Intraspecific Interactions (intraspecific + interaction)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Aggregation and species coexistence in fleas parasitic on small mammals

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2006
Boris R. Krasnov
The aggregation model of coexistence states that species coexistence is facilitated if interspecific aggregation is reduced relative to intraspecific aggregation. We investigated the relationship between intraspecific and interspecific aggregation in 17 component communities (the flea assemblage of a host population) of fleas parasitic on small mammals and hypothesized that interspecific interactions should be reduced relative to intraspecific interactions, facilitating species coexistence. We predicted that the reduction of the level of interspecific aggregation in relation to the level of intraspecific aggregation would be positively correlated with total flea abundance and species richness of flea assemblages. We also expected that the higher degree of facilitation of flea coexistence would be affected by host parameters such as body mass, basal metabolic rate (BMR) and depth and complexity of burrows. Results of this study supported the aggregation model of coexistence and demonstrated that, in general, a) conspecific fleas were aggregated across their hosts; b) flea assemblages were not dominated by negative interspecific interactions; and c) the level of interspecific aggregation in flea assemblages was reduced in relation to the level of intraspecific aggregation. Intraspecific aggregation tended to be correlated positively to body mass, burrow complexity and mass-independent BMR of a host. Positive interspecific associations of fleas tended to occur more frequently in species-rich flea assemblages and/or in larger hosts possessing deep complex burrows. Intraspecific aggregation increased relative to interspecific aggregation when species richness of flea infracommunities (the flea assemblage of a host individual) and component communities increased. We conclude that the pattern of flea coexistence is related both to the structure of flea communities and affinities of host species. [source]

Using age grading by wing injuries to estimate size-dependent adult survivorship in the field: a case study of the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria

Dieter U. Burkhard
Abstract 1. Studies of natural selection depend on estimates of longevity and mortality in the wild. In small and mobile species such as insects, direct, mark,recapture (resight), studies are difficult to perform because individuals cannot be tracked easily. 2. It was investigated whether age grading based on wing injuries alone can be used to estimate size-specific survivorship in the field in the yellow dung fly Scathophaga stercoraria (L.) (Diptera: Scathophagidae). 3. The accumulation of different types of wing injury throughout the spring and autumn flight seasons for both sexes was recorded: tears, notches (both reflecting regular wear), and large missing areas (probably due to intra- and inter-specific interactions). 4. Female longevity increased with body size in both spring and autumn, whereas male longevity increased slightly with size in spring but decreased in autumn. 5. The two sexes and males of different size classes accumulated the various types of wing injury differentially, presumably due to differential patterns of intraspecific interactions. Additionally, body size exhibited a seasonal pattern, complicating interpretation of the relationship between body size and wing injuries. 6. It is therefore concluded that estimating adult viability selection on body size using wing injuries is problematic in dung flies, and potentially also in other species. It is suggested that before this method is applied in any particular species, pilot studies should be conducted to verify whether wing injuries accumulate equally in all classes of individuals of interest. In addition, it is necessary to investigate the causes of different types of wing injury. [source]

Pike predation on hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon smolts in a northern Baltic river

J. Kekäläinen
Abstract,,, The effect of pike Esox lucius predation on the mortality of newly stocked Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts was investigated in the Pyhäjoki River, Finland. The number of smolts eaten by pike was assessed by estimating the size of the pike population (mark,recapture experiment) and studying the stomach contents of pike. Before recapturing the pike, approximately 39,700 smolts were stocked upstream of the 2.5-km-long (89-ha) research area. The estimated size of the >40-cm pike population was 1507 (95% CL 1012,4731) individuals (17 pike and 29.8 kg·ha,1). Pike were estimated to eat 29% of the released smolts during 1 week. The diet of the pike in the research area consisted almost entirely of smolts, whereas in the reference area with no stocked smolts, the meal sizes were significantly smaller and the importance of smolts as prey was substantially lower. Pike <40 cm had not eaten any smolts, probably indicating a size refuge for the smolts, or alternatively fear of intraspecific interactions or cannibalism of pike. [source]

Non-lethal predator effects on the performance of a native and an exotic crayfish species

