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Temperature and prey density jointly influence trophic and non-trophic interactions in multiple predator communities

Abstract : Environmental changes such as global warming can affect ecological communities by altering individual life histories and species interactions. Recent studies focusing on the consequences of environmental change on species interactions highlighted the need for a wider, multi-species context including both trophic and non-trophic interactions (e.g. predator interference). However, the effects of biotic and abiotic factors on trophic and non-trophic interactions remain largely unexplored. To fill this gap, we combined laboratory experiments and functional response modelling to investigate how temperature and prey density influence trophic and non-trophic interactions in multiple predator communities. The system under study consisted of predatory dragonfly larvae (Aeshna cyanea) and omnivorous marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) preying on common carp fry (Cyprinus carpio). We estimated the functional response of each predator in single-predator experiments and used this information to disentangle the trophic and non-trophic interactions and their dependence on environmental conditions in multiple predator trials. We found that consumer identity, prey density, and temperature all affect the magnitude of trophic and non-trophic interactions. Non-trophic interactions mostly decreased predator feeding rates, corroborating previous observations that interference prevails in aquatic communities. Moreover, trophic interactions depended primarily on the environmental variables whereas non-trophic interactions depended mainly on consumer identity. Our results indicate that non-trophic interactions among true predators and omnivores can be substantial and that biotic and abiotic conditions further modify the magnitude and direction of these interactions, which can affect food web dynamics and stability.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02609822
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 6:35:23 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 5:50:38 AM

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L. Veselý, D.S. Boukal, M. Buřič, I. Kuklina, Myriam Fort, et al.. Temperature and prey density jointly influence trophic and non-trophic interactions in multiple predator communities. Freshwater Biology, Wiley, 2019, 64 (11), pp.1984-1993. ⟨10.1111/fwb.13387⟩. ⟨hal-02609822⟩

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