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Keystone Species Consumers (predators, herbivores, parasites, and diseases) that maintain food-web diversity.

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Presentation on theme: "Keystone Species Consumers (predators, herbivores, parasites, and diseases) that maintain food-web diversity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Keystone Species Consumers (predators, herbivores, parasites, and diseases) that maintain food-web diversity.

2 Anolis: Two species/island 7 Islands: 2-fold body size difference (males) Reduce competition for food? St Maarten: Greater overlap? WHY? Schall, J.J Oecologia 92:58-64.

3 Malaria: Insect-borne infection Initially (?) Intestinal parasite of reptiles Became infection of blood Accessible to biting insects Vector-borne parasite with complex life cycle

4 Saurian malaria Infection reduces a female’s clutch size: Fitness cost of infection Significant in 4 of 5 years Infected males: Less capable of evicting intruders on feeding territory

5 Fitness Cost of Infection Correct for increase in clutch size as female size increases Report: Loss of 2 eggs/year due to malaria

6 Spatial distribution Smaller lizard not found at lower elevation: exclusion Smaller lizard common in central hills: 2 species coexist Biting sand-fly found in central hills: vector of saurian malaria

7 Malaria, “keystone predator” Central hills: malaria infects 30 – 46% of the otherwise competitively dominant species Infects only 3.6% of A. watsii, smaller species Differential fitness cost of disease (parasite) maintains host diversity

8 Generalized keystone predator Keystone predator’s diet in two- prey environment: Dietary frequency of more common prey exceeds that species’ environmental frequency

9 Dietary versus environmental frequency

10 Keystone predators


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