Nov 22, 2007

Predator diversity and trophic interactions

Ecology
Oswald J Schmitz

Abstract

The recognition that predators play important roles in ecosystems has prompted research to resolve how combinations of predator species influence ecosystem functions. Interactions among predator species and their prey can lead to a host of linear and nonlinear effects. Understanding the conditions causing these effects is critical for assigning predator species to functional groups in ways that lead to predictive theory of predator diversity effects on trophic interactions. To this end, I provide a synthesis of experiments examining multiple-predator-species effects on mortality of single shared prey. I show how experimental design and experimental venue can determine the conclusion about the importance of predator diversity on trophic interactions. In addition, I link natural history insights on predator species habitat and hunting behavior with linear and nonlinear multiple-predator effects to derive a new concept of predator diversity effects on trophic interactions. This concept holds that the nature of predator diversity effects is contingent upon predator species hunting mode plus predator and prey species habitat domain (defined as the spatial extent to which a microhabitat is used by a species). This concept allows the ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Predator
Food Web
Synergism
Biodiversity
Predatory Behavior
PYURF gene
Metazoa
Neomalthusianism
Habitat

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