strong potential of HSI technology to enhance studies of biological coloration and (ii) provide supporting evidence that cuttlefish can produce color-coordinated camouflage on natural substrates despite lacking color vision.

  18. Increased noise levels have different impacts on the anti-predator behaviour of two sympatric fish species.

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    Irene K Voellmy

    Full Text Available Animals must avoid predation to survive and reproduce, and there is increasing evidence that man-made (anthropogenic factors can influence predator-prey relationships. Anthropogenic noise has been shown to have a variety of effects on many species, but work investigating the impact on anti-predator behaviour is rare. In this laboratory study, we examined how additional noise (playback of field recordings of a ship passing through a harbour, compared with control conditions (playback of recordings from the same harbours without ship noise, affected responses to a visual predatory stimulus. We compared the anti-predator behaviour of two sympatric fish species, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus and the European minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus, which share similar feeding and predator ecologies, but differ in their body armour. Effects of additional-noise playbacks differed between species: sticklebacks responded significantly more quickly to the visual predatory stimulus during additional-noise playbacks than during control conditions, while minnows exhibited no significant change in their response latency. Our results suggest that elevated noise levels have the potential to affect anti-predator behaviour of different species in different ways. Future field-based experiments are needed to confirm whether this effect and the interspecific difference exist in relation to real-world noise sources, and to determine survival and population consequences.

  19. Alternative responses to predation in two headwater stream minnows is reflected in their contrasting diel activity patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadye, Wilbert T; Booth, Anthony J

    2014-01-01

    Animals exhibit diel periodicity in their activity in part to meet energy requirements whilst evading predation. A competing hypothesis suggests that partitioning of diel activities is less important because animals capitalise on opportunity. To test these hypotheses we examined the diel activity patterns for two cyprinid minnows, chubbyhead barb Barbus anoplus and the Eastern Cape redfin minnow Pseudobarbus afer that both occur within headwater streams in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Chubbyhead barbs exhibited consistent nocturnal activity based on both field and laboratory observations. Due to the absence of fish predators within its habitat, its nocturnal behaviour suggests a response to the cost associated with diurnal activity, such as predation risk by diving and wading birds. In contrast, redfin minnows showed high diurnal activity and a shoaling behaviour in the wild, whereas, in the laboratory, they showed high refuge use during the diel cycle. Despite their preference for refuge in the laboratory, they were diurnally active, a behaviour that was consistent with observations in the wild. The diurnal activity of this species suggests a response to the cost associated with nocturnal activity. Such a cost could be inferred from the presence of the longfin eel, a native predator that was active at night, whereas the daytime shoaling behaviour suggests an anti-predator mechanism to diurnal visual predators. The implications of these findings relate to the impacts associated with the potential invasions by non-native piscivores that occur in the mainstem sections. Diurnal activity patterns for redfin minnows, that are IUCN-listed as endangered, may, in part, explain their susceptibility to high predation by visual non-native piscivores, such as bass and trout. In contrast, the nocturnal habits of chubbyhead barbs suggest a probable pre-adaptation to visual predation. The likelihood of invasion by nocturnally-active sharptooth catfish Clarias gariepinus

  20. Predation-related costs and benefits of conspecific attraction in songbirds--an agent-based approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds' aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  1. Predation-Related Costs and Benefits of Conspecific Attraction in Songbirds—An Agent-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szymkowiak, Jakub; Kuczyński, Lechosław

    2015-01-01

    Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect) or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution). Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds’ aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction for

  2. Alternative responses to predation in two headwater stream minnows is reflected in their contrasting diel activity patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilbert T Kadye

    Full Text Available Animals exhibit diel periodicity in their activity in part to meet energy requirements whilst evading predation. A competing hypothesis suggests that partitioning of diel activities is less important because animals capitalise on opportunity. To test these hypotheses we examined the diel activity patterns for two cyprinid minnows, chubbyhead barb Barbus anoplus and the Eastern Cape redfin minnow Pseudobarbus afer that both occur within headwater streams in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Chubbyhead barbs exhibited consistent nocturnal activity based on both field and laboratory observations. Due to the absence of fish predators within its habitat, its nocturnal behaviour suggests a response to the cost associated with diurnal activity, such as predation risk by diving and wading birds. In contrast, redfin minnows showed high diurnal activity and a shoaling behaviour in the wild, whereas, in the laboratory, they showed high refuge use during the diel cycle. Despite their preference for refuge in the laboratory, they were diurnally active, a behaviour that was consistent with observations in the wild. The diurnal activity of this species suggests a response to the cost associated with nocturnal activity. Such a cost could be inferred from the presence of the longfin eel, a native predator that was active at night, whereas the daytime shoaling behaviour suggests an anti-predator mechanism to diurnal visual predators. The implications of these findings relate to the impacts associated with the potential invasions by non-native piscivores that occur in the mainstem sections. Diurnal activity patterns for redfin minnows, that are IUCN-listed as endangered, may, in part, explain their susceptibility to high predation by visual non-native piscivores, such as bass and trout. In contrast, the nocturnal habits of chubbyhead barbs suggest a probable pre-adaptation to visual predation. The likelihood of invasion by nocturnally-active sharptooth catfish

  3. Scale Dependence of Female Ungulate Reproductive Success in Relation to Nutritional Condition, Resource Selection and Multi-Predator Avoidance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jared F Duquette

    Full Text Available Female ungulate reproductive success is dependent on the survival of their young, and affected by maternal resource selection, predator avoidance, and nutritional condition. However, potential hierarchical effects of these factors on reproductive success are largely unknown, especially in multi-predator landscapes. We expanded on previous research of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus daily survival within home ranges to assess if resource use, integrated risk of 4 mammalian predators, maternal nutrition, winter severity, hiding cover, or interactions among these variables best explained landscape scale variation in daily or seasonal survival during the post-partum period. We hypothesized that reproductive success would be limited greater by predation risk at coarser spatiotemporal scales, but habitat use at finer scales. An additive model of daily non-ideal resource use and maternal nutrition explained the most (69% variation in survival; though 65% of this variation was related to maternal nutrition. Strong support of maternal nutrition across spatiotemporal scales did not fully support our hypothesis, but suggested reproductive success was related to dam behaviors directed at increasing nutritional condition. These behaviors were especially important following severe winters, when dams produced smaller fawns with less probability of survival. To increase nutritional condition and decrease wolf (Canis lupus predation risk, dams appeared to place fawns in isolated deciduous forest patches near roads. However, this resource selection represented non-ideal resources for fawns, which had greater predation risk that led to additive mortalities beyond those related to resources alone. Although the reproductive strategy of dams resulted in greater predation of fawns from alternative predators, it likely improved the life-long reproductive success of dams, as many were late-aged (>10 years old and could have produced multiple litters

  4. Predation-related costs and benefits of conspecific attraction in songbirds--an agent-based approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Szymkowiak

    Full Text Available Songbirds that follow a conspecific attraction strategy in the habitat selection process prefer to settle in habitat patches already occupied by other individuals. This largely affects the patterns of their spatio-temporal distribution and leads to clustered breeding. Although making informed settlement decisions is expected to be beneficial for individuals, such territory clusters may potentially provide additional fitness benefits (e.g., through the dilution effect or costs (e.g., possibly facilitating nest localization if predators respond functionally to prey distribution. Thus, we hypothesized that the fitness consequences of following a conspecific attraction strategy may largely depend on the composition of the predator community. We developed an agent-based model in which we simulated the settling behavior of birds that use a conspecific attraction strategy and breed in a multi-predator landscape with predators that exhibited different foraging strategies. Moreover, we investigated whether Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions according to the perceived predation risk may improve the fitness of birds that rely on conspecific cues. Our results provide evidence that the fitness consequences of conspecific attraction are predation-related. We found that in landscapes dominated by predators able to respond functionally to prey distribution, clustered breeding led to fitness costs. However, this cost could be reduced if birds performed Bayesian updating of prior settlement decisions and perceived nesting with too many neighbors as a threat. Our results did not support the hypothesis that in landscapes dominated by incidental predators, clustered breeding as a byproduct of conspecific attraction provides fitness benefits through the dilution effect. We suggest that this may be due to the spatial scale of songbirds' aggregative behavior. In general, we provide evidence that when considering the fitness consequences of conspecific

