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Prey-driven control of predator assemblages : zooplankton abundance drives aquatic beetle colonization [Ecology]

Keywords : community assembly, Dytiscidae, food web, habitat selection, Hydrophilidae, predator-prey, trophic cascade, zooplankton

par Frédéric Magné - publié le , mis à jour le

Trophic interactions are critical determinants of community structure and ecosystem function. In freshwater habitats, top predators are traditionally viewed as drivers of ecosystem structure, shaping populations of consumers and primary producers. The temporary nature of small water bodies makes them dependent on colonization by many organisms, particularly insects that form highly diverse predator assemblages. We conducted mesocosm experiments with naturally-colonizing populations of aquatic beetles to assess how prey (zooplankton) abundances influenced colonization and assemblages of natural populations of aquatic beetles.(...)

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