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Habitat complexity does not promote coexistence in a size-structured intraguild predation system
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Animal Ecology, ISSN 0021-8790, E-ISSN 1365-2656, Vol. 82, no 1, 55-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Size-dependent interactions and habitat complexity have been identified as important factors affecting the persistence of intraguild predation (IGP) systems. Habitat complexity has been suggested to promote intraguild (IG) prey and intraguild predator coexistence through weakening trophic interactions particularly the predation link. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of habitat complexity on coexistence and invasion success of differently sized IG-predators in a size-structured IGP system consisting of the IG-predator Poecilia reticulata and a resident Heterandria formosa IG-prey population. The experiments included medium-long and long-term invasion experiments, predator-prey experiments and competition experiments to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effect of prey refuges. Habitat complexity did not promote the coexistence of IG-predator and IG-prey, although the predation link was substantially weakened. However, the presence of habitat structure affected the invasion success of large IG-predators negatively and the invasion success of small IG-predators positively. The effect of refuges on size-dependent invasion success could be related to a major decrease in the IG-predator's capture rate and a shift in the size distribution of IG-predator juveniles. In summary, habitat complexity had two main effects: (i) the predation link was diminished, resulting in a more competition driven system and (ii) the overall competitive abilities of the two species were equalized, but coexistence was not promoted. Our results suggest that in a size-structured IGP system, individual level mechanisms may gain in importance over species level mechanisms in the presence of habitat complexity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 82, no 1, 55-63 p.
Keyword [en]
Coexistence, Competition, Omnivory, Ontogenetic niche shift, Predation, Refuges, Size-dependent interactions, Trophic interactions
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66220DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2012.02032.xISI: 000313752300007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66220DiVA: diva2:608877
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-18 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ontogenetic bottlenecks: effects on intraguild predation systems and ecosystem efficiency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ontogenetic bottlenecks: effects on intraguild predation systems and ecosystem efficiency
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Size-dependent differences between individuals in size-structured organisms have fundamental effect on population and community dynamics. Intraguild predation (IGP) is one specifically interesting constellation that often arises when two size-structured populations interact. Ontogenetic bottlenecks that determine population size-structure are affected by both population intrinsic as well as population extrinsic factors, and are therefore context-dependent. Surprisingly, size-structured IGP systems have mainly been investigated theoretically and especially long-term empirical studies are widely lacking. In this thesis I investigate empirically how habitat complexity, interaction strength, and stage-specific resource availabilities affect population processes and their effects on the dynamics of a size-structured IGP system. I conducted multi-generation experiments in a size-structured IGP system, with the Least Killifish (Heterandria formosa) as IG prey and the Common Guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as IG predator. With no alternative resource next to the shared resource, IG predator and IG prey could not coexist. Weak interactions only increased IG prey and IG predator persistence times and observed exclusion patterns depended on habitat complexity. An alternative resource for either the juvenile IG predator or the juvenile IG prey on the other hand promoted coexistence. However, this coexistence was context-dependent. Ontogenetic bottlenecks played a central role in the dynamics of the size-structured IGP system in general. In the final study I show that an ontogenetic bottleneck can, through changes in stage-specific resource availabilities, be affected in a way that leads to increased trophic transfer efficiency with potential effects on higher trophic levels.

Overall, the results emphasize importance of the broader context in which size-structured communities are embedded. Especially, when managing natural communities it is important to account for the combined effects of size-structure, stage-specific resource availabilities, and habitat structure. Specifically, when managing species that connect habitats or ecosystems all life-stages’ environmental conditions must be consider in order to ensure strong predictive power of tools used for ecosystem management planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2015. 29 p.
Keyword
mixed interactions, cannibalism, life-history omnivory, ontogenetic niche shift, biomass overcompensation, biomass production, ontogenetic asymmetry, indirect effects
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
biology; Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105759 (URN)978-91-7601-299-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-25, Lilla hörsalen (KB3A9), KBC-huset, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-04 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-09-02Bibliographically approved

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Reichstein, BirteSchröder, ArnePersson, Lennart

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