Journal article

Trophic cascade driven by behavioural fine-tuning as naïve prey rapidly adjust to a novel predator

Chris Jolly, Adam Smart, John Moreen, Jonathan Webb, Graeme Gillespie, Ben Phillips

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Published : 2019


The arrival of novel predators can trigger trophic cascades driven by shifts in prey numbers. Predators also elicit behavioural change in prey populations, via plasticity and rapid evolution, and such behavioural responses by prey may also contribute to trophic cascades. Here we document the effects of a novel predator on the behaviour and demography of a native prey species. We reveal rapid behavioural responses in the prey species (grassland melomys, a granivorous rodent) following the introduction of a novel marsupial predator (northern quoll). Within months of quolls appearing, populations of melomys exhibited reduced survival and population declines relative to control populations. Quol..

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