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Toward a community ecology of landscapes : predicting multiple predator-prey interactions across geographic space [Ecology]

Keywords : food web modules, geospatial movement analysis, habitat domain, landscape of fear, multiple predator-prey interactions, predator consumptive effects, predator non-consumptive effects, predator hunting mode, spatial movement analysis, utilization distribution

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Community ecology was traditionally an integrative science devoted to studying interactions between species and their abiotic environments in order to predict species’ geographic distributions and abundances. Yet for philosophical and methodological reasons it has become divided into two enterprises : one devoted to local experimentation on species interactions to predict community dynamics ; the other devoted to statistical analyses of abiotic and biotic information to describe geographic distribution. Our goal here is to instigate thinking about ways to reconnect the two enterprises and thereby return to a tradition to do integrative science. We focus specifically on the community ecology of predators and prey, which is ripe for integration. This is because there is active, simultaneous interest in experimentally resolving the nature and strength of predator-prey interactions as well as explaining pattern across landscapes and seascapes. We begin by describing a conceptual theory rooted in classical analyses of non-spatial food web modules used to predict species interactions. We show how such modules can be extended to consideration of spatial context using the concept of habitat domain.(...)

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