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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Species-specific antipredatory behaviours: effects on prey choice in different habitats

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Springer (journals)
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  • B. Christensen 1
  • L. Persson 1
  • 1) Department of Animal Ecology, University of Umeå, S-901 87, Umeå, Sweden

Prey species may use many different behaviours to avoid predation. In this study, the antipredator behaviours of juvenile roach (Rutilus rutilus) and juvenile perch (Perca fluviatilis) were studied in wading pools with three kinds of structural complexity: no structure, structure simulating vegetation and structure simulating bottom crevices. Predation experiments with piscivorous perch and habitat choice experiments with the prey were performed, and the foraging success and prey choice of the predators were related to the type of structure. Predator foraging success was lower in the vegetation than in the other treatments. In the absence of structure and with vegetation structure, predators preferred perch over roach, while the preference was reversed in the crevice treatment. Roach and perch differed in their antipredatory behaviours. Roach responded to the presence of predators by schooling, moving fast and remaining at the surface, and escaped from attacks by jumping out of the water. In contrast, perch moved more slowly, dispersed after attacks and tried to hide at the bottom. Perch always preferred the vegetation structure to the non-structured part of the pool, while roach showed preference for the vegetation structure only when predators were present. Roach never occurred in crevices, whereas perch used crevices when predators where present. Predator pursuit speed was lower in the vegetation structure than in the non-structured treatment, but prey escape speed was unaffected. The results suggest that both the quantity and quality of structural complexity interacting with species-specific antipredator behaviours are important for predator-prey dynamics. It is also suggested that the presence of structure can have substantial effects on the structure of North Eurasian fish communities, by affecting relative and absolute predation pressures from piscivorous perch on prey species.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - health sciences
  • 2 - psychology & cognitive sciences
  • 3 - behavioral science & comparative psychology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Animal Science and Zoology
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - zoology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
  • 1 - science ; 2 - behavioral sciences
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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

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