Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 161, Issue 2, pp 411–419 | Cite as

Change your diet or die: predator-induced shifts in insectivorous lizard feeding ecology

  • Dror HawlenaEmail author
  • Valentín Pérez-Mellado
Behavioral Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

Animal feeding ecology and diet are influenced by the fear of predation. While the mechanistic bases for such changes are well understood, technical difficulties often prevent testing how these mechanisms interact to affect a mesopredator’s diet in natural environments. Here, we compared the insectivorous lizard Acanthodactylus beershebensis’ feeding ecology and diet between high- and low-risk environments, using focal observations, intensive trapping effort and fecal pellet analysis. To create spatial variation in predation risk, we planted “artificial trees” in a scrubland habitat that lacks natural perches, allowing avian predators to hunt for lizards in patches that were previously unavailable to them. Lizards in elevated-risk environments became less mobile but did not change their microhabitat use or temporal activity. These lizards changed their diet, consuming smaller prey and less plant material. We suggest that diet shifts were mainly because lizards from risky environments consumed prey items that required shorter handling time.

Keywords

Acanthodactylus beershebensis Crossover hypothesis Foraging Handling time Mobility 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Z. Abramsky and A. Bouskila who contributed substantially to the development of this research and J. Richardson, H. Jones, O. Schmitz, and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. We are indebted to all field assistants and to Z. Ortega for laboratory assistance. This research was supported by an International Arid Land Consortium grant (99R-10) to A. Bouskila, by the Gaylord Donnelley Environmental Fellowship to D. H. and by the CGL2006-10893-CO2-02 grant to V. P. M. The study was carried out with the appropriate permits from the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority.

