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Data from: Colonization across gradients of risk and reward: nutrients and predators generate species-specific responses among aquatic insects

Citation

Pintar, Matthew R.; Bohenek, Jason R.; Eveland, Lauren L.; Resetarits, William J. (2019), Data from: Colonization across gradients of risk and reward: nutrients and predators generate species-specific responses among aquatic insects, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7q3n51j

Abstract

1. Predation risk and resource abundance are two primary characteristics that determine species abundances and community composition. Colonizing organisms should attempt to minimize the risk of mortality and maximize growth through selection of patches with the highest expected fitness. However, maximizing fitness across multiple gradients of patch quality involves accurate cue assessment, integration, and behavioral responses that consider multiple factors that affect fitness simultaneously. 2. Our goal was to simultaneously and factorially assess the effects of predation risk and resource abundance among an assemblage of aquatic insects to determine the relative importance of each factor, and whether the two factors interact to affect colonization, oviposition, and community assembly. 3. We conducted a field mesocosm experiment in which we crossed predator density (0, 1, 2 fish, Fundulus chrysotus) with supplemental nutrient abundance (0, 4, 8 g rabbit chow) in a 3 × 3 factorial design. We then assayed colonization by natural populations of aquatic beetles and oviposition by Culex mosquitoes. 4. We observed species-specific responses, with many species avoiding fish and some selecting habitats with more nutrients. Nutrients and predator presence only interactively affected oviposition by Culex mosquitoes, and the effect of fish presence exceeded that of nutrients in all but one analysis. 5. Our results illustrate the primacy of predation risk in generating colonization patterns and structuring communities in aquatic habitats, but that colonization responses to variation in multiple components of patch quality are often species-specific. Simultaneous assessments of multiple aspects of patch quality allow for the determination of potential interactions among cue sources and the relative importance of various patch characteristics to colonizers.

Usage Notes

Location

University of Mississippi Field Station