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuwamura, Masataka; Chiba, Hayato

    2009-12-01

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

  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. Nest predation research: Recent findings and future perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The risk of predation favors cooperation among breeding prey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Empirical studies have shown that animals often focus on short-term benefits under conditions of predation risk, which reduces the likelihood that they will cooperate with others. However, some theoretical studies predict that animals in adverse conditions should not avoid cooperation with their neighbors since it may decrease individual risks and increase long-term benefits of reciprocal help. We experimentally tested these two alternatives to find out whether increased predation risk enhances or diminishes the occurrence of cooperation in mobbing, a common anti-predator behavior, among breeding pied flycatchers, Ficedula hypoleuca. Our results show that birds attended mobs initiated by their neighbors more often, approached the stuffed predator significantly more closely, and mobbed it at a higher intensity in areas where the perceived risk of predation was experimentally increased. This study demonstrates a positive impact of predation risk on cooperation in breeding songbirds, which might help to explain the emergence and evolution of cooperation. PMID:20714404

  9. The narrow range of perceived predation: a 19 group study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Mesly

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper rests largely on the works of Mesly (1999 to 2012. It argues that the phenomenon of perceived predation as a functional behavioural phenomenon is subjected to certain limits, a finding based on studies performed on 19 different groups spread over a four-year span. It also finds a constant of k = 1.3 which reflects the invariant nature of perceived predation. These findings add to the theory of financial predation which stipulates that financial predators operate below the limits of detection pertaining to their customers (and market regulators. They are experts at minimizing the perception that clients could have that they are after their money, causing them financial harm, by surprise (perceived predation. Understanding the narrow range in which financial predators operate is setting the grounds to offer better protection to investors and to implementing better control and punitive measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philpott, Stacy M; Bichier, Peter

    2017-04-01

    In agroecosystems, local and landscape features, as well as natural enemy abundance and richness, are significant predictors of predation services that may result in biological control of pests. Despite the increasing importance of urban gardening for provisioning of food to urban populations, most urban gardeners suffer from high pest problems, and have little knowledge about how to manage their plots to increase biological control services. We examined the influence of local, garden scale (i.e., herbaceous and arboreal vegetation abundance and diversity, ground cover) and landscape (i.e., landscape diversity and surrounding land use types) characteristics on predation services provided by naturally occurring predators in 19 urban gardens in the California central coast. We introduced sentinel pests (moth eggs and larvae and pea aphids) onto greenhouse-raised plants taken to gardens and assigned to open or bagged (predator exclosure) treatments. We found high predation rates with between 40% and 90% of prey items removed in open treatments. Predation services varied with local and landscape factors, but significant predictors differed by prey species. Predation of eggs and aphids increased with vegetation complexity in gardens, but larvae predation declined with vegetation complexity. Smaller gardens experienced higher predation services, likely due to increases in predator abundance in smaller gardens. Several ground cover features influenced predation services. In contrast to patterns in rural agricultural landscapes, predation on aphids declined with increases in landscape diversity. In sum, we report the relationships between several local management factors, as well as landscape surroundings, and implications for garden management. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Predation on hatchery-reared lobsters released in the wild

    OpenAIRE

    van der Meeren, Gro

    2000-01-01

    Predation on hatchery-reared lobsters (Homarus gammarus) in the wild was studied in order to identify predators in southwestern Norway on rocky and sandy substrates in winter and summer. Lobsters of 12–15 mm carapace length were tagged with magnetic microtags. About 51 000 juvenile lobsters were released on 10 occasions at three locations. Predator samplings were by trammel nets, eel traps, and videorecordings during the 24 h immediately following the releases. In summer, loss to ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Takahashi, Lorey K.

    2014-01-01

    When prey animals detect the odor of a predator a constellation of fear-related autonomic, endocrine, and behavioral responses rapidly occur to facilitate survival. How olfactory sensory systems process predator odor and channel that information to specific brain circuits is a fundamental issue that is not clearly understood. However, research in the last 15 years has begun to identify some of the essential features of the sensory detection systems and brain structures that underlie predator ...

  13. Predators induce interspecific herbivore competition for food in refuge space

    OpenAIRE

    Pallini, A.; Janssen, A.; Sabelis, M.W.

    1998-01-01

    Resource competition among herbivorous arthropods has long been viewed as unimportant because herbivore populations are controlled by predators. Although recently resurrected as an organizing force in arthropod communities on plants, there is still general agreement that resource competition among herbivores is reduced by predators. Here we show the reverse: predators induce interspecific resource competi-tion among herbivores. We found that thrips larvae (Frankliniella occidentalis) use the ...

  14. Predation rate by wolves on the Porcupine caribou herd

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, Robert D.; Russell, Donald E.

    2000-01-01

    Large migratory catibou {Rangifer tarandus) herds in the Arctic tend to be cyclic, and population trends are mainly driven by changes in forage or weather events, not by predation. We estimated daily kill rate by wolves on adult caribou in winter, then constructed a time and space dependent model to estimate annual wolf (Canis lupus) predation rate (P annual) on adult Porcupine caribou. Our model adjusts predation seasonally depending on caribou distribution: Pannual = SIGMAdaily* W *Ap(2)*Dp...

  15. Can camera traps monitor Komodo dragons a large ectothermic predator?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achmad Ariefiandy

    Full Text Available Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor the population status of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis, an apex predator, using site occupancy approaches. We compared site-specific estimates of site occupancy and detection derived using camera traps and cage traps at 181 trapping locations established across six sites on four islands within Komodo National Park, Eastern Indonesia. Detection and site occupancy at each site were estimated using eight competing models that considered site-specific variation in occupancy (ψand varied detection probabilities (p according to detection method, site and survey number using a single season site occupancy modelling approach. The most parsimonious model [ψ (site, p (site survey; ω = 0.74] suggested that site occupancy estimates differed among sites. Detection probability varied as an interaction between site and survey number. Our results indicate that overall camera traps produced similar estimates of detection and site occupancy to cage traps, irrespective of being paired, or unpaired, with cage traps. Whilst one site showed some evidence detection was affected by trapping method detection was too low to produce an accurate occupancy estimate. Overall, as camera trapping is logistically more feasible it may provide, with further validation, an alternative method for evaluating long-term site occupancy patterns in Komodo dragons, and potentially other large reptiles, aiding conservation of this species.

  16. Can camera traps monitor Komodo dragons a large ectothermic predator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariefiandy, Achmad; Purwandana, Deni; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Jessop, Tim S

    2013-01-01

    Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor the population status of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), an apex predator, using site occupancy approaches. We compared site-specific estimates of site occupancy and detection derived using camera traps and cage traps at 181 trapping locations established across six sites on four islands within Komodo National Park, Eastern Indonesia. Detection and site occupancy at each site were estimated using eight competing models that considered site-specific variation in occupancy (ψ)and varied detection probabilities (p) according to detection method, site and survey number using a single season site occupancy modelling approach. The most parsimonious model [ψ (site), p (site survey); ω = 0.74] suggested that site occupancy estimates differed among sites. Detection probability varied as an interaction between site and survey number. Our results indicate that overall camera traps produced similar estimates of detection and site occupancy to cage traps, irrespective of being paired, or unpaired, with cage traps. Whilst one site showed some evidence detection was affected by trapping method detection was too low to produce an accurate occupancy estimate. Overall, as camera trapping is logistically more feasible it may provide, with further validation, an alternative method for evaluating long-term site occupancy patterns in Komodo dragons, and potentially other large reptiles, aiding conservation of this species.

  17. Can Camera Traps Monitor Komodo Dragons a Large Ectothermic Predator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariefiandy, Achmad; Purwandana, Deni; Seno, Aganto; Ciofi, Claudio; Jessop, Tim S.

