Temperature- dependent phenology and predation in arthropod systems

TitleTemperature- dependent phenology and predation in arthropod systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLogan, JD, Wolesensky, W, Joern, A
JournalEcological Modelling
Pagination471 -482
Accession NumberKNZ001170
Keywordsgrasshoppers, Lycosid spiders, phenology, Predator–prey models, Temperature

A central issue in ecology is to determine how environmental variations associated with global climate change, especially changing temperatures, affect trophic interactions in various ecosystems. This paper develops a temperature-dependent, stage-based, discrete, cohort model of the population dynamics of an insect pest under pressure from a predator. Guided by experimental data, the model is applied specifically to predation of grasshoppers by rangeland lycosid spiders. The development rate of insect arthropods is strongly affected by temperature, and these temperature-dependent phenological effects couple with shifts in the daily activity periods for both prey and predator, thereby increasing or decreasing opportunities for interaction. The model addresses these effects quantitatively by introducing a temperature-dependent, joint-activity factor that enters the predator’s functional response. The model also includes a prey mortality rate that is temperature-dependent through the prey development rate. The model is parameterized using field and experimental data for spiders and grasshoppers. We investigate the effect of the solar power index (sunlight), mean temperature, and temperature variation, as measured by amplitude, on the developmental times and survivorship both with, and without, predation. We conclude that increasing variation in temperature results in a stronger relative effect on survivorship due to predation.