INDIRECT EFFECTS AND TRADITIONAL TROPHIC CASCADES: A TEST INVOLVING WOLVES, COYOTES, AND PRONGHORN

INDIRECT EFFECTS AND TRADITIONAL TROPHIC CASCADES: A TEST INVOLVING WOLVES, COYOTES, AND PRONGHORN The traditional trophic cascades model is based on consumer––resource interactions at each link in a food chain. However, trophic-level interactions, such as mesocarnivore release resulting from intraguild predation, may also be important mediators of cascades. From September 2001 to August 2004, we used spatial and seasonal heterogeneity in wolf distribution and abundance in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to evaluate whether mesopredator release of coyotes ( Canis latrans ), resulting from the extirpation of wolves ( Canis lupus ), accounts for high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) fawns observed in some areas. Results of this ecological perturbation in wolf densities, coyote densities, and pronghorn neonatal survival at wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites support the existence of a species-level trophic cascade. That wolves precipitated a trophic cascade was evidenced by fawn survival rates that were four-fold higher at sites used by wolves. A negative correlation between coyote and wolf densities supports the hypothesis that interspecific interactions between the two species facilitated the difference in fawn survival. Whereas densities of resident coyotes were similar between wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites, the abundance of transient coyotes was significantly lower in areas used by wolves. Thus, differential effects of wolves on solitary coyotes may be an important mechanism by which wolves limit coyote densities. Our results support the hypothesis that mesopredator release of coyotes contributes to high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn fawns, and demonstrate the importance of alternative food web pathways in structuring the dynamics of terrestrial systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Ecological Society of America

INDIRECT EFFECTS AND TRADITIONAL TROPHIC CASCADES: A TEST INVOLVING WOLVES, COYOTES, AND PRONGHORN

Ecology, Volume 89 (3) – Mar 1, 2008

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ecological-society-of-america/indirect-effects-and-traditional-trophic-cascades-a-test-involving-5UDvsqLqKC
Publisher
Ecological Society of America
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by the Ecological Society of America
Subject
Articles
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1890/07-0193.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The traditional trophic cascades model is based on consumer––resource interactions at each link in a food chain. However, trophic-level interactions, such as mesocarnivore release resulting from intraguild predation, may also be important mediators of cascades. From September 2001 to August 2004, we used spatial and seasonal heterogeneity in wolf distribution and abundance in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to evaluate whether mesopredator release of coyotes ( Canis latrans ), resulting from the extirpation of wolves ( Canis lupus ), accounts for high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn ( Antilocapra americana ) fawns observed in some areas. Results of this ecological perturbation in wolf densities, coyote densities, and pronghorn neonatal survival at wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites support the existence of a species-level trophic cascade. That wolves precipitated a trophic cascade was evidenced by fawn survival rates that were four-fold higher at sites used by wolves. A negative correlation between coyote and wolf densities supports the hypothesis that interspecific interactions between the two species facilitated the difference in fawn survival. Whereas densities of resident coyotes were similar between wolf-free and wolf-abundant sites, the abundance of transient coyotes was significantly lower in areas used by wolves. Thus, differential effects of wolves on solitary coyotes may be an important mechanism by which wolves limit coyote densities. Our results support the hypothesis that mesopredator release of coyotes contributes to high rates of coyote predation on pronghorn fawns, and demonstrate the importance of alternative food web pathways in structuring the dynamics of terrestrial systems.

Journal

EcologyEcological Society of America

Published: Mar 1, 2008

Keywords: Antilocapra americana ; Canis latrans ; Canis lupus ; carnivore competition ; mesopredator release hypothesis ; predator––prey ; Program MARK

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off