Predation is considered the most important source of zooplankton mortality and is a major force shaping the zooplankton community structure. Zooplankton display an array of behaviors dependent on foraging strategy and mate searching behavior that all influence encounter probability and detectability by planktonic predators. In this study we experimentally quantified motility behaviors of copepods displaying the main zooplankton foraging strategies and estimated predation risk from tactile predators using a simple behavior-dependent encounter model. We compared our model predictions with empirical data from incubation experiments (Almeda et al., 2017) and show that there are steep gradients in zooplankton predation risk that are predictable based on behavior. Our findings allow better model formulations of zooplankton mortality rates, which is important as plankton model dynamics are strongly influenced by zooplankton mortality formulations.
The paper can be read here.
van Someren Gréve, H., R. Almeda, and T. Kiørboe. 2017. Motile behavior and predation risk in planktonic copepods. Limnology and Oceanography: 10.1002/lno.10535