Migratory coupling between predators and prey

Nature Ecology & Evolution
By: , and 

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Abstract

Animal migrations act to couple ecosystems and are undertaken by some of the world’s most endangered taxa. Predators often exploit migrant prey, but the movements taken by these consumers are rarely studied or understood. We define such movements, where migrant prey induce large-scale movements of predators, as migratory coupling. Migratory coupling can have ecological consequences for the participating prey, predators and the communities they traverse across the landscape. We review examples of migratory coupling in the literature and provide hypotheses regarding conditions favourable for their occurrence. We also provide a framework for interactions induced by migratory coupling and demonstrate their potential community-level impacts by examining other forms of spatial shifts in predators. Migratory coupling integrates the fields of landscape, movement, food web and community ecologies, and represents an understudied frontier in ecology.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Migratory coupling between predators and prey
Series title Nature Ecology & Evolution
DOI 10.1038/s41559-018-0711-3
Volume 2
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Springer Nature
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 1846
Last page 1853