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Data from: Reciprocal behavioral plasticity and behavioral types during predator-prey interactions


McGhee, Katie E.; Pintor, Lauren M.; Bell, Alison M. (2013), Data from: Reciprocal behavioral plasticity and behavioral types during predator-prey interactions, Dryad, Dataset,


How predators and prey interact has important consequences for population dynamics and community stability. Here we explored how predator-prey interactions are simultaneously affected by reciprocal behavioral plasticity (i.e., plasticity in prey defenses countered by plasticity in predator offenses and vice versa) and consistent individual behavioral variation (i.e., behavioral types) within both predator and prey populations. We assessed the behavior of a predator species (northern pike) and a prey species (three-spined stickleback) during one-on-one encounters. We also measured additional behavioral and morphological traits in each species. Using structural equation modeling, we found that reciprocal behavioral plasticity as well as predator and prey behavioral types influenced how individuals behaved during an interaction. Thus, the progression and ultimate outcome of predator-prey interactions depend on both the dynamic behavioral feedback occurring during the encounter and the underlying behavioral type of each participant. We also examined whether predator behavioral type is underlain by differences in metabolism and organ size. We provide some of the first evidence that behavioral type is related to resting metabolic rate and size of a sensory organ (the eyes). Understanding the extent to which reciprocal behavioral plasticity and intraspecific behavioral variation influence the outcome of species interactions could provide insight into the maintenance of behavioral variation as well as community dynamics.

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