Antipredator responses are a key determinant of the successful persistence of prey, and behavioural modifications are a frequent antipredator strategy. However, conspecific populations often inhabit heterogeneous environments. This can determine local adaptations, and might also induce variation in antipredator responses. Nevertheless, there is limited information on whether heterogeneity of predation risk among populations determines variation in antipredator response. Here we studied the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, a species that can breed in both surface streams and caves, habitats that are predator-rich and predator-free, respectively, and measured differences in antipredator responses across populations with different predation risk. We combined field surveys and laboratory experiments to understand the role of predation risk on the activity patterns of larvae, while measuring behavioural differences between populations. We reared larvae from different habitats in safe and risky conditions and tested their response to predator cues before and after rearing. In the field, predation risk was much higher in surface streams than in caves; larvae moved more in the absence of predators and when the light intensity was low. During laboratory experiments, larvae were less active if reared in risky conditions, but cave larvae showed a stronger response to risk than stream larvae. Therefore, larvae from sites without predators showed higher antipredator responses than those from risky habitats. This response fits the predictions of the risk allocation model, in which prey from habitats with a high background level of risk need to be active even when predators are present, to satisfy their energetic demands. Our findings show that antipredator behaviour may differ strongly between populations and stress the importance of integrating this variability in studies on predatory responses.
Amphibians breeding in refuge habitats have larvae with stronger antipredator responses / R. Manenti, A. Melotto, M. Denoël, G.F. Ficetola. - In: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR. - ISSN 0003-3472. - 118(2016), pp. 115-121.
|Titolo:||Amphibians breeding in refuge habitats have larvae with stronger antipredator responses|
MANENTI, RAOUL (Corresponding)
FICETOLA, GENTILE FRANCESCO (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||amphibians; background risk; behavioural avoidance; predation risk; risk allocation hypothesis; Salamandra salamandra|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.06.006|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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