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The influence of human activity on predator-prey interactions
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  • Amy Van Scoyoc,
  • Justine Smith,
  • Kaitlyn Gaynor,
  • Kristin Barker,
  • Justin Brashares
Amy Van Scoyoc
University of California Berkeley

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Justine Smith
UC Davis
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Kaitlyn Gaynor
University of California Santa Barbara
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Kristin Barker
University of California Berkeley
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Justin Brashares
University of California
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Despite growing evidence of widespread impacts of humans on the behavior of animals, our understanding of how humans reshape species interactions remains limited. Here, we present a framework that draws on key concepts from behavioral and community ecology to outline four primary pathways by which humans can alter predator-prey spatiotemporal overlap, which may have implications for predator diet, predation rates, population demography, and trophic cascades. We then demonstrate the testability of the hypotheses that emerge from our framework using temporal activity data for 178 predator-prey dyads from published camera trap studies to reveal patterns of human influence on predator-prey activity and overlap. Our framework and case study highlight current challenges, gaps, and advances in linking human-induced animal behavior change to predator-prey dynamics. By using a hypothesis-driven approach to estimate the potential for altered species interactions, we can better predict the ecological consequences of human activities on whole communities.