Document Detail

Predator richness has no effect in a diverse marine food web.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19261036     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
1. In many ecosystems, predator abundance, composition and diversity vary naturally among seasons and habitats. In addition, predator assemblages are changing due to overharvesting, habitat destruction and species invasions. 2. Predator species composition and richness can influence prey community structure and these effects can cascade to influence plant abundance and composition. 3. To test the effects of predator presence, composition and species richness on prey abundance, species richness and composition, we conducted three experiments in a subtidal marine food web. Experimental food webs were drawn from species pools of 5-7 predator species, 19-52 prey species, benthic micro-algae and 5 macro-algae. 4. Predators reduced prey abundance in the mesocosm experiment, but this effect was diminished or absent in field experiments. Predator species differed in their effects on prey, but we found no effect of predator richness (via complementarity or selection) on any aspect of prey community structure. 5. The absence of a predator richness effect could be due to several factors including potentially opposing effects of individual predator species, intraguild predation, or greater importance of colonization relative to competition in structuring prey assemblages. Although predators can have strong top-down effects in this system, selection or resource-use complementarity among predators do not affect prey community structure.
Mary I O'Connor; John F Bruno
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2009-02-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of animal ecology     Volume:  78     ISSN:  1365-2656     ISO Abbreviation:  J Anim Ecol     Publication Date:  2009 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-07-29     Completed Date:  2009-11-04     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376574     Medline TA:  J Anim Ecol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  732-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Curriculum in Ecology, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Fishes / physiology*
Invertebrates / physiology*
Oceans and Seas
Population Dynamics
Predatory Behavior*

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