The interplay of competition and predation often affects prey habitat use, which may concentrate prey in safer areas with indirect consequences on their foraging efficiency and the effects of their foraging on the community. Predation is intense on coral reefs where competition for limited space and food is severe. The sea urchin Diadema antillarum, an inhabitant of Caribbean coral reefs, uses crevice shelters and often aggregates with conspecifics for protection against predators, which appears to reflect a conflicting balance between group defense versus competition for limited shelter. A series of laboratory experiments was used to determine how the availability of shelter, conspecifics, and chemical odors from conspecifics and a predator—the spotted spiny lobster (Panulirus guttatus)—affect D. antillarum shelter use. The long-spined sea urchin D. antillarum responded strongly to the odor of conspecifics and the lobster predator. Absent the threat of predation, D. antillarum compete for shelter and avoid shelters bearing the scent of other urchins. But, D. antillarum readily shared shelters and preferred the scent of conspecifics when exposed to lobster odors. Thus, efforts to enhance the recovery of D. antillarum populations on degraded reefs must strike a balance between minimizing their mortality from predation and increasing habitat complexity, which not only increases shelter for D. antillarum, but also their predators.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.