    2013-01-01

    Camera trapping has greatly enhanced population monitoring of often cryptic and low abundance apex carnivores. Effectiveness of passive infrared camera trapping, and ultimately population monitoring, relies on temperature mediated differences between the animal and its ambient environment to ensure good camera detection. In ectothermic predators such as large varanid lizards, this criterion is presumed less certain. Here we evaluated the effectiveness of camera trapping to potentially monitor the population status of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), an apex predator, using site occupancy approaches. We compared site-specific estimates of site occupancy and detection derived using camera traps and cage traps at 181 trapping locations established across six sites on four islands within Komodo National Park, Eastern Indonesia. Detection and site occupancy at each site were estimated using eight competing models that considered site-specific variation in occupancy (ψ)and varied detection probabilities (p) according to detection method, site and survey number using a single season site occupancy modelling approach. The most parsimonious model [ψ (site), p (site*survey); ω = 0.74] suggested that site occupancy estimates differed among sites. Detection probability varied as an interaction between site and survey number. Our results indicate that overall camera traps produced similar estimates of detection and site occupancy to cage traps, irrespective of being paired, or unpaired, with cage traps. Whilst one site showed some evidence detection was affected by trapping method detection was too low to produce an accurate occupancy estimate. Overall, as camera trapping is logistically more feasible it may provide, with further validation, an alternative method for evaluating long-term site occupancy patterns in Komodo dragons, and potentially other large reptiles, aiding conservation of this species. PMID:23527027

  18. Predators are attracted to the olfactory signals of prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelika K Hughes

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Predator attraction to prey social signals can force prey to trade-off the social imperatives to communicate against the profound effect of predation on their future fitness. These tradeoffs underlie theories on the design and evolution of conspecific signalling systems and have received much attention in visual and acoustic signalling modes. Yet while most territorial mammals communicate using olfactory signals and olfactory hunting is widespread in predators, evidence for the attraction of predators to prey olfactory signals under field conditions is lacking.To redress this fundamental issue, we examined the attraction of free-roaming predators to discrete patches of scents collected from groups of two and six adult, male house mice, Mus domesticus, which primarily communicate through olfaction. Olfactorily-hunting predators were rapidly attracted to mouse scent signals, visiting mouse scented locations sooner, and in greater number, than control locations. There were no effects of signal concentration on predator attraction to their prey's signals.This implies that communication will be costly if conspecific receivers and eavesdropping predators are simultaneously attracted to a signal. Significantly, our results also suggest that receivers may be at greater risk of predation when communicating than signallers, as receivers must visit risky patches of scent to perform their half of the communication equation, while signallers need not.

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing predation risk: optimal behaviour and rules of thumb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welton, Nicky J; McNamara, John M; Houston, Alasdair I

    2003-12-01

    We look at a simple model in which an animal makes behavioural decisions over time in an environment in which all parameters are known to the animal except predation risk. In the model there is a trade-off between gaining information about predation risk and anti-predator behaviour. All predator attacks lead to death for the prey, so that the prey learns about predation risk by virtue of the fact that it is still alive. We show that it is not usually optimal to behave as if the current unbiased estimate of the predation risk is its true value. We consider two different ways to model reproduction; in the first scenario the animal reproduces throughout its life until it dies, and in the second scenario expected reproductive success depends on the level of energy reserves the animal has gained by some point in time. For both of these scenarios we find results on the form of the optimal strategy and give numerical examples which compare optimal behaviour with behaviour under simple rules of thumb. The numerical examples suggest that the value of the optimal strategy over the rules of thumb is greatest when there is little current information about predation risk, learning is not too costly in terms of predation, and it is energetically advantageous to learn about predation. We find that for the model and parameters investigated, a very simple rule of thumb such as 'use the best constant control' performs well.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N.

    2015-05-01

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

  2. Chaotic population dynamics and biology of the top-predator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rai, Vikas; Upadhyay, Ranjit Kumar

    2004-01-01

    We study how the dynamics of a food chain depends on the biology of the top-predator. We consider two model food chains with specialist and generalist top-predators. Both types of food chains display same type of chaotic behavior, short-term recurrent chaos; but the generating mechanisms are drastically different. Food chains with specialist top-predators are dictated by exogenous stochastic factors. On the contrary, the dynamics of those with the generalist top-predator is governed by deterministic changes in system parameters. The study also suggests that robust chaos would be a rarity

  3. Invertebrate predation on egg masses of the European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis: An experimental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martins, Catarina P. P.; Fernández-Álvarez, Fernando Á.; Villanueva, Roger

    2018-01-01

    The eggs of the European cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, develop attached to the seafloor in shallow water habitats and possess a relatively thick black capsule that protects them from the surrounding environment. Since embryological development may take several months, eggs are vulnerable to a variety of threats present in shallow waters, including predation. This study investigates predation of S. officinalis eggs by benthic invertebrates. Twenty-eight invertebrate species from 6 different phyla and with diverse feeding habits were tested as potential predators under laboratory conditions. We also investigated how the feeding traits of these species are related to the mechanical ability to break the egg capsule and prey upon cuttlefish embryos. Species that fed on cuttlefish eggs were the sea snail Bolinus brandaris, the crab Cancer pagurus, the hermit crab Dardanus arrosor, the lobster Homarus gammarus, the invasive blue crab Callinectes sapidus, the shrimp Squilla mantis, the sea urchins Echinus melo, Cidaris sp. and Paracentrotus lividus and the starfish Astropecten aranciacus. It is of note that C. sapidus is a potential predatory crab, which raises the concern that this invasive species may constitute a novel threat for cuttlefish eggs as more populations become established in NE Atlantic waters. Of the biological traits examined, prey capture tools in the tested species best explained the experimental feeding results, suggesting that predation of S. officinalis eggs was determined generally by a mechanical factor and highlighting the importance of the protective egg capsule against predators. However, chemosensory factors are likely to be implicated as well. Thus, this work contributes to the understanding of the ecology of early life stages of cuttlefish and the factors that can affect offspring survival and subsequently impact the recruitment of this species.

  4. Impacts of rising sea temperature on krill increase risks for predators in the Scotia Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Simeon L.; Hinke, Jefferson T.; Phillips, Tony; Watters, George M.

    2018-01-01

    Climate change is a threat to marine ecosystems and the services they provide, and reducing fishing pressure is one option for mitigating the overall consequences for marine biota. We used a minimally realistic ecosystem model to examine how projected effects of ocean warming on the growth of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, might affect populations of krill and dependent predators (whales, penguins, seals, and fish) in the Scotia Sea. We also investigated the potential to mitigate depletion risk for predators by curtailing krill fishing at different points in the 21st century. The projected effects of ocean warming on krill biomass were strongest in the northern Scotia Sea, with a ≥40% decline in the mass of individual krill. Projections also suggest a 25% chance that krill biomass will fall below an established depletion threshold (75% of its unimpacted level), with consequent risks for some predator populations, especially penguins. Average penguin abundance declined by up to 30% of its unimpacted level, with up to a 50% chance of falling below the depletion threshold. Simulated krill fishing at currently permitted harvest rates further increased risks for depletion, and stopping fishing offset the increased risks associated with ocean warming in our model to some extent. These results varied by location and species group. Risk reductions at smaller spatial scales also differed from those at the regional level, which suggests that some predator populations may be more vulnerable than others to future changes in krill biomass. However, impacts on predators did not always map directly to those for krill. Our findings indicate the importance of identifying vulnerable marine populations and targeting protection measures at appropriate spatial scales, and the potential for spatially-structured management to avoid aggravating risks associated with rising ocean temperatures. This may help balance tradeoffs among marine ecosystem services in an uncertain future

  5. Strike fast, strike hard: the red-throated caracara exploits absconding behavior of social wasps during nest predation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Sean; Moeri, Onour; Jones, Tanya; Scott, Catherine; Khaskin, Grigori; Gries, Regine; O'Donnell, Sean; Gries, Gerhard

    2013-01-01

    Red-throated Caracaras Ibycter americanus (Falconidae) are specialist predators of social wasps in the Neotropics. It had been proposed that these caracaras possess chemical repellents that allow them to take the brood of wasp nests without being attacked by worker wasps. To determine how caracaras exploit nests of social wasps and whether chemical repellents facilitate predation, we: (1) video recorded the birds attacking wasp nests; (2) analyzed surface extracts of the birds' faces, feet, and feathers for potential chemical repellents; and (3) inflicted mechanical damage on wasp nests to determine the defensive behavior of wasps in response to varying levels of disturbance. During caracara predation events, two species of large-bodied wasps mounted stinging attacks on caracaras, whereas three smaller-bodied wasp species did not. The "hit-and-run" predation tactic of caracaras when they attacked nests of large and aggressive wasps reduced the risk of getting stung. Our data reveal that the predation strategy of caracaras is based on mechanical disturbance of, and damage to, target wasp nests. Caracara attacks and severe experimental disturbance of nests invariably caused wasps to abscond (abandon their nests). Two compounds in caracara foot extracts [sulcatone and iridodial] elicited electrophysiological responses from wasp antennae, and were also present in defensive secretions of sympatric arboreal-nesting Azteca ants. These compounds appear not to be wasp repellents but to be acquired coincidentally by caracaras when they perch on trees inhabited with Azteca ants. We conclude that caracara predation success does not depend on wasp repellents but relies on the absconding response that is typical of swarm-founding polistine wasps. Our study highlights the potential importance of vertebrate predators in the ecology and evolution of social wasps.

