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Lecture

Lecture Notes Predation

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Department
Biological Sciences Program
Course
BSCI 106
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Predator­Prey Interactions 09/14/2012 Why is predation important? Can influence population size and distribution of prey Important in management of target species Method of pest control Game species and conservation Can influence community structure Species coexistence and stability An important force of natural selection Evolutionary arms race Prey – adaptions that reduce likelihood of becoming victims Predators – adaptions hat increase likelihood of finding and eating prey Predator adaptions Detection Heat sensing, vision, hearing, vibration, electroreception Capture Claws, jaws, webs, venom, fangs, speed, agility Feeding Teeth, digestive enzymes, processing Escape Speed, warning coloration, satiation, herding, schooling, mimicry, size Detection Crypsis, movement, habitat choice Protection Shells, spines, chemicals, distasteful, poisonous 2 Predator­Prey Interactions Constitutive or standing defenses Defenses that are always present Camouflage, schooling, weaponry, size, and mimicry Aposematic coloration (warning colors) Sometimes associated with other defenses (toxins) Mimicry – organisms resemble other species Batesian mimicry – harmless species mimics a harmful one Success of mimic depends on relative frequency If mimic is too common, protection is lowered Müllerian mimicry – two or more unpalatable species resemble each other Inducible defenses Defenses produced only when prey are threatened Plants produce nitrogen only when they are destroyed/eaten because it takes less energy to  produce it only when it’s needed Ex. A study of the thickness of mussel shells demonstrated that thicker shells are an inducible  defense produced by the presence of crabs Predators often play a role in density­dependent regulation of prey populations Exclosure experiments with dingos and kangaroos Enemy­free space Dingos did not go extinct without kangaroo Due to prey switching What promotes predator/prey coexistence? Habitat heterogeneity Refugia – predator free space Prey switching When do predators not control populations Predator­Prey Interactions 3 Low predator densities Ex. Predators have territories Predator take prey
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