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A SIMULATION MODEL TEST OF THE POTENTIAL ROLE FOR SIZE-STRUCTURED, AGONISTIC, INTRASPECIFIC INTERACTIONS IN THE ONTOGENETIC NICHE SHIFTS OF SIGNAL CRAYFISH (PACIFASTACUS LENIUSCULUS DANA)

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Title: A SIMULATION MODEL TEST OF THE POTENTIAL ROLE FOR SIZE-STRUCTURED, AGONISTIC, INTRASPECIFIC INTERACTIONS IN THE ONTOGENETIC NICHE SHIFTS OF SIGNAL CRAYFISH (PACIFASTACUS LENIUSCULUS DANA)
Author: Martin, Amanda
Subject Keywords habitat selection;density dependence;escape behavior;turn angle
Issue Date: 2009-12-02
Series/Report no. University of British Columbia, Forestry Undergraduate Essays/Theses
Abstract: Ontogenetic niche shifts generally coincide with changes in size, morphology, behavior, and/or feeding preferences during development, resulting in a shift in preferred habitat. In aquatic species, these ontogenetic niche shifts are often associated with habitat-dependent changes in competition and/or predation dynamics, expressed as a size-depth relationship where the larger-bodied adults occupy deeper habitats while the smaller-bodied juveniles primarily reside in shallower regions. While the influence of interspecific interactions on size-structured habitat occupancy has been well studied, few have examined the potential role of intraspecific agonistic interactions between size classes in ontogenetic niche shifts. A simulation model was developed to test whether the size-specific habitat occupancy observed in signal crayfish can be explained by the size-structured individual responses to agonistic interaction, where the smaller-bodied juvenile responds to the interaction with an escape movement, to avoid engagement and the risk of mortality or injury from the adult. The simulated movements of signal crayfish resulted in higher juvenile occupancy of riffles relative to pools reflecting a greater rate of escape from adults into riffles, away from the higher densities of adults in their preferred habitat (i.e. pools). This provides evidence that the juvenile escape response to size-structured, intraspecific, agonistic interactions may contribute to ontogenetic niche shifts.
Affiliation: Forestry, Faculty of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/16107
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