Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition

Serrouya R, Wittmann M, McLellan BN, Wittmer HU, Boutin S (2015)
The American Naturalist 185(5): 665-679.

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Apparent competition is an important process influencing many ecological communities. We used predator-prey theory to predict outcomes of ecosystem experiments aimed at mitigating apparent competition by reducing primary prey. Simulations predicted declines in secondary prey following reductions in primary prey because predators consumed more secondary prey until predator numbers responded to reduced prey densities. Losses were exacerbated by a higher carrying capacity of primary prey and a longer lag time of the predator’s numerical response, but a gradual reduction in primary prey was less detrimental to the secondary prey. We compared predictions against two field experiments where endangered woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) were victims of apparent competition. First, when deer (Odocoileus sp.) declined suddenly following a severe winter, cougar (Puma concolor) declined with a 1–2-year lag, yet in the interim more caribou were killed by cougars, and caribou populations declined by 40%. Second, when moose (Alces alces) were gradually reduced using a management experiment, wolf (Canis lupus) populations declined but did not shift consumption to caribou, and the largest caribou subpopulation stabilized. The observed contrasting outcomes of sudden versus gradual declines in primary prey supported theoretical predictions. Combining theory with field studies clarified how to manage communities to mitigate endangerment caused by apparent competition that affects many taxa.
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Serrouya R, Wittmann M, McLellan BN, Wittmer HU, Boutin S. Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition. The American Naturalist. 2015;185(5):665-679.
Serrouya, R., Wittmann, M., McLellan, B. N., Wittmer, H. U., & Boutin, S. (2015). Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition. The American Naturalist, 185(5), 665-679. doi:10.1086/680510
Serrouya, R., Wittmann, M., McLellan, B. N., Wittmer, H. U., and Boutin, S. (2015). Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition. The American Naturalist 185, 665-679.
Serrouya, R., et al., 2015. Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition. The American Naturalist, 185(5), p 665-679.
R. Serrouya, et al., “Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition”, The American Naturalist, vol. 185, 2015, pp. 665-679.
Serrouya, R., Wittmann, M., McLellan, B.N., Wittmer, H.U., Boutin, S.: Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition. The American Naturalist. 185, 665-679 (2015).
Serrouya, Robert, Wittmann, Meike, McLellan, Bruce N., Wittmer, Heiko U., and Boutin, Stan. “Using Predator-Prey Theory to Predict Outcomes of Broadscale Experiments to Reduce Apparent Competition”. The American Naturalist 185.5 (2015): 665-679.
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6 Citations in Europe PMC

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Forest productivity mitigates human disturbance effects on late-seral prey exposed to apparent competitors and predators.
Fortin D, Barnier F, Drapeau P, Duchesne T, Dussault C, Heppell S, Prima MC, St-Laurent MH, Szor G., Sci Rep 7(1), 2017
PMID: 28744023
Experimental moose reduction lowers wolf density and stops decline of endangered caribou.
Serrouya R, McLellan BN, van Oort H, Mowat G, Boutin S., PeerJ 5(), 2017
PMID: 28875080
Compensatory selection for roads over natural linear features by wolves in northern Ontario: Implications for caribou conservation.
Newton EJ, Patterson BR, Anderson ML, Rodgers AR, Vander Vennen LM, Fryxell JM., PLoS One 12(11), 2017
PMID: 29117234
Testing predator-prey theory using broad-scale manipulations and independent validation.
Serrouya R, McLellan BN, Boutin S., J Anim Ecol 84(6), 2015
PMID: 26101058
A spatial theory for characterizing predator-multiprey interactions in heterogeneous landscapes.
Fortin D, Buono PL, Schmitz OJ, Courbin N, Losier C, St-Laurent MH, Drapeau P, Heppell S, Dussault C, Brodeur V, Mainguy J., Proc Biol Sci 282(1812), 2015
PMID: 26224710

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