Apr 27, 2018

Covariance between predation risk and nutritional preferences confounds interpretations of giving-up density experiments

Ecology
Jordan D McMahonBrandon T Barton

Abstract

Giving-up density (GUD) experiments have been a foundational method to evaluate perceived predation risk, but rely on the assumption that food preferences are absolute, so that areas with higher GUDs can be interpreted as having higher risk. However, nutritional preferences are context dependent and can change with risk. We used spiders and grasshoppers to test the hypothesis that covariance in nutritional preferences and risk may confound the interpretation of GUD experiments. We presented grasshoppers with carbohydrate-rich and protein-rich diets, in the presence and absence of spider predators. Predators reduced grasshopper preference for the protein-rich food, but increased their preference for the carbohydrate-rich food. We then measured GUDs with both food types under different levels of risk (spider density, 0-5). As expected, GUDs increased with spider density indicating increasing risk, but only when using protein-rich food. With carbohydrate-rich food, GUD was independent of predation risk. Our results demonstrate that predation risk and nutritional preferences covary and can confound interpretation of GUD experiments.

  • References18
  • Citations1

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

Diet
Grasshoppers
Food
Type of Food
Food Web
Romaleidae
Predatory Behavior
Carbohydrates
Metazoa
Spiders

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis

Neural stem cells play a critical role in the production of neuronal cells in neurogenesis is of great importance. Of interest is the role signalling mechanisms in adult neurogenesis. Discover the latest research on signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Psychiatric Chronotherapy

Psychiatric Chronotherapy considers the circadian rhythm as a major factor for optimizing therapeutic efficacy of psychiatric interventions. Discover the latest research on Psychiatric Chronotherapy here.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.