A STUDY OF THE ROLE OF INTRAGUILD PREDATION IN THE POPULATION DYNAMICS OF THREE SPECIES OF RHYACOPHILA
Wright, Charles Stewart IV
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Intraguild (IG) predation, where species within the same guild prey on each other, is common in aquatic communities. I used the abundance and distributional patterns of three species of Rhyacophila (Trichoptera), derived from a survey of 25 streams in Nova Scotia, Canada, to test several predictions of IG theory. I first sampled microhabitats and conducted behavioural observations to establish that the species do co-occur and prey on each other. Abundance patterns did not conform to two key model predictions: (1) Neither of the IG prey (R. minor, R. vibox) was excluded from the most productive streams, and (2) IG prey densities were not inversely related to productivity in streams with the IG predator (R. fuscula). It remains possible that intraguild predation occurs between these species of Rhyacophilia, the measured abundances do not indicate any measurable effects from IGP, the abundance being determined instead by the availability of prey.