The role of predators in ship rat and house mouse population eruptions: drivers or passengers?

The role of predators in ship rat and house mouse population eruptions: drivers or passengers? Four hypotheses regarding the role of predation in the population dynamics of eruptive small mammal communities were tested using the small mammal assemblage found in mixed forests in New Zealand. Large‐scale (750 ha) predator removal was conducted, targeting stoats (Mustela erminea). House mouse (Mus musculus) and ship rat (Rattus rattus) population dynamics during an eruption were compared in areas with and without predator reduction. The success of predator reduction was measured by comparing live‐capture rates of predators on treatment and non‐treatment areas, and by recruitment rates of the threatened northern brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli). Overall, predator reduction was successful, although there was a continual low rate of reinvasion. The predictions and results were that 1) Predators can slow but not prevent a population eruption. Supported: Populations of mice and rats erupted to high densities in areas with and without predator reduction, following synchronous southern beech (Nothofagus spp.) seeding. 2) Predators cannot truncate peak prey population size. Supported: Peak densities of mice and rats were not significantly different between treatment and non‐treatment areas. 3) Predators can hasten the rate of decline in prey populations during the crash phase. Not supported: There was evidence of populations of mice and rats declining slower in areas with predators removed, but none of the trends were significant. 4) Predators can limit low‐phase prey populations. Equivocal: Populations of rats in beech forest, and population of mice and rats in coastline habitats were significantly higher in areas with predators removed, but were not significantly different in tawa‐podocarp forest. Therefore, the role of food in driving the early stages of the mouse and rat eruption was demonstrated, but the role of predation in the decline and low phases is unclear. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oikos Wiley

The role of predators in ship rat and house mouse population eruptions: drivers or passengers?

Oikos, Volume 100 (3) – Mar 1, 2003

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-role-of-predators-in-ship-rat-and-house-mouse-population-eruptions-24JCg07xMS
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0030-1299
eISSN
1600-0706
DOI
10.1034/j.1600-0706.2003.11026.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Four hypotheses regarding the role of predation in the population dynamics of eruptive small mammal communities were tested using the small mammal assemblage found in mixed forests in New Zealand. Large‐scale (750 ha) predator removal was conducted, targeting stoats (Mustela erminea). House mouse (Mus musculus) and ship rat (Rattus rattus) population dynamics during an eruption were compared in areas with and without predator reduction. The success of predator reduction was measured by comparing live‐capture rates of predators on treatment and non‐treatment areas, and by recruitment rates of the threatened northern brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli). Overall, predator reduction was successful, although there was a continual low rate of reinvasion. The predictions and results were that 1) Predators can slow but not prevent a population eruption. Supported: Populations of mice and rats erupted to high densities in areas with and without predator reduction, following synchronous southern beech (Nothofagus spp.) seeding. 2) Predators cannot truncate peak prey population size. Supported: Peak densities of mice and rats were not significantly different between treatment and non‐treatment areas. 3) Predators can hasten the rate of decline in prey populations during the crash phase. Not supported: There was evidence of populations of mice and rats declining slower in areas with predators removed, but none of the trends were significant. 4) Predators can limit low‐phase prey populations. Equivocal: Populations of rats in beech forest, and population of mice and rats in coastline habitats were significantly higher in areas with predators removed, but were not significantly different in tawa‐podocarp forest. Therefore, the role of food in driving the early stages of the mouse and rat eruption was demonstrated, but the role of predation in the decline and low phases is unclear.

Journal

OikosWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2003

References

  • Rodent and predator dynamics in an eruptive system
    Blackwell, Blackwell; Potter, Potter; Minot, Minot
  • Seed production and outbreaks of non‐cyclic rodent population in deciduous forests
    Jensen, Jensen
  • Responses of stoats and least weasels to fluctuating food abundances: is the low phase of the vole cycle due to mustelid predation?
    Korpimäki, Korpimäki; Norrdahl, Norrdahl; Rinta‐Jaskari, Rinta‐Jaskari
  • Prolonged prey suppression by carnivores‐predator removal experiments
    Newsome, Newsome; Parer, Parer; Catling, Catling
  • Limits to predator regulation of rabbits in Australia: evidence from predator removal experiments
    Pech, Pech; Sinclair, Sinclair; Newsome, Newsome; Catling, Catling

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