Apr 9, 2017

The many faces of fear: a synthesis of the methodological variation in characterizing predation risk

The Journal of Animal Ecology
Remington J MollRobert A Montgomery


Predators affect prey by killing them directly (lethal effects) and by inducing costly antipredator behaviours in living prey (risk effects). Risk effects can strongly influence prey populations and cascade through trophic systems. A prerequisite for assessing risk effects is characterizing the spatiotemporal variation in predation risk. Risk effects research has experienced rapid growth in the last several decades. However, preliminary assessments of the resultant literature suggest that researchers characterize predation risk using a variety of techniques. The implications of this methodological variation for inference and comparability among studies have not been well recognized or formally synthesized. We couple a literature survey with a hierarchical framework, developed from established theory, to quantify the methodological variation in characterizing risk using carnivore-ungulate systems as a case study. Via this process, we documented 244 metrics of risk from 141 studies falling into at least 13 distinct subcategories within three broader categories. Both empirical and theoretical work suggest risk and its effects on prey constitute a complex, multi-dimensional process with expressions varying by spatiotemporal scale. ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Ungulates - hoofed mammals
Research Personnel
Oreamnos americanus
Theoretical Study
Fear (Mental Process)

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