Predator-specific landscapes of fear and resource distribution: effects on spatial range use

Authors

  • Erik P. Willems,

    1. Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, 43 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN United Kingdom
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    • Present address: Department of Anthropology, Durham University, Dawson Building, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE United Kingdom.
  • Russell A. Hill

    1. Evolutionary Anthropology Research Group, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, 43 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN United Kingdom
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  • Corresponding Editor: N. J. Gotelli.

Abstract

Although ecologists have long recognized that animal space use is primarily determined by the presence of predators and the distribution of resources, the effects of these two environmental conditions have never been quantified simultaneously in a single spatial model. Here, in a novel approach, predator-specific landscapes of fear are constructed on the basis of behavioral responses of a prey species (vervet monkey; Cercopithecus aethiops), and we show how these can be combined with data on resource distribution to account for the observed variation in intensity of space use. Results from a mixed regressive–spatial regressive analysis demonstrate that ranging behavior can indeed be largely interpreted as an adaptive response to perceived risk of predation by some (but not all) predators and the spatial availability of resources. The theoretical framework behind the model is furthermore such that it can easily be extended to incorporate the effects of additional factors potentially shaping animal range use and thus may be of great value to the study of animal spatial ecology.

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