Dynamic landscapes of fear: understanding spatiotemporal risk

Meredith S. Palmer, Kaitlyn M. Gaynor, Justine A. Becker, Joel O. Abraham, Matthew A. Mumma, Robert M. Pringle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The landscape of fear (LOF) concept posits that prey navigate spatial heterogeneity in perceived predation risk, balancing risk mitigation against other activities necessary for survival and reproduction. These proactive behavioral responses to risk can affect individual fitness, population dynamics, species interactions, and coexistence. Yet, antipredator responses in free-ranging prey often contradict expectations, raising questions about the generality and scalability of the LOF framework and suggesting that a purely spatial, static LOF conceptualization may be inadequate. Here, we outline a ‘dynamic’ LOF framework that explicitly incorporates time to account for predictable spatiotemporal variation in risk–resource trade-offs. This integrated approach suggests novel predictions about predator effects on prey behaviors to refine understanding of the role predators play in ecological communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-925
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • antipredator behavior
  • landscape of fear
  • non-consumptive effects
  • predation risk
  • spatiotemporal partitioning
  • trophic cascades


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