  6. Predation of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) by freshwater drum in western Lake Erie

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, John R. P.; Bur, Michael T.; Nalepa, Thomas F.; Schloesser, Donald W.

    1992-01-01

    Environmental and economic problems associated with the colonization of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in western Lake Erie created a need to investigate control mechanisms. Predation by fishes is one potential means of control, but predation on zebra mussels by native fishes in Lake Erie is unknown. The freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens) is the most likely fish predator since it is the only fish with pharyngeal teeth capable of crushing mollusk shells. In 1990, freshwater drum were collected in western Lake Erie from 9 sites near rocky reefs and 13 sites with silt or sand bottoms, and gut contents were examined. Predation on zebra mussels increased as drum size increased. Small drum (200-249 mm in length) fed mainly on dipterans, amphipods, and small fish; small zebra mussels (375 mm in length) fed almost exclusively on zebra mussels (seasons and locations combined). The smallest drum capable of crushing zebra mussel shells was 265 mm. Since freshwater drum over 375 mm feed heavily on zebra mussels, they may become a possible biological control mechanism for mussels in portions of North America.

  7. Prey should hide more randomly when a predator attacks more persistently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gal, Shmuel; Alpern, Steve; Casas, Jérôme

    2015-12-06

    When being searched for and then (if found) pursued by a predator, a prey animal has a choice between choosing very randomly among hiding locations so as to be hard to find or alternatively choosing a location from which it is more likely to successfully flee if found. That is, the prey can choose to be hard to find or hard to catch, if found. In our model, capture of prey requires both finding it and successfully pursuing it. We model this dilemma as a zero-sum repeated game between predator and prey, with the eventual capture probability as the pay-off to the predator. We find that the more random hiding strategy is better when the chances of repeated pursuit, which are known to be related to area topography, are high. Our results extend earlier results of Gal and Casas, where there was at most only a single pursuit. In that model, hiding randomly was preferred by the prey when the predator has only a few looks. Thus, our new multistage model shows that the effect of more potential looks is opposite. Our results can be viewed as a generalization of search games to the repeated game context and are in accordance with observed escape behaviour of different animals. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. Making inference from wildlife collision data: inferring predator absence from prey strikes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Caley

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Wildlife collision data are ubiquitous, though challenging for making ecological inference due to typically irreducible uncertainty relating to the sampling process. We illustrate a new approach that is useful for generating inference from predator data arising from wildlife collisions. By simply conditioning on a second prey species sampled via the same collision process, and by using a biologically realistic numerical response functions, we can produce a coherent numerical response relationship between predator and prey. This relationship can then be used to make inference on the population size of the predator species, including the probability of extinction. The statistical conditioning enables us to account for unmeasured variation in factors influencing the runway strike incidence for individual airports and to enable valid comparisons. A practical application of the approach for testing hypotheses about the distribution and abundance of a predator species is illustrated using the hypothesized red fox incursion into Tasmania, Australia. We estimate that conditional on the numerical response between fox and lagomorph runway strikes on mainland Australia, the predictive probability of observing no runway strikes of foxes in Tasmania after observing 15 lagomorph strikes is 0.001. We conclude there is enough evidence to safely reject the null hypothesis that there is a widespread red fox population in Tasmania at a population density consistent with prey availability. The method is novel and has potential wider application.

  9. Extinction and Permanence of a General Predator-Prey System with Impulsive Perturbations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xianning Liu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A general predator-prey system is studied in a scheme where there is periodic impulsive perturbations. This scheme has the potential to protect the predator from extinction but under some conditions may also serve to lead to extinction of the prey. Conditions for extinction and permanence are obtained via the comparison methods involving monotone theory of impulsive systems and multiple Liapunov functions, which establish explicit bounds on solutions. The existence of a positive periodic solution is also studied by the bifurcation theory. Application is given to a Lotka-Volterra predator-prey system with periodic impulsive immigration of the predator. It is shown that the results are quite different from the corresponding system without impulsive immigration, where extinction of the prey can never be achieved. The prey will be extinct or permanent independent of whether the system without impulsive effect immigration is permanent or not. The model and its results suggest an approach of pest control which proves more effective than the classical one.

  10. Genetic variation in flowering phenology and avoidance of seed predation in native populations of Ulex europaeus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atlan, A; Barat, M; Legionnet, A S; Parize, L; Tarayre, M

    2010-02-01

    The genetic variation in flowering phenology may be an important component of a species' capacity to colonize new environments. In native populations of the invasive species Ulex europaeus, flowering phenology has been shown to be bimodal and related to seed predation. The aim of the present study was to determine if this bimodality has a genetic basis, and to investigate whether the polymorphism in flowering phenology is genetically linked to seed predation, pod production and growth patterns. We set up an experiment raising maternal families in a common garden. Based on mixed analyses of variance and correlations among maternal family means, we found genetic differences between the two main flowering types and confirmed that they reduced seed predation in two different ways: escape in time or predator satiation. We suggest that this polymorphism in strategy may facilitate maintain high genetic diversity for flowering phenology and related life-history traits in native populations of this species, hence providing high evolutionary potential for these traits in invaded areas.

  11. International collaboration and comparative research on ocean top predators under CLIOTOP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobday, Alistair J.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Evans, Karen; Scales, Kylie L.; Senina, Inna; Weng, Kevin C.

    2017-06-01

    Oceanic top predators have ecological, social and economic value of global significance. These wide-ranging marine species, which include sharks, tunas and billfishes, marine mammals, turtles and seabirds, are the focus of international research attention under the Climate Impacts on Oceanic Top Predators (CLIOTOP) science programme, one of the Integrated Marine Biosphere Research (IMBeR) projects. Over more than a decade, research conducted under CLIOTOP has involved scientists from more than 30 countries, with international collaboration increasing markedly over time, and comparative analyses resulting in new knowledge and understanding of oceanic top predators. This special issue presents 27 papers arising from the 3rd CLIOTOP symposium, held in San Sebastián, Spain in September 2015, spanning topics such as conservation biology, trophic ecology, fisheries science, climate change, and adaptive management. The maturation and synthesis of CLIOTOP's collaborative research is now resulting in real-world management applications and improving understanding of potential ecological and socio-economic impacts of climate change in oceanic systems. The ultimate CLIOTOP goal of preparing both climate-sensitive predator populations and the human societies dependent on them for the impending impacts of climate change is now within reach.

