Reversing the Match-mismatch relationship: the prey point of view
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Climate influences populations through a variety of processes. One mechanism that may be particularly important is the role of climate in disrupting un-equally the phenology of the predator and prey in a food chain. The match-mismatch hypothesis, referring to the development and survival of a predator is affected by the synchrony with its prey is used to describe climate effects on ecological patterns and processes in both terrestrial and marine systems. We expand on the match-mismatch hypothesis by considering the simple statement: “what is bad for the predator should be good for the prey”. In other word we reversed the output of the match-mismatch hypothesis, i.e., the increase of the asynchrony lead to a better survival/recruitment for the prey. We tested the theoretical model using GAM models on marine time series. We showed that the effect of predators on prey in the top-down controlled ecosystems can be modified by the degree of asynchrony. We discuss this result in light of the increase of amplitude of year-to-year variations in phenology linked to climate change. Keywords: Reverse match-mismatch, Phenology, Recruitment, Trophic interaction