Predator life history affects persistence times of predators and consumers in an intraguild predation system
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Complex habitats and thereby weaker predator-prey interactions have been suggested to promote coexistence between predator and prey in intraguild predation (IGP) systems. For a size-structured IGP system spatial refuges have been shown to weaken interactions but not to promote coexistence. Spatial refuges however also affect the spatial distribution of small and large individuals. Here we report the results of a multi-generation laboratory experiment where we manipulated interaction strength by using the same IG predator (Common guppy, Poecilia reticulata) but a population with a different life-history evolution and lower predation voracity. Resident IG prey (Least Killifish, Heterandria formosa) were invaded by large or small IG predators, invasion success was recorded. Compared to the invasion by more voracious IG predator individuals, weaker predation per se (no refuges) did not affect invasion success but did increase IG prey and IG predator persistence times. Compared to the invasion by more voracious IG predator individuals in the presence of refuges, weaker predation per se (no refuges) resulted in similar persistence times but different invasion success. We conclude that the effect on community dynamics depends on the context in which weak interactions are realized. Both spatial refuges and life-history differences affected predation strength and competitive relationships quantitatively but only when spatial refuges were present was this quantitative change coupled to qualitative changes in species interactions. Though under stable environmental conditions in our experiment coexistence did not occur we argue that in temporarily or spatially variable systems weak interactions have the potential to promote coexistence by prolonging IG predator and IG prey persistence times.
indirect effects, interaction strength, mixed predation-competition, multi-generation, trait variation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107024OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-107024DiVA: diva2:846473