  12. Examining predator-prey body size, trophic level and body mass across marine and terrestrial mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-12-22

    Predator-prey relationships and trophic levels are indicators of community structure, and are important for monitoring ecosystem changes. Mammals colonized the marine environment on seven separate occasions, which resulted in differences in species' physiology, morphology and behaviour. It is likely that these changes have had a major effect upon predator-prey relationships and trophic position; however, the effect of environment is yet to be clarified. We compiled a dataset, based on the literature, to explore the relationship between body mass, trophic level and predator-prey ratio across terrestrial (n = 51) and marine (n = 56) mammals. We did not find the expected positive relationship between trophic level and body mass, but we did find that marine carnivores sit 1.3 trophic levels higher than terrestrial carnivores. Also, marine mammals are largely carnivorous and have significantly larger predator-prey ratios compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We propose that primary productivity, and its availability, is important for mammalian trophic structure and body size. Also, energy flow and community structure in the marine environment are influenced by differences in energy efficiency and increased food web stability. Enhancing our knowledge of feeding ecology in mammals has the potential to provide insights into the structure and functioning of marine and terrestrial communities. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. Making inference from wildlife collision data: inferring predator absence from prey strikes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caley, Peter; Hosack, Geoffrey R; Barry, Simon C

    2017-01-01

    Wildlife collision data are ubiquitous, though challenging for making ecological inference due to typically irreducible uncertainty relating to the sampling process. We illustrate a new approach that is useful for generating inference from predator data arising from wildlife collisions. By simply conditioning on a second prey species sampled via the same collision process, and by using a biologically realistic numerical response functions, we can produce a coherent numerical response relationship between predator and prey. This relationship can then be used to make inference on the population size of the predator species, including the probability of extinction. The statistical conditioning enables us to account for unmeasured variation in factors influencing the runway strike incidence for individual airports and to enable valid comparisons. A practical application of the approach for testing hypotheses about the distribution and abundance of a predator species is illustrated using the hypothesized red fox incursion into Tasmania, Australia. We estimate that conditional on the numerical response between fox and lagomorph runway strikes on mainland Australia, the predictive probability of observing no runway strikes of foxes in Tasmania after observing 15 lagomorph strikes is 0.001. We conclude there is enough evidence to safely reject the null hypothesis that there is a widespread red fox population in Tasmania at a population density consistent with prey availability. The method is novel and has potential wider application.

  14. European starlings use their acute vision to check on feline predators but not on conspecifics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2018-01-01

    Head movements allow birds with laterally placed eyes to move their centers of acute vision around and align them with objects of interest. Consequently, head movements have been used as indicator of fixation behavior (where gaze is maintained). However, studies on head movement behavior have not elucidated the degree to which birds use high-acuity or low-acuity vision. We studied how European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) used high-acuity vision in the early stages of visual exploration of a stuffed cat (common terrestrial predator), a taxidermy Cooper’s hawk (common aerial predator), and a stuffed study skin of a conspecific. We found that starlings tended to use their high acuity vision when looking at predators, particularly, the cat was above chance levels. However, when they viewed a conspecific, they used high acuity vision as expected by chance. We did not observe a preference for the left or right center of acute vision. Our findings suggest that starlings exposed to a predator (particularly cats) may employ selective attention by using high-acuity vision to obtain quickly detailed information useful for a potential escape, but exposed to a social context may use divided attention by allocating similar levels high- and low-quality vision to monitor both conspecifics and the rest of the environment. PMID:29370164

  15. Limit Cycles in Predator-Prey Models

    OpenAIRE

    Puchuri Medina, Liliana

    2017-01-01

    The classic Lotka-Volterra model belongs to a family of differential equations known as “Generalized Lotka-Volterra”, which is part of a classification of four models of quadratic fields with center. These models have been studied to address the Hilbert infinitesimal problem, which consists in determine the number of limit cycles of a perturbed hamiltonian system with center. In this work, we first present an alternative proof of the existence of centers in Lotka-Volterra predator-prey models...

  16. Ontogenetic specialism in predators with multiple niche shifts prevents predator population recovery and establishment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, A.; Huss, M.; Gårdmark, A.; de Roos, A.M.

    2014-01-01

    The effects of ontogenetic niche shifts on community structure and dynamics are underexplored, despite the occurrence of such shifts in the majority of animal species. We studied the form of niche shifts in a predator that exhibits multiple ontogenetic niche shifts, and analyzed how this life

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. Responses of urban crows to con- and hetero-specic alarm calls in predator and non-predator zoo enclosures.

    OpenAIRE

    BÍLÁ, Kateřina

    2017-01-01

    I investigated if urban crows respond to con- and heterospecific alarm signals in predator and non-predator contexts in enclosures in the ZOO of Vienna. Crows responded strongly to the crow and also jackdaw alarms in both types of contexts, but also responded to the singing of great tit (control) in the predator context. This suggests that crows are aware of the danger the wolf and bear represent but are generally very cautious at the exotic Zoo animals.

  19. Fish ladders: safe fish passage or hotspot for predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Antonio Agostinho

    Full Text Available Fish ladders are a strategy for conserving biodiversity, as they can provide connectivity between fragmented habitats and reduce predation on shoals that accumulate immediately below dams. Although the impact of predation downstream of reservoirs has been investigated, especially in juvenile salmonids during their downstream movements, nothing is known about predation on Neotropical fish in the attraction and containment areas commonly found in translocation facilities. This study analysed predation in a fish passage system at the Lajeado Dam on the Tocantins River in Brazil. The abundance, distribution, and the permanence (time spent of large predatory fish along the ladder, the injuries imposed by piranhas during passage and the presence of other vertebrate predators were investigated. From December 2002 to October 2003, sampling was conducted in four regions (downstream, along the ladder, in the forebay, and upstream of the reservoir using gillnets, cast nets and counts or visual observations. The captured fish were tagged with thread and beads, and any mutilations were registered. Fish, birds and dolphins were the main predator groups observed, with a predominance of the first two groups. The entrance to the ladder, in the downstream region, was the area with the highest number of large predators and was the only region with relevant non-fish vertebrates. The main predatory fish species were Rhaphiodon vulpinus, Hydrolycus armatus, and Serrasalmus rhombeus. Tagged individuals were detected predating along the ladder for up to 90 days. Mutilations caused by Serrasalmus attacks were noted in 36% of species and 4% of individuals at the top of the ladder. Our results suggested that the high density of fish in the restricted ladder environment, which is associated with injuries suffered along the ladder course and the presence of multiple predator groups with different predation strategies, transformed the fish corridor into a hotspot for

  20. Ecotoxicological effects of buprofezin on fecundity, growth, development, and predation of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Lingling; Xu, Muqi; Cao, Hong; Dai, Jiayin

    2008-11-01

    The toxicological effects of buprofezin, an insect growth regulator, on the fecundity, development, and pest control potential of the wolf spider Pirata piratoides (Schenkel) (Araneae: Lycosidae) were investigated in the laboratory. It was shown that buprofezin had low toxicity to P. piratoides and that the median lethal dosage (LD(50)) 48 h and 10% lethal dosage (LD(10)) after topical application for female spiders were 653 and 316 mg buprofezin/mg fresh weight of spider, respectively. Buprofezin significantly reduced the percent hatching of spiders' eggs but had only a slight effect on egg production. No negative effects on the development and growth were observed. However, spider predation rates were strongly affected: Insecticide-treated females predated on fewer prey than the controls, and their predation rate did not recover even 5 days after insecticide application. This indicated that their pest control potential might be influenced by buprofezin, and the use of buprofezin in biological control of insects is discussed.

  1. Predators and predation rates of skylark Alauda arvensis and woodlark Lullula arborea nests in a semi-natural area in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Praus, Libor; Hegemann, Arne; Tieleman, B. Irene; Weidinger, Karel

    2014-01-01

    Predation is a major cause of breeding failure in bird species with open nests. Although many studies have investigated nest predation rates, direct identification of nest predators is sporadic, especially in (semi-)natural habitats. We quantified nest success and identified nest predators in a

  2. Anti-predator behaviour of Sahamalaza sportive lemurs, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, at diurnal sleeping sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seiler, M.; Schwitzer, C.; Holderied, M.

    2013-01-01

    In response to predation pressure by raptors, snakes, and carnivores, primates employ anti-predator behaviours such as avoiding areas of high predation risk, cryptic behaviour and camouflage, vigilance and group formation (including mixedspecies associations), and eavesdropping on other species’

  3. Maximum sustainable yield and species extinction in a prey-predator system: some new results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, Bapan; Kar, T K

    2013-06-01

    Though the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach has been legally adopted for the management of world fisheries, it does not provide any guarantee against from species extinction in multispecies communities. In the present article, we describe the appropriateness of the MSY policy in a Holling-Tanner prey-predator system with different types of functional responses. It is observed that for both type I and type II functional responses, harvesting of either prey or predator species at the MSY level is a sustainable fishing policy. In the case of combined harvesting, both the species coexist at the maximum sustainable total yield (MSTY) level if the biotic potential of the prey species is greater than a threshold value. Further, increase of the biotic potential beyond the threshold value affects the persistence of the system.

