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From hostility to cooperation - the interactions among predators Miedzy wrogoscia a wspoldzialaniem - interakcje drapieznych



From hostility to cooperation - the interactions among predators Miedzy wrogoscia a wspoldzialaniem - interakcje drapieznych



Wiadomosci Ekologiczne, 432: 117-138



A wide variety of interactions is observed among predatory mammals and birds. They may range, as in the classic Odum's concept, from predation through competition, parasitism etc. to cooperation. Even in the same pairs of species one kind of interaction may turn into another, and moreover, some of them cannot be univocally defined. For example, so called "interference competition" may take form of pure predation, or competition or the mixture of both. In my opinion, most of those interactions are the consequences of certain specific features of predatory species, such as: (i) killing abilities and utilization of results of hunting success of other predators; (ii) use of nest, dens and burrows inhabited by other species; (iii) a tendency to interspecific hybridization. Predators may kill other predators by hunting them or in defence of the burrows and the territories, or just a result of an aggressive behaviour. Sometimes the hunting pressure is so intensive that the predator may significantly affect the density of the other smaller carnivore (Table 1). The aggressive behaviour and the persecution of the smaller species usually caused an avoidance behaviour in the victimized species. Strong persecution of one species by another would often lead to spatial separation (Fig. 1), and even to exclusion of the weaker species from the area. The use of burrows, nest and shelters of other species (Table 11), as well as use of carcasses of prey killed by other predators ranges from parasitism to commensalism. Some carnivore species exhibit a strong tendency to hybridization, as found in the case of the wolf and the domestic dog, the wolf and coyote, the European mink and the polecat or the sable and the pine marten. The hybridization may be viewed as a way of gene promotion in the absence od sexual partners in the area or it may serve the elimination of the sympatric competitor species.

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