Grant: $381,880 - National Science Foundation - Sep. 14, 2009
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Award Description: Seminal insights towards establishing contributions of sensory biology to community ecology.
Project Description: The chemistry (smell and taste) of food is a basic property that determines eating preferences, and hence, functional-response relationships between predators and prey, irrespective of habitat. Remarkably, there has been no complete structural elucidation of any compound exploited by marine predators tracking live, intact prey. Here, the sensory basis for predator-prey interactions will be studied across multiple trophic levels, in a tractable field environment, and on a chemical cue for which isolation, purification, and identification can be attained using existing, chemical-analytical techniques. We will determine the complete structures of molecules that trigger predation by keystone (seastars and whelks) on foundation (barnacles and mussels) species in the rocky intertidal. Whereas studies once asked if a given predator consumed a given prey, we now are uniquely poised to answer what, exact, prey compound triggers a predator and, thus, what are the sensory determinants for established, community-ecological paradigms? Research on sensory systems, in conjunction with behavioral and population studies, would establish critical linkages between stimulus space, behavior, and the demographic consequences of decision making processes.
Jobs Summary: No Jobs. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Not Started
This award's data was last updated on Sep. 14, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.