Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Integrative Life Sciences

First Advisor

James Vonesh

Second Advisor

Salvatore Agosta

Third Advisor

Brian Byrd

Fourth Advisor

Kristine Grayson

Fifth Advisor

Elizabeth Hamman

Sixth Advisor

Derek Johnson


Warming can impact predator-prey interactions through a variety of mechanisms. For example, warming can both alter the rate at which predators consume prey and the rate prey develop through vulnerable life stages. Thus, the overall effect of warming on consumer-resource interactions will depend upon the strength and asymmetry of warming effects on predator and prey performance. Here, we describe the consequences of these asymmetrical responses to temperature by first developing a simple stage-structured modeling framework, then applying that framework to predation of American rock pool mosquito larvae, Aedes atropalpus, by several common predators in riverine rock pools. We then relate our model’s predictions about how warming will impact this predator-prey interaction to patterns of rock pool mosquito larval abundance across natural gradients of temperature and predation risk in riverine rock pools. Last, we discuss the consequences of warming for predation of rock pool mosquito larvae by multiple predator species with different responses to temperature, as well as difficulties with detecting emergent multiple predator effects (MPEs) in a warming world. Our findings suggest that warming accelerated both larval mosquito development and increased dragonfly consumption of larvae. Model simulations suggest that differences in the magnitude and rate of predator and prey responses to warming determined the change in magnitude of the overall effect of predation on prey survival to adulthood. Specifically, we found that depending on which predator species prey were exposed to in the model, the net effect of warming was either an overall reduction or no change in short-term predator-prey interaction strength across a temperature gradient. These findings were mirrored by field observations of rock pool mosquito larvae, which were more abundant at warmer temperatures even in the presence of predators. Last, we found that warming poses a significant challenge when detecting emergent MPEs in multiple-predator systems under current methodologies. Our overall findings highlight a need for better mechanistic understanding of the differential effects of temperature on consumer-resource pairs to accurately predict how warming affects food web dynamics.


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