  4. Innate and Learned Prey-Searching Behavior in a Generalist Predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardanuy, Agnès; Albajes, Ramon; Turlings, Ted C J

    2016-06-01

    Early colonization by Zyginidia scutellaris leafhoppers might be a key factor in the attraction and settling of generalist predators, such as Orius spp., in maize fields. In this paper, we aimed to determine whether our observations of early season increases in field populations of Orius spp. reflect a specific attraction to Z. scutellaris-induced maize volatiles, and how the responses of Orius predators to herbivore-induced volatiles (HIPVs) might be affected by previous experiences on plants infested by herbivorous prey. Therefore, we examined the innate and learned preferences of Orius majusculus toward volatiles from maize plants attacked by three potential herbivores with different feeding strategies: the leafhopper Z. scutellaris (mesophyll feeder), the lepidopteran Spodoptera littoralis (chewer), and another leafhopper Dalbulus maidis (phloem feeder). In addition, we examined the volatile profiles emitted by maize plants infested by the three herbivores. Our results show that predators exhibit a strong innate attraction to volatiles from maize plants infested with Z. scutellaris or S. littoralis. Previous predation experience in the presence of HIPVs influences the predator's odor preferences. The innate preference for plants with cell or tissue damage may be explained by these plants releasing far more volatiles than plants infested by the phloem-sucking D. maidis. However, a predation experience on D. maidis-infested plants increased the preference for D. maidis-induced maize volatiles. After O. majusculus experienced L3-L4 larvae (too large to serve as prey) on S. littoralis-infested plants, they showed reduced attraction toward these plants and an increased attraction toward D. maidis-infested plants. When offered young larvae of S. littoralis, which are more suitable prey, preference toward HIPVs was similar to that of naive individuals. The HIPVs from plants infested by herbivores with distinctly different feeding strategies showed distinguishable

  5. Predation by coyotes on white-tailed deer neonates in South Carolina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kilgo, John C.; Ray, H. Scott; Vukovich, Mark; Goode, Matthew J.; Ruth, Charles

    2012-05-07

    Abstract: Coyotes (Canis latrans) are novel predators throughout the southeastern United States and their depredation of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) neonates may explain observed declines in some deer populations in the region, but direct evidence for such a relationship is lacking. Our objective was to quantify neonate survival rates and causes of mortality at the United States Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina to directly evaluate degree of predation in this deer population. From 2006 to 2009, we radio-monitored 91 neonates captured with the aid of vaginal implant transmitters in pregnant adult females and opportunistic searches. Overall Kaplan Meier survival rate to 16 weeks of age was 0.230 (95% CI = 0.155-0.328), and it varied little among years. Our best-fitting model estimated survival at 0.220 (95% CI = 0.144-0.320). This model included a quadratic time trend variable (lowest survival rate during the first week of life and increasing to near 1.000 around week 10), and Julian date of birth (survival probability declining as date of birth increased). Predation by coyotes was the most frequent cause of death among the 70 monitored neonates that died, definitively accounting for 37% of all mortalities and potentially accounting for as much as 80% when also including probable coyote predation. Predation by bobcats (Felis rufus) accounted for 7% (definitive) to 9% (including probable bobcat predation) of mortalities. The level of coyote-induced mortality we observed is consistent with the low recruitment rates exhibited in the SRS deer population since establishment of coyotes at the site. If representative of recruitment rates across South Carolina, current harvest levels appear unsustainable. This understanding is consistent with the recent declining trend in the statewide deer population. The effects of coyote predation on recruitment should be considered when setting harvest goals, regardless of whether local

  6. Context-dependent planktivory: interacting effects of turbidity and predation risk on adaptive foraging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pangle, Kevin L.; Malinich, Timothy D.; Bunnell, David B.; DeVries, Dennis R.; Ludsin, Stuart A.

    2012-01-01

    By shaping species interactions, adaptive phenotypic plasticity can profoundly influence ecosystems. Predicting such outcomes has proven difficult, however, owing in part to the dependence of plasticity on the environmental context. Of particular relevance are environmental factors that affect sensory performance in organisms in ways that alter the tradeoffs associated with adaptive phenotypic responses. We explored the influence of turbidity, which simultaneously and differentially affects the sensory performance of consumers at multiple trophic levels, on the indirect effect of a top predator (piscivorous fish) on a basal prey resource (zooplankton) that is mediated through changes in the plastic foraging behavior of an intermediate consumer (zooplanktivorous fish). We first generated theoretical predictions of the adaptive foraging response of a zooplanktivore across wide gradients of turbidity and predation risk by a piscivore. Our model predicted that predation risk can change the negative relationship between intermediate consumer foraging and turbidity into a humped-shaped (unimodal) one in which foraging is low in both clear and highly turbid conditions due to foraging-related risk and visual constraints, respectively. Consequently, the positive trait-mediated indirect effect (TMIE) of the top predator on the basal resource is predicted to peak at low turbidity and decline thereafter until it reaches an asymptote of zero at intermediate turbidity levels (when foraging equals that which is predicted when the top predator is absent). We used field observations and a laboratory experiment to test our model predictions. In support, we found humped-shaped relationships between planktivory and turbidity for several zooplanktivorous fishes from diverse freshwater ecosystems with predation risk. Further, our experiment demonstrated that predation risk reduced zooplanktivory by yellow perch (Perca flavescens) at a low turbidity, but had no effect on consumption at

  7. The influence of historical climate changes on Southern Ocean marine predator populations: a comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Younger, Jane L; Emmerson, Louise M; Miller, Karen J

    2016-02-01

    The Southern Ocean ecosystem is undergoing rapid physical and biological changes that are likely to have profound implications for higher-order predators. Here, we compare the long-term, historical responses of Southern Ocean predators to climate change. We examine palaeoecological evidence for changes in the abundance and distribution of seabirds and marine mammals, and place these into context with palaeoclimate records in order to identify key environmental drivers associated with population changes. Our synthesis revealed two key factors underlying Southern Ocean predator population changes; (i) the availability of ice-free ground for breeding and (ii) access to productive foraging grounds. The processes of glaciation and sea ice fluctuation were key; the distributions and abundances of elephant seals, snow petrels, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins all responded strongly to the emergence of new breeding habitat coincident with deglaciation and reductions in sea ice. Access to productive foraging grounds was another limiting factor, with snow petrels, king and emperor penguins all affected by reduced prey availability in the past. Several species were isolated in glacial refugia and there is evidence that refuge populations were supported by polynyas. While the underlying drivers of population change were similar across most Southern Ocean predators, the individual responses of species to environmental change varied because of species specific factors such as dispersal ability and environmental sensitivity. Such interspecific differences are likely to affect the future climate change responses of Southern Ocean marine predators and should be considered in conservation plans. Comparative palaeoecological studies are a valuable source of long-term data on species' responses to environmental change that can provide important insights into future climate change responses. This synthesis highlights the importance of protecting productive foraging grounds

  8. Ultrasonic predator-prey interactions in water-convergent evolution with insects and bats in air?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Maria; Wahlberg, Magnus; Surlykke, Annemarie; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2013-01-01

    Toothed whales and bats have independently evolved biosonar systems to navigate and locate and catch prey. Such active sensing allows them to operate in darkness, but with the potential cost of warning prey by the emission of intense ultrasonic signals. At least six orders of nocturnal insects have independently evolved ears sensitive to ultrasound and exhibit evasive maneuvers when exposed to bat calls. Among aquatic prey on the other hand, the ability to detect and avoid ultrasound emitting predators seems to be limited to only one subfamily of Clupeidae: the Alosinae (shad and menhaden). These differences are likely rooted in the different physical properties of air and water where cuticular mechanoreceptors have been adapted to serve as ultrasound sensitive ears, whereas ultrasound detection in water have called for sensory cells mechanically connected to highly specialized gas volumes that can oscillate at high frequencies. In addition, there are most likely differences in the risk of predation between insects and fish from echolocating predators. The selection pressure among insects for evolving ultrasound sensitive ears is high, because essentially all nocturnal predation on flying insects stems from echolocating bats. In the interaction between toothed whales and their prey the selection pressure seems weaker, because toothed whales are by no means the only marine predators placing a selection pressure on their prey to evolve specific means to detect and avoid them. Toothed whales can generate extremely intense sound pressure levels, and it has been suggested that they may use these to debilitate prey. Recent experiments, however, show that neither fish with swim bladders, nor squid are debilitated by such signals. This strongly suggests that the production of high amplitude ultrasonic clicks serve the function of improving the detection range of the toothed whale biosonar system rather than debilitation of prey.