Summary 1. I tested the hypothesis that the potential for non-lethal effects of predators are more important for overall performance of the fast-growing exotic signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana) than for the slower growing native noble crayfish (Astacus astacus L.). I further tested if omnivorous crayfish switched to feed on less risky food sources in the presence of predators, a behaviour that could reduce the feeding costs associated with predator avoidance. 2. In a 2 month long outdoor pool experiment, I measured behaviour, survival, cheliped loss, growth, and food consumption in juvenile noble or signal crayfish in pools with either a caged predatory dragonfly larvae (Aeshna sp.), a planktivorous fish that do not feed on crayfish (sunbleak, Leucaspius delineatus Heckel), or predator-free controls. Crayfish had access to multiple food sources: live zooplankton, detritus and periphyton. Frozen chironomid larvae were also supplied ad libitum outside crayfish refuges, simulating food in a risky habitat. 3. Crayfish were mainly active during hours of darkness, with signal crayfish spending significantly more time outside refuges than noble crayfish. The proportion of crayfish outside refuges varied between crayfish species, time and predator treatment, with signal crayfish spending more time in refuges at night in the presence of fish. 4. Survival in noble crayfish was higher than in signal crayfish, and signal crayfish had a higher frequency of lost chelipeds, indicating a high level of intraspecific interactions. Crayfish survival was not affected by the presence of predators. 5. Gut-contents analysis and stable isotope values of carbon (,13C) and nitrogen (,15N) indicated that the two crayfish species had similar food preferences, and that crayfish received most of their energy from feeding on invertebrates (e.g. chironomid larvae), although detritus was the most frequent food item in their guts. Signal crayfish guts were more full than those of noble crayfish, but signal crayfish in pools with fish contained significantly less food and fewer had consumed chironomids compared with predator-free controls. Length increase of signal crayfish (35%) was significantly higher than of noble crayfish (20%), but signal crayfish in pools with fish grew less than in control pools. 6. This short-term study indicates that fish species that do not pose a lethal threat to an organism may indirectly cause reductions in growth by affecting behaviour and feeding. This may occur even though prey are omnivorous and have access to and consume multiple food sources. These non-lethal effects of predators are expected to be particularly important in exotic crayfish species that show a general response to fish, have high individual growth rates, and when their feeding on the most profitable food source is reduced. [source]

Predator behaviour and prey density: evaluating density-dependent intraspecific interactions on predator functional responses

Nilsson P. Anders
Abstract 1In models of size-structured predator,prey systems, the effects are evaluated of gape-size limited predation on prey population growth and density when predators are non-interacting, cannibalistic, interfering, and cannibalistic and interfering. 2Predation from non-interacting predators markedly reduces prey density, compared with prey densities in the absence of predation. When density-dependent cannibalism between predators is introduced, predator density and therefore total functional response decrease, resulting in a decrease in predation pressure and higher prey densities. 3Size- and density-dependent interference between predators substantially decreases functional responses in the predators, and the prey population is thus allowed to grow more dense. Allowing for cannibalism between interfering predators also decreases predator density, but here the decreased number of predators does not have the releasing effect seen in solely cannibalistic predators. The interference between predators decreases with predator density, and per capita functional responses increase and compensate for the decrease in predator density. 4These theoretical results are compared with results from natural systems with pikeperch and northern pike. Both species are cannibalistic, and pike are also kleptoparasitic, mirroring the models. Results from introductions of the different piscivores into natural systems corroborate the outcome of the models, since introduction or increased densities of pikeperch have shown to have severe and long-lasting effects on prey, while pike have only initial, decreasing over time effects on prey stock. Thus, predator behaviour may seriously affect predator impact on prey, and size- and density-dependent interactions between predators may be a major key to the understanding of predator,prey dynamics and community composition in lakes. [source]

Individual distinctiveness in the mobbing call of a cooperative bird, the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala

Robert A. W. Kennedy
Individual differentiation is usually advantageous in maximising the fitness benefits of interactions with conspecifics. In social species, where intraspecific interactions are frequent, this is likely to be particularly important. Indeed, some form of differentiation underpins most hypotheses proposed to account for cooperative behaviour in birds. The auditory modality is a likely candidate for this function, particularly for species where individuals are widely spaced and in dense vegetation. In this study, we examined the acoustic structure of a distinctive mobbing signal, the ,chur' call, of the cooperatively breeding noisy miner Manorina melanocephala. Using 250,calls from 25 individuals, a combination of spectrographic-based measurement of call parameters, cross-correlation and multi-dimensional scaling was used to test for systematic individual differences in call structure. Strong differences between individuals were observed in all measures, indicating that this call encodes sufficient information to facilitate individual differentiation. We then conducted a series of field playbacks to test the effect of the behaviour on conspecifics. Results demonstrated that the call, in isolation, has a clear attractant effect. Given that chur calls are synonymous with the characteristic cooperative mobbing behaviour of this species, these findings suggest they are likely to have an important function in coordinating complex social behaviour. [source]