References

  1. Abramsky Z, Strauss E, Subach A, Kotler BP, Riechman A (1996) The effect of barn owls (Tyto alba) on the activity and microhabitat selection of Gerbillus allenbyi and G. pyramidum. Oecologia 105:313–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abramsky Z, Rosenzweig ML, Subach A (2002) The costs of apprehensive foraging. Ecology 83:1330–1340Google Scholar
  3. Andersson J, Johansson F, Soderlund T (2006) Interactions between predator and diet induced phenotypic changes in body shape of crucian carp. Proc R Soc Lond B 273:431–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouskila A (1995) Interactions between predation risk and competition: a field study of kangaroo rats and snakes. Ecology 76:165–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown JS (1988) Patch use as an indicator of habitat preference, predation risk, and competition. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 22:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown JS, Kotler BP (2004) Hazardous duty pay and the foraging cost of predation. Ecol Lett 7:999–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Christianson D, Creel S (2008) Risk effects in elk: sex-specific response in grazing and browsing due to predation risk from wolves. Behav Ecol 19:1258–1266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cyr H, Peters RH, Downing JA (1997) Population density and community size structure: comparison of aquatic and terrestrial systems. Oikos 80:139–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diaz JA, Carrascal LM (1990) Prey size and food selection of Psammodromus algirus (Lacertidae) in central Spain. J Herpetol 24:342–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Diaz JA, Carrascal LM (1993) Variation in the effect of profitability on prey size selection by the lacertid lizard Psammodromus algirus. Oecologia 94:23–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dill LM, Fraser AHG (1984) Risk of predation and the feeding behavior of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 16:65–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fleishman LJ (1986) Motion detection in the presence and absence of background motion in an Anolis lizard. J Comp Physiol A 159:711–720PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Griffiths D (1980) Foraging costs and relative prey size. Am Nat 116:743–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hawlena D, Bouskila A (2006) Land management practices for combating desertification cause species replacement of desert lizards. J Appl Ecol 43:701–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hawlena D, Boochnik R, Abramsky Z, Bouskila A (2006) Blue tail and striped body: why do lizards change their infant costume when growing up? Behav Ecol 17:889–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Held J, Manser T (2005) A PDA-based system for online recording and analysis of concurrent events in complex behavioral processes. Behav Res Meth Ins C 37:155–164Google Scholar
  17. Hodar JA (2006) Diet composition and prey choice of the southern grey shrike Lanius meridionalis L. in south-eastern Spain: the importance of vertebrates in the diet. Ardeola 53:237–249Google Scholar
  18. Houston D, Shine R (1993) Sexual dimorphism and niche divergence—feeding habits of the Arafura filesnake. J Anim Ecol 62:737–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Houtman R, Dill LM (1998) The influence of predation risk on diet selectivity: a theoretical analysis. Evol Ecol 12:251–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huey RB, Pianka ER (1981) Ecological consequences of foraging mode. Ecology 62:991–999CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kotler BP, Brown JS, Dall SRX, Gresser S, Ganey D, Bouskila A (2002) Foraging games between gerbils and their predators: temporal dynamics of resource depletion and apprehension in gerbils. Evol Ecol Res 4:495–518Google Scholar
  22. Levins R (1968) Evolution in changing environments some theoretical explorations. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  23. Lima SL (1985) Maximizing feeding efficiency and minimizing time exposed to predators—a trade-off in the black-capped chickadee. Oecologia 66:60–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lima SL (1998) Nonlethal effects in the ecology of predator-prey interactions: what are the ecological effects of anti-predator decision making? Bioscience 48:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lima SL, Bednekoff PA (1999) Back to the basics of antipredatory vigilance: can nonvigilant animals detest attack? Anim Behav 58:537–543PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lima SL, Dill LM (1990) Behavioral decisions made under the risk of predation—a review and prospectus. Can J Zool 68:619–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lima SL, Valone TJ (1986) Influence of predation risk on diet selections—a simple example in the gray squirrel. Anim Behav 34:536–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lima SL, Valone TJ, Caraco T (1985) Foraging-efficiency predation-risk trade-off in the grey squirrel. Anim Behav 33:155–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Magurran AE (1988) Ecological diversity and its measurement. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  30. Martín J, Avery RA (1997) Tail loss affects prey capture ‘decisions’ in the lizard Psammodromus algirus. J Herpetol 31:292–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Martín J, Salvador A (1993) Tail loss and foraging tactics of the Iberian rock-lizard, Lacerta monticola. Oikos 66:318–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moravec J, Baha-El Din S, Seligmann H, Sivan N, Werner 501 YL (1999) Systematics and distribution of the Acanthodactylus pardalis group (Reptilia: Sauria: Lacertidae) in Egypt and Israel. Zool Mid East 17:21–50Google Scholar
  33. Olesen JM, Valido A (2003) Lizards as pollinators and seed dispersers: an island phenomenon. Trends Ecol Evol 18:177–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pérez-Mellado V (1992) Ecology of lacertid lizards in a desert area of eastern Morocco. J Zool 226:369–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pérez-Mellado V, Corti C (1993) Dietary adaptations and herbivory in Lacertid lizards of the genus Podarcis from western Mediterranean islands (Reptilia: Sauria). Bonn Zool Beitr 44:193–220Google Scholar
  36. Perry G (2007) Movement patterns in lizards: measurement, modality, and behavioral correlates. In: Reilly M, McBrayer LD, Miles DB (eds) Lizard ecology: the evolutionary consequences of foraging mode. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 13–48Google Scholar
  37. Pincheira-Donoso D (2008) Testing the accuracy of fecal-based analyses in studies of trophic ecology in lizards. Copeia 2008:322–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Preisser EL, Bolnick DI, Benard MF (2005) Scared to death? The effects of intimidation and consumption in predator-prey interactions. Ecology 86:501–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pyke GH, Pulliam HR, Charnov EL (1977) Optimal foraging—selective review of theory and tests. Q Rev Biol 52:137–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rothley KD, Schmitz OJ, Cohon JL (1997) Foraging to balance conflicting demands: novel insights from grasshoppers under predation risk. Behav Ecol 8:551–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schmitz OJ (1998) Direct and indirect effects of predation and predation risk in old-field interaction webs. Am Nat 151:327–342PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmitz OJ (2008) Effects of predator hunting mode on grassland ecosystem function. Science 319:952–954PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schmitz OJ, Beckerman AP, Obrien KM (1997) Behaviorally mediated trophic cascades: effects of predation risk on food web interactions. Ecology 78:1388–1399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schoener TW (1971) Theory of feeding strategies. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 2:369–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sheffield LM, Crait JR, Edge WD, Wang GM (2001) Response of American kestrels and gray-tailed voles to vegetation height and supplemental perches. Can J Zool 79:380–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Skutelsky O (1996) Predation risk and state-dependent foraging in scorpions: effects of moonlight on foraging in the scorpion Buthus occitanus. Anim Behav 52:49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry, 3rd edn. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  48. Stephens DW, Krebs JR (1986) Foraging theory. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  49. Suarez AV, Richmond JQ, Case TJ (2000) Prey selection in horned lizards following the invasion of Argentine ants in southern California. Ecol Appl 10:711–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vitt LJ, Pianka ER (2007) Feeding ecology in the natural world. In: Reilly M, McBrayer LD, Miles DB (eds) Lizard ecology: the evolutionary consequences of foraging mode. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 141–172Google Scholar
  51. Ward D, Pinshow B (1995) Temperature regulation of the great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) in the Negev desert. 2. Field measurement of standard operative temperatures and behavior. J Thermal Biol 20:271–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yosef R (1993) Influence of observation posts on territory size of northern shrikes. Wilson Bull 105:180–183Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Life SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael
  2. 2.School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de Biología AnimalUniversidad de SalamancaSalamancaSpain

Personalised recommendations