The influence of vigilance on intraguild predation
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Förlag: Elsevier Science Ltd
Theoretical work on intraguild predation suggests that if a top predator and an intermediate predator share prey, the system will be stable only if the intermediate predator is better at exploiting the prey, and the top predator gains significantly from consuming the intermediate predator. In mammalian carnivore systems, however, there are examples of top predator species that attack intermediate predator species, but rarely or never consume the intermediate predator. We suggest that top predators attacking intermediate predators without consuming them may not only reduce competition with the intermediate predators, but may also increase the vigilance of the intermediate predators or alter the vigilance of their shared prey, and that this behavioral response may help to maintain the stability of the system. We examine two models of intraguild predation, one that incorporates prey vigilance, and a second that incorporates intermediate predator vigilance. We find that stable coexistence can occur when the top predator has a very low consumption rate on the intermediate predator, as long as the attack rate on the intermediate predator is relatively large. However, the system is stable when the top predator never consumes the intermediate predator only if the two predators share more than one prey species. If the predators do share two prey species, and those prey are vigilant, increasing top predator attack rates on the intermediate predator reduces competition with the intermediate predator and reduces vigilance by the prey, thereby leading to higher top predator densities. These results suggest that predator and prey behavior may play an important dynamical role in systems with intraguild predation. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Biology and Life Sciences
- ecology of fear
- ISSN: 0022-5193