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Keywords:

  • functional equivalency;
  • multiple predator effects;
  • predator interference;
  • risk reduction;
  • substitutable effects

Summary

  • 1
    Interference between predator species frequently decreases predation rates, lowering the risk of predation for shared prey. However, such interference can also occur between conspecific predators.
  • 2
    Therefore, to understand the importance of predator biodiversity and the degree that predator species can be considered functionally interchangeable, we determined the degree of additivity and redundancy of predators in multiple- and single-species combinations.
  • 3
    We show that interference between two invasive species of predatory crabs, Carcinus maenas and Hemigrapsus sanguineus, reduced the risk of predation for shared amphipod prey, and had redundant per capita effects in most multiple- and single-species predator combinations.
  • 4
    However, when predator combinations with the potential for intraguild predation were examined, predator interference increased and predator redundancy decreased.
  • 5
    Our study indicates that trophic structure is important in determining how the effects of predator species combine and demonstrates the utility of determining the redundancy, as well as the additivity, of multiple predator species.