Predator-Prey Relationships
Many predator-prey relationships follow the below graph. They follow this for one simple reason. As prey population initially decreases, predator population experiences an increase in population. This represents the predators ability to catch prey which give them the necessary energy to reproduce. As predator population decreases, prey population increases because there are less predators hunting them and they are consequently able to survive. This cyclic pattern continues unless disrupted by a density independent change.

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Anestis, Mark. 5 Steps to a 5 AP Biology with CD-ROM, 2010-2011 Edition (5 Steps to a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations Series). 3 ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.


Below are listed 2 examples of predator-prey interactions in the Mojave National Preserve:

1. In the Mojave Desert, the Mountain Lion is the main predator of the Mule Deer. Mule Deer make up a significant part of the Mountain Lion's diet, between 60 and 80 percent, consequently, the predator in this relationship is very sensitive to changes in the Mule Deer population. The populations of both organisms should fluctuate according to, or similarly to, the above graph.
mlion.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/searchnetmedia/3694862343/

mdeer.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mandj98/324171497/


2. The second main predator-prey relationship found in the Mojave National Preserve is between the Tarantula and the Tarantula Hawk. The Tarantula Hawk is a wasp that stings the Tarantula to paralyze it and then lays its eggs on the spider's body. When the eggs hatch, they parasitize the spider and eat it for nourishment. The populations of both organisms should fluctuate according to, or similarly to, the above graph.

taran.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/moosehead/2907533108/


thawk.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mshandro/1078316386/