D. de Macedo Rodrigues
- Reciprocal intraguild predation and predator coexistence
- Ecology and Evolution
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 14
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Intraguild predation is a mix of competition and predation and occurs when one species feeds on another species that uses similar resources. Theory predicts that intraguild predation hampers coexistence of species involved, but it is common in nature. It has been suggested that increasing habitat complexity and the presence of alternative food may promote coexistence. Reciprocal intraguild predation limits possibilities for coexistence even further. Habitat complexity and the presence of alternative food are believed to promote coexistence. We investigated this using two species of predatory mites, Iphiseiodes zuluagai and Euseius concordis, by assessing co‐occurrence in the field and on arenas differing in spatial structure in the laboratory. The predators co‐occured on the same plants in the field. In the laboratory, adults of the two mites fed on juveniles of the other species, both in the presence and the absence of a shared food source, showing that the two species are involved in reciprocal intraguild predation. Adults of I. zuluagai also attacked adults of E. concordis. This suggests limited possibilities for coexistence of the two species. Indeed, E. concordis invariably went extinct extremely rapidly on arenas without spatial structure with populations consisting of all stages of the two predators and with a shared resource. Coexistence was prolonged on host plant leaves with extra food sources, but E. concordis still went extinct. On small, intact plants, coexistence of the two species was much longer, and ended with the other species, I. zuluagai, often going extinct. These results suggest that spatial structure and the presence of alternative food increase the coexistence period of intraguild predators.
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