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Relation between escape behaviour of benthic marine invertebrates and the risk of predation
Legault, C.; Himmelman, J.H. (1993). Relation between escape behaviour of benthic marine invertebrates and the risk of predation. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 170(1): 55-74.
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Behaviour; Invertebrates; Predators; Prey; Asteroidea [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Escape response; Risk of predation; Subtidal

Authors  Top 
  • Legault, C.
  • Himmelman, J.H.

    Many prey species display defensive behaviours when they detect predators. We examine, for six benthic marine invertebrates with strong escape responses, the hypothesis that the intensity of escape responses increases with the risk of mortality from various predators. Data for the bivalves Serripes groenlandicus (Bruguière), Clinocardium ciliatum (Fabricius), Chlamys islandica (Müller), the gastropod Buccinum undatum L. and the holothuroid Cucumaria frondosa (Gunnerus), generally support the hypothesis. They respond strongly to their most important predator and weakly or not at all to unimportant ones. The strongest correlation between the intensity of the escape response and predation risk was for Buccinum undatum. This may be related to its lack of a pelagic larval phase, as this means that the parents of individuals studied were from the community where predation risk was estimated. Data for the echinoid Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis Müller contradict the hypothesis. It responds strongly to Leptasterias polaris (Betzius), a seastar which rarely eats urchins, and does not respond significantly to its mean predator Crossaster papposus (L.).

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