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Variation in predation regime drives sex-specific differences in mosquitofish foraging behaviour

Pärssinen, Varpu LU ; Hulthén, Kaj LU ; Brönmark, Christer LU ; Björnerås, Caroline LU ; Ekelund Ugge, Gustaf LU ; Gollnisch, Raphael LU ; Hansson, Lars Anders LU ; Herzog, Simon David LU ; Hu, Nan LU and Johansson, Emma LU , et al. (2021) In Oikos
Abstract

Predation is a well-studied driver of ecological selection on prey traits, which frequently drives divergence in anti-predator performance across environments that vary in predation risk. However, predation also alters prey mortality regimes, where low predation risk often results in higher prey densities and consequently higher intensities of intraspecific resource competition. In addition, predation risk alters the foraging context, as acquiring food can be risky in the presence of predators. Thus, different predation regimes can drive divergent selection on traits associated with resource competition, such as foraging behaviours. Moreover, because sexes often differ in susceptibility to predation and limitations to their reproductive... (More)

Predation is a well-studied driver of ecological selection on prey traits, which frequently drives divergence in anti-predator performance across environments that vary in predation risk. However, predation also alters prey mortality regimes, where low predation risk often results in higher prey densities and consequently higher intensities of intraspecific resource competition. In addition, predation risk alters the foraging context, as acquiring food can be risky in the presence of predators. Thus, different predation regimes can drive divergent selection on traits associated with resource competition, such as foraging behaviours. Moreover, because sexes often differ in susceptibility to predation and limitations to their reproductive output, the intensity of the tradeoff between predator avoidance and resource competition may depend on sex. We used a laboratory experiment to assess key aspects of foraging performance in a predator-free context in Bahamas mosquitofish Gambusia hubbsi wild-caught from multiple populations that experience either high or low levels of predation risk. When competing for limited food resources at a common density, females from low-predation regimes showed higher foraging and food consumption rates than females from high-predation regimes. Males showed fewer differences between predation regimes, and an opposite pattern from females. We suggest these sex-specific effects result from females facing a greater tradeoff between predation risk and resource competition, combined with males from high-predation environments elevating foraging behaviours in the absence of nearby predators and females. Females of this species are larger than males, bear live young and show higher foraging rates in the wild than males. On the other hand, males spend more time pursuing females in the wild, and may exhibit greater flexibility in foraging behaviours based on the immediate context. Our results show that varying levels of predation risk can lead to differences in behaviours associated with resource competition, but these effects can strongly differ between sexes.

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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
adaptive radiation, Bahamas mosquitofish, foraging, predation risk, predator–prey interactions, resource competition
in
Oikos
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85102528619
ISSN
0030-1299
DOI
10.1111/oik.08335
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2a93646a-a140-4754-95d9-afc045c0553b
date added to LUP
2021-03-29 13:22:28
date last changed
2021-03-29 13:29:25
@article{2a93646a-a140-4754-95d9-afc045c0553b,
  abstract     = {<p>Predation is a well-studied driver of ecological selection on prey traits, which frequently drives divergence in anti-predator performance across environments that vary in predation risk. However, predation also alters prey mortality regimes, where low predation risk often results in higher prey densities and consequently higher intensities of intraspecific resource competition. In addition, predation risk alters the foraging context, as acquiring food can be risky in the presence of predators. Thus, different predation regimes can drive divergent selection on traits associated with resource competition, such as foraging behaviours. Moreover, because sexes often differ in susceptibility to predation and limitations to their reproductive output, the intensity of the tradeoff between predator avoidance and resource competition may depend on sex. We used a laboratory experiment to assess key aspects of foraging performance in a predator-free context in Bahamas mosquitofish Gambusia hubbsi wild-caught from multiple populations that experience either high or low levels of predation risk. When competing for limited food resources at a common density, females from low-predation regimes showed higher foraging and food consumption rates than females from high-predation regimes. Males showed fewer differences between predation regimes, and an opposite pattern from females. We suggest these sex-specific effects result from females facing a greater tradeoff between predation risk and resource competition, combined with males from high-predation environments elevating foraging behaviours in the absence of nearby predators and females. Females of this species are larger than males, bear live young and show higher foraging rates in the wild than males. On the other hand, males spend more time pursuing females in the wild, and may exhibit greater flexibility in foraging behaviours based on the immediate context. Our results show that varying levels of predation risk can lead to differences in behaviours associated with resource competition, but these effects can strongly differ between sexes.</p>},
  author       = {Pärssinen, Varpu and Hulthén, Kaj and Brönmark, Christer and Björnerås, Caroline and Ekelund Ugge, Gustaf and Gollnisch, Raphael and Hansson, Lars Anders and Herzog, Simon David and Hu, Nan and Johansson, Emma and Lee, Marcus and Rengefors, Karin and Sha, Yongcui and Škerlep, Martin and Vinterstare, Jerker and Zhang, Huan and Langerhans, R. Brian and Nilsson, P. Anders},
  issn         = {0030-1299},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Oikos},
  title        = {Variation in predation regime drives sex-specific differences in mosquitofish foraging behaviour},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/oik.08335},
  doi          = {10.1111/oik.08335},
  year         = {2021},
}