Predator-Prey Dynamics: The Role of Olfaction, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Predator-Prey Dynamics

The Role of Olfaction, 1st Edition

By Michael R. Conover

CRC Press

264 pages | 177 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2007-03-30
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Description

Humans, being visually oriented, are well versed in camouflage and how animals hide from predators that use vision to locate prey. However, many predators do not hunt by sight; they hunt by scent. This raises the question: do survival mechanisms and behaviors exist which allow animals to hide from these olfactory predators?  If so, what are they, and how do they work?

Predator-Prey Dynamics: The Role of Olfaction examines environmental as well as biological and behavioral elements of both predators and prey to answer gaps in our current knowledge of the survival dynamics of species. Beginning with a thorough look at the mechanics of olfaction, the author explains how predators detect, locate, and track their prey using odor trails on the ground or odor plumes in the air. Understanding the physics of airflow is the next step to understanding the potential for manipulating and masking scent. While a bush may conceal an animal visually from a predator, it will not protect an animal from a predator using olfaction.  To hide from the latter, an animal needs to hide in locations where turbulence and updrafts will disperse its scent.

The book addresses tradeoffs that animals must make given their dual needs to hide from predators and to procure food and water. Studies of mammalian and avian behavior provide examples on the actual use and efficacy of olfactory camouflage tactics. The book concludes with a redefinition of ecological terms based on the physics of airflow and a summary of the theory and implications of olfactory predator--prey dynamics.

Introducing the mechanics of olfaction and its influence on the behavior of both predators and prey, Predator-Prey Dynamics: The Role of Olfaction presents a new perception of the world and enables us to understand and more effectively manage the delicate survival dynamics of animals in the wild.

Reviews

"The book is logically organized to describe the mechanics of olfaction and the physics of airflow before discussing species of predators and prey and their ecology. This may sound like dry reading at the outset. but Conover employs animal attributes or behaviors to keep the reader along for the ride."

— Timothy D. Smith, Slippery Rock University, in Journal of Mammalogy, 2008

“Predator-prey dynamics covers a subject that has not received enough attention by animal behavior and ecology researchers. …Conover’s book has laid the foundation for future research on olfactory predators and their prey.”

— Barbara Clucas, University of California-Davis, writing in Ecology, 2007

“…is a valuable work for anyone that desires to understand the dynamics and the role of olfaction across predator-prey relationships.”

—James A. Huggins, Ph.D., Director of Edward P. Hammons Center for Scientific Studies, Union University, USA

Table of Contents

Olfactory Predators and Odorants

Olfactory organs of vertebrates

Comparing the olfactory ability of humans to other mammals

Use of olfaction by birds to locate food

Which modality is most important to snakes in locating prey?

Which modality is most important to predatory mammals in locating prey?

Characteristics of odorants

Perception of odor mixtures

Sources of odorants from mammals and birds

Using odors to detect differences between species or individuals

Can animals hide from olfactory predators by changing their odor?

Can animals hide from olfactory predators by masking their odor with another, overpowering one?

Factors influencing the evaporation rate of odorants

Movement of odorants through the atmosphere

The olfactory concealment theory

Detecting and Locating Prey Through Depositional Odor Trails

Creation of depositional odor trails

Determining how long ago a trail was created

Determining the direction of an odor trail

Impact of environmental conditions on depositional odor trails

How good are predators at following a depositional odor trail?

Behavioral tactics used by deer and hares to escape from tracking dogs

Locating home ranges using olfactory cues

What prey can do to minimize their risk from depositional odor trails

What olfactory predators can do to maximize the usefulness of depositional odor trails

Using Airborne Odorants to Detect the Presence of Prey

The challenge of using airborne odorants to detect the presence of prey

Impact of a steady wind on a predator’s ability to detect an odor plume

How far can predators detect prey by sensing the quarry through its odor plume?

Can prey reduce their odorant emission rate?

Impact of wind velocity on odorant concentration

Impact of turbulence on odorant concentration

Differences in time-averaged and instantaneous views of odor plumes

Impact of lateral and vertical turbulence on the size of instantaneous odor plumes

Measurements of turbulence

Spatial and temporal structure of odor plumes

Effect of atmospheric instability on the vertical dispersion of odorants

Diurnal changes in atmospheric stability

Impact of atmospheric instability on olfactory predators and their prey

Using Odor Plumes to Locate Prey and the Impact of Convection

Locating prey through airborne odorants

Potential methods animals can use to locate an odor source

How moths locate sources of odor plumes

How tsetse flies use odor plumes to find their hosts

Do predators develop olfactory search images of their prey?

