Data from: A spatial theory for characterizing predator–multiprey interactions in heterogeneous landscapes
Fortin, Daniel et al. (2015), Data from: A spatial theory for characterizing predator–multiprey interactions in heterogeneous landscapes, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bf771
Trophic interactions in multiprey systems can be largely determined by prey distributions. Yet, classic predator–prey models assume spatially homogeneous interactions between predators and prey. We developed a spatially informed theory that predicts how habitat heterogeneity alters the landscape-scale distribution of mortality risk of prey from predation, and hence the nature of predator interactions in multiprey systems. The theoretical model is a spatially explicit, multiprey functional response in which species-specific advection–diffusion models account for the response of individual prey to habitat edges. The model demonstrates that distinct responses of alternative prey species can alter the consequences of conspecific aggregation, from increasing safety to increasing predation risk. Observations of threatened boreal caribou, moose and grey wolf interacting over 378 181 km2 of human-managed boreal forest support this principle. This empirically supported theory demonstrates how distinct responses of apparent competitors to landscape heterogeneity, including to human disturbances, can reverse density dependence in fitness correlates.