Major Mortality Factor (major + mortality_factor)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Weak parasitoid-mediated apparent competition between two Phyllonorycter (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae) leaf miner species on a deciduous oak Quercus dentata

Abstract Parasitoid assemblages and the rates of parasitism on tissue-feeding larvae of two Phyllonorycter leaf miner species, P. persimilis and P. leucocorona, were studied from the autumn generation in 2002 to the summer generation in 2005 to understand whether parasitoids mediate interactions between the two leaf miner species. Fourteen species of parasitoids emerged from P. persimilis and 11 emerged from P. leucocorona. The parasitism rate was high: 24.1,92.6% in P. persimilis and 58.9,81.7% in P. leucocorona. Thus, parasitism was a major mortality factor in the present Phyllonorycter species. The parasitoid composition was distinctly different between the two host species, although most parasitoids were able to parasitize both leaf miner species. The analysis based on the quantitative parasitoid overlap revealed that the present parasitoids could mediate interactions between the present leaf miner species, but their effects would be weak. This is attributable to parasitoid's preferential uses of either of the leaf miners as a host. [source]

Predation by brown trout: a major mortality factor for sexually mature European minnows

J. Museth
Brown trout Salmo trutta in the subalpine lake, Øvre Heimdalsvatn, showed large temporal variation in the rate of predation on the introduced minnow Phoxinus phoxinus population. Minnows were found in the stomachs of brown trout between 16 and 38 cm LT. Significantly greater predation was recorded shortly after ice break at the end of June 1999, with frequencies of 9 and 20% within the LT classes 16,29·9 cm and ,30 cm, respectively. Predation on minnows was only occasionally detected during July, August and September. The high level of predation coincided with minnow spawning, and lengths of consumed minnows were equal to those of sexually mature individuals. Accepting a causal link between minnow spawning, which lasted c. 3 weeks, and the contemporary high rate of predation, the estimated annual consumption of minnows by the brown trout population would be 138 kg wet mass. Although most of the annual consumption of minnows by brown trout (90%) occurred within a very short period (3 weeks), it accounted for a significant proportion (60%) of the annual loss in biomass of the sexually mature part of the population. [source]

A bioassay for mosquito repellency against Aedes aegypti: method validation and bioactivities of DEET analogues

Alexander Jahn
Abstract Objectives Vector-borne diseases are still a major mortality factor in Africa and South-east Asia and effective mosquito repellents are therefore needed. An efficient and safe in-vitro assay system using artificial blood and skin substitute could facilitate the development of novel repellents, as most assays currently rely on human subjects or vertebrate whole blood. Moreover, examining the skin permeation profiles could provide safer mosquito repellents. The new assay system could serve as an initial system for testing new repellent candidates upon validation with DEET and its analogues. MethodsN,N -Diethyl- meta -toluamide (DEET) and five analogues were synthesised and used to validate a novel in-vitro bioassay using artificial blood and collagen membrane. Repellency against Aedes aegypti was correlated with lipophilicity and skin permeation. Key findings The new in-vitro assay showed good reproducibility (interday relative standard deviation <10% at high concentrations). Four of the five DEET analogues showed repellency similar or superior to that of DEET. Repellency correlated linearly with lipophilicity but stronger repellents tended to permeate skin better. Conclusions The new in-vitro assay using blood substitute and collagen membrane significantly simplifies screening of possible mosquito repellents. Lipophilicity as well as skin permeation profiles should be considered before testing of compounds that are candidates for mosquito repellents. [source]

The impact of predation risk from small mustelids on prey populations

MAMMAL REVIEW, Issue 3-4 2000
Kai Norrdahl
ABSTRACT Small mustelids are ,snake-like' mammals adapted to hunt small rodents, which are their principal prey, in tunnels leaving practically no refuge for the prey. Prey rodents have adaptive behaviours to situations where the predation risk from mustelids is high, including reduced activity and escape by climbing. Small mustelids may affect prey population dynamics directly through killing (increased mortality) and/or indirectly through behavioural changes in prey as a response to the presence of mustelids (predation risk). The Predator-Induced Breeding Suppression hypothesis (PIBS) states that a trade-off between survival and reproduction should lead to delayed breeding under temporarily high predation risk, so that the mere presence of predators may reduce reproductive output. Current results suggest that small mustelids mainly affect prey population growth rate directly through killing. In many cyclic rodent populations, small mustelid predation is a major mortality factor, and experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that these predators drive prolonged summer declines in prey. In contrast, the evidence for PIBS is controversial. Experimental evidence shows that the indirect effects of small mustelids on prey populations are negligible during the best breeding season. However, in other seasons, the presence of predators may indirectly affect prey populations, although this has not been studied experimentally. Prey rodents may decrease mobility as a response to high predation risk by small mustelids, and this reduction in mobility decreases feeding. Reduced feeding affects the energy reserves of voles, and may delay maturation or lower the size of the first litter. [source]