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Short term refuge use and stability of predator-prey models. (English) Zbl 0812.92023

Summary: An individual-level behavioural model representing prey becoming temporarily less suspectible to attack in response to detection of predators is presented. This model is used to obtain a functional response for the predator which encapsulates a prey-hiding effect. A density-dependent term is induced in the functional response which is structurally identical to that derived by G. D. Ruxton et al. [Theor. Popul. Biol. 42, No. 3, 235-253 (1992; Zbl 0768.92025)] using a model representing mutual interference between predators. The effect of the hiding response on the vital rates of the prey population is also derived from the behavioural model.

Two scenarios are explored: one where hiding prevents prey from reproducing and another where hiding increases mortality from non- predation sources. These effects (and the functional response) are incorporated into two simple population-level predator-prey models. Prey hiding has a strong stabilising effect against prey escape cycles in both models.

MSC:
92D40Ecology
92D25Population dynamics (general)