Impact of wind velocity on the ability of predators to locate prey using odor plumes

Impact of wind velocity of olfactory predators and their prey

Effect of variable wind speed and direction on use of odor plumes to locate prey

Convective turbulence caused by local topography

Impact of local convective currents on olfactory predators and their prey

Experimental Evidence that Updrafts and Turbulence Hinder the Ability of Predators to Find Prey Using Olfaction

Experiment 1: do updrafts and atmospheric turbulence hinder the ability of dogs to find birds?

Experiment 2: are nest predation rates by free-ranging predators lower in areas where updrafts occur?

Experiment 3: do updrafts and turbulence hinder the ability of free-ranging predators to find artificial nests?

Turbulence Caused by Isolated Surface Features

Mechanical turbulence caused by isolated surface features

Impact of turbulence caused by isolated surface features on olfactory predators and their prey

Mechanical turbulence caused by an isolated plant

Impact of turbulence caused by isolated trees on olfactory predators and their prey

Turbulence caused by shelterbelts

Impact of turbulence across shelterbelts on olfactory predators and their prey

Turbulence Over Rough Surfaces

Aerodynamic roughness length

Impact of z on olfactory predators and their prey

Zero-plane displacement

Airflow across habitat edges

Airflow from a Smooth to a Rough Surface

Airflow from Rough to Smooth Surfaces

Impact of turbulence caused by habitat edges on olfactory predators and their prey

Turbulence Within and Below Plant Canopies

Convective turbulence within plant canopies

Mechanical turbulence within plant canopies

Airflow and turbulence within forb and grass canopies

Movement of a pheromone plume within a grain field

Airflow within the subcanopy of forests

Differences in the movement of odor plumes above grass canopies and within forest canopies

How does turbulence within a forest plantation differ from a naturally reproducing or old-growth forest?

Impact of turbulence within a forest subcanopy on olfactory predators and their prey

Airflow in savannas

Impact of turbulence in forests, prairies, and savannas on olfactory predators and their prey

Trade-Offs Required to Achieve Optimal Hiding Strategies

Optimal hiding strategies for prey

Optimal foraging strategies for predators

How predators develop search images of prey

How birds learn where to nest

Interplay between a predator’s optimal foraging strategy and a prey’s optimal hiding strategy

Trade-offs involving avoiding detection versus capture

Trade-offs required to avoid both visual and olfactory predators

Trade-offs between the need to avoid olfactory predators and to meet the other necessities of life

Trade-offs between the need to reproduce this year versus during future years

Trade-offs involving the timing of dangerous activities

Trade-offs among injuries, illness, starvation, and predators

Summary

Impact of Olfactory Predators on the Behavior of Female Ungulates During Parturition and on the Behavior of Their Young

Do females reduce their production of odorants at parturition sites or the bedding sites of their young?

Is the behavior of neonates designed to hinder the ability of predators to find them using olfaction?

Do fawns adjust the timing of their movements to avoid attracting the attention of visual or olfactory predators?

Do female ungulates select parturition sites, and do young select bedding grounds where olfactory predators would have a hard time finding them?

Do Nest Site Characteristics Influence Nest Predation Rates by Olfactory Predators?

Impact of avian mass, surface area, and metabolic rates on olfactory predators

Impact of nest characteristics on olfactory predators

Do Weather, Convection, Isolated Surface Features, or Shelterbelts Influence Nest Predation Rates of Olfactory Predators?

Impact of weather on olfactory predators

Impact of convection on olfactory predators

Impact of isolated surface features on olfactory predators

Impact of shelterbelts on olfactory predators

Do Prairies, Savannas, Forests, or Edge Habitats Influence Nest Predation Rates of Olfactory Predators?

Nest predation by olfactory predators in prairies and open fields

Nest predation by olfactory predators in savannas

Nest predation by olfactory predators within forests

Impact of edge habitat on olfactory predators

Using the Physics of Airflow to Redefine Common Ecological Terms

Examples from forest ecology of the confusion that can be created by ambiguous definitions

What is a forest patch or habitat patch?

What is a forest interior?

What is a forest edge?

How far does a forest edge extend into a forest?

What is a forest clearing?

Benefits of defining ecological terms based on the physics of airflow

Epilogue

Dangers posed by depositional odor trails

Dangers posed by odor plumes

Can the olfactory-concealment theory help guide future research and provide answers to questions that heretofore have lacked explanation?

Does the olfactory-concealment theory have any applied value?

References

Appendix 1 Latin Names of Species Mentioned in this Book

Appendix 2 Symbols Used in this Book

Appendix 3 Forces Controlling Wind Speed and Direction

Appendix 4 Pasquill’s System for Measuring Atmospheric Stability

Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NAT001000
NATURE / Animals / General
NAT010000
NATURE / Ecology
SCI070000
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / General