Predator-Prey Interactions

Predator-prey interactions determine many aspects of population dynamics and community structure of estuarine and marine ecosystems.

We are analyzing the interactive factors that regulate predator-prey dynamics primarily in three interrelated projects:

Anson Hines/Senior Scientist
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

PO Box 28
Edgewater, Maryland 21037
Phone: 443-482-2208
Fax: 443-482-2380
Curriculum Vitae


Blue Crab - Clam - Fish Interactions
We use extensive experimental approaches and innovative biotelemetry techniques to assess predator-prey interactions of blue crabs, fish and infaunal bivalves in the Rhode River subestuary of Chesapeake Bay.
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Fish - Shrimp Interactions
Grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) are the most abundant epibenthic decapod crustacean in upper Chesapeake Bay and other estuaries of eastern North America. Grass shrimp are preyed upon by a guild of several species of fish.
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Scale of Predator - Prey Interactions
Spatial pattern of predators foraging on prey patches is determined by 3 components of ecological scale: grain (patch size), lag (distance between patches) and extent (distance the interaction is manifested). These scale elements may also depend on prey density. We evaluated the components for predator-prey interactions of blue crabs foraging on clams (Macoma balthica) in Chesapeake Bay using: a large grid of benthic cores for clam density; biotelemetery of crab movement and foraging activity; and field experiments testing spatial effects of crab predation impact on clams. We have also tested effects of ecological scale on predator-prey interactions of eagle rays foraging on infaunal bivalves on a sand flat in New Zealand.
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