Measuring Predation with a New Design of Submersible Chronographic Timer
Abstract:While predation has been widely acknowledged to have important, ecosystem- wide impacts, measuring the rate of this process has been difficult. Tethering is a popular technique used by ecologists to compare predation potential among different areas, although it has also been criticized for its limitations. Chronographic tethering devices eliminate some of these perceived limitations by removing the binary data used in statistical tests and artifacts from experimental duration. Here, we provide details for the construction of a new submersible chronographic tethering device. The new design allows deployment at greater depths (up to 8 m), minimizes the addition of “new” structure on the benthos due to the chronograph itself, and any consumed prey can easily be replaced and the timer reset without retrieval of the device. Furthermore, we present the results of a short field experiment demonstrating use of the timers. This experiment was designed to determine if differences in the survival of Mithraculus sculptus (Lamarck, 1818) crabs exist on fore and back reef environments in the Florida Keys. These results are then used to compare and contrast the results of chronographic tethering with traditional tethering experiments.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: 2012-10-01
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