Data from: Higher predation risk for insect prey at low latitudes and elevations

  • Tomas Roslin (Creator)
  • Bess Hardwick (Creator)
  • Vojtech Novotny (Creator)
  • William K. Petry (Creator)
  • Nigel R Andrew (Creator)
  • Ashley Asmus (Creator)
  • Isabel C. Barrio (Creator)
  • Yves Basset (Creator)
  • Andrea Larissa Boesing (Creator)
  • Timothy C. Bonebrake (Creator)
  • Erin K. Cameron (Creator)
  • Wesley Dattilo (Creator)
  • David A. Donoso (Creator)
  • Pavel Drozt (Creator)
  • Claudia L. Gray (Creator)
  • David S. Hik (Creator)
  • Sarah J. Hill (Creator)
  • Tapani Hopkins (Creator)
  • Huang Shuyin (Creator)
  • Bonny Koane (Creator)
  • Benita Laird-Hopkins (Creator)
  • Liisa Laukkanen (Creator)
  • Lewis T. Owen (Creator)
  • Sol Milne (Creator)
  • Isaiah Mwesige (Creator)
  • Akihiro Nakamura (Creator)
  • Colleen S. Nell (Creator)
  • Elizabeth Nichols (Creator)
  • Alena Prokurat (Creator)
  • Katerina Sam (Creator)
  • Niels Martin Schmidt (Creator)
  • Alison Slade (Creator)
  • Victor Slade (Creator)
  • Alzberta Suchankova (Creator)
  • Tiit Teder (Creator)
  • Saskya van Nouhuys (Creator)
  • Vigdis Vandvik (Creator)
  • Anita Weissflog (Creator)
  • Vital Zhukovich (Creator)
  • Eleanor M. Slade (Creator)
  • Graeme Paton (Data Manager)



Biotic interactions underlie ecosystem structure and function, but predicting interaction outcomes is difficult. We tested the hypothesis that biotic interaction strength increases toward the equator, using a global experiment with model caterpillars to measure predation risk. Across an 11,660-kilometer latitudinal gradient spanning six continents, we found increasing predation toward the equator, with a parallel pattern of increasing predation toward lower elevations. Patterns across both latitude and elevation were driven by arthropod predators, with no systematic trend in attack rates by birds or mammals. These matching gradients at global and regional scales suggest consistent drivers of biotic interaction strength, a finding that needs to be integrated into general theories of herbivory, community organization, and life-history evolution.

Data type

Data on Dummy Caterpillars:See Readme

Individual Based Model Simulations: See Readme

Instructions for participants: See Readme

Data sheet: See Readme

Copyright and Open Data Licencing

This work is licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license.
Date made available20 Apr 2018
PublisherDryad Digital Repository

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Other
  • National Science Foundation
  • DGE-1321846
  • 1158817
  • OPP-0908502


  • caterpillars
  • latitudinal gradient
  • predation
  • Higher predation risk for insect prey at low latitudes and elevations

    Roslin, T., Hardwick, B., Novotny, V., Petry, W. K., Andrew, N. R., Asmus, A., Barrio, I. C., Basset, Y., Boesing, A. L., Bonebrake, T. C., Cameron, E. K., Dáttilo, W., Donoso, D. A., Drozd, P., Gray, C. L., Hik, D. S., Hill, S. J., Hopkins, T., Huang, S., Koane, B., & 20 othersLaird-Hopkins, B., Laukkanen, L., Lewis, O. T., Milne, S., Mwesige, I., Nakamura, A., Nell, C. S., Nichols, E., Prokurat, A., Sam, K., Schmidt, N. M., Slade, A., Slade, V., Suchanková, A., Teder, T., Van Nouhuys, S., Vandvik, V., Weissflog, A., Zhukovich, V. & Slade, E. M., 19 May 2017, In: Science. 356, 6339, p. 742-744 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    291 Citations (Scopus)

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