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Landscapes of Fear: Spatial Patterns of Risk Perception and Response.


Animals experience varying levels of predation risk as they navigate heterogeneous landscapes, and behavioral responses to perceived risk can structure ecosystems. The concept of the landscape of fear has recently become central to describing this spatial variation in risk, perception, and response. We present a framework linking the landscape of fear, defined as spatial variation in prey perception of risk, to the underlying physical landscape and predation risk, and to resulting patterns of prey distribution and antipredator behavior. By disambiguating the mechanisms through which prey perceive risk and incorporate fear into decision making, we can better quantify the nonlinear relationship between risk and response and evaluate the relative importance of the landscape of fear across taxa and ecosystems.

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