Interspecific and intraspecific interactions between salt marsh plants: integrating the effects of environmental factors and density on plant performance

OIKOS, Issue 2 2002
Jonathan M. Huckle
There has been much debate about the role of plant interactions in the structure and function of vegetation communities. Here the results of a pot experiment with controlled environments are described where three environmental variables (nutrients, sediment type and waterlogging) were manipulated factorially to identify their effects on the growth and intensity of interactions occurring between Spartina anglica and Puccinellia maritima. The two species were grown in split-plot planting treatments, representing intraspecific and interspecific addition series experiments, to determine individual and interactive effects of environmental factors and plant interactions on plant biomass. Above-ground growth of both species involved interactions between the environmental and planting treatments, while below-ground, environmental factors affected the biomass irrespective of planting treatments. It was suggested that this difference in growth response is evidence that in our experiment plant interactions between the two species occur primarily at the above-ground level. The intensity of plant interactions varied in a number of ways. First, interactions between Spartina and Puccinellia were distinctly asymmetrical, Puccinellia exerting a competitive effect on Spartina, with no reciprocal effect, and with a facilitative effect of Spartina on Puccinellia in low nutrient conditions. Second, the interactions varied in intensity in different environmental conditions. Interspecific competitive effects of Puccinellia on Spartina were more intense in conditions favourable to growth of Puccinellia and reduced or non-existent in environments with more abiotic stress. Third, intraspecific competition was found to be less intense for both species than interspecific interactions. Finally, the intensity of plant interactions involving both species was more intense above ground than below ground, with a disproportionate reduction in the intensity of interspecific competition below relative to above ground in treatments with less productive sediments and greater immersion. This is interpreted as reflecting a potential mechanism by which Spartina may be able to evade competitive neighbours. [source]

Photobiont Selectivity and Interspecific Interactions in Lichen Communities.

PLANT BIOLOGY, Issue 4 2003

Abstract: Lichen communities are characterised by interspecific interactions that not only include interactions between different lichen species but also between the symbionts within a single lichen species. The community "Bunte Erdflechtengesellschaft", growing on weathered calciferous rocks known as Gravel Alvar on Gotland (Baltic Sea, Sweden), shows a high complexity of inter- and intraspecific interactions, including Fulgensia bracteata, F. fulgens, Toninia sedifolia, Squamarina cartilaginea, Psora decipiens and Lecidea lurida. F. bracteata and F. fulgens are the dominant species of this community, showing a tendency to overgrow the other species involved and even parasitic behaviour. Culture experiments have been performed to investigate the selectivity of the mycobiont of F. bracteata towards a variety of potential photobionts. The results provide evidence for the selectivity of the mycobiont and varying compatibility of the respective symbionts that can be interpreted as a cascade of interdependent processes of specific and non-specific reactions of the symbionts involved. [source]

Effects of spatial aggregation on competition, complementarity and resource use

Abstract The spatial distributions of most species are aggregated to varying degrees. A limited number of studies have examined the effects of spatial aggregation on interspecific and intraspecific interactions, generally finding that spatial aggregation can enhance coexistence between species by reducing the capacity for interspecific competition. Less well studied are the effects of spatial aggregation on complementarity (i.e. differences in resource use strategies) and resource use. Our primary hypothesis was that spatial aggregation reduces the complementarity between species owing to: (i) less interspecific interactions as a result of spatial separation; and (ii) less differences between species as a result of phenotypic plasticity. We further postulate that these negative effects of spatial aggregation on complementarity will reduce resource use by the community. Here we test these hypotheses in a pot experiment in which we applied three levels of spatial aggregation to three sets of two-species mixtures of herbaceous perennial plant species from native grasslands of south-eastern Australia. Both root and shoot biomass were significantly affected by spatial aggregation, although the nature of these affects depended upon the species involved, and the relative strengths of interspecific versus intraspecific competition. Complementarity between species in the distribution of their green leaves decreased significantly as spatial aggregation increased for one of the species mixtures, providing some evidence in support of our hypothesis that aggregation reduces complementarity through phenotypic plasticity. Spatial aggregation also altered light interception and use of soil moisture resources, although these effects were dependent on the species involved. We suggest that clear effects of spatial aggregation on complementarity and resource use may be obscured by the idiosyncratic way in which neighbour identity influences plant growth and hence plant size, limiting the ability to generalize, at the community level, any underlying effects of spatial pattern on ecological process. [source]