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Data from: The behavioral type of a top predator drives the short-term dynamic of intraguild predation

Citation

Michalko, Radek; Pekár, Stano (2016), Data from: The behavioral type of a top predator drives the short-term dynamic of intraguild predation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9br59

Abstract

Variation in behavior among individual top predators (i.e., the behavioral type) can strongly shape pest suppression in intraguild predation (IGP). However, the effect of a top predator’s behavioral type—namely, foraging aggressiveness (number of killed divided by prey time) and prey choosiness (preference degree for certain prey type)—on the dynamic of IGP may interact with the relative abundances of top predator, mesopredator, and pest. We investigated the influence of the top predator’s behavioral type on the dynamic of IGP in a three-species system with a top predator spider, a mesopredator spider, and a psyllid pest using a simulation model. The model parameters were estimated from laboratory experiments and field observations. The top predator’s behavioral type altered the food-web dynamics in a context-dependent manner. The system with an aggressive/nonchoosy top predator, without prey preferences between pest and mesopredator, suppressed the pest more when the top predator to mesopredator abundance ratio was high. In contrast, the system with a timid/choosy top predator that preferred the pest to the mesopredator was more effective when the ratio was low. Our results show that the behavioral types and abundances of interacting species need to be considered together when studying food-web dynamics, because they evidently interact. To improve biocontrol efficiency of predators, research on the alteration of their behavioral types is needed.

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