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dc.contributor.authorCamacho, Carlos
dc.contributor.authorSáez Gómez, Pedro 
dc.contributor.authorPotti, Jaime
dc.contributor.authorFedriani, José María
dc.identifier.citationCamacho, C., Sáez-Gómez, P., Potti, J., & Fedriani, J. M. (2017). Nightjars, rabbits, and foxes interact on unpaved roads: spatial use of a secondary prey in a shared-predator system. Ecosphere, 8(1), e01611.
dc.description.abstractLinear developments, such as roads and firebreaks, can increase encounter rates between predator and prey, which could affect predator-prey interactions and community dynamics. However, the extent to which prey responses at the interface between natural and anthropogenic habitats may be compared to those at the interface between natural habitats is unclear. Here, we used a shared-predator system to investigate the spatial response of red-necked nightjars (Caprimulgus ruficollis) to changing predation risk on roads, measured as the abundance of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), and their primary prey (rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus). Because all three species coexist closely on unpaved roads in Donana National Park (Spain), we predicted that nightjars would experience increased predation risk during periods of high fox and low rabbit abundances. Birds could then modify their space use at a broad scale by moving away from risky unpaved roads or, at a finer scale, by seeking foraging microsites facilitating escape from attacks. Between 2011 and 2012, mean rabbit abundance on roads increased by 50%, and fox abundance decreased by 80%, indicating a substantial decrease in predation risk for nightjars. Unexpectedly, nightjar occurrence on roads did not increase as a consequence of the decrease in fox predation risk. However, nightjars foraging on roads became less apprehensive in their use of linear strips of roadside cover, which is known to function as a physical barrier against fox attacks. Specifically, under high predation risk, most nightjars perched on the ground nearby (< 15 cm) tall (> 150 cm) vegetation, whereas when predation risk decreased, they shifted to more exposed microsites near shorter (< 1 m) stands, but rarely close to cover (> 45 cm). Nightjars' preference for areas of high predator abundance strongly suggests that flexible microhabitat selection allows them to manage the overall predation risk independently of predator abundance. Our results highlight the importance of linear developments in determining risk exposure and prey use of apparently dangerous habitats and thus may contribute to a better understanding of risky behaviors of prey.es_ES
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Sonia Sanchez and Basti Palacios for help during data collection, Carlos Davila and Carlos Molina for logistic support, and Lorenzo Perez for scientific discussion. Carlos Camacho thanks Airam Rodriguez for encouraging him to measure individual plant stands and the CNIO (Madrid) for hospitality during manuscript preparation. Constructive comments by Chris Whelan and an anonymous reviewer substantially improved this manuscript. Field work was conducted with no specific funding. The Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT) provided funds to Jose M. Fedriani (IF/00728/2013) through the strategic research program PEst/CC6316. Carlos Camacho received financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (SVP-2013-067686). The authors have no conflict of interest to declare. Data arc available at:
dc.publisherEcological Society of Americaes_ES
dc.rightsAtribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 3.0 España*
dc.subject.otherCaprimulgus ruficollises_ES
dc.subject.otherEscape tacticses_ES
dc.subject.otherHabitat selectiones_ES
dc.subject.otherLinear developmentses_ES
dc.subject.otherPredation riskes_ES
dc.subject.otherPredator avoidancees_ES
dc.subject.otherPredator-prey interactiones_ES
dc.subject.otherRed-necked nightjares_ES
dc.titleNightjars, rabbits, and foxes interact on unpaved roads: spatial use of a secondary prey in a shared-predator systemes_ES
dc.relation.projectIDinfo:eu-repo/grantAgreement/Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [SVP-2013-067686]es_ES

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