DOI: 10.1101/498030Dec 17, 2018Paper

Warming can destabilise predator-prey interactions by shifting the functional response from Type III to Type II

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Uriah DaugaardFrank Pennekamp


1. The potential for climate change and temperature shifts to affect community stability remains relatively unknown. One mechanism by which temperature may affect stability is by altering trophic interactions. The functional response quantifies the per capita resource consumption by the consumer as a function of resource abundance and is a suitable framework for the description of nonlinear trophic interactions. 2. We studied the effect of temperature on a ciliate predator-prey pair ( Spathidium sp . and Dexiostoma campylum ) by estimating warming effects on the functional response and on the associated conversion efficiency of the predator. 3. We recorded prey and predator dynamics over 24 hours and at three temperature levels (15, 20 and 25°C). To these data we fitted a population dynamic model including the predator functional response, such that the functional response parameters (space clearance rate, handling time, and density dependence of space clearance rate) were estimated for each temperature separately. To evaluate the ecological significance of temperature effects on the functional response parameters we simulated predator-prey population dynamics. We considered the predator-prey system to be destabilised, if ...Continue Reading

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