  9. Ultrasonic predator-prey interactions in water– convergent evolution with insects and bats in air?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria eWilson

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Toothed whales and bats have independently evolved biosonar systems to navigate and locate and catch prey. Such active sensing allows them to operate in darkness, but with the potential cost of warning prey by the emission of intense ultrasonic signals. At least six orders of nocturnal insects have independently evolved ears sensitive to ultrasound and exhibit evasive maneuvers when exposed to bat calls. Among aquatic prey on the other hand, the ability to detect and avoid ultrasound emitting predators seems to be limited to only one subfamily of Clupeidae: the Alosinae (shad and menhaden. These differences are likely rooted in the different physical properties of air and water where cuticular mechanoreceptors have been adapted to serve as ultrasound sensitive ears, whereas ultrasound detection in water have called for sensory cells mechanically connected to highly specialized gas volumes that can oscillate at high frequencies. In addition, there are most likely differences in the risk of predation between insects and fish from echolocating predators. The selection pressure among insects for evolving ultrasound sensitive ears is high, because essentially all nocturnal predation on flying insects stems from echolocating bats. In the interaction between toothed whales and their prey the selection pressure seems weaker, because toothed whales are by no means the only marine predators placing a selection pressure on their prey to evolve specific means to detect and avoid them.Toothed whales can generate extremely intense sound pressure levels, and it has been suggested that they may use these to debilitate prey. Recent experiments however, show that neither fish with swim bladder, nor squid are debilitated by such signals. This strongly suggests that the production of high amplitude ultrasonic clicks serve the function of improving the detection range of the toothed whale biosonar system rather than debilitation of prey.

  10. An interdisciplinary review of current and future approaches to improving human-predator relations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pooley, S; Barua, M; Beinart, W; Dickman, A; Holmes, G; Lorimer, J; Loveridge, A J; Macdonald, D W; Marvin, G; Redpath, S; Sillero-Zubiri, C; Zimmermann, A; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2017-06-01

    In a world of shrinking habitats and increasing competition for natural resources, potentially dangerous predators bring the challenges of coexisting with wildlife sharply into focus. Through interdisciplinary collaboration among authors trained in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, we reviewed current approaches to mitigating adverse human-predator encounters and devised a vision for future approaches to understanding and mitigating such encounters. Limitations to current approaches to mitigation include too much focus on negative impacts; oversimplified equating of levels of damage with levels of conflict; and unsuccessful technical fixes resulting from failure to engage locals, address hidden costs, or understand cultural (nonscientific) explanations of the causality of attacks. An emerging interdisciplinary literature suggests that to better frame and successfully mitigate negative human-predator relations conservation professionals need to consider dispensing with conflict as the dominant framework for thinking about human-predator encounters; work out what conflicts are really about (they may be human-human conflicts); unravel the historical contexts of particular conflicts; and explore different cultural ways of thinking about animals. The idea of cosmopolitan natures may help conservation professionals think more clearly about human-predator relations in both local and global context. These new perspectives for future research practice include a recommendation for focused interdisciplinary research and the use of new approaches, including human-animal geography, multispecies ethnography, and approaches from the environmental humanities notably environmental history. Managers should think carefully about how they engage with local cultural beliefs about wildlife, work with all parties to agree on what constitutes good evidence, develop processes and methods to mitigate conflicts, and decide how to monitor and evaluate these. Demand for

  11. Ocean acidification alters zooplankton communities and increases top-down pressure of a cubozoan predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammill, Edd; Johnson, Ellery; Atwood, Trisha B; Harianto, Januar; Hinchliffe, Charles; Calosi, Piero; Byrne, Maria

    2018-01-01

    The composition of local ecological communities is determined by the members of the regional community that are able to survive the abiotic and biotic conditions of a local ecosystem. Anthropogenic activities since the industrial revolution have increased atmospheric CO 2 concentrations, which have in turn decreased ocean pH and altered carbonate ion concentrations: so called ocean acidification (OA). Single-species experiments have shown how OA can dramatically affect zooplankton development, physiology and skeletal mineralization status, potentially reducing their defensive function and altering their predatory and antipredatory behaviors. This means that increased OA may indirectly alter the biotic conditions by modifying trophic interactions. We investigated how OA affects the impact of a cubozoan predator on their zooplankton prey, predominantly Copepoda, Pleocyemata, Dendrobranchiata, and Amphipoda. Experimental conditions were set at either current (pCO 2 370 μatm) or end-of-the-century OA (pCO 2 1,100 μatm) scenarios, crossed in an orthogonal experimental design with the presence/absence of the cubozoan predator Carybdea rastoni. The combined effects of exposure to OA and predation by C. rastoni caused greater shifts in community structure, and greater reductions in the abundance of key taxa than would be predicted from combining the effect of each stressor in isolation. Specifically, we show that in the combined presence of OA and a cubozoan predator, populations of the most abundant member of the zooplankton community (calanoid copepods) were reduced 27% more than it would be predicted based on the effects of these stressors in isolation, suggesting that OA increases the susceptibility of plankton to predation. Our results indicate that the ecological consequences of OA may be greater than predicted from single-species experiments, and highlight the need to understand future marine global change from a community perspective. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons

  12. Effects of rodent species, seed species, and predator cues on seed fate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivy, Kelly J.; Ostoja, Steven M.; Schupp, Eugene W.; Durham, Susan

    2011-07-01

    Seed selection, removal and subsequent management by granivorous animals is thought to be a complex interaction of factors including qualities of the seeds themselves (e.g., seed size, nutritional quality) and features of the local habitat (e.g. perceived predator risk). At the same time, differential seed selection and dispersal is thought to have profound effects on seed fate and potentially vegetation dynamics. In a feeding arena, we tested whether rodent species, seed species, and indirect and direct predation cues influence seed selection and handling behaviors (e.g., scatter hoarding versus larder hoarding) of two heteromyid rodents, Ord's kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys ordii) and the Great Basin pocket mouse ( Perognathus parvus). The indirect cue was shrub cover, a feature of the environment. Direct cues, presented individually, were (1) control, (2) coyote ( Canis latrans) vocalization, (3) coyote scent, (4) red fox ( Vulpes vulpes) scent, or (5) short-eared owl ( Asio flammeus) vocalization. We offered seeds of three sizes: two native grasses, Indian ricegrass ( Achnatherum hymenoides) and bluebunch wheatgrass ( Pseudoroegneria spicata), and the non-native cereal rye ( Secale cereale), each in separate trays. Kangaroo rats preferentially harvested Indian ricegrass while pocket mice predominately harvested Indian ricegrass and cereal rye. Pocket mice were more likely to scatter hoard preferred seeds, whereas kangaroo rats mostly consumed and/or larder hoarded preferred seeds. No predator cue significantly affected seed preferences. However, both species altered seed handling behavior in response to direct predation cues by leaving more seeds available in the seed pool, though they responded to different predator cues. If these results translate to natural dynamics on the landscape, the two rodents are expected to have different impacts on seed survival and plant recruitment via their different seed selection and seed handling behaviors.

  13. A predation cost to bold fish in the wild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hulthén, Kaj; Chapman, Ben; Nilsson, Anders P.

    2017-01-01

    in the animal kingdom. Theory predicts that individual behavioural types differ in a cost-benefit trade-off where bolder individuals benefit from greater access to resources while paying higher predation-risk costs. However, explicitly linking predation events to individual behaviour under natural conditions...

