Navigation Links
Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
Date:9/3/2007

When the populations of two species oscillate together (for example, predators and prey), its a good bet that they are tightly coupled ecologically. A famous example is the Canadian lynx and snowshoe hare, documented in the trapping records of the Hudsons Bay Company. But is the opposite also true" If the preys population doesnt fluctuate while the predators does, can we assume they are not tightly linked in the food web" Among ecologists, this has generally been thought to be the case. But in a new multidisciplinary study published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, Takehito Yoshida from the University of Tokyo in Japan and colleagues from the Universities of Cornell, Oregon, and Michigan in the USA have come together to show that cryptic evolutionary dynamics can link these populations.

The authors observed the dynamics of a rotifer and its food source, a unicellular alga, in a laboratory microcosm (in this case, a chemostat with an aqueous growth chamber whose nutrient supply is kept steady through a continuous in-and-out flow of medium). They were therefore able to experimentally manipulate the conditions of the two species. Under many different conditions, the pair co-oscillated and was tightly linked, just like the lynx and the hare. Yet, sometimes the rotifers population waxed and waned, while the algal population abundance remained virtually constant. Yoshida and colleagues demonstrate mathematically that this could occur when the algal population comprises more than one genotype: one type more palatable to the rotifer predator and one less so. Needing direct data to back up this finding, the researchers then turned to another pair of interacting species in a laboratory microcosm, the bacterium Escherichia coli< /span> and the phage virus T4. Despite wide swings in phage abundance, they maintained a constant bacterial population by including vulnerable and resistant strains of the bacteria. Importantly, the population of the vulnerable bacterial strain showed a typical predator-prey cycle with the phage.

The researchers call this pattern of predatorprey population changes cryptic dynamics, because the rapid evolution of the prey into different genotypes masks the strong interaction between the two species. The implications of this prediction for understanding natural communities are extensive: observations of predator and prey population dynamics cannot always be trusted to be informative about the strength or even the existence of interspecific trophic links because such cryptic evolutionary dynamics may occur in a large fraction of trophic interactions.


'/>"/>
Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
415-568-3445
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Finding hidden invaders in a Hawaiian rain forest
2. UCLA cancer researchers shake loose hidden biomarker
3. Measuring hidden parasites in falciparum malaria
4. Envisat and ERS-2 reveal hidden side of Hurricane Rita
5. Computer modeling reveals hidden conversations within cells
6. Hidden sponges determine coral reefs nutrient cycle
7. Viagras hidden help for wildlife
8. Clues to breast cancer hidden inside stem cells
9. Squid skin reveals hidden messages
10. Hidden-hero microbes in soil, water may help naturally clean toxic sites
11. UBC researchers reveal dwarf aquatic plants hidden ancestry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of ... the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a ... the overview results from the Q1 wave of its ... wave was consumers, receptivity to a program where they ... a health insurance company. "We were surprised ... says Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: