Effects of acute and chronic temperature changes on the functional responses of the dogfish Scyliorhinus canicula (Linnaeus, 1758) towards amphipod prey Echinogammarus marinus (Leach, 1815)

Josie South*, Jaimie T.A. Dick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
192 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Predation is a strong driver of population dynamics and community structure and it is essential to reliably quantify and predict predation impacts on prey populations in a changing thermal landscape. Here, we used comparative functional response analyses to assess how predator-prey interactions between dogfish and invertebrate prey change under different warming scenarios. The Functional Response Type, attack rate, handling time and maximum feeding rate estimates were calculated for Scyliorhinus canicula preying upon Echinogammarus marinus under temperatures of 11.3 °C and 16.3 °C, which represent both the potential daily variation and predicted higher summer temperatures within Strangford Lough, N. Ireland. A two x two design of “Predator Acclimated”, “Prey Acclimated”, “Both Acclimated”, and “Both Unacclimated” was implemented to test functional responses to temperature rise. Attack rate was higher at 11.3 °C than at 16.3 °C, but handling time was lower and maximum feeding rates were higher at 16.3 °C. Non-acclimated predators had similar maximum feeding rate towards non-acclimated and acclimated prey, whereas acclimated predators had significantly higher maximum feeding rates towards acclimated prey as compared to non-acclimated prey. Results suggests that the predator attack rate is decreased by increasing temperature but when both predator and prey are acclimated the shorter handling times considerably increase predator impact. The functional response of the fish changed from Type II to Type III with an increase in temperature, except when only the prey were acclimated. This change from population destabilizing Type II to more stabilizing Type III could confer protection to prey at low densities but increase the maximum feeding rate by Scyliorhinus canicula in the future. However, predator movement between different thermal regimes may maintain a Type II response, albeit with a lower maximum feeding rate. This has implications for the way the increasing population Scyliorhinus canicula in the Irish Sea may exploit valuable fisheries stocks in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Feeding ecology
  • Functional response
  • Thermal responses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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