Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 312–326

Effects of adaptive predatory and anti-predator behaviour in a two-prey—one-predator system

  • Peter Abrams
  • Hiroyuki Matsuda

DOI: 10.1007/BF01237749

Cite this article as:
Abrams, P. & Matsuda, H. Evol Ecol (1993) 7: 312. doi:10.1007/BF01237749


Two prey populations that share a common predator can interact indirectly by causing changes in the predator's foraging behaviour. Previous work suggests that adaptive choice of prey by the predator usually has two related consequences: (i) the predation rate on a particular prey species increases with the relative and/or absolute abundance of that prey; and (ii) increases in either prey population produce a short-term increase in the fitness of the other prey (short-term indirect mutualism between prey). This paper investigates how these two consequences are changed if the prey exhibit adaptive anti-predator behaviour. In this case, the predation rate on a particular prey often decreases as the prey's density increases. The predator then usually exhibits ‘negative switching’ between prey. However, the presence of adaptive antipredator behaviour does not change the short-term mutualism between prey. In this case, as a prey becomes less common, it achieves a larger growth rate by reducing its anti-predator effort. These results imply that observations of the relationship between prey density and predation rate cannot be used to infer the nature of the behavioural indirect effect between prey that share a predator.


anti-predator behaviourapparent competitionfrequency dependent predationindirect effectsmathematical modeloptimal foragingswitching

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Abrams
    • 1
  • Hiroyuki Matsuda
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Evolution & BehaviorUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceTokyoJapan