PHENOTYPES UNDERPIN CONTRASTING ECOLOGICAL IMPACT OF PREDATOR INDIVIDUALS
Top-predators classically drive ecosystem processes through effects on prey populations, indirectly top downing to plant standing stocks, a coarse picture called trophic cascade. In the past decades, we learned that trophic cascades intensity varies across ecosystems and top-predator species. In taking the picture of trophic cascades at the population level, we assume implicitly that all the top-predator individuals of the population contribute equally to the trophic cascade. As a result, we still do not know if a part of variation in trophic cascades owes to individual phenotypic variability among top-predators, and which type of phenotypic traits may explain this variation. We addressed both issues by quantifying individual top-predator trophic cascades on litter standing stocks and associated fungal biomasses in a forested stream. We provide unpresented evidence that phenotypically opposite top-predator individuals alters trophic cascades in different directions, and that phenotypic traits do not equally contribute to individual trophic cascades. Capturing individual trait variation of top-predators should help future research in ecology to take a sharp picture of the natural trophic cascade variability.
Thibaut Rota (Primary Presenter/Author), EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, France, email@example.com;
Jérémy Jabiol (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), LIEC, Université de Lorraine, CNRS, France, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sylvain Lamothe (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, France, email@example.com;
Didier Lambrigot (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, France, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Eric Chauvet (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, France, email@example.com;
Antoine Lecerf (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), EcoLab, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, France, firstname.lastname@example.org;