Mississippi State University
Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Non-consumptive effects that predators have on prey are important to ecosystems. The perceived risk of predation can alter feeding behavior. Giving-up density (GUD) experiments have been a foundational method to evaluate perceived predation risk, but rely on the assumption that food preferences are absolute. However, nutritional preferences are context dependent and can change with risk. In my first chapter, I used spiders and grasshoppers to test the hypothesis that covariance in nutritional preferences and risk may confound the interpretation of GUD experiments. My results demonstrate that predation risk and nutritional preferences covary and can confound interpretation of GUD experiments. In my second chapter, I use a behavioral observation experiment to further explore non-consumptive effects, as well as the movement of prey in response to predation risk.
McMahon, Jordan D., "A New Perspective on Giving-Up Density Experiments and the Landscape of Fear" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 207.