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Cues of intraguild predators affect the distribution of intraguild prey

Yasuyuki Choh, Tessa van der Hammen, Maurice W. Sabelis and Arne Janssen
Oecologia
Vol. 163, No. 2 (June 2010), pp. 335-340
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40606591
Page Count: 6
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Cues of intraguild predators affect the distribution of intraguild prey
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Abstract

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

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