Trophic control of mesopredators in terrestrial ecosystems: top‐down or bottom‐up?

Trophic control of mesopredators in terrestrial ecosystems: top‐down or bottom‐up? It has been argued that widespread extinctions of top predators have changed terrestrial ecosystem structures through mesopredator release, where increased abundances of medium‐sized predators have detrimental effects on prey communities. This top‐down concept has received much attention within conservation biology, but few studies have demonstrated the phenomenon. The concept has been criticized since alternative explanations involving bottom‐up impacts from bioclimatic effects on ecosystem productivity and from anthropogenic habitat change are rarely considered. We analyse the response of a mesopredator (the red fox) to declines in top predators (wolf and Eurasian lynx) and agricultural expansion over 90 years in Sweden, taking bioclimatic effects into account. We show a top‐down mesopredator release effect, but ecosystem productivity determined its strength. The impacts of agricultural activity were mediated by their effects on top predator populations. Thus, both top‐down and bottom‐up processes need to be understood for effective preservation of biodiversity in anthropogenically transformed ecosystems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ecology Letters Wiley

Trophic control of mesopredators in terrestrial ecosystems: top‐down or bottom‐up?

Ecology Letters, Volume 10 (3) – Mar 1, 2007

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/trophic-control-of-mesopredators-in-terrestrial-ecosystems-top-down-or-IBm4o265UI
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1461-023X
eISSN
1461-0248
DOI
10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.01010.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It has been argued that widespread extinctions of top predators have changed terrestrial ecosystem structures through mesopredator release, where increased abundances of medium‐sized predators have detrimental effects on prey communities. This top‐down concept has received much attention within conservation biology, but few studies have demonstrated the phenomenon. The concept has been criticized since alternative explanations involving bottom‐up impacts from bioclimatic effects on ecosystem productivity and from anthropogenic habitat change are rarely considered. We analyse the response of a mesopredator (the red fox) to declines in top predators (wolf and Eurasian lynx) and agricultural expansion over 90 years in Sweden, taking bioclimatic effects into account. We show a top‐down mesopredator release effect, but ecosystem productivity determined its strength. The impacts of agricultural activity were mediated by their effects on top predator populations. Thus, both top‐down and bottom‐up processes need to be understood for effective preservation of biodiversity in anthropogenically transformed ecosystems.

Journal

Ecology LettersWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2007

References

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