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OIKOS 100: 311316, 2003 Hungry predators render predator-avoidance behavior in tadpoles

Summary: OIKOS 100: 311316, 2003
Hungry predators render predator-avoidance behavior in tadpoles
Res Altwegg
Altwegg, R. 2003. Hungry predators render predator-avoidance behavior in tadpoles
ineffective. Oikos 100: 311316.
Behavioral responses of prey to their predators can critically alter community
dynamics. Whether or not a prey responds, clearly depends on the effectiveness of
that response. The effectiveness on the other hand is predicted to depend on predator
behavior. Actively searching predators can render the behavioral responses in their
prey ineffective. Nevertheless, most studies investigating the optimal reaction of prey
treated predators as immobile elements of the environment. I experimentally manip-
ulated activity of poolfrog (Rana lessonae) tadpoles by keeping them at low and high
food levels, and exposed them to three species of invertebrate predators (Aeshna
cyanea, Anax imperator, and Dytiscus marginalis), whose activity also was manipu-
lated through different food levels. Satiated, less active predators were more likely to
kill hungry, more active tadpoles, but hungry predators killed hungry and satiated
tadpoles about equally often. This result suggests that reducing their activity is a
more effective strategy for tadpoles if the predators themselves are less active. On the
other hand, against hungry, highly motivated predators, the behavioral avoidance


Source: Altwegg, Res - Avian Demography Unit, Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology