Dept of Theoretical Ecology
Institute of Entomology
Biology Centre ASCR
Branisovska 31
37005 Ceske Budejovice
Czech Republic
phone: +420-387775367
fax: +420-385310354
Department of Theoretical Ecology is one of 10 departments belonging to the Institute of Entomology of the Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
How to reach us
The institute is located in the city of Ceske Budejovice in southern Bohemia, some 150 km south of Prague and relatively close to the borders with Austria. There are regular train and bus connections to and from Prague, and several trains a day to and from Austria (Linz, Gmünd). The main bus and train stations in Ceske Budejovice are placed close together, with stops of most city buses in between. The academic campus, including several other institutes and university builidings, are on the western outskirts of the city. The campus takes about 20 minutes to reach by city trolley buses (No 3 direction Maj and No 15 direction Vltava, both stop at Jana Opletala). If you travel by car from Prague, you can either go via Pisek or via Tabor (both take about 2 hours, the first route is usually a little faster).
Sex-selective predation and predator-prey dynamics

Given that many animals are sexually dimorphic and many predators hunt their prey based on its size, conspicuousness or behaviour, sex-selective predation should be widespread. In an article recently published in PloS ONE, David Boukal, Ludėk Berec and Vlastimil Køivan from the Department of Theoretical Ecology highlight that this phenomenon is surprisingly poorly covered in the research on population dynamics. They combine a modelling approach with an extensive survey of known data to show that in most prey, male-biased predation will have a stabilizing effect on the predator-prey dynamics (that is, such predation may lead to a predator-prey equilibrium), while female-biased predation will usually be destabilizing and may lead to extinction of the populations. This ecological viewpoint might provide an alternative or supplementary explanation, other than sexual selection, as to why male-biased predation prevails in nature.

Boukal, D. S., Berec, L., Krivan, V. 2008. Does sex-selective predation stabilize or destabilize predator-prey dynamics? PloS ONE 3(7): e2687