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Multitrophic Interactions in the Sea: Assessing the Effect of Infochemical-Mediated Foraging in a 1-d Spatial Model

Lewis, Nicola D and Morozov, Andrew and Breckels, Mark N and Steinke, Michael and Codling, Edward A (2013) 'Multitrophic Interactions in the Sea: Assessing the Effect of Infochemical-Mediated Foraging in a 1-d Spatial Model.' Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena, 8 (6). pp. 25-44. ISSN 0973-5348

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The release of chemicals following herbivore grazing on primary producers may provide feeding cues to carnivorous predators, thereby promoting multitrophic interactions. In particular, chemicals released following grazing on phytoplankton by microzooplankton herbivores have been shown to elicit a behavioural foraging response in carnivorous copepods, which may use this chemical information as a mechanism to locate and remain within biologically productive patches of the ocean. In this paper, we use a 1D spatial reaction-diffusion model to simulate a tri-trophic planktonic system in the water column, where predation at the top trophic level (copepods) is affected by infochemicals released by the primary producers forming the bottom trophic level. The effect of the infochemical-mediated predation is investigated by comparing the case where copepods forage randomly to the case where copepods adjust their vertical position to follow the distribution of grazing-induced chemicals. Results indicate that utilization of infochemicals for foraging provides fitness benefits to copepods and stabilizes the system at high nutrient load, whilst also forming a possible mechanism for phytoplankton bloom formation. We also investigate how the copepod efficiency to respond to infochemicals affects the results, and show that small increases (2%) in the ability of copepods to sense infochemicals can promote their persistence in the system. Finally we argue that effectively employing infochemicals for foraging can be an evolutionarily stable strategy for copepods.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: infochemicals; dimethylsulphide (DMS); multitrophic interactions; vertical plankton distribution; food-web interactions; evolutionarily stable strategy
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Faculty of Science and Health > Mathematical Sciences, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 12:26
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 17:11

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