  14. Deep-ocean predation by a high Arctic cetacean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laidre, K.L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M.P.; Jørgensen, Ole A

    2004-01-01

    were correlated with predicted whale predation levels based on diving behavior. The difference in Greenland halibut biomass between an area with high predation and a comparable area without whales, approximately 19000 tonnes, corresponded well with the predicted biomass removed by the narwhal sub...

  15. 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.

  16. Food acquisition and predator avoidance in a Neotropical rodent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suselbeek, Lennart; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Hirsch, Ben T.; Kays, Roland; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Jansen, Patrick A.

    Foraging activity in animals reflects a compromise between acquiring food and avoiding predation. The risk allocation hypothesis predicts that prey animals optimize this balance by concentrating their foraging activity at times of relatively low predation risk, as much as their energy status

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltow, Willow

    1985-01-01

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

  18. Food aquisition and predator avoidance in a Neotropical rodent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suselbeek, L.; Emsens, W.J.; Hirsch, B.T.; Kays, R.; Rowcliffe, J.M.; Zamore-Gutierrez, V.; Jansen, P.A.

    2014-01-01

    Foraging activity in animals reflects a compromise between acquiring food and avoiding predation. The Risk Allocation Hypothesis predicts that prey animals optimize this balance by concentrating their foraging activity at times of relatively low predation risk, as much as their energy status

  19. Sleeping birds do not respond to predator odour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amo, L.; Caro, S.P.; Visser, M.E.

    2011-01-01

    Background: During sleep animals are relatively unresponsive and unaware of their environment, and therefore, more exposed to predation risk than alert and awake animals. This vulnerability might influence when, where and how animals sleep depending on the risk of predation perceived before going to

  20. Effects of Paternal Predation Risk and Rearing Environment on Maternal Investment and Development of Defensive Responses in the Offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Detecting past experiences with predators of a potential mate informs a female about prevailing ecological threats, in addition to stress-induced phenotypes that may be disseminated to offspring. We examined whether prior exposure of a male rat to a predator (cat) odor influences the attraction of a female toward a male, subsequent mother–infant interactions and the development of defensive (emotional) responses in the offspring. Females displayed less interest in males that had experienced predator odor. Mothers that reared young in larger, seminaturalistic housing provided more licking and grooming and active arched back-nursing behavior toward their offspring compared with dams housed in standard housing, although some effects interacted with paternal experience. Paternal predation risk and maternal rearing environment revealed sex-dependent differences in offspring wean weight, juvenile social interactions, and anxiety-like behavior in adolescence. Additionally, paternal predator experience and maternal housing independently affected variations in crf gene promoter acetylation and crf gene expression in response to an acute stressor in offspring. Our results show for the first time in mammals that variation among males in their predator encounters may contribute to stable behavioral variation among females in preference for mates and maternal care, even when the females are not directly exposed to predator threat. Furthermore, when offspring were exposed to the same threat experienced by the father, hypothalamic crf gene regulation was influenced by paternal olfactory experience and early housing. These results, together with our previous findings, suggest that paternal stress exposure and maternal rearing conditions can influence maternal behavior and the development of defensive responses in offspring. PMID:27896313

  1. Bells, bomas and beefsteak: complex patterns of human-predator conflict at the wildlife-agropastoral interface in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J. Loveridge

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Reports of livestock depredation by large predators were systematically collected at three study sites in northwestern Zimbabwe from 2008–2013. We recorded 1,527 incidents (2,039 animals killed and 306 injured. Lions (Panthera leo and spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta were mostly responsible, and cattle and donkeys most frequently attacked. Patterns of predation were variable among study sites. Nevertheless, some overall patterns were apparent. Predators selected livestock close to the size of their preferred wild prey, suggesting behaviours evolved to optimise foraging success may determine the domestic species primarily preyed upon. Most attacks occurred when livestock were roaming outside and away from their ‘home’ protective enclosures at night. Hyaena attacks were largely nocturnal; lions and leopards (Panthera pardus were more flexible, with attacks occurring by day and at night. Livestock fitted with bells suffered a disproportionate number of attacks; the sound of bells appears to have conditioned predators to associate the sound with foraging opportunities. Lion and hyaena attacks on cattle were more frequent in the wet season suggesting that seasonal herding practices may result in cattle vulnerability. Only a small proportion of conflict incidents were reported to wildlife management officials with a bias towards lion predation events, potentially prejudicing conflict management policies. Predation on domestic stock involves an intricate interplay between predator behaviour and ecology on the one hand and human behaviour and husbandry practices on the other. Our data suggest that improved livestock husbandry (supervision of grazing animals, protection at night in strong enclosures would greatly reduce livestock depredation.

  2. Alien vs. predator: bacterial challenge alters coral microbiomes unless controlled by Halobacteriovorax predators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rory M. Welsh

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Coral microbiomes are known to play important roles in organismal health, response to environmental stress, and resistance to disease. The coral microbiome contains diverse assemblages of resident bacteria, ranging from defensive and metabolic symbionts to opportunistic bacteria that may turn harmful in compromised hosts. However, little is known about how these bacterial interactions influence the mechanism and controls of overall structure, stability, and function of the microbiome. We sought to test how coral microbiome dynamics were affected by interactions between two bacteria: Vibrio coralliilyticus, a known temperature-dependent pathogen of some corals, and Halobacteriovorax, a unique bacterial predator of Vibrio and other gram-negative bacteria. We challenged reef-building coral with V. coralliilyticus in the presence or absence of Halobacteriovorax predators, and monitored microbial community dynamics with 16S rRNA gene profiling time-series. Vibrio coralliilyticus inoculation increased the mean relative abundance of Vibrios by greater than 35% from the 4 to 8 hour time point, but not in the 24 & 32 hour time points. However, strong secondary effects of the Vibrio challenge were also observed for the rest of the microbiome such as increased richness (observed species, and reduced stability (increased beta-diversity. Moreover, after the transient increase in Vibrios, two lineages of bacteria (Rhodobacterales and Cytophagales increased in coral tissues, suggesting that V. coralliilyticus challenge opens niche space for these known opportunists. Rhodobacterales increased from 6.99% (±0.05 SEM to a maximum mean relative abundance of 48.75% (±0.14 SEM in the final time point and Cytophagales from <0.001% to 3.656%. Halobacteriovorax predators are commonly present at low-abundance on coral surfaces. Based on the keystone role of predators in many ecosystems, we hypothesized that Halobacteriovorax predators might help protect corals by

  3. Behavior is a major determinant of predation risk in zooplankton

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Almeda, Rodrigo; van Someren Gréve, Hans; Kiørboe, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    as prey for different predatory copepods. Copepods with “active” feeding behaviors (feeding-current and cruising feeders) showed significantly higher mortality from predation (~2–8 times) than similarly sized copepods with low motility feeding behavior (ambush feeders). Copepod males, which have a more...... active motile behavior than females (mate-seeking behavior), suffered a higher predation mortality than females in most of the experiments. However, the predation risk for mate-searching behavior in copepods varied depending on feeding behavior with ambush feeders consistently having the greatest......Zooplankton exhibit different small-scale motile behaviors related to feeding and mating activities. These different motile behaviors may result in different levels of predation risk, which may partially determine the structure of planktonic communities. Here, we experimentally determined predation...

  4. Mink predation on brown trout in a Black Hills stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Jacob L.; Wilhite, Jerry W.; Chipps, Steven R.

    2016-01-01

    In the early 2000’s, declines in the brown trout (Salmo trutta) fishery in Rapid Creek, South Dakota, caused concern for anglers and fisheries managers. We conducted a radio telemetry study in 2010 and 2011 to identify predation mortality associated with mink, using hatchery-reared (2010) or wild (2011) brown trout. Estimated predation rates by mink (Mustela vison) on radio-tagged brown trout were 30% for hatchery fish and 32% for wild fish. Size frequency analysis revealed that the size distribution of brown trout lost to predation was similar to that of other, radio-tagged brown trout. In both years, a higher proportion of predation mortality (83–92%) occurred during spring, consistent with seasonal fish consumption by mink. Predation by mink appeared to be a significant source of brown trout mortality in our study.

  5. Stabilization and complex dynamics in a predator-prey model with predator suffering from an infectious disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooi, B.W.; Voorn, van G.A.K.; Das, pada Krishna

    2011-01-01

    We study the effects