A spatial theory for emergent multiple predator-prey interactions in food webs

Northfield, Tobin D., Barton, Brandon T., and Schmitz, Oswald J. (2017) A spatial theory for emergent multiple predator-prey interactions in food webs. Ecology and Evolution, 7 (17). pp. 6935-6948.

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Predator-prey interaction is inherently spatial because animals move through landscapes to search for and consume food resources and to avoid being consumed by other species. The spatial nature of species interactions necessitates integrating spatial processes into food web theory and evaluating how predators combine to impact their prey. Here, we present a spatial modeling approach that examines emergent multiple predator effects on prey within landscapes. The modeling is inspired by the habitat domain concept derived from empirical synthesis of spatial movement and interactions studies. Because these principles are motivated by synthesis of short-term experiments, it remains uncertain whether spatial contingency principles hold in dynamical systems. We address this uncertainty by formulating dynamical systems models, guided by core habitat domain principles, to examine long-term multiple predator-prey spatial dynamics. To describe habitat domains we use classical niche concepts describing resource utilization distributions, and assume species interactions emerge from the degree of overlap between species. The analytical results generally align with those from empirical synthesis and present a theoretical framework capable of demonstrating multiple predator effects that does not depend on the small spatial or temporal scales typical of mesocosm experiments, and help bridge between empirical experiments and long-term dynamics in natural systems.

Item ID: 49644
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Funders: James Cook University
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 00:11
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310302 Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology) @ 75%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 25%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 75%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences @ 25%
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