Presentation Title

Predator-Prey Dynamics of Blue Crab on the Periwinkle Snail in a Salt Marsh System

Faculty Mentor

Eric Johnson

Start Date

23-11-2019 1:30 PM

End Date

23-11-2019 1:45 PM

Location

Markstein 103

Session

oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Predator-prey interactions shape the environment through regulation of prey populations as observed by various factors such as the functional response. Functional response is the predator's intake of consumption as a function of prey density, mediated by foraging and handling of prey. A Type III functional response has the potential for predators to control prey populations in which prey mortality increases as prey density increases. The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus is an important fishery species, however the ecological impacts have been underdeveloped within Northeastern Florida salt marshes. The goal of this study is to determine the type of functional response C. sapidus depicts by observing the mortality of the marsh periwinkle snail, Littoraria irrorata, through a manipulative laboratory feeding experiment. Study organisms were placed in mesocosms where C. sapidus was allowed to feed on varying densities of L. irrorata for 24 hours and the number of prey consumed for each L. irrorata density was observed. The results depict that if L. irrorata uses smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora as a refuge, then C. sapidus depicts a Type III functional response and L. irrorata mortality is density dependent. In the absence of S. alterniflora, L. irrorata mortality did not match any of the functional response models, thus was not found to be density dependent. Presence of C. sapidus also caused L. irrorata to climb higher to escape predation and C. sapidus preferred to consume L. irrorata sizes between 12-18mm.

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Nov 23rd, 1:30 PM Nov 23rd, 1:45 PM

Predator-Prey Dynamics of Blue Crab on the Periwinkle Snail in a Salt Marsh System

Markstein 103

Predator-prey interactions shape the environment through regulation of prey populations as observed by various factors such as the functional response. Functional response is the predator's intake of consumption as a function of prey density, mediated by foraging and handling of prey. A Type III functional response has the potential for predators to control prey populations in which prey mortality increases as prey density increases. The blue crab, Callinectes sapidus is an important fishery species, however the ecological impacts have been underdeveloped within Northeastern Florida salt marshes. The goal of this study is to determine the type of functional response C. sapidus depicts by observing the mortality of the marsh periwinkle snail, Littoraria irrorata, through a manipulative laboratory feeding experiment. Study organisms were placed in mesocosms where C. sapidus was allowed to feed on varying densities of L. irrorata for 24 hours and the number of prey consumed for each L. irrorata density was observed. The results depict that if L. irrorata uses smooth cordgrass, Spartina alterniflora as a refuge, then C. sapidus depicts a Type III functional response and L. irrorata mortality is density dependent. In the absence of S. alterniflora, L. irrorata mortality did not match any of the functional response models, thus was not found to be density dependent. Presence of C. sapidus also caused L. irrorata to climb higher to escape predation and C. sapidus preferred to consume L. irrorata sizes between 12-18mm.