Trophic cascade driven by behavioral fine-tuning as naïve prey rapidly adjust to a novel predator.
Chris J Jolly, Adam S Smart, John Moreen, Jonathan K Webb, Graeme R Gillespie, Ben L Phillips
Ecology | Published : 2021
The arrival of novel predators can trigger trophic cascades driven by shifts in prey numbers. Predators also elicit behavioral change in prey populations, via phenotypic plasticity and/or rapid evolution, and such changes may also contribute to trophic cascades. Here, we document rapid demographic and behavioral changes in populations of a prey species (grassland melomys Melomys burtoni, a granivorous rodent) following the introduction of a novel marsupial predator (northern quoll Dasyurus hallucatus). Within months of quolls appearing, populations of melomys exhibited reduced survival and population declines relative to control populations. Quoll-invaded populations were also significantly ..View full abstract