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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Pest Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379189

Research Project: Forecasting, Outbreak Prevention, and Ecology of Grasshoppers and Other Rangeland and Crop Insects in the Great Plains

Location: Pest Management Research

Title: Predation landscapes influence migratory prey ecology and evolution

item SABAL, MEGAN - University Of California Santa Cruz
item BOYCE, MARK - University Of Alberta
item CHARPENTIER, CORIE - Stetson University
item FUREY, NATHAN - University Of New Hampshire
item LUHRING, THOMAS - Wichita State University
item MARTIN, HANS - University Of Montana
item MELNYCHUK, MICHAEL - University Of Washington
item Srygley, Robert
item WAGNER, C MICHAEL - Michigan State University
item WIRSING, AARON - University Of Washington
item YDENBERG, RONALD - Simon Fraser University
item PALKOVACS, ERIC - University Of California Santa Cruz

Submitted to: Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2021
Publication Date: 5/13/2021
Citation: Sabal, M.C., Boyce, M.S., Charpentier, C.L., Furey, N.B., Luhring, T.M., Martin, H.W., Melnychuk, M.C., Srygley, R.B., Wagner, C., Wirsing, A.J., Ydenberg, R.C., Palkovacs, E.P. 2021. Predation landscapes influence migratory prey ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 36(8):737-749.

Interpretive Summary: Animal migrations are spectacular phenomena where concentrated and conspicuous animal movements often result in striking predator-prey interactions across the migratory life-cycle. Although predation risk and anti-predator responses apply broadly across prey species, migratory prey face unique challenges because migratory prey are aggregated, predictable in their distributions, and willing to take on high risk in some locations in order to reap benefits in others. In the conceptual framework of predation landscapes across diverse taxa, we address the unique challenges that migratory prey face and their anti-predator responses, the consequences of human alteration of predator landscapes for migratory prey, and ways to restore the predation landscapes for conservation of migratory prey. The consequences of human-altered predation landscapes can be easily missed because causes and effects may be separated across space and time. Rapid change creates evolutionary mismatches within the predation process, which can exacerbate mortality or elicit unnecessary and costly antipredator responses. Despite these challenges, prioritizing habitat restoration to regain healthy predator-prey balance and diverse approaches that target both the predation risk and antipredator response of prey have potential to restore predation landscapes for migratory prey.

Technical Abstract: Migratory prey experience spatially-variable predation across their life cycle. They face unique challenges in navigating this predation landscape, which affects their perception of risk, antipredator responses, and resulting mortality. Variable and unfamiliar predator cues during migration can limit accurate perception of risk, and migrants often rely on social information and learning to compensate. The energetic demands of migration constrain antipredator responses often through context-dependent patterns. While migration can increase mortality, migrants employ diverse strategies to balance risks and rewards, including life history and antipredator responses. Humans interact frequently with migratory prey across space and alter both mortality risk and antipredator responses, which can scale up to affect migratory populations and should be considered in conservation and management.