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  3. Understanding the role of species interactions within communities is a central focus of ecology. A key challenge is to understand variation in species interactions along environmental gradients. The stress gradient hypothesis posits that positive interactions increase and competitive interactions decrease with increasing consumer pressure or environmental stress. This hypothesis has received extensive attention in plant community ecology, but only a handful of tests in animals. Furthermore, few empirical studies have examined multiple co‐occurring stressors. Here we test predictions of the stress gradient hypothesis using the occurrence of mixed‐species groups in six common grazing ungulate species within the Serengeti‐Mara ecosystem. Wemore »use mixed‐species groups as a proxy for potential positive interactions because they may enhance protection from predators or increase access to high‐quality forage. Alternatively, competition for resources may limit the formation of mixed‐species groups. Using more than 115,000 camera trap observations collected over 5 yr, we found that mixed‐species groups were more likely to occur in risky areas (i.e., areas closer to lion vantage points and in woodland habitat where lions hunt preferentially) and during time periods when resource levels were high. These results are consistent with the interpretation that stress from high predation risk may contribute to the formation of mixed‐species groups, but that competition for resources may prevent their formation when food availability is low. Our results are consistent with support for the stress gradient hypothesis in animals along a consumer pressure gradient while identifying the potential influence of a co‐occurring stressor, thus providing a link between research in plant community ecology on the stress gradient hypothesis, and research in animal ecology on trade‐offs between foraging and risk in landscapes of fear.« less