Co-occurring predators increase biotic resistance against an invasive prey
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The presence of multiple predators can lead to variation in predator behavior and ultimately altered risk for shared prey. This concept has seldom been accounted for in studies that consider predator-driven biotic resistance from native marine predators against invasive prey. This study compared the prey selection of whelks and rock lobsters when co-occurring and when foraging in isolation. When in isolation, both predators preferred the native mussel Choromytilus meridionalis, regardless of the abundance of alternative prey. However, when co-occurring, predation risk for all prey species, including the invasive mussel Semimytilus algosus, increased. This was largely driven by greater variation in prey selection by rock lobsters in the presence of whelks. This indicates that predatory efforts from co-occurring predators can result in stronger predation pressure on invasive prey than would be recognized if predators were assessed in isolation.