Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

The functional response of a generalist predator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Predators can have profound impacts on the dynamics of their prey that depend on how predator consumption is affected by prey density (the predator's functional response). Consumption by a generalist predator is expected to depend on the densities of all its major prey species (its multispecies functional response, or MSFR), but most studies of generalists have focussed on their functional response to only one prey species.
Methodology and principal findings: Using Bayesian methods, we fit an MSFR to field data from an avian predator (the hen harrier Circus cyaneus) feeding on three different prey species. We use a simple graphical approach to show that ignoring the effects of alternative prey can give a misleading impression of the predator's effect on the prey of interest. For example, in our system, a “predator pit” for one prey species only occurs when the availability of other prey species is low.
Conclusions and significance: The Bayesian approach is effective in fitting the MSFR model to field data. It allows flexibility in modelling over-dispersion, incorporates additional biological information into the parameter priors, and generates estimates of uncertainty in the model's predictions. These features of robustness and data efficiency make our approach ideal for the study of long-lived predators, for which data may be sparse and management/conservation priorities pressing.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10761
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 May 2010

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Modelling prey consumption and switching by UK grey seals

    Smout, S. C., Rindorf, A., Hammond, P. S., Harwood, J. & Matthiopoulos, J. Jan 2014 In : ICES Journal of Marine Science. 71, 1, p. 81-89

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Getting beneath the surface of marine mammal - fisheries competition

    Matthiopoulos, J., Smout, S. C., Winship, A., Thompson, D., Boyd, I. L. & Harwood, J. Apr 2008 In : Mammal Review. 38, 2-3, p. 167-188 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Sensitivity to assumptions in models of generalist predation on a cyclic prey

    Matthiopoulos, J., Graham, K., Smout, S. C., Asseburg, C., Redpath, S., Thirgood, S., Hudson, P. & Harwood, J. Oct 2007 In : Ecology. 88, 10, p. 2576-2586 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The functional response of generalist predators, and their implications for the monitoring of marine ecosystems.

    Asseburg, C., Harwood, J., Matthiopoulos, J. & Smout, S. C. 2006 Top predators in marine ecosystems: their role in monitoring and management . Boyd, I. L., Wanless, S. & Camphuysen, C. J. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 262-274

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Understanding the population consequences of disturbance

    Pirotta, E., Booth, C. G., Costa, D. P., Fleishman, E., Kraus, S. D., Lusseau, D., Moretti, D., New, L. F., Schick, R. S., Schwarz, L. K., Simmons, S. E., Thomas, L., Tyack, P. L., Weise, M. J., Wells, R. S. & Harwood, J. 12 Sep 2018 In : Ecology and Evolution. Early View, 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. PLoS One (Journal)

    Cross, C. P. (Member of editorial board)
    1 Sep 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. PLoS One (Journal)

    Cresswell, W. (Reviewer)
    23 May 2018

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  3. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Dritschel, B. (Member of editorial board)
    May 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  4. PLoS One (Journal)

    Young, S. (Reviewer)
    7 Jun 201719 Jun 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  5. PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Schwarz-Linek, U. (Reviewer)
    Mar 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Agreement between primary care and hospital diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: a cross-sectional, observational study using record linkage

    O’Neill, B., Kalia, S., Aliarzadeh, B., Moineddin, R., Fung, W. L. A., Sullivan, F., Maloul, A., Bernard, S. & Greiver, M. 7 Jan 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 15 p., e0210214

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Molecular epidemiology and expression of capsular polysaccharides in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates in the United States

    Mohamed, N. , Timofeyeva, Y. , Jamrozy, D. , Rojas, E. , Hao, L. , Silmon de Monerri, N. C. , Hawkins, J. , Singh, G. , Cai, B. , Liberator, P. , Sebastian, S. , Donald, R. G. K. , Scully, I. L. , Jones, C. H. , Creech, C. B. , Thomsen, I. , Parkhill, J. , Peacock, S. J. , Jansen, K. U. , Holden, M. T. G. & 1 others Anderson, A. S. 14 Jan 2019 In : PLoS ONE. 14, 1, 33 p., e0208356

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding and TEM reveals different ecological strategies within the genus Neogloboquadrina (planktonic foraminifer)

    Bird, C., Darling, K. F., Russell, A. D., Fehrenbacher, J. S., Davis, C. V., Free, A. & Ngwenya, B. T. 29 Jan 2018 In : PLoS One. 13, 1, 26 p., e0191653

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Autophagic flux blockage by accumulation of weakly basic tenovins leads to elimination of B-Raf mutant tumour cells that survive vemurafenib

    Ladds, M. J. G. W., Pastor-Fernández, A., Popova, G., van Leeuwen, I. M. M., Eng, K. E., Drummond, C. J., Johansson, L., Svensson, R., Westwood, N. J., McCarthy, A. R., Tholander, F., Popa, M., Lane, D. P., McCormack, E., McInerney, G. M., Bhatia, R. & Laín, S. 23 Apr 2018 In : PLoS One. 13, 4, 21 p., e0195956

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Body density of humpback whales (Megaptera novaengliae) in feeding aggregations estimated from hydrodynamic gliding performance

    Narazaki, T., Isojunno, S., Nowacek, D. P., Swift, R., Friedlaender, A. S., Ramp, C., Smout, S., Aoki, K., Deecke, V. B., Sato, K. & Miller, P. J. O. 12 Jul 2018 In : PLoS ONE. 13, 7, 23 p., e0200287

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 470953