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dc.contributor.advisorRuxton, Graeme D.
dc.contributor.authorGu, Hao
dc.coverage.spatialv, 183 p.en_US
dc.description.abstractPredation is an important selective force for prey organisms, which have also developed different antipredator adaptions. Individuals of many animal species live in the group, which is generally believed to offer prey benefits from reduced predation risk and/or increased foraging efficiency. Different antipredator mechanisms of grouping prey have been well-developed theoretically and studied extensively for single species groups as compared to mixed-species groups. Yet, there has been a lack of understanding of how some antipredator mechanisms would be affected when applied to a mixed-species group due to additional effect of the within-group heterogeneity of prey. This thesis explored the consequence of mixed-species grouping on the risk related to predation, with the intention to expand current understanding of the antipredator mechanisms for heterogeneous prey groups of multi-species or more broadly multi-phenotypes. Using artificial prey to simulate prey groups, the first several studies empirically examined how the prey group as a whole—varied in prey composition, group size, within-group position and compactness—would affect the ease of detection by free-living animals and/or ‘human predators’. The last study investigated grouping effects, especially the effect of the nearest associated species on individual’s vigilance and foraging in the aggregation of avian species feeding on a feeder. Significant effects of group patterns on the detection risk of artificial prey groups were mostly found in experiments with ‘human predators’ rather than animal predators. Despite some contradictory findings between different predator-prey systems, these studies generally lent support to the idea consistent with the ‘giveaway cue’ hypothesis, where polymorphic population with prey of conspicuous morph may attract predations’ attention; and showed that the inclusion of conspicuous prey in mixed-species group would increase the detection risk of prey compared to some single species groups. Together, all the studies demonstrated the influence of mixed-species association on prey detection and/or predation risk.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of St Andrews
dc.relationExploring mixed-species grouping effects through antipredator mechanisms (thesis data) Gu, H., University of St Andrews, 3 March 2025 DOI:
dc.subjectMixed-species groupen_US
dc.subjectDetection risken_US
dc.subjectGroup sizeen_US
dc.subjectVisual predatoren_US
dc.subjectGroup compositionen_US
dc.subjectColour polymorphismen_US
dc.subjectWithin-group positionen_US
dc.subjectNearest neighbouren_US
dc.subjectArtificial preyen_US
dc.subject.lcshPredation (Biology)en
dc.titleExploring mixed-species grouping effects through antipredator mechanismsen_US
dc.contributor.sponsorChina Scholarship Council (CSC)en_US
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.publisher.institutionThe University of St Andrewsen_US
dc.rights.embargoreasonThesis restricted according to University regulations. Print and electronic copies restricted until 11th April 2025en

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