Population and behavioral models in ecology: Hanging together or hanging separately?

Vlastimil Krivan
Biology Center, Czech Academy of Sciences (AVv CR)

(September 19, 2011 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM)

Population and behavioral models in ecology: Hanging together or hanging separately?

Abstract

In my talk I will discuss how predator-prey population dynamics can be altered by predator adaptive foraging behavior and/or avoidance strategies of prey. I will consider the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey population model which assumes that interaction strength between predator and prey is fixed. Increasing empirical evidence, however, indicates prey and/or predators change their behavior in response to the presence of the other species. For example, prey decrease their activity, become vigilant, or move to a refuge to avoid predators. Similarly, predator foraging behavior (e.g., prey switching) depends on prey densities. These observations clearly show that interaction strength in the Lotka-Volterra model are not fixed, but is itself a function of population densities. As behavioral effects often operate on a short time scale when compared to a population time scale, it is also not clear if behavioral effects attenuate at the population time scale or not. In my talk, I will show how the games predator and prey play can change predictions of the Lotka-Volterra model.