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Foraging among cannibals and kleptoparasites: effects of prey size on pike behavior

Nilsson, Anders LU and Brönmark, Christer LU (1999) In Behavioral Ecology 10(5). p.557-566
Abstract
The northern pike (Esox lucius) is an important and selective piscivore that chooses smaller prey than predicted from energy / time budgets. In a laboratory experiment, we investigated pike predatory behavior to explain this selectivity. Northern pike feeding on different prey sizes in aquaria were observed when foraging alone, when in the presence of chemical cues from similar-sized or larger conspecifics, and when in the presence of conspecifics that were allowed to interact with the focal pike. The results show that prey handling time increases with prey size and that the duration of manipulating and handling prey inflicts a risk of exposure to cannibals and kleptoparasites on the pike. Therefore, the risk of falling victim to cannibals... (More)
The northern pike (Esox lucius) is an important and selective piscivore that chooses smaller prey than predicted from energy / time budgets. In a laboratory experiment, we investigated pike predatory behavior to explain this selectivity. Northern pike feeding on different prey sizes in aquaria were observed when foraging alone, when in the presence of chemical cues from similar-sized or larger conspecifics, and when in the presence of conspecifics that were allowed to interact with the focal pike. The results show that prey handling time increases with prey size and that the duration of manipulating and handling prey inflicts a risk of exposure to cannibals and kleptoparasites on the pike. Therefore, the risk of falling victim to cannibals or kleptoparasites increases with prey size. Attracting and experiencing intraspecific interactors can be regarded as major fitness costs. Chemical cues from foraging conspecifics have only minor effects on pike foraging behavior. Furthermore, the ability to strike and swallow prey head first improves pike predatory performance because failing to do so increases handling time. Our findings emphasize the increasing potential costs with large prey and explain previous contradictory suggestions on the underlying mechanisms of behavior, selectivity, and trophic effects of northern pike predation. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
predation, northern pike, kleptoparasitism, foraging, cannibalism, Esox lucius, trade-offs
in
Behavioral Ecology
volume
10
issue
5
pages
557 - 566
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:0032721141
ISSN
1045-2249
DOI
10.1093/beheco/10.5.557
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
04502a70-9d5b-4df2-a6c1-c546871452ed (old id 934386)
date added to LUP
2008-01-17 13:55:28
date last changed
2017-02-26 03:40:34
@article{04502a70-9d5b-4df2-a6c1-c546871452ed,
  abstract     = {The northern pike (Esox lucius) is an important and selective piscivore that chooses smaller prey than predicted from energy / time budgets. In a laboratory experiment, we investigated pike predatory behavior to explain this selectivity. Northern pike feeding on different prey sizes in aquaria were observed when foraging alone, when in the presence of chemical cues from similar-sized or larger conspecifics, and when in the presence of conspecifics that were allowed to interact with the focal pike. The results show that prey handling time increases with prey size and that the duration of manipulating and handling prey inflicts a risk of exposure to cannibals and kleptoparasites on the pike. Therefore, the risk of falling victim to cannibals or kleptoparasites increases with prey size. Attracting and experiencing intraspecific interactors can be regarded as major fitness costs. Chemical cues from foraging conspecifics have only minor effects on pike foraging behavior. Furthermore, the ability to strike and swallow prey head first improves pike predatory performance because failing to do so increases handling time. Our findings emphasize the increasing potential costs with large prey and explain previous contradictory suggestions on the underlying mechanisms of behavior, selectivity, and trophic effects of northern pike predation.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Anders and Brönmark, Christer},
  issn         = {1045-2249},
  keyword      = {predation,northern pike,kleptoparasitism,foraging,cannibalism,Esox lucius,trade-offs},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {557--566},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology},
  title        = {Foraging among cannibals and kleptoparasites: effects of prey size on pike behavior},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/10.5.557},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {1999},
}