Temperature dependence of predation depends on the relative performance of predators and prey
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 282, no 1799, 20142254Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The temperature dependence of predation rates is a key issue for understanding and predicting the responses of ecosystems to climate change. Using a simple mechanistic model, we demonstrate that differences in the relative performances of predator and prey can cause strong threshold effects in the temperature dependence of attack rates. Empirical data on the attack rate of northern pike (Esox lucius) feeding on brown trout (Salmo trutta) confirm this result. Attack rates fell sharply below a threshold temperature of +11 degrees C, which corresponded to a shift in relative performance of pike and brown trout with respect to maximum attack and escape swimming speeds. The average attack speed of pike was an order of magnitude lower than the escape speed of brown trout at 5 degrees C, but approximately equal at temperatures above 11 degrees C. Thresholds in the temperature dependence of ecological rates can create tipping points in the responses of ecosystems to increasing temperatures. Thus, identifying thresholds is crucial when predicting future effects of climate warming.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 282, no 1799, 20142254
predation, northern pike, brown trout, swimming speed, temperature, tipping points
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98833DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2254ISI: 000345624600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-98833DiVA: diva2:795489