Predation and Population Dynamics Working Group Report
Following a wide ranging discussion there was general agreement that more fundamental research into coastal bivalves, their major predators, and the complex interactions between predator and prey is required. Whilst some bivalve predators have been extensively studied others are only poorly documented. Little is know about micropredators or the importance of predation on the vulnerable planktonic and early juvenile stages of even the most common bivalve species. Manipulative experiments should test the effects of varying the density of both predator and prey since at higher population densities many predators are known to spend proportionately more time on intraspecific interactions than on foraging. Future work should also consider the energetic costs of foraging, the way in which prey items are evaluated, and the extent to which predators make valued judgments of the risks involved in selecting particular prey types. Feeding history should also be considered since this may be important in determining whether a predator remains within a specific locality or moves to an alternative site where feeding opportunities are expected to be more favorable.
KeywordsPrey Type Manipulative Experiment Intraspecific Interaction Feeding Opportunity Major Predator
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