Secondhand horror : effects of direct and indirect predator cues on behavior and reproduction of the bank vole
Sievert, T., Haapakoski, M., Palme, R., Voipio, H., & Ylönen, H. (2019). Secondhand horror : effects of direct and indirect predator cues on behavior and reproduction of the bank vole. Ecosphere, 10 (6), e02765. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2765
DisciplineEkologia ja evoluutiobiologia
© 2019 The Authors.
Risk recognition by prey is of paramount importance within the evolutionary arms race between predator and prey. Prey species are able to detect direct predator cues like odors and adjust their behavior appropriately. The question arises whether an indirect predation cue, such as the odor of scared individuals, can be detected by conspecifics and subsequently affects recipient behavior. Parents may also transfer their experience with predators to their offspring. In two experiments, we assessed how direct and indirect predation cues affect bank vole (Myodes glareolus) foraging behavior, reproduction, and pup fitness. Weasel (Mustela nivalis) odor served as the direct cue, whereas the odor of weasel‐scared conspecifics, alarm pheromones, was used as an indirect cue and both of those were compared to a control odor, clean wood shavings. Alarm pheromones attracted female voles, measured as time in proximity to the treatment and foraging. Both predator odor and alarm pheromones enhanced reproduction compared to the control odor. Females treated with alarm pheromone had significantly higher pregnancy rates, and pups from predator‐treated mothers were significantly heavier at birth. Our study provides two novel ideas. First, the impact of a predator can be socially transmitted. Second, predation risk likely triggers terminal investment in reproduction. ...
PublisherEcological Society of America
MetadataShow full item record
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